These days, online stores are becoming the new go-to option for any kind of purchase. Sites like Amazon, eBay and other similar e-commerce stores are constantly growing at the expense of the high street. If you are wishing to help your company progress and gain a worldwide following, the online store is a line you’ll have to cross at some point, and there are a lot of potential stumbling blocks that you’ll have to negate.
Make sure your site looks good
In the Internet age, patience is a rare thing. If your site isn’t friendly, easy to look at, easily navigable and fast, users can and will go back to Google to find a site that is. You only have a few seconds to draw a new customer in, so you will need a design that looks professional and is very user-friendly.
Modernity is the biggest factor in this. If your site looks dated, people lose interest. With web design, a lot of the time you do get what you pay for, so it’s worth spending that little bit extra to get a site that’s mobile friendly and that’s functional. If it fails to do this, people will view it as second-rate compared to the competition or, worse yet, believe your e-commerce store isn’t an authentic one.
Being able to provide good social proof will also help your site look as good as you want it to be. Reviews are an amazing thing as it helps build credibility on new sites that don’t have an established name or the money to advertise heavily.
According to studies done by the platform Optinmonster, 70 percent of online customers will decide on purchasing a product based on a review. With that in mind, providing the option for customer comments on your website or ability to make full reviews will help improve your reputation.
When sites are first beginning, it’s always a slow process. Be patient! Credibility and reputation come with time.
Another way to show off numbers and make you seem more trustworthy is the website tool Proof (link here: https://useproof.com/), which is highly useful in displaying how many people are looking at your site/ a product at any moment, which can be used to display the hype surrounding an item on your store.
You may have grand ambitions about what your business will look like in the near future, but the foundations of the site must be sturdy. Reputation is an important part of trust, but the attitude the company has towards customers is just as important.
Putting a lot of work into customer support can help in making the site trustworthy, as the customer is always right! Making the extra effort for anyone and everyone on your site builds loyalty, and loyal customer bases recommend your service to their friends, and a close friend’s word is a trusted word.
Be transparent. You should display your company’s e-mail address, physical address and contact number in plain sight on the homepage so the buyers know where to find support. Featuring a live chat box on your site can also help with instant support, provided you make sure it has good moderation as to avoid spam comments.
Along with that, it is important to be honest with a customer about everything in the process. If you’re a dropshipping business, make sure to keep a note of where the product goes in the information tab of the item. This will stop customers thinking they’ve been scammed when they see a foreign label on their packaging.
There is nothing bad about selling imported goods from overseas suppliers, but it can be misconstrued as a cheaper item if it isn’t explained anywhere.
Source: An eBay sale of a collector’s figurine and the item’s shipping information.
Don’t restrict yourself
Being able to accept multiple forms of payment will offer flexibility to the customer and make them feel like the company is more official. This is a major advantage compared to sites that will only deal in one or two payment methods. This isn’t necessarily something that can make or break a company, but it does mean that anyone can buy from your store, and that you have all the bells and whistles to get people to believe that your site is real.
Another way to build credibility is to have a presence on multiple platforms. Many businesses have a store on eBay, a store on Amazon and more, because it drives more traffic to the site, and racks up the reviews that are so useful in building a brand.
Sending delivery updates is another great way of letting the customer know their purchase is being taken care of. Using Smart Shipping software and other types of tracking technology is a really good idea, and something people will notice and be grateful of.
Go the extra mile- it’s worth it
Back to customer service, a kind return policy is something that gives that little bit of safety to a buyer, and will ensure that you don’t lose any business. The Consumer Rights Act of 2015 states that by law, the consumer is to be granted a refund, replacement, repair and/or compensation if goods are faulty, not as described or are sold illegally. That’s concrete and can’t be changed, which makes life a little easier for customers, but we recommend really going the extra mile.
There are many small bonuses you can add to a return policy to satisfy customers. For example, as well as a refund, you could provide store credit, or a discount voucher for their next purchase. This can even end up with a customer leaving thinking their inconvenience was actually worthwhile, and you can bet they’ll tell their friends!
Along with looking the part and being able to gain a customer’s trust, it is important for your business to have a personality and a story. The biggest reason someone would close an online store is because it’s unknown to them, and not sharing any information about your brand just breeds mistrust.
A buyer may like to know what products a store has, as well as the values of the company behind it. Coming across as a business ran by people is essential, because no one wants to give their money to a cold, emotionless corporation.
Overall, building a trustworthy online store is all about transparency, honesty and friendliness. If you treat the customers well, they’ll come back. Good luck!
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