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Sell

10 Steps to Gain and Retain Trust on Your Ecommerce Website

Erik Totten
4 min read
Mar 6, 2020

So, you’ve had a gorgeous ecommerce website designed. The landing page is relevant and clean, with eye-catching call-to-actions and compelling SEO optimized content. Your checkout page and shopping cart are simple and intuitive. On top of all that, the widgets you’re selling are affordable and in demand. Visitors are coming to your website. However, there’s a catch. They’re not buying anything. Why?

I’m going to look at one reason. Trust. 49% of people who have never shopped online say that the primary reason is that they don’t trust purchasing anything online. Without your potential customer feeling like your website is trustworthy, they won’t even consider purchasing something, let alone complete a purchase. With only 2.86% of visits converting into sales, building, establishing, and retaining trust is all-important to your ecommerce success. 

  1. Create upfront and trustworthy data/privacy policies - Customers are increasingly concerned with what data you are collecting from them and how it is used. Make sure you have data and privacy policies that will put your customers at ease. Display them prominently, and let your customers opt-in. Collecting customer data is helpful for a variety of reasons, but not if you jeopardize the trust of your customers.

  2. Display security seals/trust badges - In a study by Consumer Reports, 71% of respondents said that it’s important for a website to display a trust seal or badge. Correspondingly, make sure that your website is secure by purchasing an SSL certificate, and display that to your potential customers. Add additional trust seals and badges to demonstrate that your website is trusted by third parties. 

  3. Have a highly visible and revealing contact us page - Potential customers will often check out your “contact us” page before they make a purchase to ensure they can reach you if there is a problem. Place that page in a highly visible, and easily clickable, location. Be straightforward and informative by including information like phone number, physical address, email address, and social media profiles.

  4. Proactively collect customer feedback - Provide ways for your customers to give you feedback about their experience on your website. Some customers will provide it without prompting, but many will just leave and never return. After gathering feedback, use it to reach out to unsatisfied customers and to adjust business policies that aren’t working. On top of that, you are showing your customers that you care about their experience, and they can trust you to have their best interests at heart.

  5. Offer customers the ability to leave product reviews - Collect and display product reviews left by your customers. It’s a fact that reviews build trust and, at least initially, customers will be more willing to believe another customer than you (or even an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend). Be authentic, respond to negative reviews, and don’t allow fake reviews. Although it’s natural to fear negative reviews, a study in 2018 found that a majority of customers would trust a business less if there were no negative reviews at all.

  6. Make payment security obvious and transparent - Would you give your credit card to someone that you think would lose it? I didn’t think so. Tell your customers how you protect their payment information and do it. Credit card fraud cases are on the rise every year, so make it a priority to protect the payment information you receive from customers. 

  7. Implement a fair refund policy/money-back guarantee - Most customers, 79%, want to know your refund policy and how they will get their money back if they don’t receive what they paid for. Be clear and concise in describing under what conditions you accept returns or provide money-back guarantees. With 92% of customers saying they would make another purchase if they like the return policy, it will pay off.

  8. Use outstanding support to your benefit - Respond to customer complaints or questions quickly and with empathy. Don’t forget, the goal is to satisfy your customers, which will go a long way towards generating repeat business. Consider providing support across multiple channels like email, telephone, live chat, social media, and FAQs so that you’re able to provide support immediately.

  9. Be honest - Naturally, being honest with your customers is the easiest and best way to build trust. When responding to customer inquiries or crafting the various policies that your website will adhere to, make sure you can meet those expectations. Long term, over-delivering will build trust, while over-promising never will. 

  10. Be patient - Nothing happens overnight, including gaining your customer’s trust, but if you are patient and follow the steps above, it will happen. Craft ecommerce policies that show compassion towards your customers. “Say what you mean, mean what you say,” and follow through. Time will take care of the rest.

Follow these 10 steps, and you’ll be on your way to building and retaining trust on your ecommerce website. Even more importantly, these steps will translate into dollar signs for your business as more customers return to make additional purchases.

Let us know what works, what doesn’t, and what you recommend to get customers coming back for more.