Ecommerce is now firmly woven into the fabric of modern business, and it's a rare company nowadays that doesn't have a web presence. However, there is still a residual mistrust of online shopping among many customers - regular stories of hacks, fraud, and other types of cybercrime mean that many are still wary of trusting their personal details to a new website.
To overcome this hurdle, it's vital to fully address five major concerns to reassure potential customers that your site is the right one for them to shop at - after all, giants like Amazon are only ever one click away.
Clear Delivery Information
If your site sells a physical product, then it's essential that delivery information is given up front. Nothing is more likely to provoke an abandoned shopping cart than the sudden, unexpected addition of punitive shipping costs during the checkout process. If you offer free delivery, make this clear as a selling point, but equally make sure that if you do charge for shipping then the customer is aware of this from the start, to avoid conversion-killing surprises later on.
Clear Returns Policy
Many online retailers see customers returning sold items as a huge problem. While it's clearly preferable that an order remains completed and not sent back, trying to actively discourage returns can be counterproductive. In some niches, notably clothing, up to one in three items dispatched are returned by the customer, and this simply needs to be accounted for as part of the cost of business. Indeed, if a customer cannot reassure themselves that returning a product for refund or replacement is acceptable and easy, they're much less likely to place the order in the first place. Counter to many retailers' instincts, making shopping appear risk-free with a clear returns policy can be the final factor that turns an undecided visitor into a customer.
Easy Contact Methods
Providing a faceless contact form as the sole means of a customer getting in touch with you isn't going to cut it when it comes to engendering trust. Even if you don't expect it to receive much use, providing a toll-free contact number, and making it clearly visible to all site visitors, goes a long way towards building confidence. The same goes for live chat as a contact method - research shows that invitations to use the facility are generally ignored, but it acts as a subliminal verification of a site's trustworthiness.
Has the Customer Found What They're Looking For?
In a crowded internet, you need to grab your visitor's attention immediately by making it clear that you can provide them with what they're searching for. A site that gets straight to the point with a clear indication of what it's selling will be far more successful than one which tries to dazzle with polished multimedia displays. Offer your visitor a fast, efficient solution to their problem and you're halfway towards turning them into a customer - and leave any distractions such as cross-selling or upselling until after the deal has been sealed.
Is the Website Trustworthy?
If you always put yourself in the shoes of a customer and build your site to overcome any concerns they may have, your conversion rates will thank you for it.