Building Website Reputation and Trust
Learn how to earn the trust of your customers when operating an online business to encourage sales.
Lots of visitors – not many buyers. Do they trust you?
Often we see in forums, or hear people ask: “Why don’t visitors buy from my online store?”
Business owners spend lots of money on new design and search engine optimisation trying to fix the conversion problem. But they rarely think of TRUST.
It could be some aspect of the way your store is structured, possibly your product pricing,maybe it is shipping cost. Understanding why people do not buy can be hard. You need tobase you decisions on real information so it is essential to use a good analytics system. Visitors will start a basket but then abandon it before checkout. By looking at the step of the drop out you can often find a cause.
If you are selling on eBay and also an online store and the store is not converting as many buyers then it is probably not the product or the costs. At this stage many merchants give up when it might be simply a matter of trust.
What are the trust factors online?
So what does trust mean?
If you have not had dealings before then it is difficult determining that you will trust a business or online store. So you need to look for the signs of trust.
Following are some of the key items that you should make sure are covered correctly in the content of your online store.
Contact information – always provide contact information like an address, phone number (not a mobile), business email address and business credentials (ABN, ACN, Business Registration).
– Avoid using generic email addresses like Hotmail addresses.
About us – tell your visitors a little about your business. Information like when it started, who is involved, what the business does. All this will help people know you and help them develop trust.
Contact us – provide a simple email form that allows people to easily send you a message or get in contact.
Live chat – if you have the capability enable a live chat service on your site so that people can directly communicate.
Terms & Conditions – provide people the right legal information about doing business with you.
Returns and Refunds – make it clear to your visitors how you will accept returns of products and how you will handle refunds. Make it as simple as possible.
TIP – use a
reputable legal service such as lawpath.com.au.
Payment processing – tell your customers up front how you will handle payment and who is processing your payments online. Make sure that any payment service provider account is in the business name. Put the payment provider logo on your website.
SSL Certificate – install and use an SSL Certificate in your business name and prominently display the certificate provider trust logo.
Spelling and grammar – make sure that you properly proof read your content and get others to check your content. Simple spelling mistakes can cause a visitor to move on to another website.
Ratings and review – if you have the capability make sure that you enable ratings and reviews for your products. Real customer ratings can pass on good information and trust to future customers.
Customer references – Have you done a nice job for a customer that they are happy to talk about? If the answer is yes them post it up on your website. Good customer references are a great way of instilling confidence in future customers.
If you provide all these basics and ensure that they are clearly visible and easy to find then you will improve your overall trust score.
That will result in an improvement in your business reputation which has a longer term beneficial impact on your business results. Improving trust and reputation is a long term issue and should always be work in progress. Never stop looking for better trust. Eventually you may want to exit the business by selling or merging. Better reputation and trust means better good-will and therefore a higher valuation or multiplier.
This is a guest post from John Debrincat, CEO at eCorner. eCorner is a leading ecommerce provider in Australia and New Zealand, offering a range of solutions including online store setup, hosting, local support and plenty more.
Dominic is the CEO of Lawpath, dedicating his days to making legal easier, faster and more accessible to businesses. Dominic is a recognised thought-leader in Australian legal disruption, and was recognised as a winner of the 2015 Australian Legal Innovation Index.