Trust is not a relationship element reserved for your friends, spouse, doctor or financial advisor. It has become apparent that trust is an extremely critical factor in the relationship between online retailers and their customers. You may have heard the statistic that 60-70% of shoppers reportedly abandon their shopping carts due to security and trust concerns. Wow! Imagine what you’d have if those converted?
So, how does a merchant communicate trustworthiness? It takes a person 1/20th of a second to get an impression of a site. Merchants need to start building trust quickly! However, the vast majority of online merchants don’t have the advantage of a world class brand image to help them build trust instantly.
Many studies have shown that transparency and trust go hand in hand. If you increase transparency on your website – the product, the company, and the shopping process – you thus improve your trustworthiness in the eyes of the shopper. The tips below are indeed simple, but critical to communicating your transparency, and thus increased trustworthiness to your customers:
Post reviews – positives and negatives. Be transparent – what do people like and dislike about this product? Customers might become suspicious if all product reviews are positive. Many shoppers have reported that even negative reviews have positively influenced them to make a purchase. For example, “This coat runs small; I suggest you buy one size up.”
Display return / shipping / exchange policies – Don’t make customers hunt for this. Make your link visible on every shopping page, and clearly lay out your policy with accuracy and attention to detail.
Prominently display your security – Display details about your security, such as a security seal or scan logo, throughout the shopping cart pages. Make these even more prominent and bring them above the fold during your checkout process. Draw attention to the word “secure” in your checkout process.
Provide detailed product descriptions – Include product specs when possible. Clearly explain the value proposition. Sell the sizzle, but also set clear, realistic product expectations.
Show multiple product views and high quality images – Customers aren’t able to touch, feel and examine your products. Show them exactly what they’re getting from various angles (if appropriate), and offer an enlarged image to let them get down to texture details (if appropriate).
Display Social Proof – Showing the number of Facebook Likes, Tweets, Pinterest Pins offers even more transparency and confidence. It makes the shopper think, “All of these people liked this product, so maybe there’s something to it.”
Reveal yourself – The shoppers who need the most reassurance are those that don’t know you. Offer them an easy-to-find section to educate themselves about your company basics.
These tips may seem simple, but every little thing communicates and counts!