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Trust is the key to online shopping

By: Keith Kouzmanoff at Suburb Web Design

Submitted on Thu, Jul 27th, 2006 12:00 am

Consumer trust is the key to online shopping these days. There are several things you can do as an online retailer to ensure that once a prospect is at your webstore they convert into a customer.

1. It is all about presentation.
Make sure your website is has all the bells and whistles that best represent; who you are, what you do; where you are; what you provide. I can not stress this enough. Many people attempt to design their own ecommerce site using a multitude of vendors. Take my opinion on this, the look like everybody else's horrible webstore. Take advantage of this; hire an inexpensive web designer to make your site look like a million bucks.

2. Contact Informaiton.
If you sell something online out of your basement of your house, they provide a REAL street address for your place. Never leave a mailing address blank. Always let the customer know where your place of business is. Customers know that if it is difficult to get a hold of you or lack of important contact information then they are less likely to shop with you. Provide a phone number, it doesn't have to be a toll free number but the phone should ring! If this is a part-time ecommerce site for you then make sure the voice mail CLEARLY states your company name and when the person can expect a call back. EMAIL addresses are important of course; make sure you respond in a timely manner. You may opt for selecting a automatic reply to your common email request stating your busy and the next customer service or sales representative will email them back promptly. Then, do so.

3. Product descriptions.
You should look at your inventory of items and then close your eyes. That's right, close your eyes. Now try to explain what the item looks like without looking at the item. This is a quick way to provide an accurate and colorful description of your products. Cheating is allowed!

4. Merchant accounts.
Make sure if you are charging credit cards that you are using a merchant account that can clearly state on the customers bill, YOUR COMPANY NAME and YOUR COMPANY PHONE. Many times when people use 3rd party merchant accounts the consumer will get their bill a month later and not realize who you are or what they bought. Even if it is the one-of-a-kind diamond ring. Many webstore make this very common mistake. It results in many-many charge backs. You want to avoid this at all costs! Too many charge backs mean money out of your pocket.

4. Security.
Buy an SSL certificate to ensure your webstore has the proper security. Proudly display your SSL certificate on prominent web and product pages. Most consumers are sure which SSL certificate is better than the other, but they do know when they see a SSL certificate they feel better about shopping online at your store. Many companies offer a range of SSL certificates from $89/yr to several thousand. If you are just starting out, pick one of the more frugal packages. Remember, it's not all about the name of the SSL certificate but that you have one that is working correctly.

Remember, it not only your products that you are selling, it is also the quality of trust your webstore has on the internet. Even if you are selling real Prada shoes for $20, if your webstore looks anything short of a classy box retailer, you will loose sales. It's all about the presentation.

About the Author

Keith Kouzmanoff
Suburb Web Design

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