This article highlights ten ways that an eCommerce merchant can optimize their store to drive more sales. Without these ten trust factors, converting a first time customer to a paying client can be a heck of a job.
10 Trust Factors That Boost Your eCommerce Sales
Mark is an eCommerce merchant. He fills his inventory with products purchased from legitimate electronic device dealers and puts them on his eCommerce website at affordable prices.
However, since he set up his eCommerce store three months ago, he hasn’t made as many sales as he expected. His website gets a lot of hits from well-targeted traffic sources while he was also spending a lot of money on both social media and offline promotions.
What could be wrong? Mark asks himself.
Well, most eCommerce merchants find themselves on the same crossroad as Mark. That moment when it seems they’ve gotten everything right and yet the sales numbers are too poor to even pay for the store’s operating costs.
The good news, though is that it is only a crossroad and not the end.
Reviewing your eCommerce store’s trust policies can provide the perfect head start to reach your sales targets even a lot faster than you ever imagined.
That said, we will from this point in the article revealed ten trust factors that can boost your eCommerce sales while it is true that you may have taken some of the measures that we’ll explain, keep an eye out on ways that you can further optimize it to win your customers over.
1. Create Valuable Content
There is a saying that the brand that spends more time educating its customers will always win the marketing game. To this end, you can build the trust of even first time customers by creating valuable content on virtually all pages of your website.
From your home page to brand materials, product descriptions and guides, use original content and avoid the tendency to copy and paste texts from other merchants either in the same niche. Experienced shoppers can easily detect copied content, and that would be the earliest sign not to buy from your store.
Also, although having a blog page for your eCommerce website is not compulsory, evidence has shown over time, it is more beneficial to create one and regularly update it.
A frequently updated blog offers value to your customers and gives proof that you want to help them solve their immediate problems. Such an impression makes them trust you with their money, and can also boost your SEO efforts in the long run.
2. Use Trust Seals (SSL, Testimonials, and Reviews)
While it is already a difficult task to convince a customer to be among the first to order a product or service from your eCommerce store, you make the decision-making process difficult for them if there are no trust seals on your website.
The most common trust seal to use an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate which guarantees the security of information sent to your website’s server from a visitor’s browser.
According to GlobalSign, 85% of customers admitted they wouldn’t buy from a website that doesn’t have an SSL certificate since hackers can exploit the lack of adequate security to steal their credit card information.
Next, you will consider using genuine product testimonials and reviews from past customers or clients.
If no one has ever bought from you, then you may want to consider offering discounted services until you have enough testimonials to convince even first-time customers that your product will solve their problems.
3. Use Product Demo Videos
Since 72% of people would instead use a video rather than text to learn about a product, a demo video should be one of your marketing strategies.
In fact, a compelling product demo video can serve as a powerful sales tool and can sell even more than the best-written sales copy, although both could work hand in hand.
A basic version of an explainer video should provide clear insight into exciting features customers can expect when they buy your offering, while at the same time giving them a reason why they cannot live without it.
You can either hire a freelancer or company to create a product demo video for your hot-selling products and then embed them on your product description pages.
Here are some things to bear in mind while working on each explainer video:
- Sell more of solutions than features.
- Consider the buyer’s journey, since users who already have sufficient knowledge about a product may not need a lengthy explainer.
- Use compelling music and graphics
- Use short but reasonably easy to grasp concepts.
- Gather feedback by sharing a beta version of the video with existing or potential customers.
4. Prompt First Time Visitors to Buy Your Product By Offering a Trial
Especially for service providers, an excellent way to build customer trust and boost sales is by giving them a chance to test how much they can improve their business or lifestyle by locking down a deal.
Depending on the kind of product or service you’re offering, the typical 7-day trial period may be just what you need to turn leads into converts and increase sales for your eCommerce business.
In the same manner, it would be appropriate to take into consideration Neil Patel’s three scenarios of when not to offer a free trial that is,
- When the trial period doesn’t allow the customer sufficient time to get results from using the product.
- When the product is complicated and requires a long time for the user to master it.
- When the free trial is giving away all the value embedded in the product.
If your product passes this test, however, then you can trust that you can increase conversion rates to up to 20%-30% by offering a free trial version.
5. Checkout Optimization With a Range of Payment Options
After loading a product unto their cart, the checkout process for your online store should be as seamless as possible for shoppers.
In terms of payment, do well to offer a gateway that allows them to send you money using the most popular services including PayPal, Stripe, MasterCard, Visa, and the likes.
Furthermore, if your jurisdiction allows it, you can decide to give customers the opportunity to pay for products and services that you offer using cryptocurrencies.
BitPay is a popular crypto payment gateway and is even used by the Ohio State Tax department to collect tax payments in Bitcoin.
This offering is also becoming increasingly popular for stores serving a global audience given that shoppers in some of these regions cannot freely use other payment gateways.
Also, the fact that only less than 1% of the world currently uses cryptocurrency means you can give your eCommerce website more exposure to new customers by embracing the opportunity to serve a growing category of internet users.
6. Offer Free Shipping for Bulk Orders
Although some may present an argument about this, offering incentives such as free shipping for bulk orders gives the opportunity to increase eCommerce sales.
It is crucial, though, that you do not offer this option in a way that adversely affects your revenue numbers and profits.
Another loophole could be offering free delivery for less bulky purchases, a situation that could raise doubts, especially for first-time visitors that you’re desperate to sell or want to rip them of their hard-earned money.
Conversely, a discount deal with your preferred shipping company or a premium price for such goods and services could foot the bill for delivering bulk orders. This will keep your shoppers happy and increase sales for your eCommerce store.
7. Offer After Sales and Reliable Customer Support
This strategy works both ways, that is if your eCommerce website is already getting hits but struggling to convert, or not get repeat buyers.
In the first instance, visitors will feel more at ease to place an order on your website if there is a live chat support button or email to answer their inquiries or find specific products quickly.
What then happens after the sale?
Guiding a customer through their first experience with a product or service is a huge trust factor that not only turns them into repeat buyers but also prompts them to send you referrals. Another advantage is that it opens up the opportunity to implement proper cross-selling methods by suggesting other on-sale products that could complement their current purchase.
If you’re using Magento or WordPress for your eCommerce store, then you can easily install a live chat plugin or Customer Support Desk Extension to provide real-time assistance to customers.
Lastly, although autoresponders are suitable for automation, the best form of feedback comes with the humane feeling, requiring that you are mostly online to respond to user inquiries or recruit a third-party for this purpose.
8. Reward Loyal Customers
Creating a customer rewards program and letting visitors know about it is another sure way to increase eCommerce sales even if you’re just starting out.
Some of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to do this include:
- Creating an early access membership program and allowing them to get in for free.
- Celebrating them via a special email or making a post about them on social media. In most cases, this will result in new shares and increased exposure for your brand.
- Asking them for feedback on how you can improve your products to serve them better.
- Inviting them to a special event during which you can further advertise your product in their locality.
- Offering affiliate marketing channels where they get rewarded for sending new customers to your website.
Interestingly, all of these strategies allow customers to personally connect with your eCommerce business and go a long way to build their trust.
9. Regularly Update Contact Page Details
The perfect example of a counter-effort while driving sales to an eCommerce store includes maintaining a ‘Contact Us’ page that is not regularly updated.
First-time shoppers would usually check out this page while trying to build their trust in their business, a situation that makes it pertinent that all of your current business contacts appear.
Take note also regarding changes to your social media handles or specific email addresses created to address the separate inquiries that customers may have.
10. Stay in Touch With Customers
This is the point where you need to reevaluate your social media and email marketing strategies.
Let customers hear from your brand even at times when they are away from your website.
Your best bet would be to hire a professional digital marketing company to regularly create engaging content for your audience as you try to build substantial followership on social media and grow your mailing list.
As mentioned earlier, the brand which spends more time educating customers will win the sales game.
To this end, most of your email and social media content should be more about telling customers how to get the best out of the products they buy from you or regarding the latest developments in the industry.
Send sales letters only occasionally that is if you want to sustain engagements and conversion rates for your email campaigns.
Remember Mark from our earlier example; he could potentially turn his eCommerce store profits around by implementing the trust factors that we’ve covered so far in this article.
You, too, can do the same for your eCommerce website.
The result will be that you win the trust game and boost sales and conversion numbers for your business.