6 Tips to increase validation and trust for an eCommerce Site
E-commerce sites have a hurdle that they need to overcome that other types of websites don’t have to work as hard on.
Consumers know that it’s relatively easy to create a site to gain access to personal information for the purpose of a scam because it happens and gets reported on by the news. E-commerce sites have to ensure that they not only appear authentic but that consumers can feel a sense of trust that the site is going to deliver as promised.
These sites need to increase validation and confidence to get a customer to be willing to open up their wallet and share their personal information to make a purchase. Even sites that have a loyal group of customers can have issues with trust, such as after a data breach, and need to provide validation for their website continually. These six tips will help your e-commerce site instill confidence in your target market.
1. Embrace Trust Signals
Trust signals are used by companies, both large and small, to help overcome a visitor's trepidation in purchasing from a new business.
They aren’t familiar with you from prior experience, and that can be hard to overcome. A trust signal is an effort to build up the valid nature of your company and provide peace of mind to consumers.
Some trust signals that you can employ include free returns, satisfaction guarantees, third-party reviews from trusted sources, and providing more information about the company. Free returns and satisfaction guarantees can help a client feel a reduced amount of risk in making a purchase. You’re making them feel as though they have nothing to lose by purchasing from a company they haven’t purchased from before. Since they can always get their money back if they aren’t happy, it creates peace of mind.
Reviews are a bit of sticky situation for many companies now that consumers are becoming aware of how some businesses have been using fake reviews. Some companies were sending products to consumers for free in exchange for a review that would typically be favorable because of getting a free product. Other companies were just paying a writer to create the review without them having any experience with the product. Using third-party reviews from services like TrustPilot can help you to alleviate any worries over fake reviews.
When it comes to the information you provide on your website, more is always better. A sketchy e-commerce site doesn’t offer a great deal of information. Think about the number of contact sources you have available and the information on your About Us page. Even just putting up a picture of you and your employees can make a difference in the level of trust you earn from new visitors.
2. Don’t Overwhelm Consumers
When first getting established, you don’t want a ton of choices for consumers to choose from when visiting your site.
You want to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to put an item in their cart and check-out. Some newer companies go with one item that they consider their hero product, and they offer several options on this product. They are focused on that one product’s quality and delivering an excellent service that makes consumers come back again or refer their friends and family. Slimming down options not only makes it easier for consumers to buy, but it also helps to reduce the possibility that mistakes will be made.
3. User-Friendly Sites
There is a good reason why user experience is on the minds of most websites.
A visitor that wants to learn more about a product, your company, or place an order can easily move on to your competitor if your website is tricky. Going over how user-friendly your site is can help with validation. You want to make it easy for them to find the information they need, from shipping costs to the features of a product. Plus, you need to have a shopping cart experience that doesn’t make them abandon the cart.
The harder a customer has to work to figure out what they visited your site for in the first place, the more likely that they will give up and move on. What may seem easy to you since it’s your site, may not be as transparent to your visitors. You can use a service that tests your user-friendliness by using paid consumers. Or you can have someone not involved in the creation of the website to try it out to see what they think. Any barriers that they find should be addressed.
4. Customer Service That Delivers
Customer service is another area that an e-commerce site can separate themselves from the pack. Make it easy for consumers to contact you at any stage of the buying process.
Give them your social media information, allow them to live chat with a company representative, or have an email reply policy that follows up quickly.
Social media is an excellent tool for customer service. Not only are you providing top-notch service to the individual that’s contacting you, but everyone that sees the interaction can get a feel for your company and what to expect. You can turn a negative situation around by showing empathy with an upset consumer. You can help them feel better about your company along with anyone that sees how your company actually responds to messages. Positive or negative feedback that's addressed helps to create trust.
Social media is a powerful tool, but not the only one. All of your customer service interactions should be handled as though everyone can see how you respond even if it’s through live chat or an email response. That means you’ll want to follow-up quickly and completely.
5. Consider Trial Periods
Any e-commerce’s goal is to get the sale. It can be frustrating when a visitor comes to the site but doesn’t make the plunge into purchasing their first visit.
You can make it appealing and work towards earning their trust, but it may not be enough for that shopping cart to be completed. Depending on the type of product or service being offered, it may be beneficial to offer a trial. It offers a chance for your customer that had their interest piqued by your service to get a better idea of what you have to offer.
You can consider a smaller size or a free trial period where they don’t pay for the item until after the trial is over. These options give your potential customer a chance to give your product a test drive. They can see if it works for them. Plus, it allows them to see the service behind the product, such as how long it took to ship or if the item was securely packed.
6. Payment Options
A final area where you can work on the trust and validation behind your e-commerce site is the payment processing options you offer.
This area is the most sensitive part of the process since the consumer has to provide you with their name, address, and credit card information. Plenty of consumers are becoming attached to a particular payment option, such as PayPal, it can be helpful to have a few options. As these payment platforms require a business to be above-board, they can allow your smaller company to borrow their trust, as well. Some popular services include PayPal, Amazon Pay, Square, Apple Pay, and Klarna. Plus, with services like PayPal, consumers have an additional level of protection. Since their credit card information is with the processor rather than with the smaller company that may not have the same security in place as a large payment processor.
Increasing the amount of trust that consumers have in your company and how valid your e-commerce site looks is essential to creating a brand that lasts. Sometimes, even the smallest changes can make a huge difference, such as taking a team picture to show on the About Us page. It’s the details that can make or break how a consumer sees your eCommerce site for the first time.