These days it’s hard to imagine a business without a website. We’ve become mobile and this affects all spheres of our life. When we consider buying something, we look for reviews online and scan forums to get first-hand information.
But when it comes to buying a particular product and we have a few suppliers, which one we tend to choose? Usually people choose the seller which meets the expectations and gives them enough information (technical characteristics, reviews, payment options, guarantees etc.) to make a final buying decision. This is all about trust.
So what is trust? Trust consists of a variety of signals, both on-site and off-site. Some of these signals are more important than others, but in the end they all work for a business helping it to build a strong community of customers and brand advocates.
Important trust signals for eCommerce sites
1. Reviews and testimonials
If you sell a product then your website should show the testimonials from your real customers. Why is this important? Live testimonials contain useful & positive information not only about the products itself but also about the seller as well. Also, customer reviews are seen as social proof which is also very important. We all are social beings and the more people claim something, the faster we believe it.
Customer reviews can be displayed on a product basis. In few cases you can also add Google microdata and display rich snippets in Google. This will increase your CTR in SERPs. If you sell one product or service, you can create a dedicated page featuring your clients’ testimonials:
2. Contact information
A potential customer should know how to get in touch with you. No email, phone number or feedback form will cause suspect. All available contact details show that you are always ready to answer all questions about your products and help with the choice, installation or anything else.
It’s a big mistake to think that customers don’t look for contact information until they face a problem with an item or service bought from the company. Pre-sales service is also very important. Moreover, many people (including me) ask pre-sales questions and a final decision depends on the answers they get.
You can also provide your phone number and address but don’t neglect a contact email, especially if you cater for different countries. Having an online chat is a big bonus; it helps to instantly answer all the questions.
3. Social profiles and buttons
Social media has become an integral part of our life: we spend a few hours a day on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Businesses accepted this challenge and now most of them have social profiles.
But there is nothing more boring than a social profile having 3 followers and updated once a year. Remember that your social presence is part of your brand and trust building, so try to regularly post interesting and relevant information.
Placing links to your social networks on your site:
- Encourages customers to interact with you. They can like you, subscribe to your updates;
- Proves that you are ready to get in touch there. Many business questions are solved on Twitter and Facebook daily.
Additionally, you can add sharing buttons to your products. This is also about social proof: the more people shared the product, the better it seems.
4. Site navigation
If you site has a logical hierarchy like a home page > category > (subcategory) > product, people are more likely to trust you. Clearness and user-friendliness should be indispensable aspects of your site navigation. This ensures seamless user experience and speeds up search time.
If your site is in a mess, without clear indication of what you offer, your potential customers will leave it even before they begin to think about trust.
Having a blog is highly recommended but not obligatory. Not all good brands have their blogs, but those who do, really benefit from it.
What is a good company blog? It is regularly updated, useful and not too promotional. Such a blog will help:
- build trust and community around you brand;
- become an expert in your sphere;
- get more clients and potential customers as many people will find your articles while looking for some answers on Google.
A good blog is hard work but it’s worth it.
As I wrote at the beginning of the article, trust consists of many signals and all of them matter, more or less. You can’t have a great blog but bad site or super friendly site without any contact information and reviews. You should work hard on your trust and then it will work for you.