Importance of Trust in Conversions – Top 5 Trust indicators for your website.

Making your website appear credible is important. If you don’t appear honest, why would a customer ever trust you with their credit card information? I’ve found that the largest influences for online purchases are reliability, and credibility. I would say I make most of my purchases online, and I have a list of criteria that websites need to meet for me to consider making a purchase. It’s worth nothing, that a recent Google study shows that 77% of major purchases in Canada are influenced by digital. That means if you’re not doing your part to capture these customers, you’re missing out! So here is my top 5 things you can do on your website to start selling more.

 “For ecommerce, the most important thing is trust.”

-Jack Ma, Found of Alibaba Group

1. Your Design: Appearance is everything

Have you ever heard that a first impression only takes 7 seconds? This is also true for your website. Subconsciously we make split second decisions on everything. Consumers have grown accustomed to a certain level of modernity from websites. What part of design makes a website seem more trustworthy? Online Retail has trends that are very similar to fashion; and similarly to fashion these trends are changing fast. Having a website with a style from 2013 is detrimental to your sales, and by implementing some of the modern design trends you can expect to see a large increase in conversions.

Let’s start by looking at a website from the past. If this website was selling products, would you consider buying from it? Can you recognize some of the elements that make this website outdated? You can very likely recognize those elements, but maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it. That is because you’ve internalized what a website should look like. That isn’t to say you should never deviate from the sea of websites that all look vaguely similar – but understand that there are modern trends, and that if you intend to stand out you have to step forwards, and not back.



Where to go from here? Well design trends are changing all the time. Be sure to check out other posts on the blog to keep up with the trends that are going on today! I can’t list them here, because the information would become outdated too quickly.


2. Free Shipping / Fast Shipping / Easy Returns

Shipping is one of those things that can break an online store. With places like Amazon offering same, or next day delivery… for FREE, the bar is set high. I think as a basis most stores should look into offering Free Shipping at least over a certain dollar threshold. This can actually work to your advantage, I’ve often added a few extra items to my cart just to qualify for free shipping – knowing full well that the store likely made more than had they simply charged me for shipping.

Adding an expedited shipping option is just as important. Consumers are getting increasingly accustomed to getting their products quickly, and many don’t mind shelling out a few extra dollars to receive their products quickly. Your products might be non-considered in nature and if they can’t find information on shipping times (or don’t like what they find), they might decide against the purchase. Let’s look at what Amazon does on every product:




Below the price you learn that the product is In Stock, and that I can actually receive the product as early as tomorrow. Sure, once I get to the checkout I have to pay extra, but having that option is great for the impulsive shopper.

The last thing you’ll want to implement is some variation of Free Returns. It seems counter intuitive to offer free returns, but as an offering this is one thing that consumers love. When it comes to making a purchase online, the goal is to reduce friction (I’ll cover this in another topic), and being undecided on a product causes friction. The goal with Online Retail is to reduce friction and make it as easy as possible to make a purchase. Universally merchants find that by offering free returns – they will sell more due to the fact – than they have to pay in returns.  I want to say that again because it’s important for you to understand it. By offering Free Returns, you can expect to see an increase in sales that surpasses any amount you have to pay for the small percent of people that will take advantage of free returns.


3. Responsive Style

 “I can’t overstate how mobile is changing how we interact with our consumers, we have to embrace these changes.”

-Joel Anderson, CEO of Walmart

Welcome to the age of the cell phone. You’ve surely noticed that more and more people are on their devices almost constantly. As these take up a larger part of our intention, companies are switching to a mobile-first design. This means that the website is responsive and changes it’s look based on the device you are accessing it from. Mobile has actually grown to be the largest segment of online-time in North America.

When Think Tank Photo switched to using a responsive design for their mobile site – you’ll notice incredible results:

  • Over a 188% increase in revenue from Black Friday through Cyber Monday compared to 2010
  • Transactions from users on smartphones and tablets increased more than 96% in the last year
  • Mobile users viewed more pages (pageviews increased 224%)

Now of course every market is unique, but having a website that is modern and responsive is a cornerstone to making strong sales.

4. Easy to navigate / purchase

Imagine – you have a customer who lands on your website and is ready to spend hundreds, or thousands of dollars on your product. They have trouble finding the specific product, or they found it but are having troubles paying for it. They would do what anyone else would do, leave and go buy it somewhere else. When setting up your store, always put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Each industry is different and you know yours best.

5. Word of mouth

Referrals are an incredible way to generate more sales – you know how important word of mouth can be for your retail business, a lot of the same rules apply online. You want to set up support that is available, responsive, informative, friendly, and helpful.

Keep this in mind as you are building your website, trust is a key element of your website. If they feel like they can’t trust you, or that your business is not reliable – they will simply find somewhere else to purchase your product.

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Happy Selling,