January 14, 2016
In the crowded tech space, there’s nothing more challenging than proving your new brand deserves to be taken seriously. Competitors will actively use your inexperience against you and consumers will view your lack of marketplace equity as a strike. The best thing you can do is aggressively build trust – and it starts with your website. Keep the following six key concepts in mind as you develop your company website.
1. Invest in Site Security
In 2016, website security is more important than ever. With the introduction of EMV technology in brick and mortar stores, hackers will begin shifting their attention towards more vulnerable online stores. Some even suggest online fraud could increase by 106 percent over the next three years.
As a result, you need to find a security solution for your website. Not only will it keep you protected, but it’ll also show your customers that you care about their rights to privacy. This means you’ll need an SSL certificate.
“SSL is an encryption system that helps protect the privacy of data exchanged between a customer and a website. If you have an e-commerce site that takes credit card information, customers want to know that their sensitive data is encrypted,” says one industry expert. “Get SSL if you don’t have it. If you do, let customers know that and about any other safeguards you proactively take.”
2. Use Social Proof
Customers love proof. They’ll go to extreme measures to ensure they’re making the right purchase decisions. This demand for affirmation is known as social proof, which is another word for the social force that influences decisions.
In terms of web design, there are a number of different strategies you can use to leverage social proof. One of the favorites is to show client logos or partners. Take Compare.com, for example. Their homepage does a fine job of providing natural social proof elements. The logos below the top banner show which companies they work with, while the three logos in the grey box tell readers that they’ve been featured in respectable publications.
Social proof can also come in the form of personal validation. Econsultancy.com provides a good example. Their homepage features videos from various clients talking about why they use their solutions.
3. Use Employee Faces and Original Images
One of the biggest disadvantages ecommerce businesses have when compared to brick and mortar businesses is the lack of personal touch. Whereas a customer can walk into a retail store and talk with a sales associate face to face, an online shopper doesn’t have this luxury.
While you’ll never be able to avoid this shortcoming altogether, you can mitigate the negative impact it has on your business. The easiest solution is to include images, headshots, and videos of your employees. This allows customers to put faces to names. It’s a simple addition, but an effective one, nonetheless.
Additionally, you should stop using stock photography. Today’s consumer is quite savvy and understands the difference between generic images and custom photography. It’s worth your time to pay for original images. You can use them for years and they’ll immediately enhance trust with site visitors.
4. Leverage Case Studies
Few things are more valuable than cold hard data. If you really want to establish trust with customers, present them with unbiased case studies that clearly convey the value your business provides. It’s best if you get a third-party to develop the case study, as this adds even more credibility.
On a related note, you can use these case studies as lead capture tools to maximize their value. Do this by requiring users to provide their contact information and other important data in order to access the reports.
5. Learn to Love Video
Video is extremely powerful. If you want to connect with users, find opportunities to incorporate video into your static site pages. Behind the scenes videos are especially effective, as they allow customers to see what’s happening beneath the surface. This automatically increases the overall trust you have with your users.
6. Detailed ‘About Us’ Page
When you’re first introduced to a company and visit their website, what’s one of the first things you do? If you’re like most people, you look for the ‘About Us’ page for more information. Your users will do the same.
By spending a lot of time on your ‘About Us’ page, you can give users reasons to believe in your company. Really focus on things like experience, history, founding story, and future goals.
Use Trust to Your Advantage
There are very few things that trust can’t help you overcome in business. When customers feel like they can rely on you and receive a consistent service over a long period of time, they’re willing to overlook other deficiencies and even pay a premium. By keeping these important tips in mind, you can make your online presence – and website in particular – a strong component of your overall brand.
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