Getting people to spend money online is easier than ever, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for everyone. There are still plenty of consumers out there who aren’t comfy passing along financial information, no matter how secure the transactions get. One small slip, and you could turn them off of shopping with you for good. So, how can you get your visitors to trust you enough to convert to customers? Here are some tips to help.
Anyone who shops online is familiar enough with websites to recognize old or bad design. If you haven’t updated your design lately, it’s going to be a big turn off. They may wonder if you’ve updated your security lately, or if your company is even in business anymore.
Good design relies on plenty of white space, a distinct lack of cheesy stock photography, shunning overused or silly fonts (such as the dreaded Comic Sans), and a generally clean and welcoming feel.
Excellent Spelling and Grammar
Poor spelling and grammar, misused phrases and words, and even juvenile writing styles all add up to bad news for business. Customers will not trust companies that can’t string a sentence together. If you’re not comfortable writing copy for your website, hire a professional.
If you need a bigger reason to pursue professional writing services, keep in mind that Google isn’t fond of poor spelling and grammar either. Your search rankings could suffer, which gives your competition an even bigger edge.
Active Social Media
Many potential customers will seek out your social media accounts to learn more about your company before making a purchase. They want to see healthy, active accounts that convey your brand and voice. If you haven’t tweeted or updated Facebook in several months, those customers might just assume (again!) your company has closed.
Take special note of the branding and voice, too. If your social media messages don’t match those of your ecommerce site, you’ll only confuse buyers. One faux pas is easier to overcome than constant mixed messages.
Consumers need more than reassurances from ecommerce companies. We’d rather hear from previous customers before making our choice. You can help that process along by including various pieces of social proof on your ecommerce site. Whether this proof comes in the form of formal testimonials, reviews, a social media feed, celebrity endorsements, or even just the number of products already purchased, the most important thing is simply that you make it available.
Companies that see the biggest benefit of social proof are those that combine several different types. For instance, reviews of products, an Instagram feed of real customers using those items, and an endorsement from a celebrity or well-known personality could be the perfect combination to inspire enough trust for a purchase.
There are so many different payment options available to consumers and ecommerce companies that offering only one would be foolish. Not everyone is comfortable sharing their credit card information online every time they make a purchase. Other consumers might just appreciate the convenience of an online wallet that doesn’t require pulling out the card every time.
Keep in mind that offering every payment option out there can be overwhelming. Take a few different possibilities for a test drive and then include your favorites. The biggest ones are Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and PayPal. You may find others that you prefer that you can include. Remember the customers when you choose payment options, too. If something is popular, it means a lot of people use it. You don’t want to eliminate customers by eliminating their favorite online wallet.
Just like an alarm system sticker gives homeowners peace of mind, so do the security seals on your ecommerce site. With that additional proof that your ecommerce site has the customers’ best interests and financial safety at heart, you can give your buyers some comfort.
It’s a great idea to include the seals on every page of your site, but that may not always be feasible. At the very least, make sure those seals are visible in the shopping cart and checkout phases of their purchase. You may also want to include obvious links to security information so that timid customers can get all the reassurance they need before handing over their payment info.
This probably seems like the easiest of all the ways to inspire trust. For that reason, most people forget or downplay the importance. Customers want a way to contact you. They need to know your ecommerce company is run by a real person and not a robot set up to take their money.
Maybe they’ll never even use that phone number or email address. Maybe they have no reason to send a chat message. That doesn’t matter. They take comfort in knowing they can whenever they need to.
Have you neglected some of the biggest security features on your website? What other components might convince buyers they can trust you?
Originally published Jul 29, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017