Why is consumer trust essential?
It seems like an easy question. You want your customers to trust you so that they’ll buy from you, and continue to buy from you.
Since the beginning of E-commerce, people have had an inherent distrust in buying online. It’s starting to lift now, as we see giant names like Amazon and other platforms making online shopping normal.
To join giants like that, or to even increase your conversion rate, you need trust symbols. Learn about what those are and what they do for you below.
How Do Consumers Establish Trust?
If you’re a new business and you’re just getting started in the selling space, people will be iffy about buying from you. If you look on Google and search site names – like, let’s take Wish.com, for example, and search:
Is Wish… Google will auto-populate that with things like “is Wish legit”, “is Wish a scam”, “is Wish trustworthy”. The actual quality of Wish’s site aside, that’s the kind of skepticism you’re up against.
But don’t give up hope. There are things you can do to make people trust you more, even enough to not run a Google search.
Some of those things involve having good site security, but they also look for what we call trust symbols.
You’ve probably seen them before. Like the Norton site security check mark, in what looks like a little shield. These tiny icons show customers that you’re really selling what you say you are and that they can enter their credit card number without suspicion.
Want to learn more? Read below.
Trust Symbols: What Are They?
The first trust symbol that your site should have, for both consumer trust and SEO measures, is the HTTPS qualifier in your URL. Getting that little “s” on the back of your HTTP means your site is secure, and Google will reward you for it (somewhat) when it comes to quality scores and rankings.
It’s not technically a trust symbol, as we’ll talk about them in a moment – but it’s not something you want to accidentally gloss over.
The Official Trust Symbols
When someone comes to your site, they want to know they can contact you if something goes wrong. Imagine you place an order, it goes through twice on your credit card, and you go look at your email receipt to contact someone about it.
You expect there to be contact information there, right, if not on the site itself? That’s why contact information is one of the trust symbols.
It should be viewable from any page on your site, even if it means clicking the “contact us” button. If you want to go above and beyond, you should have a chatbot as well, even if it’s an AI assistant.
If the person needs more help than the bot can provide, the bot can open a form that links to a human connection.
Social Media Profiles and Icons
Along with the contact information, people want to see that you have an online presence. Not just on your website, but that you interact with your fans/customers.
On a company’s Facebook, you can generally find reviews and testimonials of real people that have used a product.
The fact that a company is willing to be in the public like that, which makes them vulnerable, is a sign that they’re to be trusted.
We know that you likely already have Facebook and Instagram, maybe a Twitter. But can you see proof of that on your site?
While we’re on the subject, don’t forget about your Google my Business profile. Google loves to support sites that use its products, and it’s another trustworthy place for customers to see reviews.
Security Badges and Safe Payment
Along with the HTTPS secure indicator, people need to know you’re protecting their credit card information. If you’re using a third party merchant like Shopify or Paypal, the sites will lend their trust to you.
But if you have your own payment portal, make sure it’s encrypted and let people know that. Tell them you’ll never save their information unless you want them too.
This is extremely important. Not just to tell them that, but to spend the money on safe money processings applications. Remember back when Target was hacked? That cost them millions of dollars.
Don’t be Target – invest in your security upfront for the best chance at staying protected.
Memberships and Certifications
There’s a whole debate whether or not it’s worth it to join the Better Business Bureau. But if you are a member, you get an icon that you can put on your site.
Knowing that you’ve taken the time (and money, it’s not free) to legitimize your business with the BBB is a good sign of trust.
That goes with any security certificates you have like McAfee or Norton approved icons.
Clean, Easy to Navigate, Responsive Design
Imagine you want to buy a product and you click through from an ad, but you can’t see any of the product categories on their site. How do you know they’re a legitimate business when they didn’t even bother to hire a good graphic designer?
You don’t – and instead of searching high and low for what you want, you’d probably go purchase from the competition.
Spending money upfront on your design will help you maintain and convert customers in the future.
Trust Symbol Action Items
If you’ve done everything on this trust symbols list and you’re still trying to build your reputation, there’s more you can do.
Send follow up emails to your customers, asking them to leave you a review. Engage more with people on social media, and make sure your site is user-friendly.
It’s going to take time, but you’ll get there. And if you need help along the way, we’re right here.