Tuesday 15th March 2016
How to Get Customers to Trust Your eCommerce Store
So you have your shiny new eCommerce store filled with enticing, unique products, you have your checkout process down to a science and the visitors are flocking in. But yet, no one’s buying. Whilst this could be for a number of different, complex reasons, one of the biggest hurdles in eCommerce is getting your customers to trust that you’ll keep their data safe throughout the buying process, from browsing your store to tracking their order status after purchasing.
We've assembled a list of the best strategies to get customers to have faith in your store. The most important factor is understanding the biggest risks to your customers and helping fix them. After all, people trust people, not websites.
First in our trust list is perhaps the most important - making sure that your eCommerce store is secure. The worst thing that can happen during a customer’s journey is having their browser report that your site isn’t secure, so it’s essential to beef up your site's defences however you can.
Most importantly in security, it's essential to ensure that your store is rocking an SSL certificate and that all your customers are being directed towards a https:// version of your site. Running your site through HTTP (the less secure version of HTTPS) is a huge security risk for anyone visiting your site, as it’s not uncommon for an opportunist hacker to intercept the connection between you and your customer, leaving their personal information out in the open.
Shopify, for example, previously only used SSL on the checkout section of your store, but have now rolled it out across your entire site at no extra charge.
Thankfully, it’s also now becoming easier to add SSL regardless of your platform, as groups such as the wonderful people behind Let’s Encrypt have made a stride towards having free, automated certificates available to everyone.
As well as garnering trust from potential customers, you'll also get a big thumbs up from Google, as they have now started to favour sites that have a HTTPS version.
Be easily contactable
We've all been there, you're 99.9% of the way towards clicking ‘Checkout’, but something doesn't quite sit right at the back of your mind.
The delivery might not be as efficient as promised, or you might be subjected to a sneaky hidden fee. Making sure shoppers can easily reach out to you or your team through a selection of different methods is essential to gaining brand trust and loyalty.
We recommend including at least one method of instant contact, such as a phone number or live chat, so customers can get an answer whilst still browsing your store, rather than them having to return to purchase at a later stage.
Include these contact details in the header and/or footer of every page on your store and also make sure you have a dedicated Contact Us page for additional contact information such as a postal address and a contact form. Having a physical location listed also lets customers see that there are real workers behind the brand, not robots packing up their order.
Letting new customers see what your previous buyers thought is an incredibly important step in building trust. This can be done in a variety of ways and in fact, product recommendations and published reviews are amongst the top ways to convince customers to buy from you.
When you’re just starting to grow your brand, it can be difficult to gather customer reviews. Using a method such as an after-purchase email can help to remind customers to recommend your products if they were happy, or can give you an insight into what they weren’t happy with, giving you great scope to make improvements.
Blogger and social outreach could be another great method for you to use to get positive feedback from a reputable source, as content producers often have a massive influence over their followers and it could lead to a huge boost in orders and customer trust.
Customers don't like being lied to. If you're seeing a large drop-off in orders at the checkout stage, it could be because a charge that has gone unmentioned so far is being applied, that customers weren't expecting, leading to instant dissatisfaction.
To avoid this, make sure your store has a dedicated Delivery and Returns policy page that lets customers instantly see how much they're going to be charged and what they can do if they’re not happy upon delivery. It might also be beneficial to include this information on every product page, ensuring it's easily accessible.
Similarly, make sure you allow customers to easily view the status of their order up until it arrives on their doorstep. If your chosen shipping provider includes a tracking option, it's a good idea to choose this as standard, giving buyers access through an order number on either the provider’s site, or your own using a plugin or app. This cuts down on support emails with customers querying the status of their order and also puts their mind at rest knowing they can quickly track it at any time.
Letting customers see that you’re a real company who are passionate about their products is imperative to building trust with them. Use your About Us page to tell the story of your brand, include photos of members of your team and perhaps even your offices to help generate a connection with shoppers.
Another layer of personality can be added to your store through the email address you direct any support queries towards. Using a hello@ or hi@ email name can help make shoppers feel like they're getting a much more personal experience, as opposed to the generic and boring info@ or enquiries@ email addresses. To go even further, having your team reply to customers directly is a great way of giving a personal experience. Seeing 'John from Joe Bloggs' is a much better name to see in your inbox than 'Joe Bloggs Ltd Inc. LLC Corporation'.
We hope that these methods of building trust help you create a brilliant, secure experience for your customers from start to finish. If you have any other tips that have helped your brand's reputation, we'd love to hear them through Twitter @Statement.