Anyone who has built an ecommerce store before, knows this: credibility is one of the toughest things to achieve.
Apart from having to build something from scratch and set it up so that it works every time, building credibility means gaining customer trust. And if you can't provide a functional online store, trust is going to be an issue.
Good customer relationships will usually lead to more sales, and repeat customers returning to buy on a regular basis. There isn't anything 'fishy' about it: it's just how it works.
Think of Amazon, and think how many times you've gone there instead of another retailer, simply because you've built a relationship of trust with Amazon's services.
The best online stores usually have a sense of home to them, a sense of achievement from the owner's size, which can be portrayed through products, and also the design you've decided to go with. That is also the first lesson: the design plays a major role in building your online credibility.
01. Design is critical
The above image is taken from a great article in Search Engine Journal discussing the importance of good typography and content alignment within web design. In this respect, ecommerce stores don't differ a lot from a standard web page.
In other words, before even thinking of other ways to boost your credibility, make sure you have a good looking, clean and responsive website; a simple and effective logo; neat product shots; and clear copy.
Fortunately, most of the modern shop building platforms (you'll find a selection here) are democratizing ecommerce by offering great looking templates right out of the box, and offering you the possibility to customize almost everything with a couple of clicks.
02. Emphasize the contact page
A contact page without any contact details in it is obviously a disaster. But it's even worse when there's no contact page at all, and believe me, there are plenty of online stores that overlook this.
Take a look at the contact page for IT company Digital Base and tell me how difficult it is to build a simple, elegant yet fully functional contact page like that? You're right: it's incredibly easy, and it will score you big points towards your online credibility.
The page in question shows perfect understanding of what a contact page is for, and provides an easy to get in touch; send email, or even look up the business in Google Maps.
03. Share your story
Selling, buying and trading is one thing, being able to tell a story of the journey you've travelled is something completely else; and not everyone dares to do it.
But if you want to appeal emotionally (and gain the much needed credibility and authenticity) sharing the story of your business, and why it came about, can be a great way to do so.
In this article from Forbes, Jim Blasingame provides some really good tips and advice on how storytelling can help us leverage our small business, and provide us with better customer relations. If you can translate your vision and journey into an emotional (and ideally, true) story, it's very likely your visitors will remember it in the future. Good business usually means a lot of transparency.
04. Always provide visual content
It's astonishing how often business owners, and ecommerce store owners in particular, forget about the importance of visual content.
A blurry or pixelated image isn't really going to cut it. For the best possible results, we'd suggest adding at least five different images from every angle possible. It's common sense that people want to see what they're buying, before they click the buy button.
Apple does this brilliantly with their product pages, using a variety of colours and displaying products right on the front-page. Follow their good example: keep it visual, keep the customer informed.
05. Engage in social behaviour
We're all connected, nowadays more than ever. And so for business owners, social media should be one of the top priorities. Not because everyone else says so – but because social media provides endless business opportunities.
In the best case scenario, you could hire a dedicated social media manager who could do all the work for you, doing things like hosting competitions, answering questions people have about your company, engaging in meaningful discussions and a lot more. It all adds to building credibility as an online store.
We've looked at a few obvious ways to raise your credibility status in this article. Here are a couple of more quick ones to help you get started right away:
- 06. Provide a dedicated page for customer testimonials
- 07. Share the photos of your team
- 08. Write blog content to promote yourself
- 09. Encourage customers to leave reviews on third party websites
- 10. Enable a secure (HTTPS) connection
- 11. Display company logos you work with
These are all small, yet very effective things that will ultimately build your brand as trustable and credible in every possible way.
Words: Catalin Zorzini
Catalin is the founder of Mostash.com (a digital marketing studio). He likes hot soup and hot jazz.