How to build online trust – 6 helpful tips for small business ecommerce and start-ups

online trust

Trust is integral to the success of any business. A customer will only buy from you, continue a relationship with you and share their experience positively if they trust you. Of course, building trust takes time so a key challenge for small business ecommerce and start-ups is getting customers to engage when they have no experience of you or your business. Therefore, as a small business owner or ecommerce start-up you have to work harder to instill a sense of trust in order for a customer to feel comfortable handing over their hard-earned money.

Well-known companies have built up trust over time to the point that it becomes ingrained within the brand (think John Lewis). Start-up’s don’t have that luxury – you need to impart a sense of trust from the first moment a potential customer comes in contact with you business. You have to be able to quickly convey the message that you are a credible, professional and trustworthy company.

Happily there are some practical actions you can implement that can help send out trust signposts to potential customers signalling that you are a business they can feel comfortable and confident engaging with. A good starting point is to take a look the entire customer experience – start to finish. From initial promotions (both online and offline), a customer’s first experience of your website , right through to the checkout process. Identify all the touchpoint along the customer journey that can provide you with the opportunity to develop your  message of  trustworthiness.

6 ways to help instill trust

1. A great website

Like it or not first impressions count. Your website may well be the first significant experience a customer get of  your business. If a new customer lands on your site and it it looks disorganised, dated and unprofessional any natural hesitancy they had will be amplified and it will be increasingly difficult for you to win their business.

Your website needs to look professional, be easy to navigate and information should be up-to-date. Go through it with a fine tooth comb and check for broken links, spelling mistakes and out-of-date information. A credible website makes a customer feel comfortable and secure. Think about the following aspects:

  • Navigation – How simple is it for your customer to access the information they are looking for? Can they get to their desired destination within a few clicks?
  • Usability – Does it load quickly? How easy is it for a customer to complete a specific action such as sending an email request,  adding an item to their shopping cart or completing the checkout process? Make your website as user-friendly as possible.
  • Design – we’ve already mentioned the importance of a good first impression. The design of your site has powerful impact on how your business is viewed. Is your website structured so your customers don;t have to think too hard. Is it visually appealing? Does it contain interesting and engaging images?

2. Relevant, fresh and engaging content

online content

The quality of your content is central to building trust and establishing an ongoing relationship with your customers. Offer customers a wide range of interesting, engaging and informative content. Think about how you can provide information that is of value to your audience. For example blogging is a great way to show you are interested in your customers, it helps keep new content coming into your site and can add an air of authority to your business.

Look at your content continuously on an ongoing basis. Nothing shrieks unprofessional as stale and out of date content. Customers may think if you can’t be bothered to take time over the content of your website you may not be too bothered in other areas either. Keep your content fresh, relevant and up-to-date and don’t forget if you have a presence on social media, the same applies – keep active and post fresh, interesting content regularly.

Finally, do also have a think about the tone of voice and approach you take to your content. As your brand develops and becomes more established you may take more risks and become more playful in your tone but when starting out then it is probably safer to take a friendly but professional stance – for example err on the conservative side!

3. Customer reviews and testimonials

  • 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews.
  • Consumer reviews are significantly more trusted (nearly 12 times more) than descriptions that come from manufacturers

Customer reviews on your website can act as a significant trust signposts. Customers trust reviews from other customers almost as much as word of mouth from friends and family – this can be particularly useful when starting out in a new business. Customer reviews can help improve customer trust in your product and/or service and helps build brand credibility. Having visible customer reviews on your website also conveys that you are confident in your product, having nothing to hide and are genuinely interested in and value the opinions of your customers.

There are plenty of online review sites available to help you manage and automate your customer reviews – for example Trustpilot, Feefo, Reevo. Alternatively don’t be afraid of directly contacting customers or clients  for a testimonial directly. If customers have had a positive experience they are usually quite happy to review you or provide you with a testimonial.

4. Display Trustmarks

 

trust mark security logos

Trustmarks in isolation won’t solve a customers concerns over the credibility of your site, but they can play a supporting role. A well designed, usable shopping cart checkout process is key but displaying trust marks security logos can help reassure customers that it is safe for them to shop on your website. Security logos and badges such as McAfee, Norton, TRUSTe, Twarte, Commode, PayPal will reassure customers that you have taken the appropriate steps to keep their personal  data safe and protect them from credit card fraud and identity theft.

In addition, if you are a member of any industry bodies or trade associations then it is worth flagging this up to. And, if your business works with closely with your local community or  supports a particular charity then highlight these activities as well  – they all help send out trust signals to customers that you are a credible, trustworthy and all-round good company to do business with.

5. Open communication channels

Your customers should be able to get in touch with you easily. Making them jump through hoops to make contact will undermine any trust you’ve built up. Being visible and easily contactable shows you care about your customers experience and have nothing to hide!

Ensure your contact information is flexible. Customers should be able to contact you in whatever way is most convenient to them be it phone, email or letter. Your ‘Contact Us’ page should be visible and easy for customers to find.

Central to developing trust offering excellent customer services. Being able to reassure a customer about an order or  a delivery goes a long way towards establishing a trustworthy relationship – particularly when a customer has no previous experience of your business.

6. Present a human face to the business

As a rule people like people and like doing business with people. Adding a human element is a great way for small business and start-ups to establish a rapport with potential customers. If they like the look of you and your business ethos, they are more likely to feel happy and willing to do business with you.

Checkout Riverford’s About Us page. It has genuine sense of community and you get a real feel for the people behind the business. So too take a look at Stella & Dot’s video – again is gives you a feel for the personalities behind the business.

Riverford About Us

 

Establishing brand trust doesn’t magically happen overnight it grows along with your business. However, as we’ve outlined above, when you are just starting out there are a number of trust signposts you can implement early on to help send out signals to potential customers that you are a credible, professional and trustworthy business that they can feel confident in engaging with. 

Online shopping image courtesy of sixninepixels at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thumbs up image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences of building trust so please do leave a comment

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The Impact of Shipping Methods and Policies on Conversions

Shipping methods and policies can have significant, measurable effects on ecommerce conversions. Design and site architecture tend to get more attention. But if you only change one thing about your ecommerce business, shipping could be the game changer.

Here are the top methods to drive conversions with the right shipping methods.

Free Shipping

Free shipping is one of the most effective ways to bump conversions. People really like free shipping, and it’s increasingly regarded as normal to offer it as stores get wise to how effective it is.

Free shipping sits at the point where our love of free things intersects with our dislike of additional charges. Psychologically, if we’re not expecting to pay for shipping (as online shoppers increasingly aren’t), we’ll experience shipping fees as a loss, and we all know how loss-averse customers are. If we’re offered free shipping, we’ll experience it as added value.

Free shipping eliminates one of the biggest hurdles in the ecommerce payment process. Asking people to pay is the hardest part of sales: without free shipping, you get customers over that hurdle – then immediately ask them to pay again. And you lose up to half of them doing it!

How to Implement Free Shipping

Time limit: Free shipping time limits are really effective. Offer a countdown to buy and qualify for free shipping: urgency is a powerful tool to trigger conversions by overcoming buyer procrastination.

Purchase cutoff: More than three quarters of shoppers have added items to their cart to qualify for free shipping. Lots of stores use a free shipping cutoff: Amazon offers free delivery on orders over $35 or small items, while JCrew uses intermittent free shipping on orders over a certain amount as a limited-time, urgency-triggering promo:

How to Implement Free Shipping
Free all the time: Bundling free shipping with everything all the time can be expensive, but it’s what customers say they want: most would prefer free shipping to a discount that’s actually worth more. There are ways to spread the hit, essentially by building shipping costs into product pricing. If there’s no way for you to do this try offering a flat shipping rate, or selectively bundling shipping costs with your least price-sensitive products while leaving the others unaffected. And remember free shipping drives conversions, so it should pay for itself in increased sales revenue

Shipping Time

Customers are extremely sensitive to shipping time, even when shipping is free. Shorter shipping times are perceived as a good, below a calendar week which is seen by most customers as a baseline.

Shipping time is perceived by customers as waiting, and as humans we are seriously averse to waiting. So offering shorter shipping times as a premium good has been done ever since there were two classes of postage stamp. E-tailers can leverage this to drive conversions.

  • 63% of consumers say it’s important that e-tailers provide estimated delivery times – the earlier the better in the checkout process.
  • 67% of shoppers want to be offered an expedited shipping service for an additional fee, but only about 16% of them will use it; 78% will use the standard shipping model.
  • 43% of shoppers have abandoned carts because of excessive delivery time.
  • 50% of online shoppers think tracking services ‘essential’ – and 71% prefer email notifications.

Shipping time intersects with free shipping: people will willingly wait longer for free shipping, but some will willingly pay extra for faster shipping. And even when they don’t plan to use it, customers want to be offered expedited shipping. They also massively prefer tracked shipping with notifications.

How to Leverage Shipping Time

Options: Customers like to be given choices. ASOS do this very well:

How to Leverage Shipping Time
Detail is important, and so is clearly stated value. ASOS win at this by showing exactly what each shipping option means to the customer, with crucial information bolded, and everything laid out simply.

Urgency: How can you make shipping times more urgent? By making them more concrete. Amazon does this well. Making the delivery date specific – ‘want it Monday, August 31?’ makes two-day delivery immediate, stating the benefit rather than the feature. Adding a countdown timer to qualify for two-day shipping drives urgency further.

Urgent shipping timesClarity: Customers prefer being told shipping options in detail, as early as possible and very clearly. Finding out they’ll have to wait ten days or more for their item could trigger abandonment! Popular methods of providing clarity are:

  • Flat rate shipping. Charging one flat rate for all shipping reduces friction and can be bundled with product prices the same way as free shipping, while letting you use free and expedited shipping as two contrasted ways of delivering additional shipping value.
  • Real time carrier times and rates. Link customers directly into carriers’ own offerings, generating trust and giving customers as much control as possible.

Tracking: Customers like tracking. Waiting for something indeterminate feels longer than waiting for something definite, so to provide a better customer experience offer detailed tracking, preferably via email. If you want to move to one of the high-accuracy granular tracking services now available that allow customers to track the van their product is in and offer half-hour delivery windows, be aware that the wrinkles haven’t been ironed out yet: early-adopt at your peril, but we’ll all be using those services soon.

Carrier

Choosing the right carrier can make a world of difference to your shipping. People often strongly identify certain carriers with reliability and will perceive your association with that carrier as a reflection of your own trustworthiness. Knowing exactly who will be handling their packages gives customers an extra layer of control too.

Leverage carrier choice

Carriers differ markedly in the way they approach their provisions.

What do the options look like?

USPS: Use set pricing for all their services, so what you see is what you get. A good choice if your products are mostly small – it’s far and away the cheapest option for items under 13 ounces in the USA. See their business shipping kit request form here. Customers can track their order on the USPS website. However, USPS has a bad reputation for reliability with consumers – the ‘lazy USPS guy’ who leaves the ‘you were out when we called’ note without even knocking is not a myth, sadly, and many packages used to arrive in pretty poor shape too. The company has made big improvements over the last four years but will your customers believe that?

FedEx: Their expedited 2-day service can be pricey but ground shipping rates compare well with USPS on larger items. You can qualify for online discounts simply by setting up an account. FedEx apply a range of surcharges depending on location, fuel costs and other factors, including residential delivery and Saturday delivery. That means it’s harder to offer flat-rate shipping, and you can wind up paying far more than the basic price to get your products to your customers on time. If you ship high volumes daily this is less of a problem. To find out more, visit FedEx Small Business Center.

DHL: Also use a surcharge system. Customers can track their order on the company website. One of the most innovative carriers – it’s working on an app to deliver to parked cars! – has a strong international presence so if you deliver to Europe and China, German-based DHL are definitely worth a look.

UPS: The biggest carrier in ecommerce. Very good ground shipping rates for packages around the 2lb mark help explain that – free shipping on midsize items is easier to arrange on those terms. They use a surcharge system just like everyone except USPS and there’s no free package pickup service. The other key to their success is that they take delivery reliability extremely seriously and seldom deliver inaccurately or late. To get a good result from UPS it’s essential to ‘build’ your own rates via the company’s Account Manager based on your delivery volume. To find out more, check out UPS Small Business Solutions.

Strategies:

  • Offer customers real-time carrier rates to demonstrate transparency and empower the consumer. The downside? Too many options cause ‘paralysis by analysis’ and consumers click away, abandoning the cart!
  • Select one carrier and get the best out of that carrier, building their pricing into yours ‘invisibly’ and offering free shipping for most products.
  • Use an app like ShipRobot, ShipStation or Shippo to handle shipping for you.

Returns

ReturnsReturns are important for online shoppers who can’t touch the products they’re buying. For those who worry their product might be delivered damaged or inaccurately, or who feel less secure because they’re not dealing directly with an individual person, it’s an additional layer of security.

  • 82% of ecommerce customers want to know returns will be easy.
  • Free returns can result in a 357% increase in consumer spending.
  • 20% of all items bought online are returned – and in 65% or more cases it’s the merchant or carrier’s fault, not the customer’s.
  • 41% of shoppers will make an impulse purchase if free returns are offered.
  • 48% of returned purchases are returned free.
  • 92% of online shoppers will shop again at a store with an easy returns policy.

Returns are clearly important to consumers. Why? They’re buying products they can’t touch and they have to rely on your measurements, your pictures and your product descriptions to know what they’re paying for. That creates insecurity – and people don’t want to buy from a store that ‘will let them fail,’ in the words of Dr Amanda Bower, professor of business administration and marketing at Washington and Lee University.

Speaking to NBC News, Dr Bower explains: ‘Consumers are not weighing fair versus unfair. They’re thinking, “It costs me $7 to get it here, $7 to get it back to you, I’ve just paid $14 for the privilege of finding out your stuff doesn’t work for me. And I don’t want to do that again.”’

How to leverage returns

The most effective returns policy is also the simplest: offer free, any-reason returns within 28 days. Opting for free returns, as we’ve seen, shoots consumer spending through the roof. Gains far outweigh expenses. There’s a psychological factor too: before the customer buys, the idea of committing to purchase is psychologically daunting.

The Takeaway

Free shipping and free returns are the best investments you can make in shipping for conversions. Keep all the information about shipping – time, carrier, tracking, price – clear at every step to increase conversions.

Make that purchase commitment-free, by offering free returns, and the customer is more likely to buy. But once they have the product, will they return it? “Probably not,” says Shopify’s Mark MacDonald, “they’re already committed.”

Image Source: (1, 2, 3, 4)

8 Must-have Elements for Any E-commerce Website

A dinner date with that ‘special someone’ demands a freshly pressed shirt, casual trousers and a nice jacket to match. A day at the beach calls for sunscreen, flip-flops, some cool shades and beachy shorts to match. A business meeting with your next ‘big fish’ client will see you in a tailored power suit, snappy tie and super shiny shoes.

What am I getting at with all this? Clothes maketh a man, my friend. And great website elements make a great e-commerce store.

Does your site have what it takes to clinch a sale and convert a visitor into a customer? Take a look and find out.

1. Intuitive Navigation

Good navigation, is in my opinion, the single biggest conversion factor for any e-commerce site. Over 70% off all visitors who do not bounce off your site, browse through it using on-site navigation.

Your navigation tells users where to find the products they want and helps them narrow it down to the smallest details. Do your site a favor by creating logical product categories that break down into clear sub categories in the most natural way; for example,

Menswear >> Shirts >> Cotton Shirts >> Egyptian Cotton

Another critical thing to ensure is that the navigation bar or product categories are clearly visible to the visitor. The more the user is forced to hunt aimlessly for a specific item she has on her mind, the higher are her chances of giving up and moving on from your site.

2. Search Bar

If for some reason your site navigation leaves a lot to be desired, all is not lost as long as you have a great in-site search function. At least 30% of all visitors directly use the site search function, pointing to the pressing need for a search function that offers results that are as quick and relevant as possible.

Search is also a great starting point for users who know exactly what they have in mind, right down to the model number, size and color.

Place your search bar in a prominent spot on your website – many sites like Amazon, Zappos, BestBuy and Walmart place it top center, right above the main navigation bar. Avoid the miserly little search bars that most non-e-commerce sites use. As an e-commerce brand, your search bar needs to be large enough to visibly fit in longer queries that may involve detailed product specifications and filters.

3. Product Ratings & Reviews

Don’t let the weaknesses of online shopping affect your business. Things like being able to touch, feel, try on or test run a product in a physical store cannot be replaced by e-commerce. However, you can offer the next best thing – word of mouth recommendations and reviews by real customers.

Understandably, users trust the experiences of real customers more than any glib marketing copy that you may offer on your webpage. According to a study by iPerceptions, 63% of visitors were more likely to purchase from a site that offered product reviews than those that did not.

Use and display product reviews wherever possible – on your search results pages, on product pages, even offer links to product reviews for products showcased on your home page. Actively seek out product reviews from customers immediately after product delivery. This keeps the purchase experience and product reviews fresh in the minds of customers and acts as great fodder for future sales.

Another awesome by-product of detailed and fresh reviews is better search rankings for your site. You see, new reviews are seen as fresh content and get picked up by search engines easily. Moreover, they typically contain keywords that are important to your site and thus contribute to boosting your search rankings.

4. Short, Simple Checkout Process

One of the biggest negatives that traditional retail has from a customer experience point of view is the long wait times that most customers have to suffer at the cash register before they can pay and checkout with their purchase.

Don’t replicate customers’ offline shopping miseries online by creating a long and overly complicated checkout process. Keep your checkout process as short and simple as possible. Forms during your checkout process must have minimal fields requesting only that information which is really useful to you.

A good-to-have aspect of high performing checkout processes is that they are self-contained and do not have any distractions like the main site navigation bar, banners, pop-ups or any other unnecessary site elements that might lead the user away from completing the transaction.

5. Guest Checkouts

A pet peeve that most online shoppers live down is the need to register with a site before completing a transaction.

Think about it. For any e-commerce transaction to take place, the user has to offer you her complete name, shipping address, email address and mobile number (besides their financial information) at the very least. Is it not possible to create a user account on behalf of the user automatically after the transaction is completed? Is it so necessary to divert the user from the middle of a transaction to a registration page and risk them losing interest altogether?

Offer guest checkouts as a thumb rule for all new users to reduce distractions and minimize the need to re-enter the same data into registration forms that they would anyway fill up in your checkout forms. If you do need any additional data about your users, you always have the option of sending out a dedicated email requesting them for such information.

6. Multiple Payment Options

Paying for a purchase in the real world can happen in a multitude of ways including cash, credit and debit cards, coupons, gift cards, checks, store credit and more. Unfortunately, the online world has been slow in adopting this variety of payment options into their transaction mechanisms. Most e-commerce sites offer just a choice between credit or debit cards and end the discussion right there.

With the rising incidence of large scale security breaches at leading retail chains and the subsequent credit card numbers being stolen, more and more online shoppers are switching to alternate payment methods like PayPal, pre-paid cards or even cash on delivery payments in developing countries. Mobile wallets by both Google and Apple offer users the option of syncing all your cards – debit, credit, loyalty etc – under a single app. Just tapping their mobile phones on a POS system at a retail store, enables customers to make their payment without fishing out a single card.

Acknowledge the need of the hour and expand your users’ options by offering the latest payment options preferred by them, to avoid losing out on a sale.

7. Trust Factors

Most people are fiercely guarded about their lives online, which extends to their financial behavior as well.

Few visitors to your site will willingly part with their email IDs or phone numbers, afraid of receiving a load of junk emails or having their data sold to unscrupulous organizations looking for user data.

When a user whips out a credit card or a debit card to make a payment, they need to know that the site that they are trusting with their financial information is safe to use and will protect the privacy of their personal and financial information.

Your job is to restore this faith in humanity that most online shoppers have by offering subtle trust cues across website. While collecting personally identifiable information from users, make sure you clarify that their data will not be sold forward to others or misused in any other way. This could be in the form of microcopy alongside the various data driven fields in your checkout process.

The need for trust is most acutely felt when it comes to financial information. Use widely accepted financial security measures to prevent data theft and misuse. Logos like the Verisign or McAfee tell the user that their data is now in safe hands.

8. Free Shipping

Getting items shipped to your doorstep is one of the many perks of e-commerce, however this perk typically comes at a price. Sometimes, the cost of shipping for certain bulky items becomes so unreasonably high, that online sales for such products becomes entire unviable.

A study by UPS in 2011, showed that unexpectedly high shipping costs were the number one reason for shoppers to abandon their shopping carts online mid-purchase.

Fix this conundrum by negotiating rock bottom rates with your shipping providers and offering users the benefit of free shipping once they shop above a certain order value. To ensure that your bottom-lines do not take a large hit while offering this convenience to your users, you can also offer users the option of picking slow shipping modes in order to avail the option of free shipping.

In Closing

The list of must-haves on a good e-commerce site is a large tome – something I probably will need a brand new blog post to cover and complete.

For now, my dear e-commerce colleagues, I promise you that getting started with these eight elements will show you some fabulous results already – results that will motivate you to dig deeper and turn that website of yours into a conversion machine. Amen to that lovely thought!

Shopping cart security: How small online businesses can build customer confidence

data security Large scale data security breaches are becoming increasingly common. No matter how technically sophisticated we become it seems hackers are always hot on our tails.

Indeed just recently eBay suffered a massive cyber attack on its 145 million users. And of course it is only natural that as data breaches grow so to will consumer concerns over how their personal and payment information is stored and managed online.

It’s not just large corporations like eBay that experience security breaches, an increasing number of SME’s are also vulnerable.

“The total number of data breaches increased 62 percent during the last 12 months, amounting to more than 627 million sensitive records exposed…We all know that large corporations continue to be the targets of these attacks, but what we have seen in the last 12 months is that small and medium-sized businesses are experiencing the largest number of breaches.” Internet Security Threat Snapshot Summary — 2014: Data Breaches Grow Significantly

So in addition to implementing adequate security measures, what can you as  a small online business owner do to build consumer confidence and reassure customers about the  security of your online store?

30% of consumers are increasingly concerned about the loss of personal data

New research by Software Advice* into the impact data breaches have on consumer confidence found that nearly one-third of consumers are increasing concerned about their personal information being stolen. The study found that:

  • 30% of consumers are increasingly concerned about data loss
  • 35% of consumers would stop shopping at a company where their personal data had been stolen
  • 53% of consumers would be somewhat more or much more likely to shop at a store where they were confident their personal data was secure.

In summary, the Software Advice research highlights that consumers are increasingly concerned about data security, would avoid shopping in stores from which their personal data was stolen and would look to shop somewhere where they felt confident their personal data was secure.

How to build customer confidence online

In all likelihood the majority of us are probably unfamiliar and uninterested in the highly technical aspects of data security.  Although implementing solid security measures is an absolute essential, in isolation it is not enough. You also need to work on building brand trust so that your customers feel secure and confident imparting personal and payment information when they shop at your store. We look at some best practice tips for a safe and secure online presence that will help foster trust amongst your customers.

1. Secure, PCI compliant e-commerce

The first thing is to make sure is that the e-commerce software solution that you choose offers secure data storage and is PCI / DSS compliant ( this is the payment card industry’s security standard).  Your shopping cart solution should be protected by  a PCI approved scanning vendor such as McAfee , VeriSign or PayPal and it should protect you against credit and debit card fraud and other threats such as identity theft and spyware.  So it is really important you spend time doing your research to make sure the e-commerce software you choose helps protects you and your customers against data security breaches.

2. Implement appropriate data-protection legislation

When you are storing and managing a customer’s database make sure you are familiar with and keep to relevant data-protection legislation. In the UK this would be the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation Act. Following best practice and appropriate  legislation will ensure  less risks to the data you are managing and build customer confidence.

3. Build trust signposts

There are other ways to help build trust amongst your customers. Research indicates that simply announcing all your great security credentials is not enough. You also need to implement  ‘trust signposts’ to help build customers confidence in the safety of your online store. Large and established brands like John Lewis have ingrained such a sense of brand trust over the years that customers are rarely concerned about parting with their money or personal information. However, small businesses and start-ups don’t have this luxury so you have to work harder to build trust.

Website. Ensure your website is professional looking, up-to-date and easy to navigate. Customers won’t feel comfortable parting with payment or personal details on a site that is confusing to navigate around, has errors or is full of out of date content.

Customer service. Good customer service can only reflect positively on your brand image. Customers will be reassured with helpful, flexible and polite customer service. Make sure that all your contact and company details are clearly visible and easy for a customer to find.

Trustmarks.  Trustmark security logos can help reassure customers that the website they are on has the appropriate security protection. So whoever your security vendor is make sure you display their trustmark somewhere visible.

Customer testimonials. Client and customer testimonials, independent reviews, membership to industry organisations and links to relevant associations can all add kudos and  help reassure customers that your site is trustworthy.

4. Communicate to your customers

It won’t do any harm to remind your customers about how they can protect themselves against online fraud, such as by regularly checking their credit and bank account statements and properly managing their passwords. It can help show that you take the security of their personal information seriously. For example remind them that good password practice includes:

  • Not using the same email password for every site they register on.
  • Mix up letters, cases, numbers and special characters when creating a password.

So in an era of increased data breaches and sophisticated cyber-attacks, don’t assume that as a small online business or start-up you won’t be effected. Don’t underestimate the importance of secure e-commerce and follow good practice to ensure you are keeping you and your customers’ personal and payment information as safe as possible.

 

*New research on how data breaches can hurt retailers courtesy of Software Advice:

Software Advice helps buyers choose the right software. As a trusted resource, our website offers detailed reviews, comparisons and research to assist organizations in finding products that best fit their current and future needs. We have a team of software experts who conduct free telephone consultations with each buyer to shortlist systems best suited to their company’s specific requirements. Having a real conversation with our buyers allows us to fully understand their needs so we can match them with the right software vendors—eliminating weeks from the research process. Our software experts have advised more than 160,000 software buyers to date across various and niche software markets. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Software Advice employs a team of 100, as well as an engineering team in Cordoba, Argentina.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We’d love to hear you thoughts and experiences on this topic, so please do leave a comment