How To Build Trust Online And Enjoy Increased Sales As A Result
Contributed by Cher Zevala.
If you have an online store, or plan to launch one soon, you likely are always thinking about ways to grow your venture and achieve your goals. While there are many different ways to do this such as concentrating on marketing and sales techniques, bringing on new team members, selling more popular products or services, or just increasing your productivity, one way that many entrepreneurs don’t consider often enough is building trust to increase sales.
When people buy online, they don’t have the usual comfort of walking into a brick-and-mortar store and seeing items in person or chatting to customer service staff one-on-one. As a result, you must find ways to make consumers feel more comfortable about parting with their money through an online process. This can take time and effort, but pays huge dividends over the long run. Read on for some ways that you can build more trust with shoppers today and enjoy increased sales as a result.
Make Sure Your Website Is Effective
One of the most important aspects of building trust online is, of course, having a website that actually engenders trust. If you want people to feel comfortable spending money on products or services they find online, you need to have a web presence that looks credible, professional, up-to-date, and easy to use.
When it comes to your website, there are multiple elements to look at. First up, make sure the design of your site is optimal. It should showcase your firm’s branding and be consistent with how your brand is portrayed elsewhere. Be set up with an easy-to-use navigation that even people with the most limited amount of internet-browsing knowledge will understand quickly.
Good website design also includes lots of good graphics and content, plus many sub-headings to break up big blocks of text. Don’t forget to leave enough white space on each page (that is, the areas on a page that are totally plain, with no text or graphics), so that your site doesn’t look too cluttered.
You should also limit your choice of colors, use an easy-to-read font in a good size, and ensure that your site has a mobile-optimized design so that it will display properly on all types of devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Have A Customer-Friendly, Secure Payment System
Another crucial element of a successful online presence is providing customers with a user-friendly and secure way of paying you for goods or services. People don’t feel comfortable inputting their credit card details, personal information, or other data if they don’t feel that the payment method on offer is valid and secure, or if they have to spend too much time trying to work out how to finalize a transaction.
As such, it pays to give customers plenty of choices when it comes to paying, so that they can choose the option that is most convenient and comfortable for them at the time. For example, you can use a well-known merchant services provider to accept credit and debit card payments; or incorporate PayPal transactions and/or other digital wallet systems. You might also want to allow people to pay over the phone, by BPAY, or via direct deposits; or organize direct debits for clients through handy individual and batch ACH payment processing (which can be organized for both single-use and recurring transactions).
Display Signs of Credibility
You must also display signs of credibility throughout your site and other online touchpoints, like social media pages, email signatures, and e-newsletters. This is important because it helps shoppers to feel the company they’re thinking of spending their hard-earned cash on is a real, well-established, legitimate, secure, and professional business. In turn, they then won’t hesitate so much about providing their personal details or financial data online.
For starters, showcase any relevant certifications, logos, site seals, and the like that you can. You can add the graphics from well-regarded companies you work with such as payment gateways and systems (e.g. Shopify, eBay, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express), SSL certificate providers (like Thawte and GeoTrust),and membership programs, like the “Google Trusted” certification.
Other signs of credibility that you can display online are your memberships in relevant industry or local groups. Most industries, from retail and hospitality to building, finance and gambling and everything in between, have member groups that you can join for an annual fee to receive news updates and network with fellow business owners. It pays to add these logos to your digital presence.
As well, look at local groups, such as Chambers of Commerce, or broader organizations, such as those representing sustainable or ethical business practices (think the Green Business Bureau or the BBB Accredited Business group).
It is also vital to display feedback from your customers online, since most shoppers won’t even think about purchasing if they can’t see positive testimonials or product reviews from past buyers. In addition to alleviating doubts people might have about the validity of your business, remember that reviews and testimonials are also helpful at espousing the benefits of what it is you sell, or in substantiating the claims about the usage or effectiveness of your offerings.
Cher is a content coordinator who assists in contributing quality articles on various topics. In her free time she also enjoys hiking, traveling and getting to know the world around her. Cher has built up many strong relationships over the years within the blogging community and loves sharing her useful tips with others.