10 Proven Trust Signals For eCommerce Websites
No eCommerce site can survive without trust signals. Alone, they are elements that suggest reliability and authenticity to prospective customers; together, they form a digital security blanket that customers can feel at ease in. When potential customers feel at ease, they’re more likely to interact or purchase – queue an increase in revenue and conversion rates.
Why are trust signals important?
Now more than ever, in an era of growing online security threats and regular privacy breaches – customers are not willing to compromise. Accordingly, business owners cannot afford to neglect this aspect of their online platform. There’s too much at stake.
So, how can companies inspire trust in potential customers through online means? Here are some methods by which trust signals can be effectively implemented:
Reviews / Testimonials
When purchasing a service or product online, customers have no tangible evidence that they will receive quality. Reviews of previous customers, however, can conveniently fulfill this crucial role.
Think back to a time when you sought to purchase from a company online. Did you look through reviews to ensure you’d get value for your money before purchasing? Yes? Your potential buyers will do the same.
Implementing clearly-visible customer/client testimonials onto your website’s front page shows customers that you’re confident in what you offer and capable of meeting their expectations. Utilising third-party review platforms such as Google, TrustPilot, Yell & Yelp helps convey the trustworthiness and legitimacy of your brand and reviews.
Social Media Accounts
In an age of rapidly growing social media use, companies should feel obliged to branch out by creating their own branded social media accounts.
The interactive and personal nature of these accounts allows potential customers to gain an insight into the heart of a company. Not only this, but if the content uploaded is engaging, regular, and relevant – interaction will increase. And increased interaction means shares, likes, and comments that act as a form of free advertisement for your business.
By including social media widgets on their site, a company displays an eagerness to interact with its customers. Furthermore, the number of followers garnered by these profiles expresses approval by others, thus encouraging potential customers to trust.
Many companies neglect the lucrative prospect of “localSEO.” Yes, we all know that SEO can bring more traffic to a site and increase revenue/conversion. But this tends to target a broader market.
Local SEO works closer to home. Its keywords apply to the area in which the company is situated and reaches out to local customers. For example, if someone types “a service or product” alongside “location they are in,” a nearby company should pop up.
You can use your company’s contact information to increase your chances of being that company. By including your company’s address, number, email, and much more – you can ensure that you’ll appear top of listings. Even the prefix of a company number can betray its location.
Furthermore, visibly displaying contact information online suggests familiarity and openness – all trappings of a reliable business.
Google My Business Profile
Every company should have a Google My Business profile. Most online searches are done through Google. In April 2020, over 85% of the Worlds search traffic was completed via Google. Therefore, it’s only logical that you want to provide Google with as much information as possible about your business. You want as much of your information as possible listed in search results, and providing Google with these details is an effortless way to go about doing so.
Elements such as 5-star reviews, location, contact number, and opening hours are packed into a bite-sized bit of information that is displayed to potential customers upon searching. Based on the quality of this information, and most importantly – reviews, a customer can swiftly decide whether to click. Some customers will even seek your Google My Business profile to determine your company’s authenticity or to check reviews.
Stellar site navigation and easy accessibility to all pages are now considered fundamentals in building company-client trust. Your entire brand image should be instilled into your site, and if the result is below par, this won’t inspire confidence among potential customers. Considering your website reflects your business, it’s worthwhile to invest in its outward appearance, functionality, and usability.
Hiring a team of web/graphic designers, conversion-oriented content creators, and SEO specialists can spruce up your company’s digital marketing side.
Affiliation with trusted websites and brands can work wonders for convincing potential customers. Simply through association, your company will gain trustworthiness. This should be of particular focus for smaller businesses trying to gain a footing in the market.
Displaying your company logo alongside the logo of a trusted company (or many trusted companies) on your website can speed up this process and visually express your valuable connections.
A blog keeps your website alive. Through a blog, companies can bypass the need for off-putting wordy text on their main site and stream it into regular posts. These posts can then engage customers, allowing them to get an idea of what your company is about while seeing consistency.
Blogs also reach potential customers on a more personal level, which can help them identify with your brand.
Secure Payment Methods
Globally, we are moving towards a non-cash world. This shift has brought with it increased concern for online payment methods. A survey conducted by American Express Digital Payments revealed that 37% of customers had abandoned an online transaction due to security worries in 2017.
A business can show that they hear their customers’ concerns and value each one of them by offering multiple payment methods.
Using widely recognisable icons and images on your site will also boost client trust. Think PayPal, Mastercard, or Visa. Their logos are all familiar to us and provide a feeling of security.
With a growing number of virtual attacks occurring worldwide and the issue of companies selling customer data arising – there’s a general feeling of uneasiness around online interactions.
Customers want to know where their data is going and what it’s being used for. Correspondingly, it is now standard practice for companies to inform their customers about their cookie use policy through pop-up windows and Privacy & Security sections.
However, different companies opt for different strategies. Some companies keep all of their privacy/cookies/comment policies on one page while others prefer to link them. Either way, customers will need reassurance that their privacy is guaranteed before proceeding with a purchase.
By far, one of the most important trust signals, an SSL certificate, assures a customer that the information they share with a company is not sent to third-parties. Sensitive transactional data is essential to customers, and companies cannot afford to be negligent with its processing. An SSL makes use of the HTTPS protocol, which encrypts sensitive data being processed via the website. HTTPS was developed so any data sent over the Internet is done in an encrypted way, just how the Engima machine used to operate.
Proof of an SSL certificate on a website, most notably via the padlock symbol in your browser, shows customers that their data will be encrypted to ensure safe processing. An SSL is so essential that we’d generally recommend not to purchase on a website that doesn’t have one implemented.
When building and optimising your website, you must determine the trust signals that resonate most with your customers. While there are several trust signals to select from, each offers its own features that can be advantageous in varying degrees according to the website they’re applied to.
As we have seen, most trust signals from on-site reviews to guarantee of secure payment methods involve quality website design and attention to SEO detail. It is also clear that taking advantage of Google’s business services and collaborative opportunities is of the utmost importance in establishing a secure customer-company relationship.
Hopefully, you’ve gained some valuable insights into how you can incorporate trust signals to your business’s online presence from your readings and now understand how to make your customers feel at home on your website.