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What Makes Your eCommerce Website Trustworthy?

eCommerce is a highly competitive field, and trust can be the dealbreaker. As a shopper, we don’t like feeling unsure whether a site is legitimate. After all, we’re entering our personal information and financial data into unknown sites more frequently these days due to mobile devices and payments evolving while the real world stays motionless. That’s why having an honest website with trustworthy elements goes a long way in building credibility and boosting your conversions — which is important for online businesses of any size.

Sources: Payments Dive, Report Linker

Because of the pandemic, our social and travel behaviors are being reshaped. We believe it will fundamentally alter the way we do business. According to one UK study, 74% of respondents across all age groups now feel much safer purchasing products online as a result of the pandemic, while 62% of US customers shop online more today than they did before the pandemic began.

Because of the pandemic, our social and travel habits are being reshaped. We believe it will fundamentally alter the way we do business. And it’s already affected the way we buy: 62 percent of US customers purchase online more today than before the pandemic. One UK poll even revealed that 74 percent of respondents across all age categories now feel safe buying things online because of the coronavirus epidemic.

It's no surprise that as eCommerce grows, so too does its vulnerability to online scammers.

Increased online scamming is partly fuelled by a rise in chargeback fraud, identity theft, and "silent" fraud. 'Pharming,' a sort of hack in which harmful code is uploaded to a device to reroute traffic to a phony website, is also common, as are account takeovers.

Therefore customer safety is now more important than ever, and so is building trust in your brand. We put together this guide to walk you through all the things you should do to ensure your eCommerce website is as trustworthy as possible.


What makes a website trustworthy?

Can you trust the site?

As a shopper, this is one of the first things you’ll be asking yourself when you land on an eCommerce website. If the answer is no, then there’s no way you’re going to buy anything.

Many people won’t purchase from an eCommerce website unless they can see some sort of social proof that it’s trustworthy. This could be in the form of testimonials or reviews, trust badges, standard payment methods, and contact info.

Why do shoppers need to see that an eCommerce website is trustworthy? Because online shopping can be a risky business. The internet allows fraudsters to set up all sorts of convincing-looking websites, and unfortunately, plenty of people fall for these traps.

Shoppers have grown cautious over the years, and so any time they buy something online, they’re looking for reassurance that the site is legitimate and their money is safe and secure.

Here are a few things you can check off your list as you go through your website:

  1. Secure URL

When you type in your eCommerce address, is it secure? A secure site will have an “HTTPS” at the beginning of its address instead of just an “HTTP” because it has an SSL certificate. Look for a lock symbol in the address bar as well. This means the site is secure and safe for you to buy from.

  1. Testimonials and reviews

Trust can only be built through the presence of customer testimonials and reviews on your site. 88% of people trust internet reviews as much as personal recommendations. A lack of genuine reviews anywhere on the internet can scare away potential buyers.  If you already have satisfied customers, reach out to them and request a testimonial to post on your website. Alternatively, you could use your relatives and friends as guinea pigs if you don't have any satisfied customers yet.

Once you have these reviews, make sure to display them where customers can find them. You could display the best ones on your homepage and have individual product reviews for specific listings.

  1. Trust Badges

One approach to demonstrate that your website is secure and trustworthy is by displaying badges from the organizations that administer your payment processing and security certificates. For instance, if you're using PayPal for payment processing, place a PayPal emblem and link somewhere visible on your page so that visitors will know they can make secure payments through this trusted third party. The same goes for security certifications like VeriSign or McAfee Secure.

  1. Familiar methods of payment

Customers like having choices. If you only offer one way for people to pay for their purchases, that can be a turnoff for them. Offering multiple ways for customers to pay—credit cards, cash, gift cards, PayPal—shows them that you're not trying to hide anything and that they're free to choose how they want to pay.

  1. Contact information

You don't have to give a phone number or even an address if you don't want to, but make sure that your consumers can find a means to reach you if they have concerns or issues. For the most part, an email will do. Even if it's only an email address, make sure your contact information is prominently displayed on every page.

Don't use a free email address like Gmail or Hotmail. No matter how much your web host will charge you, getting a corporate email address is essential.

  1. A reasonable amount of ads


Having too many distracting ads can make your site look cluttered and unprofessional. We're all aware that spam, such as intrusive adverts and pop-ups that take up the entire page, impedes the free flow of accessing content on your website. The good thing is, if you're running your website on any of the eCommerce platforms, you have complete control over how much advertising you allow.

To maintain your site’s credibility, don’t display spammy adverts, and make your own opt-in offers as subtle as possible.

Most users are okay with appropriate usage of pop-ups and ad space on a website. But simple tweaks like avoiding presenting pop-ups to repeat visitors may keep them coming back to your website.

  1. No spelling and grammar mistakes anywhere on your site.

Even one or two can make customers doubt your professionalism. Even something as simple as a missing comma can make your site look unprofessional to customers. Around 59% of consumers avoid businesses that make spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in their website content. We recommend having your site professionally copyedited for maximum effect.

  1. Website design is updated and easy to use.

Website design is a critical factor in establishing customer trust in an eCommerce store. If your site looks like it was designed in 1998, customers are going to think you're a fly-by-night business and won't trust you with their credit card information.

Your business will profit more from your website if it is easy to use. You can effectively attract and maintain your target customers more if your website has an appealing theme and is extremely user-friendly.

You have two options here: either hire an in-house team of skilled professionals or use a third-party service. Alternately, use the services of a professional web design and development agency. They can efficiently develop a website that matches your demands.

  1. Accessible Privacy Policy

Getty Images/Stockphoto

Knowing what a website is doing with your personal information is critical in this day and age. This is why you should always have this available and ready in case your customers need them.  The privacy policy is generally posted at the very bottom of the webpage.

It is a legal requirement for websites, especially eCommerce businesses, to have privacy rules in place because the information they gather must be kept secure. The degree to which it will protect your information is specified in this policy. Customers are aware that if the website they visit does not have one, it’s not safe or legal. Even if it does, their personal information may not be secure due to ambiguous language and a lack of data.

  1. Relevant and valuable content

Creating amazing content isn’t enough. Besides being relevant to your intended audience, your material must also be understandable by both bots and humans, and it must be trustworthy.

Don't duplicate content from other websites or use someone else's work without giving credit where credit is due. This will give your website credibility. A good rule of thumb is to avoid covering ground that has already been covered by another website or at the very least offer proper links back to the original source of information. It's important to remember that your website's objective isn't merely to attract visitors but to turn them into paying customers or subscribers as well. For this goal, you should avoid giving inaccurate information or content that might influence how the users see your business.


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