As more and more merchants move online, it becomes an increasing challenge to stand out from the pack. While price may influence a shoppers choice, its usually not the deciding factor: most buyers would prefer to pay a bit more for an item they feel safe buying, than to spend less and worry theyre throwing their money away.
Thats why, as an online retailer, creating a safe and stress-free environment for your shoppers should be a top priority. With internet scams and identity fraud to worry about, most online buyers turn to merchants they recognize and trust. If customers dont feel secure spending their money with you, theyll move on to another auction or website where they do feel comfortable.
According to Steve Woda, of http://BuySafe.com, About fifty percent of people who surf online dont buy online, and the number one reason is because they dont trust something about the transactionthe merchant, the process, the payment method. Whatever it is, its always about trust. There are numerous steps you can take to convey credibility to buyers and build their confidence in you:
Professional Image. Your website or auction listings appearance creates a strong impression before customers read a single word. Make sure the message youre sending is the one you want to be sending. Sloppy errors and misspelled words signal customers they arent dealing with a serious businessperson.
Build Your Ratings. Your merchant ratings and feedback ratings go a long way towards assuring shoppers that, should they purchase from you, their products will arrive and be in good condition.
Good Customer Service. Promptly returned phone calls and email inquiries, and thorough, courteous communications demonstrate to buyers that youre a genuine, reliable merchant who will provide them good service.
Third-party Solutions. This is one of the strongest signals you can send that your business is legitimate and trustworthy.
o Seals from companies like the Better Business Bureau, SquareTrade, and BuySafe tell customers your business has passed inspection and been approved by trusted third parties. BuySafe will even guarantee your transactions, so your buyers can shop risk-free.
o Verisign and GeoTrust SSL certificates let your buyers know their personal information is encrypted. Other third-party solutions are available, like HackerSafe which scans your site for vulnerabilities, and TRUSTe which examines your privacy policies. Making PayPal available as a payment option also tells buyers youve been through a very thorough verification process.
Theres more than enough data to prove that employing any of these solutions can significantly increase your conversion rate. When buyers trust you, theyre much quicker to spend money with you. Says Woda, I do recommend merchants deal with buyer uncertainties by leveraging as many of these things as they possibly can. Its all about distinguishing [yourself] as professional, legitimate, and credible.