How to Build Consumer Confidence in your Company
Before you start setting up your online store you should start
by shopping online. When you put yourself in the consumer's
shoes, you'll find it is not hackers you are worried about,
but the merchants. Almost anyone can set up a website. So visitors
need to be reassured that they are ordering from a real company,
and not just someone who will run off with their money. This
is why you have to reassure your prospects that shopping with
you is safe and secure.
Show customers you are a real company By the very nature of
the internet, the online shopper can not physically walk into
your online store and see the people behind the business. That
is why you have to be as open as possible with your online
visitors. Anything you can do to show that you are real will
help increase orders. You can display some photographs of your
company or store. Show photographs of the management and staff,
as well as printing their names. If your business is located
within your home, then just tell them as much about yourself
as possible, sell yourself! We all know that people will buy
from people they trust. It is this trust that you have to build
with your online prospects. Include your name, phone number,
and street address. Customer testimonials, or even a brief
history of your company should also be included. Project a
professional image on your website.
Offer secure online ordering Your website must offer secure
online ordering, as most people would prefer to order while
they are still online. Display the secure site seal icon on
the front page and/or on the order form page and explain to
them exactly what it means. When someone places an order, redirect
them to a confirmation page thanking them for their order and
give them an order number. Your email auto responder should
also send them an email thanking them for their order and telling
them when it will arrive.
Subscribe to consumer protection agencies Consumer protection
agencies are as the name suggests, there to serve the consumer's
interests. By subscribing your business to these agencies,
you can display their seal thereby stating that your business
is monitored by a third party agency that looks after their
best interests. This can only help add credibility and give
visitors confidence in your business. Organizations such as
SafeSurf is there to monitor websites to make sure that the
content is suitable for minors as well as adults. Then other
companies such as Hacker Safe will scan your site daily for
vulnerability assessments for protection from hackers giving
a third-party certification of your site security.
Offer a money-back guarantee The most powerful confidence
builder is a top quality website. High production values work
directly on the visitor's subconscious, but it is also important
to reassure visitors explicitly. Clearly state on your website
that you guarantee customer satisfaction with your products/services,
or you will refund their money in full with no questions asked.
Most businesses nowadays offer some kind of money back guarantee.
The standard is 30 days. We have seen guarantee periods as
short as 7 days, which is no where long enough. Basically they
are telling the customer they have to make up their mind pretty
quickly whether they want to keep the product or not. If people
aren't quite sure about the purchase and feel pressured into
making a quick decision, they are more likely to play it safe
and not make the purchase.
There is an article about a billion dollar retailer in the
U.S. offering a 5 year money back guarantee. The surprising
thing is that they found the longer the guarantee period, the
less refunds were requested. Naturally, a few people abused
the system and returned the products after having used them
for a few years. But they felt that this was a small price
to pay for the confidence that the rest of the satisfied customers
have, knowing that they have such a long guarantee period.
You have to decide what time period is best for the type of
product you are selling.
The simple fact is that no matter how brilliant your product
is and how much value it offers, if people don't trust your
company, then they won't buy from you.