How should eTailers increase their store’s credibility among customers?

Indian-ecommerce-space2How much ever people might talk about eCommerce being a threat to conventional retailers, they tend to miss out on one important aspect that eTailers are missing out on, complete trust of the consumers. In case of a face-to-face transaction, there’s an on the spot exchange of goods, so even while buying from a new store the customer feels mentally satisfied that he isn’t being cheated. The human interaction factor is pretty much dormant in online stores. In order to make the customers feel secure, the eTailers could work on some essential core points/trust symbols. Recently, we had discussed in detail how important one such symbol i.e. Trustmark logo is, here are other important trust markers for an eCommerce website.

The Green Pad-lock

This is one feature that anyone who uses the Internet looks out for, the little green padlock in the address bar. The same one that comes with ‘https’ in the url. It is widely known that ‘s’ following http stands for secure. One need not have it on every page, but it will give customers a sense of security to see it on the registration and payment page, where they have to give out their details

Transparency

Unless ‘Free Shipping’ is specified, it is normal for the buyer to expect some shipping charges. And its the seller’s responsibility to make them clear on the website. But in case these extra charges pop-out suddenly right before the customer is about to fulfil a transaction, even a few extra pennies could be a cause for customer dissatisfaction. It is a good practice to make the consumers aware of all the costs at the right stage

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Honest Advertisement

With so many advertising tools online, it has become really convenient for the eCommerce players to market their online store across the web. This could be one area where the reliability of the seller will be tested. It happens quite often that the products consumers see in a website’s advertisement aren’t really available on the website itself. This is one easy way to lose credibility. On the other hand, if a store is actually selling popular well-known brands, it may display it clearly, so as to gain some confidence of the customer.

Clear Policies

If a user does decide to buy from a website, there are several things he/she is unsure of, foremost being if the product doesn’t turn out to be as per the expectations. In such a scenario, it is normal to look up at the Return and Refund policies. Every eCommerce website must clearly state all the policies that are there- privacy policies, return or refund policies, subscription policies, satisfaction guarantees, cancellation fees etc. The more information a consumer gets, the more he/she will trust the seller.

Partner / Client Logos

It is an added trust benefit if you have a client or a partner people know of. There is no harm in using their logo (if they consent) on the website, as it will instill a sense of trust for that merchant too.

Awards / Press Coverage

If a website has been commended in its industry, it is good to tell that to the visitors. Also, people are highly likely to buy from an eCommerce site if it is publicly recognised in a good way, so one can also put up any press coverage the company might have gotten. But all this must be done in a subtle manner.

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Contact Information

This might seem like an obvious factor. But it is also very important, giving a working number and mail address adds a human touch to the website. Thus making the customers more at ease while buying from there. Live Chat is an added bonus.

Website Design

This is one of the most important factors that help customers decide whether to buy from a particular website or not. Even if a website fulfils all the above mentioned criterions, they will be fruitless if the website looks like it had been made in the previous century. Every business requires some investment, and if one is getting into an online business, investing to make a good website is really crucial. And not just by looks, a website should be professional even in terms of usability. Consumers don’t like pop-ups, frequent reloading and crashes. A website should be user-friendly with a sense of customer security.

To contact the author, write to sugandh.dhawan@wirefootindia.com

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  • pavan

    A store’s credibility is more than the confidence measures and transparency. It is purely about customer experience – a great customer experience is what e tailers should be targeting

  • Mohan Desai

    All these measures are for online stores to thrust confidence onto consumers. But whats really makes us online shoppers confident is when we have a friend recommending stores. We do it offline anyways, now we are moving online. Thats where sites like facebook (assuming fb shows ur post to your online shopper friends and your willing to promote your post for some big $$$ making your cost of acquisition and retention high) and fabbucket.com (zero cost, smaller niche audience and assuming your friends are on it) help us talk about our shopping experiences and instill confidence in others.

    You can keep buying our confidence by paying for all these functional tools and advertising or deliver an awesome shopping experience and we talk about it on these platforms.