Online Trust: 13 Ways to Earn the Trust of Your Purchasers

If you are selling any type of product or service that involves online payments, one of the biggest barriers you will have to overcome is gaining the trust of potential buyers. Here are 13 things you can do to increase online trust.

1. Offer Your Contact Information.

Providing your contact information helps visitors in a few ways. First of all, it helps them to see you as a real person or business rather than someone shady who is hiding behind a website. Second, it obviously makes it easier for them to get in touch with you about their questions or concerns. Even if the don’t have questions at the moment, they will want to know that they can get their questions answered when they arise.

2. Provide a Money-Back Guarantee.

A money-back guarantee isn’t appropriate or possible for every type of sale online, but when possible it can be one of the most effective ways to relieve apprehension from potential buyers. If being able to get their money back doesn’t influence them, not much will. Of course you need to lay out the terms of the guarantee clearly to avoid any trouble down the road.

3. Free Trials or Demos.

Certain products have done very well by offering a trial or a demo that shows the value and potential of the product without requiring an immediate commitment from the buyer. The product will need to be of high quality to convince users that they need to buy the full version.

4. Display Testimonials from Customers.

If you have happy customers, be sure to let your visitors know about them. Solicit testimonials from satisfied customers and display them on your website where they will be easily seen to build your credibility.

5. Use Trusted 3rd Parties for Payment.

Buyers feel more comfortable when they see that you are accepting payment from trusted 3rd parties like PayPal, Verisign or even ClickBank. It’s not a bad idea to display the logo of these companies on your sales pages where visitors will see them before they have to make a decision.

6. Have an “About Us” Page.

Earlier I mentioned the importance of giving potential buyers your contact information. Many times that info will be found on an About Us page. Give visitors some basic information about your company’s history and operations. This can also helps to ease the fears of those who are not familiar with you.

7. Become a Member of the Better Business Bureau.

Online purchasers are encouraged when they see a logo that shows a business is part of the BBB’s Online Reliability Program . It’s just one more thing you can do to show that you are a legitimate business.

8. Provide a Privacy Policy.

If your website is selling products or services you are collected personal, private information. In this case you can provide a written privacy policy that shows visitors that you take their privacy seriously and you will not abuse the information that you receive.

9. Photos of You, Your Staff, or Your Building.

Photos can help visitors to relate to you and your business in ways that they can’t without photos. It gives your visitors a more personal connection to you and your business.

10. Video of You, or Video Testimonials.

Some websites are using video as an effective way of helping to sell more products. Video testimonials can be more powerful than written testimonials as it helps potential customers to see some of your existing customers and hear them talk about your products or services.

11. Have a Professional-Looking Website.

If you want to have a reputable business selling products online, your customers will expect you to look professional. The look of your website will have a subtle influence on the visitor’s perception of you.

12. Eliminate Typos, Spelling Mistakes, and Grammatical Errors.

This goes along with looking professional. Any professional business will do its best to avoid these mistakes. Having a website full of typos can make you look like someone working from his mom’s basement trying to make a quick buck online. That’s not an image that comforts potential buyers.

13. Don’t Throw Any Surprises.

As your visitors are moving through the online buying process they don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised by such items as shipping costs and unexpected fees. To earn their trust, provide this information up front before they start the purchase and they’ll be less likely to back out. Throwing surprises makes it look like your trying to hide some of the details.

What other methods do you use to earn the trust of your potential customers?

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