The hyper-digitized world has turned us all into virtual profiles including profile pictures, personal information, address, bank details, etc. Such information is needed for shopping from online stores. Running A successful e-commerce business you will be required to disclose a toll-free number, your company address, and other necessary information to customers. If customers do not know whom they are transacting with, then there will be a small trust issue that pops its head up when they are close to completion of the online purchase.
According to a recent global survey released in 2018, 52% of internet users are losing trust in online shopping because they are facing online privacy issues. I am least surprised by this mass behavior. Don’t you get a little concerned about your customer’s online privacy and data security when they are shopping online from your site? Only reputable e-commerce companies show strong trust indicators that makes their customers feel more secure and confident when they buy products/services online.
Perhaps knowing the most common trust indicators could help you evaluate your site or increase your eCommerce business.
#1. Be Active on Social Media
Having a strong presence on social media is helpful to increase brand visibility and customers may assume valid reasons for doing online business. Online e-stores always need to have a good relationship with their customers through social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.
Being socially active makes your brand a lot more accessible for your customers.
Remember the United Airlines scandal which showed a passenger being dragged out of the flight. The airlines came under severe attack online after the incident. Its brand value took a nosedive, and people started thinking twice before booking a seat.
When your customers are so socially connected, you cannot afford to stay offline on a social network. Hence, be active on social platforms.
#2. Have a Human Face
The most successful brands have a face to them. Think Steve Jobs for Apple. Bill Gates for Microsoft. Richard Branson for Virgin Group. There are so many examples to cite. A human face inspires confidence in the minds of customers. They know that the business is run by real people unlike a fancy website with no one to reach out to.
How can you portray a human face for your online store if your founders are too shy to do it? You can always showcase the scene pictures of the warehouse, the office, the employees who drive the business and so on. In fact, you can even showcase real customer stories that can make new customers feel relieved and assured to do business with you.
#3. Put Website Security on Priority
Customers are wary of shopping online citing security issues. They are afraid whether the shop they are seeing is a real one, or whether the store owner has taken preventive measures to stop hackers and cybersecurity issues in its tracks.
If you are an online shopper, how will you recognize an online store to be genuine from the rest of the lot? Luckily, There are some visual trust indicators such as a green padlock icon, HTTPS next to the site URL. Trusted site seal should be visible on e-commerce sites, which gives online users a visual assurance of website security and trustworthiness.
To enable stated visual trust indicators on your site, you need to get, and install SSL/TLS certificate on your server. SSL used to employ end-to-end encryption for online data privacy. The only authorized person at the receiving end will be able to decrypt the information. As a result, SSL certificate is most widely used in banking, eCommerce and such sensitive industries where data privacy is priority.
Mainly three types of SSL/TLS certificates are available in the industry based on validation methods like Domain Validation, Organization Validation and Extended Validation (EV). But, EV SSL certificate gives the highest level of trust and authentication to the e-commerce business.
#4. Showcase Real Customer Stories
Do you know that your customer success stories (also known as testimonials) can double up as excellent low-budget ads? At the end of the day, your new customers would want to know how your existing customers like your products. User reviews and star ratings are shown in eCommerce websites for the same reason.
Showcasing real customer stories on your online store can make your customers trust your store more. More brownie points if the user profiles of the showcased customers can be linked to their real life social profiles.
#5. Have an Offline Presence
Like I said at the beginning of this post, most online stores have a non-existent offline presence. Of course, you don’t need a prominent office in the center of a metro city. But, your customers would want to know where to reach you in case of grievances. Having a dedicated offline location to address customer grievances does help. Especially when online customer care mechanisms are prone to break down when least expected.
Even if you cannot set up an office, it is always possible to outsource to companies that can take care of your brand and maintain its’ presence.
Wrapping it up
Ecommerce businesses are reliant on customer trust. Their business is bound to grow and prosper in direct correlation to the amount of confidence that customers have in them. There is a reason why there are only a handful of trusted online stores amidst hundreds and thousands of others. The successful ones are those that have managed to earn the trust of their customers.
These are trust-building tactics that several successful online stores across the globe have deployed and mastered. From giant Amazon to just-launched online stores, every size and type of business falls under this category. Make sure your online store is also one of the trusted.