Building trust is absolutely essential to a well-performing ecommerce store. If you don’t create a trusted persona, very few customers will make a purchase on your site. Gaining your customers’ trust is especially difficult when your brand has little to no sales—but it’s still very possible.
Imagine this: You land on a new store with no prior knowledge of the brand. What’s the first thing you will probably look for…? Customer Reviews.
Now, what if there are no customer reviews yet, nothing to look through to examine the quality of the brand or product based on what other people have to say? Will you leave, or has the site done well enough to gain your trust even though they lack reviews?
You can gain your customers’ trust without reviews. Reviews do help, but all new brands have to start their business with no reviews! So how do you gain trust without them? Keep reading to learn five easy methods to gain customers’ trust with few to no reviews.
1. Contact Information
One of the easiest and simplest ways to provide a trusted storefront is by giving users a transparent and easy way to contact you. This includes providing email, phone numbers, or even a live chat. Making it easy for your customers to contact you makes your brand much more transparent and legitimate, which can increase conversions and overall revenue.
To prove this point, allow us to show you some stats. A study from Kissmetrics found that adding a phone number to a prominent area of the site increased overall conversion rates by over 0.5%. So you can take the average conversion rate of around 2% and bump it up to 2.5% by simply adding a phone number!
On to the next step: Where should you put this information?
There are a few prime sections on a website where your contact information should go. These include your website’s main header, the footer, and the checkout page.
It’s a bit harder to fit all this information on mobile than desktop. So, rather than putting the contact information in the main header on mobile, put it in a prominent location in the mobile navigation menu!
Although this is quite basic, adding contact information to your website can provide incredible value, and this is something that almost any business owner can easily implement.
2. Social Proof
Although you may not have many reviews yet, you can still use social proof through the use of social media, blogs, or any other online platform. You want to build a social presence for your brand!
Create an Instagram account, a Facebook account, write out a couple blogs about what your brand stands for, and anything else you can think of to increase the social presence of your brand. If someone searches for your brand on Google or social media, you need to make sure you show up!
This will vastly improve your brand legitimacy and trust, making people feel like your brand is an actual brand versus just a landing page. This will also increase the level of awareness about your brand. This often provides another source of traffic (the organic traffic coming from social media), increases customer loyalty, and creates another way for your customers to reach out to you.
Utilizing social media is an easy and free way to build a trusting relationship with your customers … and provides powerful results in the long run.
3. Be Clear and Detailed
The last thing you want to do is confuse your customers. Confusing product descriptions lacking in detail can create a huge disconnect with your customers.
Imagine landing on a website that provided little to no information on what product the store was selling. Chances are you wouldn’t buy the product!
So, when building your website, keep clarity in the top of your mind at all times. Answer all the questions that your customers may have as they move throughout your site. Build clear and informative descriptions, use images and videos that clearly explain your product, and make sure you don’t leave any major details out.
An easy way to make sure you’re answering all of your customers questions is by using onsite polls and surveys. Simply ask your customers what questions they still have that aren’t being answered—and then answer them on your site!
Clarity is absolutely vital to gaining your customers’ trust. If your site is confusing and is leaving a ton of unanswered questions, it won’t convert!
To show the power of this specific step, I’ll share a test that we ran not too long ago using the polls/surveys method.
After asking our customers what questions weren’t being answered, we found that we had six major questions that we weren’t being clear enough about. So we took these six questions, answered them with icons on the product pages, and found a 13% lift in conversion rate!
We answered the biggest questions we were getting in our survey by using icons and short pieces of copy.
As you can see above, the simple test gave huge results. By simply answering our customers’ questions and being clear, we found a 13% boost in conversions and an additional $72,912 in monthly revenue!
4. General Functionality and Design
This step is also extremely important for gaining trust. No one likes to land on a website that looks like it was built in 1998!
Now, there’s a fine line between having a well-functioning website that looks great versus focusing entirely on aesthetics. I’ve seen many beautiful sites that don’t convert at all because only the visuals were emphasized; there was little focus on the content itself.
Remember, clarity is key, so as long as the site is easy to navigate and follow without major bugs or functionality issues, it should convert. Keep the design simple and modern—don’t get too fancy or caught up in it. Like I said before, as long as it doesn’t look like it’s 20 years old, you’re heading in the right direction.
Emphasize the functionality of your site just as much as the clarity. Watch session recordings, view heatmaps, run surveys, do extensive bug checks, or run through analytics to see what your users are struggling with! A confusing break in functionality or a large bug will completely kill your users’ trust.
A bug-free, well-functioning design is all that’s needed for a well-converting site. Don’t get caught up on the aesthetics!
Although you can gain trust using the four methods above, I don’t want to leave out one of the most important methods for gaining your customers’ trust: customer reviews.
If you’re a new brand, chances are you don’t have many, if any, reviews. But it’s incredibly important to start gaining some traction in this area. Put gaining customer reviews at the top of your priority list, as the more positive reviews you have, the more trustworthy your brand will appear.
There are a lot of methods for gaining reviews quickly. You can even start by asking your friends and family to leave a review for your product, just to get a few on there right away.
But the best way to gain reviews quickly is going to be offering a strong incentive to your recent customers.
Blast your customers via post-purchase emails that offer a strong incentive to leave a review. The incentive could be anything from a discount on their next purchase, a free product, or even a gift card of some sort.
Gaining customer reviews as your company begins should be a focal point. And it should remain a focal point even when your brand has 10,000 reviews! The more reviews, the better…
- Post your contact information throughout the primary areas on your site such as the header, navigation, footer, and checkout.
- Use other forms of content to build social proof. Create social media profiles, write blogs, and generate additional content to create a well-rounded brand.
- Be clear and detailed in all of your product descriptions and other text areas. Don’t leave your customers with questions about your brand or products.
- Make sure your site is bug-free and easy to navigate. Keep a clean and concise design that’s easy to use.
- Start gathering customer reviews as soon as you possibly can and highlight them on your site.
By using all of these methods, you can create a trustworthy brand that converts!
Rolf, D. (2016). Why should you include your phone number on your website? [Kissmetrics study reference]. Training Journal.