Blog | Marketing Madness

Build Trust to Make More Sales On Your eCommerce Website

15/07/2014

Trust is one of the most fundamental elements in securing a conversion on your website. Making sure you have the right on page elements on your site is just one thing you can do to build trust with your potential ecommerce customers to gain more sales.

According to an eye tracking study undertaken by MS&T (Missouri University of Science and Technology), an impression of your website is taken by a user in only two-tenths of a second. After 2.6 seconds the user has scanned the rest of the page and formed a full first impression.

2.6 seconds is an incredibly short amount of time to present all of the information required to build a realistic representation of your brand and products, let alone capture a users trust.

So what elements can you have on your page to create trust in 2.6 seconds? Here’s some ideas to get your started:

Include social media icons

If your business is an active user of social media this can be a great technique to build trust. Consumers feel more comfortable if an online store is “visible”; use social media to add realism, tone and personality to your brand.

I love the friendliness of PrettyLittleThing.com‘s homepage Twitter button (and the award logo – but more about that later):

PrettyLittleThing.com Social

If you don’t Facebook or Tweet often, or at all, consider what kind of impression this has on your business, it’s the equivalent of having a phone line that you never answer. I would avoid linking your Social Media accounts unless you use them proficiently.

Show trust marks and payment types

This is especially important for smaller ecommerce sites, customers need to know their payment will be protected and their card type accepted! It’s important not to go over kill with logos and buttons though, too much and you might make them suspicious as to why you are so eager to prove yourself!

Odling Bros Ltd has just about the right mix of trust marks, payment types and a locally recognised logo in the footer for ‘Select Lincolnshire’ – something their potential customers are likely to instantly recognise and trust.

Odling Bros

Shout about your recognised awards

Awards are a great way to prove the value of your business and improve customer confidence in your brand. If you have received an industry award make sure you contact the awarding body to get a graphic to include on your website. If you haven’t entered into any awards recently, make sure you investigate up and coming opportunities and get your business entered.

A word of warning though, some of the less desirable “awards” come at a cost in return for an almost guaranteed placement. This is counter productive as consumers won’t recognise, nor trust, the logo of the awarding body. Try to stick with industry leading institutions, media outlets or publications that are strictly relevant to your niche.

Pink Boutique.co.uk showcase their awards really nicely in their footer:

Pink Boutique

Let your customers write reviews

Reviews can help your customer make a more informed decision about a product. They’re also much more likely to take another customer’s word for it than they are yours.

Reviews have been an abused feature in the past, with some companies faking them completely… do not be tempted to take this route, consumers are highly capable of determining the validity of a review. Don’t be afraid of any negativity, what one customer sees as a flaw another may see as a benefit.

You can encourage consumer reviews by offering an element of reward after a successful sale, for example “Review the product xyz and enjoy 10% off your next purchase”.

TopMan Reviews

Let your customers ask questions

A similar theory to above, why not allow your customers to ask you question on the product page and then post the answers? Your posted response can remove barriers for future purchasers and enables them to continue without the need to contact you first. By engaging in conversation with a customer your business becomes more tangible and trustworthy.

Made.com do a fantastic job of this, see Halston Corner Sofa for an example.

Design and element placement

Try not to confuse your customers by being too brave and out there, stick to the latest trends. Consumers follow the path of least friction, an easy navigable site and modern interesting design will enable more conversions than a fussy, cluttered, confusing site.

By ensuring your element placement is consistent with current trends you will immediately build up a sense of familiarity and with that, yes you guessed it, trust.

Not sure what is going on with the latest trends? Read Claire’s post: 2014 Trends in eCommerce Usability.