Building trust and credibility on your website

Written on the 29 October 2009

In a physical store or business, a secure and comfortable environment is created by the visually appealing layout and tangible products, plus the helpful sales people and informative signs/brochures/banners etc.  You can quickly and easily find out anything you need to know before you buy and there is always someone there to answer your questions.

Unfortunately, it just doesn't work like that on the internet.  The online experience is completely faceless, so it's up to your website to build trust and assist in the sales process, otherwise the customer will just leave your site and find one they feel more comfortable using.

Here are our tops tips showing your credibility and removing fear for your customers:

  1. Look and feel - you wouldn't buy from an old and dirty shop, so how can you expect your customers to want to buy from an outdated, unprofessional website?  Work with an experienced website developer that can create a website that mixes looks with functionality and appeals to your target market.
  2. About us page - this is where you can give your business the face.  Talk about your passion for what you do, your points of difference and level of service to show how committed you are to your customers.  Also include a team photo and information on key personnel because customers like to buy from people not a faceless business.
  3. Testimonials - most consumers won't just take your word for how good you are, so adding testimonials to your website is a great way to increase conversions.  Use the testimonials to overcome common objections and have them visible on every page (eg. a rotating box) so customers can't miss them.  Add pictures to give more credibility and use videos if you can.
  4. Security and privacy information - security is the top priority for online shoppers so make it clear that your website is safe.  Purchase an SSL certificate, display security and credit card logos on page one to show you are affiliated with big companies and have a easily accessible, detailed privacy policy.
  5. FAQs - this another way of overcoming objections and will help push unsure customers over the line.  Create a page of common questions and make sure your answers reassure customers and promote the benefits of dealing with your company at the same time.
  6. Shipping/purchasing information - most shoppers will want to find out about your shipping before they buy and if you don't make it simple for them, they'll just leave your site.  Put your shipping locations, prices and return terms on a page in your main menu so customers don't have to go through the entire sales process to find out.
  7. Warranties/guarantees - if you have any kind of warranty or guarantee on your products then display it prominently on your website because it will be a very powerful sales tool.  It gives customers peace of mind knowing they could get their money back, which helps push them over the line to make the sale.

Most of these things are all really quick and simple - you can do them on your existing website with information you already have. These small changes should make a big difference to your conversaion rates.

Note - these things are also important if you are a bricks and mortar company because they will encourage people to pick up the phone or come in to your business.

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