“Always deliver more than expected.”, Larry Page, founder of Google
Have you ever wondered what is a key condition for a customer to buy from your online shop? More often than not, it is indeed trust. Trust in your business, product quality, customer service, site security and many more.
Trust motivates not only decisions to buy but also the size of purchase, customer loyalty, brand advocacy, etc. Naturally, competitive online stores appear to be always on the lookout for new trustworthy eCommerce features…
Sounds logical, right? That is why, in this article we will be discussing:
- what to ensure for having a truly trustworthy eCommerce shop;
- which are the latest factors impacting on trust in 2020;
- how to set up our trustworthy eCommerce checklist;
- how to continuously improve shopping experience with a view of trust;
- are there any trustworthy eCommerce stores that can lead by example.
In 2020 we have witnessed the emergence of many new online entrepreneurs taking advantage of the increased interest in online shopping. According to a Forbes’ article, COVID-19 accelerated the growth of e-commerce “four to six years”.
If you are about to launch your first trustworthy eCommerce shop, then this article is also for you. However, beware to escape the trap of commonplace e-commerce lies that create eCommerce myths.
Otherwise, let’s dive in!
What makes eCommerce stores trustworthy?
Many say that the COVID-19 pandemic created a completely “New Digital Customer”. But how is it that you win this new digital customer for his first purchase with you?
In a recent customer engagement survey, Salesforce finds out that 82% of customers nowbelieve that “company’s trustworthiness matters more than it did an year ago”. According to the research, post-2020 customer engagement will never be the same.
Let us take a look at the other highlights:
- 90% of customers say that company’s trustworthiness is manifested by the way the company acts during crisis;
- 61% of customers believe it is not that easy for a company to earn trust;
- 78% of customers expect to see business improvement due to this year’s crisis;
- 88% of customers expect companies to speed up their digital initiatives due to this year’s events.
Change is in the air, right?
If you are an eCommerce store owner, you have probably experienced some of these yourself. And you probably already know better than anybody else that earning trust is not an easy job, but it always pays off.
It takes time and strategy to build and master the art of trust. Let’s explore this in details.
Which are the key factors for having a trustworthy eCommerce shop?
In a digital world where consumers buy products without seeing them physically, trust in the online store is a must.
Top factors that influence consumer trust relate both to the way our website looks and feels, and to the commercial policies we put together.
How to approach this? Well, we can start with re-thinking the basics.
The very first impression from our website is what really grabs our customer’s mind. Then, we may progressively focus on the overall consumer experience we provide. Finally, how secure our customer feels when we ask him to provide his credit card data?
Let us take a look at principle consumer attitudes when speaking of online trust:
Are there any basic trust builders or breakers for trustworthy eCommerce stores?
Believing that trust lies at the heart of every successful sale, Shopify recently published new valuable survey insights featuring key trust drivers for shopping online.
We choose to take the top five trust builders from the survey to set the scene of our top trust-building strategies.
According to the survey, the most important trust builders are:
- Top-notch first homepage impression – when visiting your online store for the first time, your new customer really needs to find himself comfortable with your brand, product offering and content. However, he needs to be also certain that he has entered a safe, reliable and trustworthy space.
- Detailed product information – your customer needs to be fast assured that your product can resolve his problem. It is best that you provide detailed product information which resolves potential customer doubts beforehand.
- Your brand story – before making his first purchase, your customer often asks himself about the authenticity and legitimacy of your business. That is why, it is important that you have a professional About Us and Contact Us sections.
- Your social proofs – new customers almost always look for what other people say about your products in order to confirm that website descriptions answer real products. This calls for a rich and detailed Review section.
- Payment conditions – the moment of buying is always a high concern for online customers. You need to ensure that your shipping and return policies are in place, and also that the online charging process is safe and secure.
That said, what would then be a trust braker? According to the article, a trust breaker is anything that is casting doubts to the sales process. It may be your customer questions on authenticity or whether he feels unsafe to proceed with the purchase.
What is a trustworthy eCommerce checklist?
As we have seen, earning customer trust is not an easy task and it may in practice include every single aspect of our online business.
In order to make sure that we have covered the minimum of trustworthy features our customer needs, we may simply draft a list of the compulsory items we need. Thus, we will be equipped with an eCommerce checklist of tasks for full coverage and easy reference.
Let’s give it a try! We can take the top five trust-building strategies above and simply break them down into a series of tasks like these:
- Design a stunning homepage to win customer attention. Pay attention to content, layout and category navigation.
- Compile product information. Present a variety of high-quality photos, easy-to-read product description and additional information. Include customer reviews.
- Pay attention to your business presentation. Tell a compelling brand story in your About us page. Make yourself easily available in your Contact us page.
- Showcase happy customers and social proof. Include positive product reviews and social following on the most important social networks for your brand.
- Ensure payment conditions are transparent and easy. Include familiar payment methods for greater trust in security. Provide customer options for your shopping cart.
Setting the beginning feels much better. Now, in our core trust-building strategies we can also optionally consider a variety of additional trustworthy eCommerce features such as:
- Easy category names – crucial for the purchase experience you offer;
- A variety of product videos, product collections, etc. – usually vital for helping customers assess your products;
- Online chat – customer can get in touch with ease;
- Reviews with photos and video – really effective tools for gaining trust;
- Clear return policy and safe paying process – a must to satisfy customer expectations.
This way, we can pilot our improvements, see what works for us, gradually adapt and move on without losing focus on trust. How about it?
HOW IS GAINING CUSTOMERS’ TRUST ACTUALLY HELPING MY ONLINE STORE?
The best way of illustrating a point is by way of example. That is why, in this section we will take a look at a favourite project of ours, e.g. Brickfielder. We will pay attention to the trustworthy eCommerce features we have employed to satisfy customer needs.
In a nutshell, Brickfielder is a highly niche project aimed at offering top tier T-shirts for the really demanding professional golfers’ community. It was built from scratch, as trust-building lies at its core concept.
Even with his first visit on the website, the visitor is seized by an attractive homepage, ensuring direct access to the cornerstone trust-building elements. These include: first-class brand presentation, expert product and technology validation, premium customer experience with simple categories and professional product portfolio.
High-quality content, scientific video and unmediated access to social proofs add to the picture. Finally, a reliable order tracking, and detailed delivery and return policies complete the trustworthy offering.
If you are interested in learning more about our approach to the project, please see our case study.
Building a trustworthy eCommerce shop is imperative for assuring the success of our online store, especially in times of crises. It is always recommendable to have a clear trust-building strategy, covering:
- A convincing concept on how you win customer trust;
- A set of proven must-have trustworthy eCommerce features;
- A trustworthy eCommerce checklist for easy reference and development;
- An example that inspires you.
And remember, always be ready to deliver more than expected. It is what drives business forward.
Having read about our trustworthy must-haves, do you think do you have a truly trustworthy eCommerce store? Does your online shop cover the trust-building gist or you still need some re-work and further development? Did you use our eCommerce checklist?
Should you be willing to share your comment with us, you are very welcome to do so. Do not hesitate to approach us if you need a specific professional advice or assistance.