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Build trust and sell more online

Trust. It is possibly the most important element of your entire business – and certainly the biggest barrier to online shopping. 

See, people have trust issues with online shopping.

Amazing (but false) before and after photos, misleading product photos, influencer campaigns with no integrity, the same product image being used by multiple eCommerce sites, crappy returns policies, slow fulfillment, unanswered support tickets… These are just some of the reasons why people struggle to trust.

The quote “reputation takes years to build and seconds to destroy” rings especially true when it comes to eCommerce. And this is the same with trust.

We are in the age of the skeptical buyer and trust is the number one reason why people do or don’t buy from your online store.

People need to trust that your product is as good as you say it is, that it’s worth paying money for, that it will arrive on time, and that they can return it easily if it doesn’t fit or is not right. 

It’s important to understand that trust is not a choice, it’s an underlying psychological state that can be influenced.

Trust is associated directly with perceived risk. 

The main risks with online shopping are: 

    • It’s not a real store. A scammer has built this to make money. 
    • I can’t tell what the product is really like. 
    • What if I need help with my purchase?
    • Is my information safe and secure?
    • What if it doesn’t arrive
    • What if I don’t like it 
    • What if it doesn’t fit

Trust is important throughout the entire funnel. Not only for a customer’s first purchase but even more so post-purchase. Trust post-purchase is how you create loyal customers. 

A customer is literally taking a leap of faith to purchase your product for the first time. 

Then once they have purchased it, they have the highest potential out of anyone to become a loyal, long-term buyer. And it’s what you give them besides your product that determines whether or not they come back.

How do you increase trust: 

Business essentials: 

    • Have a good product. This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many products out there are sub-par. And people have been burned. 
    • Follow through on the promises you make. 
    • Have outstanding customer service. Make sure your community management (even if it’s just you) has a quick response time. 

Social proof: 

    • Include customer reviews on every page. You can automate this process with an app such as Yotpo or Reviews.io. This shows that other people have purchased – and – loved your product. 
    • Show as “seen in media” logos
    • Show awards you’ve won
    • Show user generated content – images or videos your customers have taken with your product

eComm Ignitor student, Corbin from Three Warriors, does a great job of displaying social proof through his site. You can see here how he’s used the product images to showcase trust by including the awards his products have won: 

Human connection: 

    • Showcase real customer photos (user-generated content) throughout your social media – and even on your product pages. 
    • Show behind the scenes content, highlighting that you are a real brand. 
    • Let us get to know you as a real person. People buy from people. 

Our student, Heather from For Dignity has done such a great job of letting people get to know her on her website and throughout her socials:

Trust seals and security certificates 

    • Make sure your site has an SSL security certificate installed. 
    • Offer and display secure payment methods. 
    • Include trust icons throughout your site, especially on your product page and checkout pages. These are money back guarantee, secure payment, security verification, 5 star ratings.

Value icons 

    • Include value icons such as Australian made, vegan, natural, hand made, etc. 

Nic from Dot on a Sock, one of our eComm Ignitor students, has done a fabulous job of highlighting that she’s an Australian family owned business, sells ethically produced products and uses minimal sustainable packaging in her colourful value icons: 

Back your product: 

    • Have a really good returns policy and publicise it. 
    • Offer a guarantee. Not one with loopholes but a really good guarantee. If you don’t, you are telling people that you don’t back your product, and if you don’t back your product, why should they? 

Take this checklist and go through your online store to make sure you are giving your customers reasons to trust you and to take that leap of faith to buy from you.