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It's a Trust Thing

Written by Jeff Allen on September 26, 2014 in How to Sell Products Online

trust stockton to malone

Trust. It’s a big deal. When you can’t see the person you’re buying from, nor the product you’re purchasing, you’re putting a lot of trust on the line. From the angle of the purchaser, if a website/seller doesn’t feel trustworthy, they’re on to another site. From the point-of-view of the seller, if there is any amount of gray area with a buyer, chances are they’re not going to sell an item.

Check out what Alibaba just started incorporating: secure mobile payment tied to your fingerprint. Think that’s a bit over-zealous? The ecommerce world demands trust, and this is just another method of generating it.

Trust is what drives many people to continue to shop at brick-and-mortar shops, and it’s what many dropshipping businesses have a hard time getting. 71% of online shoppers will only shop at sites they trust. So basically, if they don’t know you, they don’t trust you. If they don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you.

We here at Doba have methods of protecting you as a seller, but when it comes to your customers, that’s on you. Ultimately, there’s no foolproof way to “trust-up” your website. If someone doesn’t trust you, they don’t trust you. We do have some points and advice on how you can generate trust with your customers, and how to make the checkout process smooth and problem free.

No Surprise Costs

So for starters, never, ever, ever (just let that sink in) EVER have hidden costs/costs that only appear towards the end of the transaction. Be transparent. Have all the costs up front and readily available at all times during the checkout process. The number one reason why people ditch out on a purchase is because of hidden or surprise costs. 56% of shoppers leave websites due to these surprises, and they don’t come back.

It doesn’t generate trust when you’re not up-front with your prices. Even if it’s not your intention, you come across as shady. Better to have an “estimated shipping” label for all your products, so customers have a good idea of what the total price will be from the beginning of the transaction till the end.

If there is a possibility that a price may differ at checkout from what you have listed, make sure your customers are aware. Many sellers try to avoid this thinking that it will push customers away. Well, lets be honest. It might. But what it will also generate trust with customers who continue to shop with you, as well as create an amazing customer experience.

Reviews and Testimonials

Don’t try to sell yourself as an honest business. You’ve seen all those “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed” stickers stamped across websites? More often than not, it has the opposite effect on customers. If a business is advertising how trustworthy it is, people want to know why it needs to.

Better to avoid this by letting customers leave feedback about their experience with you. This way, tentative shoppers have the opportunity to see what others have to say about you. Sure, you run the risk that some irate customer will leave an undeserving negative comment, but that’s your chance to show openly how you (hopefully) professionally and courteously help customers with their problems.

It’s kind of an odd situation. New customers won’t initially trust you. They will, however, trust other complete strangers who have shopped with you. 71% of shoppers, in fact, will buy based on referrals from other people. Such is the power of customer reviews. Amazon utilizes them, as does eBay. It makes customers more comfortable about completing checkout when they know other people have had a great experience with you.

Mark of Trust

4 out of 5 shoppers expect to see them on websites they shop at. Over two-thirds of shoppers won’t even bother looking at what you have to sell if you don’t have one. What are they? They’re those little seals you see on most eCommerce sites that show the webpage is legit.

It’s an easy process. You just pay a third-part company to come and evaluate your website. When they’re done, and if they deem you trustworthy, you’ll get a seal, or mark, of trust. The more the merrier.

Prices vary, but you can get a get trust marks for free, or pay for a more reputable company, like eTrust or McAfee. Probably the most recognized trust mark is the Norton (formerly Symantec) Secured Seal. Again, prices vary depending on the company you get your trust mark from, as well as the type of business you’re running.

Keep On Trustin’

Always remember that you can never be too trustworthy, but you can always be not trustworthy enough. These are just a few pieces of advice to make the checkout process go more smoothly for your customers. Ultimately, as was said before, the trust is all on you. Do your best to be a transparent, open, honest business, and you’ll keep a steady reserve of return customers, while constantly generating new ones.

About the Author

Jeffrey Allen joined Doba in June of 2014. He helps the marketing team at Doba by writing the company blog, as well as lending a hand with email and social marketing. He is attending BYU and is finishing up the last few classes of his Communications degree with an emphasis in Public Relations. Jeff was born and raised in the good ol’ midwest state of Iowa and currently lives in Utah with his wife. When he’s not coming up with new content for Doba, he spends his time exercising, enjoying the outdoors, and playing a mean game of Mario Kart.

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