Trust is the determining factor in the success of a Shopify-powered eCommerce store. In general, consumers naturally encounter fewer uncertainties when in-store shopping as compared to shopping online. Trust is subjective and an underlying psychological state that many find challenging to handle:
- How can I trust my details stored online?
- I am uncomfortable with transacting online using my credit card.
- How do I know if the products suit me?
- How do I know if the seller will send me the correct item?
- Are these authentic products?
- Are the customer reviews genuine and trustworthy?
Reasons for cart abandonment during checkout in the US 2022 (Source: Statista)
These doubts and skepticism plague the minds of your customers. The underlying factor that drives most of the reasons for cart abandonment during checkout in the US is trust issues. However, If your customers trust you, any hesitance and doubts fade and eventually disappear.
Consumers will only make purchases from online merchants they trust and have a good shopping experience. Remember, people are different. That said, they can be influenced to trust you. So, how do you convince them to trust your eCommerce store?
1. Trust Badges
Trust badges are typically seals or symbols you use on your website to instill trust in consumers. They are visual confirmation and reminders that your business is legitimate, authentic, and can be trusted. Many place them on the checkout page. However, there is an increasing trend to have them on home pages.
There are several types of trust badges, with the popular ones as below:
Safe and Secure Badges (SSL)
Short for Secure Socket Layer, or SSL, is a protocol to protect information transacted on the internet; all data is encrypted. Simply put, your personal information is safe from prying eyes.
Payment badges confirm the acceptable payment methods. Displaying the Visa, Mastercard, or PayPal badges helps to boost confidence in your buyers.
Earning a Google Trusted Store badge means Google has approved that your online store’s shopping experience is within its standards (Source: Google)
Third-party endorsements are through an application and approval process; they prove that your website has credibility and legitimacy. These badges may take extra effort to secure, but it is well worth your effort as they are effective ways to gain trust among your audience. Examples are Better Business Bureau Accredited Business badge and the Google Trusted Store badge.
2. First Impression Matters
The first impression that your audience draws of your business sticks. Hence, it is essential to form the correct one from the get-go. A user who lands on your homepage for the first time will shape the perception of your brand and business, just from the looks of it.
Trust starts from good first impressions, and first impressions intricately link with design. An attractive website interface leaves an unforgettable mark on your audience.
What You Can Do
The number of mobile users is to increase to 7.26 billion by 2022. You’d want a slice of this lucrative pie, so your website has to be adaptive across all devices. The themes and color palettes need to harmonize with the fonts, icons, illustrations, and more. Nothing turns off a customer more than colors that are jarring and too striking as they hurt the eyes.
The layout has to be professional, clean, and sleek. A messy website will render your customers lost, frustrated, and leave; trust will be farthest from their minds. All products are well-laid out and placed in suitable categories that make sense. Use only top-notch images and showcase the product from different angles to help your customer make the purchase.
Design is more than just creativity. If done right, design helps resolve issues and appeases the user; this is where trust begins.
3. Seamless Navigation (Browsing and Buying)
Your website has to be user-friendly with easy navigation. A cluttered menu and complicated maneuvering will only confuse the user, causing doubts to surface in the user’s mind. If you are serious about your business, you will care for your customers, and the first thing you will not do is confuse your customers.
What You Can Do
Ensure your top menu items are concise and easy to understand. Do not complicate matters by having too many branches in your menu bar. Also, your checkout page has to be straightforward with not too many steps. After all, your customers are about to press that ‘Purchase’ button, so don’t irk them by giving them unnecessary steps to confirm the purchase.
Fill your checkout pages with plenty of white space. Remove any promotional banners and things alike. You want to reduce distractions on this page so your buyers can focus on completing the purchase. Also, provide multiple payment method options.
Doing so not only caters to different customer preferences but can help to ease any distrust and security concerns.
Including your customer contact details on the checkout page is good to assure them that you are here to help them; this makes you more trustworthy.
4. Include Contact Information
Show that you are here to stay and not some fly-by-night business by displaying your physical address and other contact channels. Prominently showing your contact information indicates your sincerity to customers.
Hence, your customers will be more willing to buy as they know that if they need help, maybe with possible refunds and returning the goods, there are easy ways to do so. Of course, ensure all these contact channels are functional so your buyers can reach you.
5. Products Engagement
Your buyers are buying online. As such, they cannot feel and see the products upfront. They will rely solely on the images and any media you provide.
What You Can Do
Use only top-notch pictures that are so clear that your customers can visualize touching and feeling them. Also, showcase the product from various perspectives and angles.
Meet their expectations by including comprehensive and accurate product descriptions. For example, for clothing, make sure the sizes are clearly shown with spot-on measurements and care instructions too. Show the material by providing zoomed-in pictures. For electrical items, use videos to help show how to use them.
List the benefits but approach from the angle of how they resolve your customers’ pain points. Humans are very visual, so using engaging visuals helps drive purchases. A pleasant buying process helps build trust.
6. Social Proof
Mouqy features buyers wearing their products on their website (Source: Mouqy)
Social proof is essential to building trust. People tend to believe the masses and their views about your brand and products.
What You Can Do
Including product reviews and testimonials is a no-brainer, especially the positive ones. However, you cannot leave out the negative ones. Although negative reviews can turn off customers, including them is necessary as people are inclined to believe the reviews’ authenticity when you include both.
Also, reviews prove that your products are genuine and serve as signals, indicating that you care about what your customers think.
“We ask our buyers to send us a picture of them with their new eyewear, and many are happy to do so. Essentially, our buyers are helping us build trust with the incoming generation of customers,” says Darren, founder of online eyewear retailer Mouqy.
Being mentioned in social media is also key to establishing your credibility. After all, social media is exploding to reach almost six billion in 2027. So, leverage this platform to reach out to more and gain their trust. Social proof in its many forms improves your website’s credibility and gives that extra confidence in your buyers.
7. Security and Performance
Nobody wants to shop at a hacked online store; this is taboo for all eCommerce businesses. Trust for such stores will be almost zero.
What You Can Do
Invest in beefing up security for your online store. Make sure all your software is kept current and up to date. You’d want to plug any holes before attacks happen.
Be proactive and run malware checks often; prevention is better than cure. Deploying SSL is the basic you need, as not seeing a padlock icon on the browser taskbar is an instant deterrent.
Also, the performance and speed of your website matter to your audience. Frequent downtimes and slow speeds raise questions about your website’s trust level. Remember to perform daily backups so that in the event of any problem, you can recover your website in no time.
8. Be Transparent
Online businesses must have high transparency as you are operating with zero physical presence. Being transparent shows your sincerity in doing business.
What You Can Do
Your policies must be accessible on your website – the cancellation, return and refund, shipping and taxes, payment, and others. Your buyers need easily access all this information, then only are they clear, shunning their fears.
Ensure your policies are easy to understand and do not use too much technical jargon. Clear and concise yet detailed enough guidelines give the assurance to your buyers to go ahead and buy.
9. Be Responsible and Accountable
Integrity is crucial when it comes to running a business. You do not want your business to be associated with any negative connotations.
What You Can Do
Your products must be as you say they are and what your buyers get is what they expect. Set the right expectations and follow them through. Ensure you execute what you promise.
Also, listen to your customers and take necessary action to address their concerns. They will appreciate it and learn to trust you. Remember, you are 100% responsible and accountable to your customers. Satisfied customers will trust you and stay loyal to you.
Trust is the key to conversions. Unfortunately, trust is not easy to earn and easily broken. However, if you get it right from the start, you can engage your customers better and establish trust in them.
Look at the customer as a whole and abide by the tips above. You’ll see a powerful boost in your customers’ trust in your Shopify business, thus increasing conversions.