Ecommerce is extremely competitive; every entrepreneur worth their salt has realized the immense potential of conducting business online and has jumped on the ecommerce bandwagon. Large multinational corporations deploy sophisticated strategies to enjoy ecommerce success, and online shoppers are becoming savvier by the day. Therefore, you cannot hope to induce your visitors to buy unless you give them a great shopping experience AND reassure them regarding your authenticity.
There are many factors that influence a consumer’s decision making process: the brand name itself, the price and perceived quality of your product, and finally, your website – its appearance, ease of use, value/usefulness to the visitor, and so on.
When you address these aspects, and assure customers of your authenticity, you can be sure that they will trust you and buy from you.
Here are 11 uncomplicated ways to create an authentic ecommerce experience for visitors:
Table of Contents
When visitors read testimonials and reviews from people who have actually purchased your products or services, it helps build trust in your brand. People will naturally believe what others have to say about you, rather than what you say about yourself. Make sure that the reviewer is properly identifiable – not some vaguely generic name. If you can include their photographs, so much the better. Therefore, encourage your customers to talk about the product, its features and benefits – even what they didn’t like; this helps to convince other users that it’s a genuine review. Also encourage them to write reviews on third party websites; examples are Google reviews, TripAdvisor and so on. Also, be sure to respond in a timely manner to reviews, whether positive or negative.
It is imperative that your website has a detailed ‘About Us’ page. Tell people your story, display photos of the main people behind the brand – humanize your organization. People love to interact with other people, not a faceless brand. The more you tell them about yourself, how you started and so on, and it will help alleviate their fears of getting cheated. This simple act will go a long way in building public confidence in your brand and company.
If you have a brick and mortar store, display the address, and the map location. Include email addresses and phone numbers, and if possible, a ‘contact us’ form so visitors can reach you at their convenience. This is very easy to do, and helps convince people that you are a legit organization. People always feel comfortable if they think they are talking to a live person, getting their queries answered.
Yes, it may be a tad annoying to have a little window pop up when you enter a site and ask you what you want to know. But it proves to the user that there is someone there to talk to; which means the company is authentic and not another internet scam.
Use genuine photos– of products, your premises, the people behind the brand, and so on. Desist from using stock images; yes I know it’s cheaper, but in the long run, it will do more harm than good to your business. Invest in a good quality camera, or hire a professional, and shoot good images to post on your site. This will make people trust your brand. Additionally, allow people to zoom in for a close up look, and post pictures of the product from different angles so that they get a good idea of what the product looks like.
This may not be possible for everyone, but if you have either the funds or the contacts, try to get a reputed person (if not a national celebrity) to endorse your brand or company. You can also try to associate with a trusted brand – that helps too. We often see ads nowadays with detergent manufacturers claiming that their detergent is recommended by the makers of XYZ washing machine; it’s a partnership merely for marketing purposes.
Make sure you get featured on major media like popular TV channels (we’re talking ads of course), radio (nowadays, FM), newspapers, relevant popular magazines, and obviously online – we mean Facebook Ads, banners, and so on. Major media have to choose whom to cover; so when they cover you, it’s like an endorsement in itself. It will definitely boost your credibility in the eyes of consumers. Don’t forget to link to these sources from your website: both home page as well as product pages.
Google loves websites that provide genuine value to users; this means you need to have content that is useful for the viewer – and not just product descriptions. This content can be in the form of blogs and videos – with tutorials being the most popular. Let’s say you’re selling cotton clothes online. Publish blogs about the benefits of cotton, how it is produced, it’s history and so on – definitely interesting to your customers. You can include videos that guide them to the proper care of their clothes, or even a behind the scenes shoot to show them the journey of cotton from the fields to the stores. This is not direct marketing; but if you provide customers with something useful and interesting, they will love you for it, and keep coming back for more. It goes a long way in boosting your credibility, because only a genuine seller would go to such lengths to satisfy customers.
Just like reviews on your site and on third party sites, likes and shares on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. help build your brand credibility in the public eye. When people share your videos or posts, they are voting for your brand, saying this is a good, genuine brand, I like it. When you have a whole lot of people voting from various sources for your products and services on social media, the more authentic your business appears, and the more authority it will earn. Encourage your customers to engage on social media by providing social buttons on your website.
Online data is sensitive. On an ecommerce site, you will be conducting financial transactions, where people enter bank or card details. They will not do that if they feel the site is not secure. Your shopping cart and payment gateway systems and processes have to foolproof and secure. You can minimize the risk of online fraud by:
1. Choosing a secure platform
2.Using robust SSL authentication
3. Asking users to create strong passwords
4. Running PCI tests
5. Tracking all orders
Verisign is a symbol that is known and trusted for secure payments. By implementing robust antivirus, antimalware and anti-phishing software (like McAfee Secure for example), you are conveying to your visitors that you take security very seriously, and they will be much reassured. SSL Value, Truste Certified Privacy, GeoTrust Secured and so on are some of the recognized and reputed trust symbols. Likewise, affiliations to business organizations like the local chamber of commerce, business councils or trade organizations, Better Business Bureau, ISO certifications (any recognized certifications, for that matter), major awards or prizes you have received, should all be prominently displayed on your website. These will do wonders to boost the credibility of your website, your company and your product.
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