7 Steps To Increase Confidence In Your Online Store
« on: September 27, 2007, 08:13:54 PM »
Over the last year, I've been watching our company growing impressively each and every month, and I realized that as much as the product that we're offering is great, the main reason we're growing that fast is plain and simple: our customers trust us.

Trust is a big issue on the web, as people tend to be more skeptical about online companies. So, how can an online merchant increase confidence in his website, and thus drive the sales up? There is a very easy 7 steps to-do list that, unfortunately, a lot of online customers know about, but very few implement:

1. Provide ways for your customers to communicate with you instantly: Usually the best way is to provide your customers with a toll free number (such as 1-800 in the US and Canada). Other methods, such as live chatting have also positive effects on your sales, though not as professional. Don't forget to clearly state you opening hours and your time zone: you don't want people calling you and having the machine.

2. Make sure all your pages are error-free: Errors (especially server errors), dead links, and half-secure pages are major turnoffs for the client. Rare are the clients who actually make the purchase if they see an error anywhere on your site.

3. Have a professional looking website: Half-baked websites with an unfinished design and an inconsistent layout are not the best way to attract customers. Consider your website as the packaging of your product, the more it looks good, the more people are tempted to buy the product.

4. Stress the security issue on your purchase page: Assure your clients that the data transmitted is encrypted and thus the purchase is very secure. However, don't scare clients by telling them that you are tracing their IP and you are going to report any fraud (not to mention that it's also very rude).

5. Have a clear and smooth refund policy: In other words, your policy should be fairer to the client than it is to you. Swift processing of refunds is a big plus, on the other hand, postponing and lagging refunds might really deteriorate your image. Don't forget, the Internet is a small world: an angry customer, even after chargebacking you (which will definitely happen if you don't refund him/her within a reasonable amount of time), might write a very negative review about your company and post it on the Internet.

6. Use Verisign: It's granted that you should encrypt your purchase page, but which company would you buy your SSL from? Although the SSL purchased from Verisign costs considerably more than an SSL purchased by one of its competitors, the confidence value that a Verisign's SSL adds to your purchase page is well worth it. Verisign was and still is the most trusted name in the web.

7. Show your seals!: The more seals (besides credit card seals) you have on your purchase page, the more likely that an interested customer will click on that checkout button. Of course, the first seal that you should always have is the Verisign one (which doesn't really require a certification). The second most important seal is the BBB Online seal. In case you don't know, BBB stands for Better Business Bureau, and it's a company that accredits you as a legitimate and a reputed merchant. BBB online is BBB's division to accredit online merchants. Finally, to assure your customers about their privacy, have that TrustE seal on your purchase page.

Once you've accomplished the above 7 steps, then clients won't have any reason to be intimidated from purchasing from you. So, in case you're marketing your product correctly and in case your product is good, then there's no reason not to see those transactions flying in.

http://www.itoctopus.com/

Fadi El-Eter is currently a project manager in Montreal, Canada. He has a practical and solid experience in both the Internet and the Telecom industries.

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« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 01:28:55 AM by Kailash »