How to Build Customer Trust

By Jean Michel, Chief Technology Officer, Total Processing 

Stores closed and shoppers naturally moved online to purchase. The importance of safe online shopping became more significant than ever before. Many businesses just aren’t providing shoppers with the level of trust they expect. Where are businesses mainly going wrong when it comes to earning consumer trust?

Smaller businesses usually fall down when it comes to communicating a high level of website security. Consumers need to feel that your website is secure in order to confidently convert. Website security affects the level of trust they have for your brand and ultimately it can end up impacting their decision to convert or not. Trust is more important than you think, especially during the current climate. 75% of customers value trust over trendiness, but are most businesses providing consumers with enough information. 

Trust Factors Causing Shoppers to Abandon Cart

Trust should be established at all points of your consumer’s journey. The greatest level of trust is required at the checkout, Why? You want to encourage the conversion and avoid them abandoning their cart.

According to the Baymard Institute study, unexpected additional costs at the checkout is the number one reason users abandon their cart (50%). Transparency about costs, especially throughout the whole buyer’s journey will earn their trust. If you need to add additional costs, be clear about this on pages you feel are necessary, this has to be clear before they reach the cart or checkout.

When users are asked to create an account (28%) or the checkout process is too long or complicated (21%) this can cause them to abandon their cart. The Edelman Trust Barometer also indicates that consumers are concerned about what businesses do with their data. Simply put, they don’t want to input personal information to create an account as their details are kept on file. You will need to store some form of their details on file, but to increase trust, only ask for what you need, and nothing else. Allowing users to checkout as a guest is the most simplistic way around this. 

Make the process simple and easy from start to end. Give them control and don’t ask for information you don’t need. 

Your checkout experience needs to be secure and users must be able to see trust indicators. Consumers not trusting e-commerce websites with their credit card information remains a top reason for cart abandonment (17%). To prevent this from happening, use a secure payment gateway and display trust seals such as Norton and locked padlocks.

A simple and secure checkout process will help reduce your cart abandonment rate. 

Providing a Positive Experience 

Research conducted by Eptica shows there are two factors that make consumers trust a brand, these are related to the customer experience. 63% of consumers say a seamless experience makes them trust a business and 59% require quick and satisfactory customer service. Your website must be easy to navigate and the products must be easy to find. You can do this easily through well thought out and logical categorization. Streamline your checkout experience by limiting the number of information they need to enter or read. Display options such as shipping and payment methods clearly, there must be no confusion at this stage otherwise they could exit.

Social Proof Could Transform your Business

Social proof is essential for any e-commerce website. Trust factors such as testimonials, reviews, and expert endorsements are invaluable for consumers. SurveyMonkey found that 82% of people trust the voice of customers over messaging that is pushed from your brand or website. According to SurveyMonkey, “They trust recommendations from their friends and family, customer reviews on third-party sites, and testimonials on your brand site–in that order.” Social proof that seems too good to be true can however make consumers skeptical over their legitimacy. SurveyMonkey discovered that 74% of people think a product with 4-star reviews is better than one with just a couple of 5-star reviews.

So how do you nail social proof? Choose a trusted review provider such as Trust Pilot. The reason they are more trusted than testimonials is very simple. When you add testimonials to your website, you could easily display just the good ones. Using a third-party provider offers an added element of transparency and this will be recognized.

When deciding whether to make an online purchase, a major consideration for the average consumer comes down to whether they trust the website or not. Data shows that, ultimately, consumers will buy from brands they trust in. Give them what they need in order to trust you and remove barriers.  

Provide a positive customer experience that leads to a much greater level of trust that is undeniable. Invest in authentic social proofing, if you are not doing so already, and ensure you have a simple and secure checkout. 

Jean Michel, Chief Technology Officer, Total Processing. Total Processing is a leading provider of bespoke payment solutions for businesses of all sizes.

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