12 Ways to Inspire Confidence In Your Online Store’s New Customers

May 10, 2016 by Jesse Ness, Ecwid Team
how to trust a new shop
Posted May 10, 2016 by Jesse Ness, Ecwid Team

It’s easy to manufacture something that’s bought and sold, shipped around the world, but much harder to manufacture trust. An e-commerce merchant is asking a lot of its potential customers: to part with their credit card details, to share their shipping address or location of their home. These can be significant hurdles along your route to customer conversion. To make purchases confidently, a customer must be able to trust the vendor.

So how does a vendor stand out as trustworthy, as deserving of customer confidence? It’s difficult to break out successfully as an online merchant, but there are things you can do to accrue some trust. By executing well on some small things and big things alike, you can build radical momentum around your brand’s credibility.

Here are a few ways to make your store stand out from the crowd and entice customers to return and shop again.

Optimize your site’s design

You want your website to be simple and accessible — the focus should be on the products and how to easily get them in your customers’ hands. A clean design with a readable font is a must.

If you already have a site fleshed out, perhaps an update is in order. Web analytics tools can paint a valuable picture of which changes will be most beneficial to your traffic and perceived credibility.

Take good product photos and write good descriptions

Great marketing is the key to success in many elements of an online store. To give the customer the best view possible of your product, use clear pictures with good lighting that show several perspectives. Keep descriptions short and sweet — try to find a balance by including all necessary information without being long-winded.

We’ve previously provided you with a guide to product photography right here.

Tell your brand’s story

People want to know who you are. How did you come to this business? What inspires you? Why is your product better than the rest? Having a page about the history and passion behind your business will make you more relatable to your customers. A unique story can also be a valuable tool for distinguishing oneself from the crowd.

Use a contact form so people can easily reach you

This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s in the interest of smaller merchants for potential customers to be able to reach you easily. Setting up your contact as a form that customers can fill out with comments and other information will make life easier for both you and your shoppers.

Make sure to respond quickly and courteously to concerns and comments, as this will build trust and lend to an overall greater customer experience.

Start a blog and keep it current

Keep your customers updated on any company news and anything else you’d like to share with your online audience. Provide plenty of current information — this will cut the amount of questions you’ll have to answer and buyers will remain happily informed. Constantly keeping communication open will help to create relationships with your customers. One-time purchasers will be more likely to return again and again if they feel like they’re in the loop. Building a well-done blog gives them a way to connect.

Use social media to share your content

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks are great for marketing brands and their products. The more people see and share your brand, the more customers you’re likely to have.

cooking with tenina on fb

Cooking with Tenina on Facebook

Write an FAQ page

Like a blog, a page of Frequently Asked Questions and their answers can cut down on basic questions your customers may have by providing easily accessible information about your brand and your products. Make it a simple “one-stop shop” of what your store is all about. Does your company have a mission statement you want to share? What questions do you find yourself getting way more than others? This is a great place for it, along with information on shipping, sizing, and other services you offer.

Have a coherent return policy

Nothing turns a customer off faster than struggling through a difficult return process, or being stuck with a product they don’t need because your policy is confusing. Make it clear from the start what your return terms are, and you’ll deal with fewer backlashes later. Your customers will also be more likely to shop with you again if they know a return can be quick and easy.

Ask for reviews — issue a call to action

Reviews of customer service, website design, and overall performance can be a tremendous help when trying to win over and keep customers. Both praise and criticism are beneficial when your company receives reviews. Good comments show you’re doing something right, while negative comments can highlight areas in which improvements are needed.

“Issuing a call to action” simply means that you give someone cause to write the review. Tweet about it, share your “suggestion box” email address, and generally get people comfortable with telling you what they think. They’ll expound on your flaws and benefits alike. This gives you the opportunity to address issues across the board, whether it’s a broken link or clarification on incorrect shipping information. Ecwid App Market has a couple of apps to add reviews to your store: Yotpo and Stamped.io reviews.

Win authority from Google ranking

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, can increase your site’s searchability by making your it more compatible with the algorithms that search engines use to rank their search results. The system is based on keywords and other signals that your website gives off that search engines respond to. Generating specific content around a variety of keywords, making your website more mobile-friendly, and promoting your brand on social media can all increase your web engine searchability.

Display a security badge

This is an easily installed app from McAfee available on the Ecwid App Market. By displaying the badge prominently on your site, your customers will know that your store is operated by someone who is sensitive to the idea that it’s important to be smart with your data online. If buyers feel comfortable and safe when shopping from you, they’re more likely to return and shop again.

Cheat creatively

Potential customers are more likely to trust a well-established company with concrete experience than a brand-new one. Unfortunately, we all have to start somewhere. There are a few ways a new company can bend the rules to seem a bit more credible. A change to your invoice numbers (for example, 101 instead of 001) gives the impression that you have more customers under your belt. Pretend to be your own assistant as you schedule calls for later. You can even start rumors that your company’s prices are high so that when people come to your site to find out, they will find reasonable prices. These small but significant “cheats” can help increase customer satisfaction and get you closer to that well-established reputation.

Final thoughts

Credibility is not to be taken lightly. Chipping away at it a little bit every day is the only way to go. Although it can seem daunting, it is small but consistent steps that add up to a secure, aesthetically appealing e-commerce website. By taking advantage of as many of these tips as you see fit, you will get closer still to establishing yourself as a trustworthy business catering to loyal and happy customers who celebrate your name.

About The Author
Jesse is the Marketing Manager at Ecwid and has been in e-commerce and internet marketing since 2006. He has experience with PPC, SEO, conversion optimization and loves to work with entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.

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