9 Tips for a Trusted Ecommerce Website

Monday, 15 April 2019  |  Posted in: Articles  |  8min read

Ecommerce has changed the retail industry as we once knew it. With vastly lower overheads than brick-and-mortar stores and a low barrier to entry, the ecommerce industry is booming.

But there is one challenge all ecommerce stores have to overcome. When consumers can’t see and touch your products physically, their purchase has to be made based on faith. This creates the critical need to build trust with your consumers using your digital assets.

Online, trust is built through all the small interactions consumers have with your brand. The aim is to prove your reliability without giving users a reason not to trust you. In this article, we focus on how to use your digital assets (in particular, your website) to build trust and generate sales.

 

1. Mobile Optimisation

As of 2019, over 50% of all website traffic now comes from mobile devices. It is no longer enough to have a website that just-about works on mobile. Your website needs to be designed to look just as beautiful on mobile as it does on desktop.

Mobile devices all vary tremendously, making responsive web design essential. Responsive layouts adapt your website to fit any type of screen or operating system. This means that no matter what type of phone, tablet, laptop or desktop your consumer is using, they will see the same website displayed the best way for their device.

A website that does not display properly on a user’s device elicits immediate feelings of mistrust. However, a mobile responsive website allows you to present your brand consistently and reliably, providing the foundation for you to start building trust with consumers.

 

2. Navigation

Usually, an ecommerce site will need to display a large range of products from a variety of different categories. To help your consumers find what they are looking for, it is important to make your website as easy to navigate as possible.

When users can easily find what they are looking for, they feel a sense of reliability or security. When navigation is not easy, users can feel irritated and lose faith in your brand.

To ensure your website’s navigation is clear, make sure to avoid information overload. While it can be tempting to showcase all your offerings and information about your brand, this can lead to clutter and confusion. The aim is to create logical pathways through your information and products without overwhelming the user and losing their attention.

If you have many varied products in your offering, consider using drop down menus to reduce clutter, as well as filter options so users can quickly find what they are looking for.

Search bar functionality can also be useful in ecommerce websites, as many visitors will be coming to your site with a certain product already in mind.

 

3. SEO

As the ecommerce industry continues its rapid expansion, more and more businesses are competing for prime spots on Google.

As well as driving traffic to your website, displaying prominently on Google indicates legitimacy. If a user is unable to find your website easily by searching, this can raise questions about your brand’s credibility.

Google is a powerful tool for businesses but your position on the search engine can be make or break. Ideally, you want to have your store appearing when consumers search for the types of products you sell as well as your specific brand.

This can be achieved with the aid of various search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques.

Find out more about SEO basics here.

 

4. Call to Action Buttons

CTAs are your means of getting a user to complete an action. To a consumer, they are a means of completing their goal.

To get great conversion rates and avoid user frustration, create clear CTAs throughout your site. These buttons should draw the user’s eye immediately so that they do not have to search around for a length of time, during which you could lose potential sales.

Depending on the context, there are a range of strategies to get a user to take a specific action. An important consideration is how you can make these buttons stand out using size, colour, font and positioning.

As CTAs represent critical touchpoints in your user’s sales journey, it is important to test the position of them to make sure that you get the best possible result.

 

5. Checkout Process

Once consumers have navigated through your site and picked out the product they want, they do not want to go through a lengthy checkout process. It is in your best interest to make this process as short and simple as possible.

We recommend having a guest checkout option so that users can make a purchase even when they do not wish to sign up. You want to gather user data where possible, but not at the expense of making a sale. If a user does not want to sign up in order to make a purchase, forcing them to do so could send them straight to a competitor.

When you gather data from a user who registers, be sure to only ask for necessary information. If you want to gather additional data, be sure to make those fields non-required to get as many conversions as possible.

In addition, avoid having unexpected ‘hidden’ costs at the checkout stage as this can frustrate consumers and lead to a lack of trust. If you have shipping costs, we recommend showing them to users on product pages ahead of time to maintain transparency and trust.

After going through your clear purchase process, your users should be redirected to a thank you page. This page notifies users of their successful purchase, building the trust they have in your business and your communication process. This page can also serve the important purpose of tracking conversions that have come through social media ads.

 

6. Personalisation

Personalisation makes us feel understood and overcomes our lack of familiarity. It builds trust with consumers by providing better UX and simplifies the customer journey by presenting the most relevant information.

One of the best examples of ecommerce personalisation is Amazon recommendations. The ecommerce giant uses its wealth of data to provide users with recommendations based on their previous purchases and popular product pairings. These recommendations drive 35% of Amazon’s total sales.

Personalisation can further demonstrate your legitimacy by making the care you have put into your website evident. However, consumers’ concerns about the privacy of their data means that you should approach personalisation with reasonable caution. To maintain trust, make sure to be transparent with users about what data you are collecting and how it will be used, as well as allowing the user to opt-out at any point.

 

7. Marketing Automation

The advertising rule of seven is a widely known rule of thumb stating that a customer needs to see a brand seven times before buying. The more frequently a consumer sees a brand, the more familiar and trusted it becomes. When you automate your marketing and provide relevant content at the right time through the right channels, your brand feels more familiar and trustworthy.

Once you have established trust with your users through your website, you can use the data collected by your site to further develop that trust with your users.

Automating your marketing enables you to gradually nurture your relationship with consumers, building trust long term. Used in combination with personalisation, you can use marketing automation to send direct messages to your consumers to address various users’ different needs.

 

8. Live Chat

An easy way to start building trust with consumers is by providing evidence of your quality customer service. A live chat feature can help to build trust as users interact with real people in real time. This is particularly useful in an age where consumers are used to instant gratification online.

As potential customers can reach out easily and instantly using the live chat feature, you can answer their questions as they shop. Answering queries in real time can help a user decide if the product is right for them and can help decrease cart abandonment rates.

 

9. Reviews or Testimonials

Another effective strategy to ensure a trusted ecommerce website is to include reviews or testimonials.

Research indicates that 67.7% of consumers are influenced by online reviews when making major purchasing decisions. Reviews and testimonials are indicators of transparency, reassuring consumers of your brand’s trustworthiness. Additionally, they provide social credibility. Potential customers are more likely to believe in your brand’s quality if they hear it from another source.

 

Key Takeaway

To build trust online, you need to meet consumer expectations. This can be done by considering all aspects of your digital presence (e.g. website, email, social media). Carefully consider all of your channels to ensure brand consistency, demonstrate your reputation, provide valuable content, and offer quick and helpful communication.

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