11 Reasons Why Customers Don’t Trust Your Online Business [And What You Can Do To Fix It]

13 min read
Feb 9, 2018
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Building customer trust is a crucial step towards the success of any online business. And whether you are an established business or a startup, walking an extra mile to assure customers and prospects can trust you, is worth all the hard work.

If you are struggling to convert your customers, there might be a trust issue between them and your business. The following are 11 reasons why customers might not be willing to take a plunge on your website.

1. You leave poor first impression

First impressions matter and most importantly, they can last up to 6 months! Consider your website as the face of your company. If it is constructed in a complicated manner, there are too many distractions and pages take forever to load, you might be pushing your visitors away.

A messy website customers don't trust

Believe it or not, customers evaluate websites in a matter of 7 seconds, which means that your website has little time to achieve significant results.

What can you do?

It’s not a surprise anymore that pleasant user experience on your website is a key to attracting more customers and leaving the positive first impression. That’s why you should take your time working on your website’s design.

Carefully choose color schemes, images, fonts and logical flow of the information presented. Most importantly, make sure website functionality is intact. You want your visitors to be able to navigate your site and easily obtain the information they are looking for.

75% of internet users admit that they wouldn’t return to websites that took longer than 4 seconds to load. Needless to say, every second counts as it can either make a visitor to stick around for longer or push him away.

Ideally, you want your website to load in a blink of an eye. And that means it should appear in all its glory in under half a second because according to Harvard Database of Useful Biological Numbers that’s how long a blink of an eye lasts. However, specialists say that anything between 500 milliseconds and 2 seconds would match current page load speed expectations.

2. You are not offering secure payment connection

Even though more and more people choose to shop online, the question of online payment security is never off the table. You can be offering high-quality products or services but if you cannot provide secure payment option you are likely to face some difficulties converting those visitors into customers.

What can you do?

Walk an extra mile to offer a trusted online payment method that is widely recognized by your customers. If you are selling internationally, offer different payment methods that are well-known worldwide. At the moment, the most popular ones include credit and debit cards (American Express, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal, Apple Pay and Google Wallet. However, if you are selling locally, make sure you also accept payments methods that are considered safe in your area.

Another thing to keep in mind is that window shoppers take a close look at SSL certificates and third-party logos as indicators whether or not store deserves to be trusted. You want to display safety badges on your checkout page to let the customers know that their credit card information is safe. Studies show that trust badges help uncertain customers feel better about giving away their credit card information, especially when they are shopping on a website for the very first time.

Customers dont trust

Websites that display these badges can expect higher conversion rates and revenue. Last but not least, secure payment can help increase an average order value as customers are willing to spend more shopping on the website they know they can trust.

3. People are not speaking about your product or service

Window shoppers are very unlikely to purchase a product or service they don’t know about without looking it up online first. And if reviews or testimonials are nowhere to be found, a customer can’t make a confident decision to take the plunge.

And did you know that 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from someone they know? The more reviews there are on your website (good or not so much) and across social media, the more convinced customers will be of their decision to shop from you.

What can you do?

Encourage your customers to leave a product or service review on your website. You can do that by occasionally conveying customer satisfaction survey or giving customers an option to leave a feedback on your product or service on your website at any time.

Another thing you can do is send regular reminders via emails or browser push notifications, asking users to share their opinion about the product they’ve purchased.

Last but not least, encourage users to share their experiences with your brand on social media using certain hashtags, or simply tagging you in their posts. Not only you will be able to respond to their feedback, you also will be getting more social recognition. And that’s you killing two birds with one stone.

4. You are too mysterious

Chances are that your visitors are curious not only about features of your product or service but also about terms and conditions, shipping rates or security of their personal information. If this type of information is nowhere to be found on your website, you might be prolonging the conversion time or losing an opportunity to sell at all.

What can you do?

Don’t leave your visitors hanging, fully disclose all the information they might need in order to help them convert faster.

website footer builds trust

Well put-together website footer can help visitors understand what to expect from your company, regardless of what page they visit. Depending on what business you are in, consider disclosing the following information on your website:

5. It’s difficult to get hold of you

There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to contact a business when you have a question to ask or a point to make. And when you think about it, it’s rather odd when businesses keep their contact information secret, as if they don’t want to hear from you or aren’t willing to help.

What can you do?

To avoid appearing unfriendly, make sure visitors can easily find your contact information online. And don’t forget that different customers prefer communicating with businesses through different channels, that’s why there should be several available ways to get in touch with you.

Preferred customer communication channels

Make sure your customers can give you a call or send an email. Consider implementing live chat on your website to provide live support too, or have a contact form on your website. Certain businesses are expected to have their office address too.

6. You are not active on social media

In the world of the internet, having inactive social media accounts can send a wrong message about your business. Customers who look upon can perceive your absence in two ways: either way, you are no longer in business or you are indifferent to your online reputation an opportunity to connect with your customers.

Not posting consistently should be only part of your worries. What you are really missing out being inactive on your social media accounts is having an ability to react and respond to customers’ comments and messages in real time. And that can costs you not only customer trust but loyalty too.

What can you do?

If you come to a realization that you can't properly manage all of your social media accounts, focus your attention on a selected few instead. By now you probably know which channels receive the most attention from your audience, so stick to them. It would also help to get rid of the inactive accounts to avoid leaving a wrong impression to those who users who stumble upon your long-forgotten feed.

Truth is, consistently updating your social media accounts and responding to comments and questions left by your followers takes a lot of time. And so, if you want to keep all of your social media accounts up and running no matter what, you will probably have to hire someone who can take care of them for you. Having a professional managing your social media matters can not only take a huge weight off your shoulders but can also lead your company towards achieving positive social media presence that drives sales.

7. Your marketing campaigns are not personalized

The battle to win customers’ attention has never been as competitive as it is today. Therefore, more businesses are personalizing their marketing efforts to not only cut through the digital noise but also to build lasting relationships with their customers.

If you are still delivering generic emails or web push notifications to your customers and your competitor is personalizing those, you might be in a significant disadvantage. Why? Because as your irrelevant messages are getting ignored, a competitor is building a relationship with window shoppers and slowly gaining customer trust and loyalty.

What can you do?

If you want to create and deliver messages that are truly relevant to each customer, you need to learn more about them. You can do that by firstly collecting and then utilizing information about your customers. Now, it might sound complicated but it's actually not that hard.

Just start with the basics, like:.

Once you gathered this information, use it to segment your customers. Doing this will allow you to include or exclude a certain group of customers from your marketing campaigns which means that your content will only be delivered to those recipients who can truly benefit from it. Collecting information about your customers also comes in handy when creating automated messages, such as birthday discount emails or reminders about unfinished purchases.

As you can tell, personalized marketing works in your favor by helping you create lasting relationships with your customers that are based on trust. Just don't forget that there's always a thin line between “We thought this might be interesting for you” and “We are watching you”.

8. You make promises you can’t keep

From made up statistics on your websites to promising prompt answers to inquiries you might now deliver. Every promise you make and brake hurts your reputation.

The same can be said about misleading product or service descriptions. Window shoppers might fall for it the first time but soon after learning the truth about your product or service, regaining customer trust will be quite a challenge.

What can you do?

Be honest from the start. Apologize and make it up to them if a promise is broken. Show that you’re making an effort or better yet – don’t put yourself in compromising position unnecessarily. It goes a long way to be as open as possible because as in life, this is the only way to build a lasting relationship on.

9. Your website isn’t mobile friendly

It doesn’t come as a surprise that there are more and more visitors accessing websites on mobile devices. In fact, mobile and desktop share traffic across the web on almost equal parts. And that means that you have to make sure your visitor has a positive experience regardless what type of device he’s using to access your website.

What can you do?

Even though you might not be seeing a great volume of mobile traffic on your website now, with time it’s only going to increase. And if you want more mobile users to start converting, you will need to earn their trust first. Start off by offering pleasant mobile browsing experience.

It can be done by either:

And just in case you are not sure whether you really need a mobile-friendly website, let me remind you that well over a year ago Google boosted their mobile-friendly algorithm to further penalize websites that aren’t mobile friendly yet.

10. Links within your website direct users to the dead end

If you regularly publish articles, send newsletters or update your social media accounts with bad or broken link, you might be putting your customer trust to test.

They might overlook your mistake the first time, but sooner or later customers will start losing trust in you and will stop clicking on your links altogether.

It goes without saying, that due to share volume of broken links you could also be losing quality outbound links. And let’s not forget that broken links negatively affect your search engine rankings too.

What can you do?

To identify and fix existing link errors, occasionally scan your website using special tools, such as Broken Link Checker or Google Chrome plugin Check My Links, that crawl your pages to find broken links on it. If it’s the outbound link that is broken, replace it with a new one or remove it for good.

Another thing you can do is to use Google Analytics to determine how many of your visitors ended up on the 404 error page. At this point, you want to pay most of your attention to pages from which these visitors are coming. Chances are, you have changed a certain URL without properly redirecting it.

11. Your value proposition is not clear or you don’t even have one

Have you ever stumbled upon a business website and couldn’t figure out what it is about or how you can benefit from it? If yes, you probably can agree that it didn’t take you long to click back or close and get on with your day.

A website that doesn’t have a clear, concise and most importantly unique value proposition usually fails to spark visitor’s interest and creates a less trustworthy image of the business. When you think about it, it doesn’t come as a surprise that incoming visitor doesn’t trust an unfamiliar website that struggles to communicate the main point of the business to him.

What can you do?

To keep the visitors on your site, create value proposition that clearly explains:

Once that is pinned down, prominently display your value proposition on the website and on other mediums through which you are communicating with your prospects and customers. If your value proposition is formulated well, it should help you attract qualitative prospects and make it easier for them to understand why they should trust you with their time and money.

Your turn

Customer trust is an essential part of any successful business online. It comes as no surprise that by maintaining the credibility of your company, you have bigger chances to not only increase customer loyalty but also boost sales and accelerate referrals.

Without a doubt, building customer trust in your online business can and will be difficult.

However, simple yet genuine actions go a long way in creating a lasting bond with your customers, and that’s exactly what your business should try to attain, too.

Make customer trust a priority in your business strategy. The sooner you start taking first steps towards being more honest, transparent and present with your customers, the sooner you will get to build sustainable relationships with them.

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