Isn’t it interesting that at the time that we need more trust than ever – how else will you get people to give you their credit-card details? – trust has become ever more difficult to get? After all, the human element, the moment where you formed a connection with a person by shaking their hands and looking them in the eye, is gone.
For that reason, the word ‘trust’ is bandied around more and more nowadays, as online companies try to find ways to once again create trust between themselves and those that visit their sites.
So that begs the question, what does create trust? That’s what we’re going to look into today.
1. Trust Badges and Their ilk
A good way to inspire trust is to get yourself validated by third parties that the user has familiarity with and that they believe are trustworthy. A good way to do that is to use trust badges and security seals, particularly when they’re from well-known companies.
How useful is it to show such badges? Well, research has shown that when asked, 71% of online shoppers think it’s important that ecommerce sites demonstrate some kind of security badge.
Of course, the problem with asking people is that they might say something is important just because that’s expected of them. Does this result hold up in actual sales? Yes it does. When a money back guarantee was shown in one study that led to 32% higher conversion rate.
Now that’s pretty convincing.
2. Payment Gateways
One of the biggest problems that many online shoppers have, particularly if they’re a little bit older, is that they’re afraid to give their credit card details to some online outfit, as they’re afraid to get scammed.
For that reason, especially when dealing with older shoppers, a good strategy to use is to rely on payment gateways made by reputable companies.
Probably the best known company nowadays is paypal. What’s more, as it is an international company that has connections with most banks in most countries, using it means that you’re not excluding people from a certain part of the world from buying your product – something that’s highly enticing if your product is online anyway.
A third worthwhile strategy is to put testimonials from previous customers on your website, raving about your product and your service. This will give the idea that other people have used your product and found it useful, which will often help to push new customers into trying out your product.
If you do follow this route, make certain that you link back to the actual pages of the people giving the testimonials. Why? Because this gives them an extra incentive to write up a testimonial for you, as doing so creates both a traffic flow to their site as well as a backlink to their content – which is useful for SEO purposes. What’s more, it will make the testimonials actually seem authentic.
Also, make certain that your testimonials aren’t all rave reviews. Though you obviously shouldn’t post negative feedback, having the occasional bit of lukewarm feedback will allay suspicions and will make them seem more authentic.
4. Let Them Know Where You’re Located
People like the idea that you’ve got a physical address. Of course, except for Jim the homeless guy, we’ve all got physical addresses and just because they know your physical address doesn’t mean they can actually come over as generally the location you’re at is hundreds of miles away. Still, customers like the idea of knowing that you’ve got a physical location.
For that reason, make sure you include an address – preferably on the main page. While you’re at it, also include a phone number that they can call. Yes, it does mean that somebody has to man the phones, but many times online customers will feel far more secure and safe when they’ve actually heard a human voice on the other end of the line.
5. If You’ve Been Around for a While, Let Them Know
People are always afraid that you’re some kind of fly-by-night operation. For that reason, if you’ve actually got a few years under your belt, let them know. This will boost your trustworthiness, as they’ll assume (probably correctly) that you couldn’t have stayed in business as long as you have while ripping people off and giving them a bad experience.
What’s more, they’ll assume that you’re in it for the long haul, which means that you’re all about building long-term relationships. And long term relationships means that you’re not in the business of ripping people off.
6. If You’ve Got a Following, Let People Know
If you’ve got a an active social media presence, then make sure that visitors know about it. After all, these people wouldn’t be following you if they thought you were a bunch of jerks and con artist.
In the jargon this is called social proof and it’s a valuable resource if you’ve got it. After all, we like what other people like.
An important thing to note, you can also do the opposite of social proofing yourself. If you have very few followers on social media, then don’t advertise this fact. People will wonder why you don’t have a social media following and this will actually lower your trustworthiness.
In many ways, demonstrating your trustworthiness is about showing that you’re connected in a web of social connections. If those ties are present, people can use them to establish that you’re not going to just run off with their money without giving them what they want.
If those ties are absent, they have no such guarantees.
If you look at the points outlined above you’ll see that they’re either other people ‘vouching’ for you – be it explicitly (through security badges) or implicitly by following you on social media – or your demonstrating that you’ve been around for a while and aren’t going anywhere.
If you can do that – be it through the strategies outline above or through different ones that you can come up with – then you’ll be able to boost your trustworthiness and the barrier to entry into the sales process will be that much lower.