eCommerce and Trust

Building Trust Online
Trust - Build it and they will buy. Lack it and they will leave.

Trust is one of the most important (and overlooked) components of building a successful online store. Customers are inherently weary of shopping online and its incumbent upon the merchant and their storefront to build a level trust with the shopper.

What is trust in terms of online shopping? Nielson (2001) defines this form of trust in the following manner:

Trust means the person’s willingness to invest time, money, and personal data in an e-commerce site in return for goods and services that meet certain expectations. The more a person trusts a website, the larger the risk he or she is willing to take when dealing with the website. If a shopper doesn’t trust a website, a “sale catastrophe” occurs. A sales catastrophe in an issue that is sufficiently important to either prevent a sale, or to discourage the person from returning to the site.
Trust can be gained by providing a professional e-commerce storefront and also by offering clear information about the company including clearly visible contact information, street address and phone numbers. The consumer wants to know who they are dealing with.

Other trust builders are:

Detailed store policies
Detailed business information (date started, etc.)
1-800 number
Customer testimonials
Pictures of your brick and mortar storefront (if applicable)
Owner and/or staff biographies
Product reviews
Store Reviews

While future generations will be more trusting of e-commerce retailers, our industry continue will be defined by its scoundrels and missteps. It’s like the saying, bad news circles the globe before good news has had a chance to put its pants on. Your store has to stand apart from pack and convey a level trust that makes the customer feel comfortable in doing business with you. Follow the trust builders above and you’ll be well on your way.