How and Why to Increase the Credibility of Your eCommerce Store
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there are some… unscrupulous people on the Internet. For every honest, hardworking entrepreneur slaving away at their computer, there are a hundred scammers trying to rip customers off the best they can.
Therefore, it’s very difficult sometimes to trust stores you go to on the ‘net, especially if they aren’t affiliated with a reputable company like Amazon or eBay. When a customer visits your store for the first time, they want to make sure what they see is what they get. Most of the time, if there are any warning signs of danger, they will skedaddle as fast as their fingers let them!
To ease your nervous customers’ minds, there are some things you can do to raise the credibility level of your eCommerce store. They’re simple little fixes, but go a long way to instill confidence they aren’t flushing their money down the toilet.
One of the simplest things you can do to inspire confidence in your customers is through simple conversation. This can include blogging, Facebook posts and responses, and through Twitter. It can even involve setting up a chat forum for customers to use and post questions on – just make sure you talk and answer in a timely manner.
Just remember: anonymity breeds nervousness. When a website is some random faceless and anonymous store out on the Internet, people have no idea if it’s trustworthy or not. However, if they see the store’s owners and employees blogging about all the fixes they’ve done to the site and posting success stories, their confidence level goes up. And so do your sales for the month.
There’s a reason department and grocery stores often have pictures of their management team on the wall when you first walk in. It’s to let you know who’s in charge of the store, out there making sure your experience is the best one possible.
If you don’t have pictures of your team (or at least your management) on your website, then you’re not telling your customers this at all. In public relations, putting pictures of your team up is part of branding. They’re sometimes called “trust agents.” I think you can guess why. Basically, if customers see your smiling face, they are more likely to buy from you because they see that you were confident enough in your store to put your smiling face out there.
One of the ways scam websites get people is to take their money and virtually disappear. A nice old lady from Virginia orders some crocheting needles from a website and never receives it. When she tries to contact the site, she finds there’s hardly any information there for her to use. She has no idea how to contact of the store owners.
Even if that website isn’t a scam, it certainly appears that way. That’s because there is no clear path between them and their customers. Not even a simple email form to fill out. Make sure your contact information is clear and complete so there’s no doubt what people should do in case of a problem. Include an email address and a phone number, so people can reach you as quickly as possible.
It’s also a good idea to detail everything you can about your return/refund policies on your website. This way, a customer isn’t surprised when they DO get hold of you on the phone. Less jaw-dropping incredulity means fewer angry rants in your ear, and leads to happier and more satisfied customers.