When it comes to online stores, most new business owners focus their efforts and attention on the big things: the quality of their products, their marketing, their pricing structure, and so on.
These are, for sure, all important things to figure out before you launch, but there’s another, arguably just as important aspect to consider too: just how credible your online store is in the eyes of your potential customers. People, rightly, have less trust in a digital business than they do a real-world business. As such, it’s up to you to build your credibility, and win their trust. It’s one of those things that you can’t succeed without! Below, we take a look at a few tried and tested methods for establishing your online venture as one that a visitor who is just accessing your website for the first time will feel good about.
A Professional Look
First thing’s first: you need to have a professional, modern look. One mistake that many new website owners make is not putting enough time into the design and overall feel of their website. They can get away with it if they have a real-world store, but not if their digital space is the only place they exist. Make sure you’re working with a talented website designer, and that you’re avoiding simple mistakes like spelling errors and low-quality photographs, two things that significantly undermine any website. Your landing page is the first thing a visitor sees about your company. They’re going to make their snap judgement in, well, a snap — if your website is modern, sleek, and flawless, then it’ll be a positive judgement.
People are, rightly or wrongly, a little bit sceptical of what they hear from companies and advertisers. They understand that a company has a vested interest (such as more profits) in getting people to believe all the good things that they say about their products or services. So while you should, of course, promote your business, it’s unlikely that your words are going to build credibility all on their own. The words that will help develop credibility will be those of other people, the ones who have no vested interest in your business doing well, but just believe in your venture. One of the best ways to develop trust is to showcase the words of your already satisfied customers. After a transaction has been completed, send them an email with an invitation to leave a review. Many will ignore it, but some will respond — and then you can use those positive words on your website.
Get a Real World Address
One of the reasons people have some reservations about online companies is that they feel that if something went wrong, there’d be nothing for them to do. They’d have nowhere to turn. If you buy something in a real-world store and have an issue, at least you can return to a physical space and make your complaint. In the online world, you’re just hoping that they’ll reply to your email. As such, it’s recommended that you get a virtual office address for your company. It’ll give your potential customers that extra bit of peace of mind that you’re the real deal. You should also look at other communication methods, too, such as adding a phone number and actively managing your social media channels. They’ll know that you’re there should they have a problem.
It’s easy to be at your best when things are going well. But what about when things go wrong? That’s the true measure of a company’s trustworthiness. You can say anything you like, but it’s how you respond when you actually have to live up to your words that really counts. If you want your customers to trust you, then simply do this: don’t betray that trust. People will want to return items, goods won’t turn up, there’ll be other issues that need to be handled, and so on. You can get lost in the woods trying to figure out a way to avoid helping them, or you can just endeavor to make sure they’re happy with your service. Always take the latter option!
Blog and Expertise
One final aspect of developing credibility is to make sure your customers trust that you know what you’re doing, that you’re not just trying to make a quick buck, but actually know your stuff when it comes to your products and services. An easy way to do this is to spread your knowledge through blogs, ebooks, podcasts, and so on. It’ll establish you as an expert.
This is a collaborative post.