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9 Ways to Build Trust on Your Website

23 February 2015 by Genie Lab


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The internet can be a pretty daunting place. Your customers need to know they can trust you before they reach for their wallets, and this can be a difficult business in eCommerce. You haven’t got that face-to-face contact that works in traditional stores, and, unfortunately, your customers are only too aware that there’s plenty of people out there waiting to take them for a ride.

Knowing how to build trust on your website is essential in getting your customers to part with their cash – so take a look at our tips and give your conversions a kick in the right direction.

Give Your Contact Information

(Image: Caitlin Regan under CC BY 2.0)

Did you know that in the EU, if you’re selling through a website then it’s a legal requirement to provide an address? Being able to get in touch with you is a huge priority for your customers – and we’re not just talking by email.

A permanent address (and a land line) let them know that you’re not going anywhere fast, and most importantly, they’ll be able to get in touch if they have any problems with their purchase.

Include Genuine Customer Reviews (Trust Pilot and Testimonials)

It’s no secret that reviews are great for boosting your reputation and building trust – but did you know that according to a survey by Revoo, 88% of consumers consult reviews before making a purchase?

Partnering with an independent review provider can help you quickly gather lots of voices to help your customers make decisions on whether to trust you, and whether to buy with confidence.

Install an SLL certificate

Despite the occasional 2am splurge, most online shoppers are pretty savvy. They look for visual clues that indicate a site’s safety – from trust badges to SSL seals – and including them on your website can help your conversions.

A recent study by Baymard found that surprisingly, it’s more about perceived security than actual technical security, possibly due to a lack of consumer understanding. The study found that people claimed to trust recognisable security ‘brands’ (such as Norton and McAfee) over more robust protocols.

Either way – trust seals are an expected part of the buying process so you’re best to include one (and a recognised one at that).

Make It Personal

(Image: Hey, that’s us!)

Buying online can be a really impersonal experience – and it’s down to you to change that. Including an ‘about’ page on your website is a great way of letting your customers know who they’re dealing with, and can significantly boost your credibility.

Include real photos of yourself and your staff (stock photos are a no-no) so that your customers know that on the other side of the screen there is a real person running the business who they can reach out to if things go wrong.

Use a Trusted Payment Gateway

In order to do business online, you need to be able to take payments quickly and easily while keeping your customers’ money and details secure. Using a trusted payment gateway is a great way to do this – and letting your customers know that you’re doing so will build trust and aid in conversions.

A metaphor we particularly like is a ‘digital armoured truck’. While your customers’ money isn’t being transported by one of these hefty vehicles, if you’re using a secure payment gateway it’s travelling inside armoured code, and that’s good enough.

Maintain Your Store

Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and your website is no exception. To ensure that your customers trust your eCommerce store, then you need to keep it well maintained.

Poorly organised products and stale content can negatively impact your reputation – so fix broken links, refresh your copy, use quality images, and review your site at least quarterly to make sure that everything on it is still relevant.

A well-maintained site reminds your customers that you’ve spent time and money on it, which should encourage them to do the same.

Take Care with Grammar and Spelling

(Image: Caleb Roenigk under CC BY 2.0)

This one links back to maintaining your site – but it gets its own point because it is of the utmost importance.

Proofread. Then proofread again. And then get someone else to do it for you.

The value of a well-proofed website should never be underestimated, so much so that a recent study by Global Lingo has revealed that 59% of Britons would not use a company that had obvious grammatical or spelling mistakes on its website or marketing material.

Think about it – if a consumer is wary of spam or phishing efforts, a misspelt word could be a killer issue

Don’t ask for Unnecessary Information

Whilst it might be tempting to ask your customers for information like age and gender for targetting purposes – some might not be too thrilled with sharing this information with you.

Whilst you might have a perfectly legitimate reason for asking for this information, the fact is you probably don’t need it to process an order.

An online fraudster could do a lot of damage with this information, so it’s good practice to ask for as few personal details as possible when you’re hoping to build trust.

Have Clear, Accessible Policies

Tried and tested policies that your customers can refer to in times of need are a great way to instil confidence in your brand. They’re there to protect both you and the consumer (especially when it comes to cancellations, refunds and returns) so it’s always a good idea to write fair, positive policies that emphasise your trustworthiness.

Avoid phrases like ‘we don’t take any responsibility’ and keep things concise and simple. If you need a little help, Shopify now offers eCommerce policy templates (and you know how much we love Shopify).

TheGenieLab

So that’s our two pennies’ worth – and it pretty much boils down to embracing openness and being responsible, something we’re big on here at TheGenieLab.

If you found this post useful, then why not take a look at some of our other blog posts? We’re pretty positive you’ll find something handy over there – but don’t take our word for it, go and find out for yourself!


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