Building Your Prospective eCommerce Customer Trust

Building Prospective eCommerce Customer

You’ve come up with an awesome idea, developed a great product, put together an amazing business/marketing plan, and built the most beautiful eCommerce store this side of the Mississippi. Unfortunately your sales figures are far from what you envisioned, in fact not even close, and your conversion rate is dismally low. What could possibly have gone wrong? Could it be that you forgot that building your prospective eCommerce customer trust is somewhat key to being successful online?

Despite global eCommerce sales growing by 25% in 2015 (projected to eclipse $3.5 trillion within the next five years); the average consumer still sees online shopping as a stigma-tainted view of substantial risk and uncertainty. Perhaps their view is the result of the endless security thefts of customer data from corporations reported in the media, and the resulting free credit monitoring services offered to them to protect their identity.

Regardless of why consumers view online shopping as risky, understanding, addressing and helping overcome these inherent consumer fears of eCommerce is often the key towards altering their purchasing behavior, and ultimately garnering success for your eCommerce business. Let’s take a look at 5-key steps to help you build your prospective eCommerce customer trust.

What the Freak Is This?

The first key to developing a successful eCommerce online experience is delivering a well-designed site. Unfortunately, many sites have overbearing advertisements, suffer from poor design with improperly positioned graphics, and consist of impossible to navigate menus.

Chances are you’ve arrived at one of these proverbial nightmares of an eCommerce store recently. Not only did it lack any credibility, it was the epitome of a bad user interface (UI). The following two questions will quickly determine your level of customer trust for sites like this:

1: As a consumer, do you trust such a store enough to make an online purchase?
2: As a business owner, can you objectively see the negative UI eCommerce experience you’ve created for the customer?

Understanding potential UI problems and knowing how to eliminate them is the first step in creating an online store that builds prospective eCommerce customer trust. Creating a UI that is consistent and easy to use is key to building not only a visually pleasing experience, but a happy one as well. Here are a few things to think about when developing your store’s UI:

  • A clean, consistent site layout, with simple navigation. Be careful with multi-layer, drop-down overlay menus; they might look cute, but they can be a pain to navigate as you slide your mouse down and across to select items.
  • Stay away from technical industry jargons; you may understand it, but visitors to your site may not. For example, as a Real Estate Agent it may be common for you to write 2C, but not everyone may understand that means two car garage.
  • Provide clear and concise product, sales, and support information. When someone clicks on your “Contact” page they should immediately see your phone, email, chat, or any other method used to contact you; don’t have them go through multiple loops and links to find someone to talk to or they will abandon their shopping spree midstream.
  • Create consistent communication touch points across all your channels. Your online store messages should be consistent with messages on your social media platforms, which should be consistent with any email marketing campaigns you’ve established.

How Safe Is Your Store?

Today’s online world is filled with more security breaches than you’ll ever imagine. Barely a month goes by without hearing of another major incident concerning credit card fraud or identity theft that impacts not just thousands, but millions of individuals.

It’s no wonder online consumers are hesitant to share credit card details and other personal information online, especially older individuals who are not comfortable with technology. And those customers who do purchase online are often naive; they setup online store accounts with easy to guess IDs and passwords.  Regardless of how secure your site is you can’t prevent a break-in, if your customers don’t follow some simple rules to keep their login information hard to hack.

Failure to protect your customer’s personal information will immediately set back any progress you’ve made in building your prospective eCommerce customer trust. One of the easiest ways to not fail at doing this is to use only well-known payment processing software and/or services. Although nothing is hacker proof, using something that is created by people familiar with financial processing will be much more secure than trying to develop something on your own.

Additionally, any communications that you have with your customers that require sensitive information to be exchanged must be done using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) implementation. If the communication link isn’t secure, it doesn’t really matter if the data is stored securely or encrypted on the backend.

Finally, have a clear and concise privacy policy available on your eCommerce site. Don’t give away any secrets, but at a minimum explain how you value your customers and take appropriate measures to protect their information. Let them know what you will do in the event of a data breach and how they can contact you, if they believe their information has been compromised. Although most people will never read your policy pages, having them will allow those customers who do to rest assured (and spend) knowing that their information is safe in your hands.

Do They Really Need It?

When is the last time you went window shopping, only to walk out of the store with both arms full of shopping bags? The physical ability to touch and feel, see and taste, will always remain the key factor of impulse buying. Brick-and-mortar stores take care to arrange items to exploit these impulse buying instincts. As well as, having their sales associates ask those final checkout questions to get you to make that one last purchase on your way out the door.

Replicating the physical process of shopping in the online digital world is key to increasing your online eCommerce sales. Having high quality images that show multiple views of a product, with a zoom function, can go a long way in getting the online shopper to experience the “physical” nature of an item in the digital world.

Also, leaving the wondering (online browsing) in the digital world up to the visitor can quickly lead to lost sales as visitors jump from product to product or worse site to site. Therefore, including links to secondary items that complement the purchases customers make is critical and just one way to setoff that impulse buying trigger.

May I help You, For the Nth Time?

Unless you have the look of an “Ogre” or smell like a “Donkey” you’ve probably experience at least one, if not many, of those annoying “Shadowy” sales associate experiences. You know the ones; where the salesperson is up your butt the second you walk in the door, asking question after question, and knowing no limits to your personal space as you browse up and down the aisles. Yes, those joyful experiences.

On the flip side you’ve also probably faced the even worse experience of being able to find absolutely “No” salesperson in the entire store when you’re looking for just that one item and are already late for the most important event of the century. Either way, finding the right level of “Nth Time” help can make or break the in store shopping experience. Well guess what? The same is true for the online eCommerce shopping experience as well.

Yep, it’s true. Even though online shopping is usually an experience involving only the customer and their computer, building your prospective eCommerce customer trust requires the right “Nth” level of hand-holding when you’re not there to hold their hand.

Whether it’s displaying those helpful hint “extra” items that trigger an impulse buy, or popping up a “chat” link to help what appears to be a lost visitor just aimlessly browsing, it’s important to be able to service and assist customers that come to your online store. Comprehensive FAQs can go a long way in helping the independent customer, while clear and concise contact links can make the day of an occasional online shopper.

Returns Are A Fact Of Life, Get Over It!

If you’ve never had to return anything, you are one of the lucky few. And if you have returned something it’s highly likely that the return process didn’t go too well, especially if you bought the item being returned online.

A comprehensive, well-thought out returns policy that won’t bankrupt your business and will do just about anything to satisfy your consumer will go a long way towards reducing purchasing indecisions. Providing the online shopper with a simple safety net of being able to return products that just aren’t what they expected or have issues with, will really build long-term prospective eCommerce customer trust like you never thought possible.

It’s one thing to have your return policies published on your site and clear links to them, it’s another thing to make sure your customer support staff follows through with them when the customer calls. Even the worst initial product experience can turn a one and done customer into a repeat buyer, if customer support makes the return process a no-brainer, zero cost experience for the frustrated buyer.

Building Trust With Prospective Customers

No two businesses are alike and no two online buying experiences are usually the same, even when made on the same site. There is no magic wand or silver bullet that will increase customer conversions and result in more of your products being bought.

Only by delivering an exceptional buying experience and eliminating the fears of the eCommerce consumer will you build trust with prospective customers. The road to success is never easy, but thinking through the process and building that trust with your prospective customers will go a long way at reducing any speed bumps you encounter down the road.

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Building Your Prospective eCommerce Customer Trust

Building Prospective eCommerce Customer

You’ve come up with an awesome idea, developed a great product, put together an amazing business/marketing plan, and built the most beautiful eCommerce store this side of the Mississippi. Unfortunately your sales figures are far from what you envisioned, in fact not even close, and your conversion rate is dismally low. What could possibly have gone wrong? Could it be that you forgot that building your prospective eCommerce customer trust is somewhat key to being successful online?

Despite global eCommerce sales growing by 25% in 2015 (projected to eclipse $3.5 trillion within the next five years); the average consumer still sees online shopping as a stigma-tainted view of substantial risk and uncertainty. Perhaps their view is the result of the endless security thefts of customer data from corporations reported in the media, and the resulting free credit monitoring services offered to them to protect their identity.

Regardless of why consumers view online shopping as risky, understanding, addressing and helping overcome these inherent consumer fears of eCommerce is often the key towards altering their purchasing behavior, and ultimately garnering success for your eCommerce business. Let’s take a look at 5-key steps to help you build your prospective eCommerce customer trust.

What the Freak Is This?

The first key to developing a successful eCommerce online experience is delivering a well-designed site. Unfortunately, many sites have overbearing advertisements, suffer from poor design with improperly positioned graphics, and consist of impossible to navigate menus.

Chances are you’ve arrived at one of these proverbial nightmares of an eCommerce store recently. Not only did it lack any credibility, it was the epitome of a bad user interface (UI). The following two questions will quickly determine your level of customer trust for sites like this:

1: As a consumer, do you trust such a store enough to make an online purchase?
2: As a business owner, can you objectively see the negative UI eCommerce experience you’ve created for the customer?

Understanding potential UI problems and knowing how to eliminate them is the first step in creating an online store that builds prospective eCommerce customer trust. Creating a UI that is consistent and easy to use is key to building not only a visually pleasing experience, but a happy one as well. Here are a few things to think about when developing your store’s UI:

  • A clean, consistent site layout, with simple navigation. Be careful with multi-layer, drop-down overlay menus; they might look cute, but they can be a pain to navigate as you slide your mouse down and across to select items.
  • Stay away from technical industry jargons; you may understand it, but visitors to your site may not. For example, as a Real Estate Agent it may be common for you to write 2C, but not everyone may understand that means two car garage.
  • Provide clear and concise product, sales, and support information. When someone clicks on your “Contact” page they should immediately see your phone, email, chat, or any other method used to contact you; don’t have them go through multiple loops and links to find someone to talk to or they will abandon their shopping spree midstream.
  • Create consistent communication touch points across all your channels. Your online store messages should be consistent with messages on your social media platforms, which should be consistent with any email marketing campaigns you’ve established.

How Safe Is Your Store?

Today’s online world is filled with more security breaches than you’ll ever imagine. Barely a month goes by without hearing of another major incident concerning credit card fraud or identity theft that impacts not just thousands, but millions of individuals.

It’s no wonder online consumers are hesitant to share credit card details and other personal information online, especially older individuals who are not comfortable with technology. And those customers who do purchase online are often naive; they setup online store accounts with easy to guess IDs and passwords.  Regardless of how secure your site is you can’t prevent a break-in, if your customers don’t follow some simple rules to keep their login information hard to hack.

Failure to protect your customer’s personal information will immediately set back any progress you’ve made in building your prospective eCommerce customer trust. One of the easiest ways to not fail at doing this is to use only well-known payment processing software and/or services. Although nothing is hacker proof, using something that is created by people familiar with financial processing will be much more secure than trying to develop something on your own.

Additionally, any communications that you have with your customers that require sensitive information to be exchanged must be done using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) implementation. If the communication link isn’t secure, it doesn’t really matter if the data is stored securely or encrypted on the backend.

Finally, have a clear and concise privacy policy available on your eCommerce site. Don’t give away any secrets, but at a minimum explain how you value your customers and take appropriate measures to protect their information. Let them know what you will do in the event of a data breach and how they can contact you, if they believe their information has been compromised. Although most people will never read your policy pages, having them will allow those customers who do to rest assured (and spend) knowing that their information is safe in your hands.

Do They Really Need It?

When is the last time you went window shopping, only to walk out of the store with both arms full of shopping bags? The physical ability to touch and feel, see and taste, will always remain the key factor of impulse buying. Brick-and-mortar stores take care to arrange items to exploit these impulse buying instincts. As well as, having their sales associates ask those final checkout questions to get you to make that one last purchase on your way out the door.

Replicating the physical process of shopping in the online digital world is key to increasing your online eCommerce sales. Having high quality images that show multiple views of a product, with a zoom function, can go a long way in getting the online shopper to experience the “physical” nature of an item in the digital world.

Also, leaving the wondering (online browsing) in the digital world up to the visitor can quickly lead to lost sales as visitors jump from product to product or worse site to site. Therefore, including links to secondary items that complement the purchases customers make is critical and just one way to setoff that impulse buying trigger.

May I help You, For the Nth Time?

Unless you have the look of an “Ogre” or smell like a “Donkey” you’ve probably experience at least one, if not many, of those annoying “Shadowy” sales associate experiences. You know the ones; where the salesperson is up your butt the second you walk in the door, asking question after question, and knowing no limits to your personal space as you browse up and down the aisles. Yes, those joyful experiences.

On the flip side you’ve also probably faced the even worse experience of being able to find absolutely “No” salesperson in the entire store when you’re looking for just that one item and are already late for the most important event of the century. Either way, finding the right level of “Nth Time” help can make or break the in store shopping experience. Well guess what? The same is true for the online eCommerce shopping experience as well.

Yep, it’s true. Even though online shopping is usually an experience involving only the customer and their computer, building your prospective eCommerce customer trust requires the right “Nth” level of hand-holding when you’re not there to hold their hand.

Whether it’s displaying those helpful hint “extra” items that trigger an impulse buy, or popping up a “chat” link to help what appears to be a lost visitor just aimlessly browsing, it’s important to be able to service and assist customers that come to your online store. Comprehensive FAQs can go a long way in helping the independent customer, while clear and concise contact links can make the day of an occasional online shopper.

Returns Are A Fact Of Life, Get Over It!

If you’ve never had to return anything, you are one of the lucky few. And if you have returned something it’s highly likely that the return process didn’t go too well, especially if you bought the item being returned online.

A comprehensive, well-thought out returns policy that won’t bankrupt your business and will do just about anything to satisfy your consumer will go a long way towards reducing purchasing indecisions. Providing the online shopper with a simple safety net of being able to return products that just aren’t what they expected or have issues with, will really build long-term prospective eCommerce customer trust like you never thought possible.

It’s one thing to have your return policies published on your site and clear links to them, it’s another thing to make sure your customer support staff follows through with them when the customer calls. Even the worst initial product experience can turn a one and done customer into a repeat buyer, if customer support makes the return process a no-brainer, zero cost experience for the frustrated buyer.

Building Trust With Prospective Customers

No two businesses are alike and no two online buying experiences are usually the same, even when made on the same site. There is no magic wand or silver bullet that will increase customer conversions and result in more of your products being bought.

Only by delivering an exceptional buying experience and eliminating the fears of the eCommerce consumer will you build trust with prospective customers. The road to success is never easy, but thinking through the process and building that trust with your prospective customers will go a long way at reducing any speed bumps you encounter down the road.



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