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Earning Shoppers’ Trust


It is impossible to overestimate the value of trust in ecommerce. While it’s true consumers are becoming more comfortable shopping online every day, security concerns still rank highly among those who object to the idea. Earning online shoppers’ trust is one of the most important things you can do as an ecommerce merchant.

Here’s how.

Project Professionalism

Haphazard layouts, typo-riddled copy and poor photography undermine the veracity of your site. Broken links say you’re indifferent to quality and cheap-looking graphics underscore that statement.

First time visitors to your site are looking for clues to reassure them of your concern for your business. These oversights say exactly the opposite.

 After all, if you don’t care enough about your professional appearance to dress it well, why should you be trusted to care about anything else?

Earn & Display Security Seals

A good free website template like those from Shopify, includes Secure Sockets Layer protection. You should also make sure your hosting service is compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

Earn and display trust badges from companies like McAfee, Norton and VeriSign. While those logos should absolutely appear on your checkout and payment pages, it’s a good to have them displayed on every other page of your site too.

Offer a Generous Return Policy

Shoppers hesitate when they see “returns not accepted” and are far less likely to buy the item. After all, you’re basically telling them once they’ve bought the item they’re on their own. It also implies the merchandise may have some hidden problem for which you don’t want to be responsible.

On the other hand, when you write “returns cheerfully accepted,” potential customers will have more confidence in you and the item—assuming your site does nothing else to put them off.

Bottom line, offering free returns within thirty days—no questions asked—makes people a lot more willing to buy from you.


Make Contacting You Easy to Do

Who would you trust more—someone who responds to your questions within two minutes with detailed answers, or someone who takes 24 hours to come back with a four-word answer?


Even better, your contact information should be easy to find and include a wide variety of methods. These should include email, text, telephone, instant messaging and social media. Live chat is particularly effective. If you use chatbots, make sure the customer knows they’re communicating with a machine and outline its capabilities clearly.

Provide Thorough Product Descriptions

Every product description on your site should include:

  • Exact measurements of the item
  • Precise weight of the piece
  • Product ingredients/manufacturing materials
  • Warranty information
  • Individual merchandise features and their subsequent benefits

You should also provide crisp, well-lit photographs of the product from every conceivable angle. Key details should be featured in close-ups. Supplement these images with video when the product lends itself to a moving presentation.

Also Consider…

Other things you can do include providing a robust “About Us” page to tell your story and humanize your site. A carefully regarded “FAQ” page will answer recurring questions as well as resolve any residual concerns. Accepting a wide variety of the most popular payment types directly on your site helps too. It can feel as if their information is about to be hacked by a third party when customers get switched to a different site to pay.

These tips will make earning online shoppers trust much easier to accomplish. Of course, when you think about it, being trustworthy in the first place is the only way you can really do all of these things.