Make your site more trustworthy

1. Use on-site surveys to find out what makes your customers nervous.

For example, ask your users, Is there anything holding you back from making a purchase today? to get valuable insight, help you outline patterns, and create some possible fixes.

2. Do the opposite of what sketchy, untrustworthy sites do and make your business look real.

For example: Have a genuine About page with real images of your team instead of stock photos.  List your contact information prominently and on every page.  Answer phone calls or support tickets when people have questions.  List your company’s address. Use a professional website design.  Use restraint with promo elements like banners and flashy images.  Fix spelling and grammar mistakes in your copy.  One of the most common concerns people have with online shopping is whether the store is actually real, since anyone can set up a website and it’s much easier for fraudulent activity to occur online than in person.

3. Offer users live chat or real-time support in addition to FAQ pages and email or phone support.

Users typically don’t want to wait for email or waste time on the phone. Real-time customer service can do wonders to allay fear, increase conversions, and generate repeat purchases.

4. Add trust symbols, like McAfee or Verisign, to increase the feeling of trust and safety on your site.

Nobody wants to feel like they’re going to be ripped off or that their personal information will be unsafe, so adding trust symbols from organizations like McAfee, Verisign, Paypal, the BBB, and TRUSTe can help increase users’ feeling of trust and safety on your site.

5. Offer and commit to warranties or money-back guarantees for your products.

Wherever there’s a transaction, there’s a risk. As long as your customers believe in your guarantee, and you follow through with it, it will help remove that risk. For example, Hyundai struggled for years with a reputation that it makes crappy cars that break down fast. So they initiated a 10-year warranty – basically saying, how can it be a bad car if we’re giving it such a long warranty? A 30-day money-back guarantee is the industry standard, and you should not offer any less. Do better than that, and A/B test various guarantees to find out what works best for your site.

6. Add social proof like client testimonials, case studies, research and studies, third party reviews, and proof by numbers to your product pages.

People shopping online want proof that your products offer value. Social proof has a tremendous ability to assuage the nerves of careful shoppers. For example, Duolingo’s validity has been supported by multiple independent studies, creating a more empirical type of proof.

7. Offer a product preview or trial to reduce perceived risk.

One of online shoppers’ biggest fears is that they don’t get to physically see, feel, and try out the product before laying down their cash to purchase. This, in a way, is a display of confidence and costly signaling for your product. You know it’s a good product, and you’re willing to let people try it because of that confidence. While we now think of software companies when we think of product trials, the original try before you buy model came in the form of clothing store changing rooms, and many ecommerce sites have also adopted the same model. For example, Trunk Club was one of the first sites to pioneer the try-it-first method for ecommerce and sends you a custom box of clothing, only charging you for the things you choose to keep. Trunk Club sends you a custom box of clothing and only charges for the clothes you choose to keep.