One of the most powerful things you can use to convert prospects into customers is trust. Hard to gain, but very easy to lose. On a website decisions are made fast as a consumer assesses your online credibility in seconds. So what can you do to ensure your website appears trustworthy enough to complete a transaction of some kind?
It used to be pretty normal to jump on a stock photography site and grab a photo of some model doing something that remotely related to your business. It was great because the standard of photography was high and the cost was cheap. These days quality photos are just the norm and a lot of stock photography is recognisable. In today’s content rich world, consumers are seeking genuine, authentic content. So an insight into your business, staff and results by a professional photographer is a must.
Complete contact details
The quickest way to appear like a shady ‘fly by night’ operation is to hide your contact details. An email address does not cut it. Consumers want assurance that they can get a hold of you should something go wrong. No phone number or physical address? Watch your sales figures plummet. A phone number is an absolute minimum. If you do decide to show a phone number only, try and show a local phone number with area code and not a 1300/1800 number. This will at least provide some clue as to the location and legitimacy of the business.
Human nature is to trust the opinion of others over the horses mouth. Testimonials add a strong trust signal by assuring customers that others have tried and approved your product or service. Strangely consumers are happy to believe the opinion of someone they know nothing about over that of the business. Make sure your testimonials include some qualifying information such as a full name, location, job title and ideally a photo.
Security seals, accreditations and associations
Purchasing online might be a regular thing for a lot of people, but a surprising amount of people are still apprehensive about entering their personal information and credit cards online. Clearly showing that you accept payments through a well known bank, or that your site is secured by a well known security provider can alleviate some of that stress a worried purchaser might have.
You can also bolster your impression of capability by showing any associations you are a part of, or any accreditations you might hold. You might think this is just show boating, but it can often be the differentiator from your competitors. Make sure logos are clear, consistently spaced and not too dominating. Jam them in poorly and they can appear fake and deceptive.
No sneaky sales tactics
So you’ve done everything right, and the customer has decided to buy. Success. They get to the final step where you hit them with the shipping price. Screeching tyres scream out. Your customer wasn’t expecting this. No matter how reasonable the cost might be, if you weren’t up front about shipping prices the cost is always going to get their back up, as mentally they had settled on the previously quoted price.
It goes for any offer or process on your website. No surcharges, no additional charges. The more transparent you are, the less likely you are to have customers drop off throughout your sales funnel.
Trust is a fragile thing
For any website, but particularly ones that expect a customer to submit any kind of personal information, it’s imperative you consider ways of building trust. Tactics for improving conversion rates and sales figures generally revolve around ensuring the customer is confident in the process from end to end. These small steps will certainly get the ball rolling. Let us know in the comments below any ideas you have to build trust on your website.