According to Internet Retailer, 26% of people who have never purchased online have trust issues and especially worry about sharing their credit card information, personal security and data. Bizrate reports that, 75% of people who do shop online have clicked on symbols representing a website’s consumer rating in one way or another. To make matters worst, 2/3 of online consumers don’t trust Facebook either.
Although trust is an issue with the online consumer, you can’t completely eliminate it. However, you can definitely minimize it enough so your visitor takes the desired action. How can you get someone who has never seen you, met you or can physically touch your product to whip out their credit card in absolute joy? Follow these tips and I’m sure more people on your website will start clicking your call to action button. PLEASE NOTE: Even if you have some of the things mentioned below already present on your website, I highly encourage you to take a deeper look. Little changes after all can make a big difference.
1. Proper About Me page Emphasis is on the word ‘proper’ here. Most “About Me” pages consists of a few lines or a paragraph. Go look at your Google Analytics right now. You will see that your “About Me” page is probably the top 5 (I almost want to say top 3) most visited page on your website. Why? Anyone who is actually interested in purchasing your product or service, will visit your “About Me” page. If your about me page doesn’t connect with your visitor and gives them a good idea about your business, most likely they will never come back. If they did take the time to go to your “About Me” page, it shows that they were interested in your offer and just wanted to learn more about your business. A weak ‘About Me’ page can definitely decrease your chances of getting sales. Learn more about a proper about me page here.
2. Use Email Marketing One of the most important thing you can ever do on your website is implement an email marketing systems. In fact, as shown by SalesForce, 44% of email recipients make at least one purchase. MarketingSherpa did another detailed study where both B2B and B2C companies increased their ROI (Return on Investment) by up to 119%.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your visitors for their contact information. If they like your offer, they usually want to learn more about it. You have to make the first contact though.
- Use a hover ad on the homepage, an email capture form at the bottom of each of your article, and on the sidebar (For remaining pages). Test different positions but give the user at least three options to sign up on each page.
- Use autoresponders to build a relationship with each person on your list and get consistent flow of visitors to your site. This which will encourage sales (Due to automated pre-selling) and will continue to improve your search engine rankings (Due to regular traffic).
- A good rule of thumb is to setup a weekly autoresponder message and one monthly newsletter. Tweak and adjust from there.
- Always use one main link to your offer on your newsletter to increase the chances of your reader taking action.
3. Selling one product? Offer different packages If you are selling just one product, try offering three versions of the same thing. When people see more than one product being sold online your site, it raises your perceived value and decreases the ‘snake oil salesman’ factor. It shows the visitor that you are a real company. Plus at the end of the day, consumers like choices.
- For example: If you are just selling a bottle of car wax, offer a 30 day, 90 day or 180 day package.
- Don’t offer too many package options either. 3 to 5 are enough.
4. Interview experts in your field and put it on your website Again, a lot of people are not doing this. Talk about giving some highly quality content on your site. If you start doing this on a regular basis, you will definitely increase your conversion rate and your traffic. When your visitor will will see your face next to another human being who is an expert your industry, they will naturally look at you as an authority figure. They will also appreciate that you truly are trying to help them by giving them real value directly from the horses mouth so to speak.
- There are lots of experts (In various niches) who now have Youtube channels that exceed over 1,000,000 views. Just message them for an interview and most of them will be more than happy to help you out.
- Some experts might decline your video interview offer. If so, simply ask them if you can send them a questionnaire and they will fill it out for you.
- To conduct these video interviews, just use Skype.
5. Offer more payments options than just PayPal According to Forrester, most people will abandon your shopping cart if their method of payment is not offered. As much as people love Paypal, pretty much same amount of people dislike it as well (They literally have websites dedicated to how much they despise Paypal).
- Google checkout is another good one that you must have. Just their logo alone on your website will increase your perceived value and instill more trust in your visitor.
6. Get Expert Product Reviews Although the idea is similar to testimonials, product reviews come from other experts who have tried your product. Perhaps from a famous blogger or a thought leader in your industry? To get an “Expert Product Review”, you simply contact the authority blog owner or person, send them your product and ask for an honest review. When your audience sees other experts and famous people raving about your product, your conversion rate will literally jump. 7. “Pre Sell” with Articles Have “How To”, “General” or just helpful articles and information about or around your product / service. If you put 10 to 20 quality articles to begin with, it will raise the perceived value of your new website immensely. Articles also work as little ‘pre-selling’ soldiers when someone is reading them (Assuming they are of quality content). Pre Selling refers to ‘warming up’ your customers by giving them free quality information. This practice builds trust and naturally makes your visitor more inclined to take action. In addition, adding articles regularly will also increase your ‘footprint’ in the search engines. The more quality content you have, the better search engines will rank you and more of your readers will ‘convert’.
- When writing your articles, always give real helpful information.
- Write articles that are over 1000 words of quality content (Google in 2013 is loving articles of this length and the rewards follow. Even if your website hardly has any backlinks).
- Insert a call to action at the end of your article (Preferably an email form to capture your visitor’s data).
To generate article writing ideas, use the following tools:
8. Embed “Product Videos” and videos in general on your site as well. According to KISSmetrics, after watching a professional product video (Whether just embedded within your or website from an external source like Youtube or Vimeo), a visitor is 64% more likely purchase your product. Zappos, an incredible ecommerce success increased conversions by up to 30% by adding product videos. Besides product videos, you should also use general videos (Tutorials, videos giving helpful advice, etc). Not only will your visitors be impressed, watching videos raises the time spent on your site (Reducing your website’s bounce rate) and thus becoming more favourable in the search engines (Since people are spending more time on your site).
- To learn how to place videos on your website, click here
9. Does your main menu / navigation bar make sense? No matter how pretty your website is, if it’s not functional and easy for your visitors to take the required action, all your marketing efforts will go to waste. This all starts with a proper well laid out and strategic navigation bar or also known as the ‘menu bar’. If the items in your navigation bar all over the place, your visitor will have a hard time figuring or finding things out and will eventually leave. If you are not sure what to use at the moment, use the following layout. Home | About Us | Products | FAQ | Testimonials | Contact Us The ideal way to create a navigation bar is to check with your Google Analytics stats, see the “Top Content” pages and arrange a menu bar in accordance to your stats. Give your people what they want and they will take action.
- Try to limit the links on your menu bar to 6.
11. Copyright Notice A copyright notice makes your site look professional, builds trust and gives you more power in dealing with any future attempts of plagiarism as well. The more professional your website comes across as, the more your visitors will feel ‘safe’ and take the desired action. Example of a good copyright notice: Copyright © 1999-2013 PayPal. All rights reserved. Just copy and paste the following on your site. Simply replace [Current Year] and [Name of your site] the year and your company name. Copyright © [Current Year] [Name of your site]. All rights reserved. This simple edition to your site will raise it’s perceived value. It’s the little things that make the big difference.
- Always place your copyright notice at the bottom of your footer.
- Make sure you always update the year in your Copyright notice.
12. Contact Us Page Having just a plain contact form on your page isn’t enough. In fact, having nothing but a simply contact form will only backfire on all the effort that you put in the rest of your site. Put your self in your visitor’s mindset and imagine the following scenario. You come across a wonderful, professional site with all the bells and whistles but when you land on their ‘Contact Page’, all you see is a simple little form with brief instructions. What would you think at that moment? “Why would someone spend all that time and effort to make a professional website and leave the contact us page looking all dull?”. You might think you are about to be taken for a ride and leave the site, well so will your visitor.
- Place a proper ‘Contact’ Form on your contact us page.
- You must mention your phone number, your email and your business address as well.
- If you are a local business, you must have a map and preferably, a picture of your business (Physical location).
- Check out these examples of some great contact us pages.
13. Have a real working phone number If you are selling anything of decent price and are serious about increasing your sales, you need a phone number. A phone number is the ultimate sign that shows that you are legit business. Seeing a phone number will put any antsy potential customer at ease and like a case study on Practical Ecommerce, help increase your conversions by up to 3 times or more. In my experience, most people who shop online won’t even call your phone. Only if their shipment is late or what not. So if you are a shy person, don’t worry, you just might get away without talking to anyone.
- Place your phone number on the top right corner of your website. It should be one of the first things that pops out at your visitor.
- Find an affordable toll free number service that is right for you.
14. SSL Secured Certificate Seal. If you have a shopping cart, you need to have it SSL secured. This creates more ‘trust’ for the buyer. Plus if you decide to advertise on Google or Facebook (Paid advertising), this is a requirement. You also get a nice seal such to place on your website which only builds more trust. Lucky for you, Shopify already takes care of this one. So you don’t have to buy or pay someone to install an SSL certificate when using Shopify. It’s included.
- You should place your SSL seal pretty clearly whether on your website (Sidebar, footer or header).
15. Use Third Party Credibility Seals How do you feel when you go on a website and you see the following or something similar? Doesn’t that make you feel secure and trust a particular website? When you visitor sees such things, it will take away any doubts that they have and will help them take more acton on your site. According to a survey done by Adobe, 37% of visitors find Third-party credibility seals effective and 47% are somewhat influenced by it. When it comes to building trust online and increasing your conversions, don’t leave any stone unturned.
- Place your “Third party seals” somewhere where they are most apparent.
16. Show Real Testimonials Foresster Research did a survey over over 60,000 US Adults who go online and found out that over 55% of people trust consumer opinions posted online. I hope you now realize the importance of testimonials now. Testimonials are essential especially if you have a new product. If your product is selling, call your customers and ask them if they can give you a testimonial in either text or video format (Whatever works for your market). Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and get out there especially if you have a new product. Most people will be happy to help you out. If you don’t have any customers to get feedback from, give your products to your friends or strangers and ask them for their honest opinion. Honesty is the key here because at the end of the day, it is good feedback that will help you improve your product further anyways. TIPS:
- Insert a link at the bottom of your weekly or monthly newsletters to ask for regular feedback. This will keep your testimonial section growing.
- Offer certain buyers a discount on their next purchase for their testimonial. This works really well actually.
- A text only testimonial should be a few paragraphs long and always accompany it with a name in the first initial / lastname or first name, last initial format. For example: J.Doe or John. D
- Ask for a video testimonial from your buyers and work your way down. If they are uncomfortable to give you video, ask them for a textual one. Video testimonials naturally convert more than textual testimonials.
- If you are selling just one type of product, display testimonials on a single page. If you are selling multiple products, display testimonials throughout on the sidebar. Test what works for you.
17. Have a clear and concise Return Policy A clear “Return Policy” is a must if you are selling products that can be returned. An ideal situation is that all your products can be returned (Which is standard practice these days and if you make your visitors aware of this from the beginning, this will increase the chances of them taking action). In your return policy, you should highlight what can be returned, what can’t be returned, how many days are they allowed to use the product with the return policy still being valid. Where should they ship the product to (Especially if your product is being drop shipped) and etc. My point is make it as descriptive as possible and let them know everything right off the bat. Explain the process thoroughly. Take any doubts from your customer away and use a friendly demeanour throughout. Here are some more tips by Practical Ecommerce on crafting a perfect Return Policy.
18. Use Live Chat
Again, nothing like boosting the trust factor of your website by getting in touch with them as soon as they land on your site. A live chat button will do that for you and as Power Retail suggests, 34% of people actually prefer communicating through live chat. Don’t worry, you don’t need to hire another employee or something. You can literally chat it up with your visitors from your smartphone. Plus just the look of a live chat button will raise the confidence a new visitor has on your site immensely. Sites like Olark offer some very easy to use live chat services. TIPS:
- Most of the chat services now have their own app. Make sure you download it so you can be in touch with your customers as much as possible.
19. Look the part and be responsive I recently did a seminar on ecommerce in Vancouver. I met a lovely lady named Gail who had over 70 articles in her niche and people regularly came to her for help. However, to this day, she has zero sales online. I looked at her website and I thought it was made in 300 BC. No matter what your product is, make sure your website design portrays that. If you are selling a tech related product, make sure your website design clearly portrays that. Now with mobile commerce gaining some tremendous ground, your website must be ‘responsive’ or able to display and function fully on Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Skava, voted the #1 mobile commerce vendor by Internet Retailer Magazine, suggests that 51% of mobile users find it hard to navigate through these sites. Make sure your site is “Responsive” so when someone does decide to purchase your product through their tablet, they do it with east. 20. Have a constantly updated news or blog section When you are updating stuff regularly on your site, it raises the credibility of your business. It shows the visitor that you are a real business because you are “active” and care about what you are doing. Regular updates will also keep your website “fresh” in the search engines because of the new content and all.
- Talk about your first testimonial or a recent feedback on your blog.
- Anytime you add something new, announce it at “News”. For example: “Hey we just started a Facebook Page, come check it out and take part in the [your company name] community.
21. Use Social Media Widgets Even Unbounce agrees that Social Media Buttons are one of the best way to improve credibility and social proof. These days, when people see other ‘human faces’ on your Facebook widget, it builds incredible amount of trust. Seeing regular activity on your twitter feed will only help your cause as well. You can add as many as you like, but these three will work just fine.
- Facebook Widget
- Twitter Widget
- Google Plus Logo (Google’s logo on your site will always increase credibility).
22. FAQ section When anyone sees massive amounts of content on a site, it greatly increases a website’s trust factor. Especially when it’s on the FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions page. If you give your audience super detailed answers to their frequently asked questions, you are eliminating a lot of the ‘walls’ that a first time visitor naturally puts up.
- When working on the FAQ section of your website, think details, thinks screenshots, think shipping company logos (FedEx, UPS, etc) and once again, think details.
- In most cases, place FAQ link on the header / top menu bar. Don’t make your visitors search for this. Only big brands can get away by putting the FAQ link in the footer.
- FAB (One of the top ecommerce giants) does a great job with it’s FAQ section.
In Conclusion Once you establish trust, the sales will naturally come. In fact, you can even get away with selling a higher priced item than your competitors. Implement these little changes and work on building trust. As the saying goes, “It’s all in the details”.
To your success,
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