Ecommerce is no longer the intimidating final frontier of retail it once was; customers are used to shopping or at least browsing online. But that doesn’t mean they don’t worry about things like credit card theft or hidden costs.
In this two-part article, we’ll address 7 major fears customers have about shopping online, and give you some ideas about how to address them all from first click to final sale.
1. It’s not a real store.
Don’t let your shop be mistaken for a hollow storefront hiding a mail fraud scheme. Reassure your customers that there is a healthy business behind your homepage with the following tips:
- Invest in good design. Gaudy colors and a 15-font graphic chart have been out of style since Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace. Good design is worth the investment. Not only does it make navigating your website and finding products (and purchasing them) easier, it shows you care about your business. After all, if you don’t care about your shop, why should your customers?
Azalea’s simple, modern design is easy on the eyes--and easy to navigate.
- List a physical address. You must have an address for receiving professional mail, even if it’s just a post office box, so include it on your “Contact” or “About” page. If you have a physical store or headquarters, you can add a Google Maps locator for added credibility.
Starcow’s physical address is discreet, but visible, at the top of their homepage.
- Show real photos. Stock photos maybe be cheap and easy to come by, but they do your business no favors. A “Team” or “About” page with a nice photo of yourself or your team members gives you a simple way to connect with your customers and show off your company’s unique personality.
The owners of What Goes Around Comes Around used an authentic photo to complement their brand story.
- Tell a story. You’re not like all the other stores out there are you? Let your customers know what makes you different. In addition to a photo or two of you and your VP of Operations (aka your pitbull Greg), give your customers a little back story. Who are you? Why did you start this business? And what makes your store the best place to go for the products you sell? Letting your customers into your world is a great way to build trust.
The Tea Guys use a fun drawing a very personable writing style to connect with customers.
- Publish testimonials. There is nothing more precious than a word-of-mouth recommendation. If other actual human beings have bought your products and told you how happy they were, put it front and center! Don’t edit out all the less-than-stellar reviews--no one is perfect 100% of the time. Responding to negative feedback publicly shows you’re on top of things in addition to proving you actually exist.
- Showcase media mentions. Similarly to customer testimonials, mention in media of any kind adds to your credibility.
Gretel home puts heavy-hitting media showcases front and center.
2. My credit card information is going to get stolen.
Ecommerce has its good guys and bad guys, like any other industry. Credit card and identity theft are real threats that your customers expect you to protect them from--it’s your responsibility as an online merchant. Here are a few ways to make sure your customers know you’re with the good guys:
- Display identifiable trustmarks. Customers might not recognize your logo on their first visit to your site, but they’re probably familiar with the trusty red McAfee shield, the Better Business Bureau’s sturdy torch and Paypal’s reassuring double-P logo. Choose to work with recognized partners and let their trustworthy reputation rub off on your business.
- Buy an SSL certificate. SSL is a cryptographic protocol that secures data sent across pages with a cryptographic key. It’s used to protect credit card transactions and sensitive data like login details, or personal information. In PrestaShop, the back office login, front office account pages and orders can be secured with SSL by default. Once you’ve bought and installed your SSL certificate, your customers will recognize your concern for their safety by the reassuring green https--not the unprotected http--before your website name.
The green lock and https before Mirenesse’s address indicate that the site is secure.
- Give customers payment options. Some people just aren’t into paying by credit card. By giving the option to pay using Paypal, by check or simply on delivery, you show that you’re flexible and willing to adapt to your customers’ needs.
In addition to directly addressing payment security, Headict displays trusted payment partners on a dedicated page.
3. They’ll sell my personal information.
What information is collected?
How is the information used?
How is the information shared?
What choices do customers have for sharing information?
How can customers access and modify their personal information?
How is the information protected?
Here’s an example to follow:
What other customer fears have you encountered? Let us know in the comments. And stayed tuned for part 2! Ready to start an online business customers can trust? Create your online store with PrestaShop today.