By Bethany Wesch,
Trust signals are cues derived from the website which could encourage or discourage people from making transactions with the company. With making transactions online, there is a limited amount of interaction between the consumers and the company or the people behind the website. Consumers look for elements within the website’s design or layout which will make them trust or mistrust the company. It is important to note that how the signals are perceived is different from one person to the other. For instance, one person may feel wary about finding spelling or grammatical errors in the copy while others may not be bothered by it at all. Ecommerce sites should use different types of trust signals in order to increase their credibility for a wider range of consumers.
How Can Trust Signals Lead to Online Sales
Trust seals are essential trust signals for the survival of ecommerce sites. People tend to be extra cautious when conducting transactions online with all the reports of identity theft that continues to besiege consumers. Ecommerce sites need to show consumers that they are legitimate companies. This is where trust signals come in. These small icons help verify that the company is legitimate and reliable. Finding trust signals such as seals from reputable brands and companies will encourage people to make deals with the website. A higher level of trust equates to more sales for the company.
List of Trust Signals
1. Communication options
Details such as a physical address and a telephone number puts people at ease. It gives the impression that the company is there to provide help and support for whatever concerns the consumer may have. Whether or not the consumer decides to use these communication avenues is not important. What matters is that it makes the company appear more credible in the eyes of consumers.
2. Social media accounts
There are some companies who have accounts on several social media websites. This is a great avenue for communication between the company and the consumer. The account should be updated regularly and used appropriately. Use the accounts to interact with customers, whether it is to answer a simple question or dealing with complaints. The speed and manner by which the company handles situations speaks of how important the customer is for the company. How you deal your customers reflects the company’s level of professionalism. Improper handling of communication tools and customers can generate bad press for the company. As such, the same tool can also be a source of mistrust for consumers.
3. Talking to a live representative
Hiring customer representatives to answer phone calls or chat inquiries is not easy but it helps. Some people want to talk to another person and hear what they have to say regarding their concerns. Offering such services makes the company appear more personable.
4. Trust seals
Trust seals are images, icons or logos from brands and companies that they recognize and trust. The vote of confidence that people have for these companies trickles down to the website that uses their logos. Seeing these seals or images on a website is similar to being given a vote of confidence. Examples of these include trust seals from Mastercard, Visa, Verisign and the Better Business Bureau. These are especially important when it comes to asking for credit card or payment details from interested buyers.
Being connected to other successful companies within or outside the industry can also be considered a vote of trust for the website. Partnering or being affiliated with reliable companies gives the impression that the website is also reliable.
6. Navigation and content
A well designed website is also an indicator for customers that could help determine whether or not the website is credible and trustworthy. The website should be easy to use and loads quickly. There should be adequate information about the company and the products being sold on the website. When selling merchandise, the product copy should be informative but unique. It should not copy existing data from the manufacturer’s site or other websites as this does not help in establishing the company’s credibility.
7. Company policies
Publish a copy of the company’s business rules or standards. This gives the impression that there is a structure within the company and that the company abides by its rules.