How to gain an edge by creating a more reputable online shop
The online market can be a place of wonder, but it can sometimes be a scary place too. Scammers, dodgy online sites and untrustworthy websites have unfortunately increased in number over time.
It is now more important than ever to create a space of safety and comfort for your online visitors. Online shoppers are becoming more careful with the websites they buy from, the websites that store their personal data, and how they shop online in general.
What is the best way for you to create safety for your online shoppers, you ask?
Well, by creating an online shop that is trustworthy and reputable. We have a few tricks in our back pocket that we are about to share with you so that you too can have an online shop that is clearly safe for online visitors to make purchases on.
1 Honest Product Reviews
Reviews are incredibly influential! This is one of the few ways that a customer can gauge your product and your business, as they are left by their fellow online shoppers, so the opinion is unbiased and honest. A customer of yours has no benefit by lying on a review as they don’t gain anything by this, which brings a level of trust between your customers.
Anyone who wants to purchase something from you will probably head over to Google Reviews or TripAdvisor or RottenTomatoes (or whichever review leaving platform your industry tends to use) and see what people thought of your service or product. They’ll see what rating you received and if customers believe that they received value for their money. Naturally, many low ratings are a bit of a catastrophe, as this will most likely lead to the customer exiting your online shop and looking for one with a better rating. The better the reviews, the higher the chances are of you making more sales. It’s really as simple as that.
The one saving grace point we’d like to make here is that a few ‘lower’ reviews are absolutely fine. All online shoppers know that a business cannot score a 5 out of 5 every single time. Honestly, if business did, this would probably make online shoppers a bit skeptical about the authenticity of these reviews. It’s fair to have a bit of a mixed bag, one or two 3 or 4 out of 5’s is nothing to lose sleep over. Products do not work equally well for everyone – your shop visitors know that too. As long as there isn't a long string of 1 out of 5’s you should be fine!
2 Include FAQs and a Live Chat
It all comes down to speed. Yes, you may offer a phenomenal and reliable service with your existing customer support via email and telephone.
However, customers want speedier responses. The only way to fulfill this wish is by having a FAQs section on your website or even implementing a Live Chat function on your website.
Studies show that online users are very fast to hop off a site if they don’t find an immediate answer to their questions.
A clever idea is to create a list of questions that you have noticed you often get asked, collate these and pop them into a FAQs format and stick them on your website. Make sure they’re easy to find so that online users can immediately scan it to see if their question is answered there.
The great thing about Live Chats is that they don’t necessarily need to be personally attended to. You can have your chatbots respond to often asked questions with their ready-made generated list of answers. And then only the more detailed questions will need to be passed on to a human to answer.
3 Bragging Rights!
If you have something to brag about, please go ahead and do that!
Any kind of awards or seals that you have received for your shop, products or services need to be added to your page. They create a professional look on your website, they automatically make you more trustworthy, and you seem like a legit business with these plaques.
Think about it for yourself; whenever you’re on a website and at the bottom in the footer you see a certification or tag that says ‘Best Cheesecake in Town 10 years running’ – surely, that’s the place you’re going to order your Cheesecake from over a bakery that doesn’t have that award?
4 Increase the readability of your shop
You really need to incorporate a 6-eye principle before publishing any copy to your website. Three people need to read through what you’d like to publish to ensure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors to be found. Of course, mistakes are made, we are after all human. But on a professional website that is trying to sell a certain quality and standard to online shoppers, having any kind of mistakes will trigger a slight sense of worry from online shoppers.
You’ll need to make sure that texts are not only easy to read, but that sentence structure is consistent and understandable. This comes down to English skills, ensuring you use main clauses instead of frequent sub-clauses, using active speech over passive speech, and the list goes on.
On a global scale, if you wish to sell your product across countries that speak different languages, and you need your website translated. You must try to find either a professional language agency that can do this or hire a freelancer who is native in both languages.
We have delved a bit deeper into accessibility of a website for all, which we wrote about on our blog post called ‘Accessibility on the Internet’ which you can read here.
5 Be Glitch Free
You constantly need to check that your website is working. There is nothing worse than receiving an email from a client saying ‘‘Hiya, trying to make a purchase, but your site won’t let me add the trousers I’ve chosen to my cart!’’
Scroll through your website as if you were a user a few times a day, just a quick glance can help a lot. Pop something into your cart, try to check out, make sure things are working. Try accessing your online shop through your laptop AND your mobile phone to make sure that, regardless of which mean online shoppers are using to find you, they won’t run into problems. Do the discount codes work? Can a product be placed into the cart without any issues?
Then for a more focussed analysis that you can perhaps turn into an ‘every evening ritual’ is heading over to your E-Commerce platform and look at the error messages or updates that need to be made. You must check up on your shop regularly, perhaps there is a server issue and your shop cannot be accessed at all! What a nightmare that would be! So be sure to always double and triple check things are moving on swimmingly on your site.
6 Free shipping and Money-back guaranteed
A money-back guarantee can be the driving factor for why the online shopper feels comfortable making a purchase (especially a first purchase) with you. The benefit is two-fold. Firstly, the customer knows that they’re not going to lose anything. Yes, the trousers may not fit as nicely as they imagined, but they know they can simply return them to you and receive their money back, so there is little stress around making the purchase in the first place. The second benefit is that by offering this service, you immediately climb the ranks in the brain of the online shopper as a more reputable and trustworthy business.
The same goes for shipping. According to statistics, a large number of online users don’t make the final step of purchasing what they have in their cart as the shipping is too high. If you can offer free shipping or at least some percentage of the shipping back should the clothes not fit, that would be a great asset.
7 Payment Methods
There are several well-known payment methods that all online and trustworthy shops have, e.g., SagePay, ApplePay, VISA, Amex etc.
Online users will likely not go further down the purchasing funnel if an online shop asks for payment in advance or some kind of direct EFT banking.
It’s not hard for online shops to have all the correct payment methods that online shoppers are used to, they often come already in place when you launch your site, as the E-Commerce platform you use will have this ready.
As you can tell from the above, it’s vital to have a website that comes across as secure and trustworthy. Clearly, the steps needed to get to that level as a business are also not as hard as you might have thought. A bit of clever copy that has no spelling errors and payment methods that are reliable, and bob’s your uncle!
The online market is far too competitive for you not to have a website that is safe for online shoppers. This is almost the bare minimum regarding online service for your online visitors.
If you have any questions or thoughts about the above, or if you need help incorporating any of the above ideas to your website, then be sure to get in touch with us. You can contact us per email on firstname.lastname@example.org or through our website.
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Jessica GessertUX Design & Frontend Development
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