Starting an e-commerce venture can be a minefield. Not only do you need to come up with a unique offering and price point that people will choose over a competitor, but you also need to prove to customers that your store is the real deal and you’re not some snake oil salesman trying to swindle them out of their money. But how exactly do you go about doing that? Here are 3 pointers to get you started.
1. Buy SSL
A surefire way of putting potential customers’ minds at ease when they’re thinking about buying from your site is getting an SSL certificate. In case you didn’t know, an SSL certificate encrypts the connection between your site’s server and customers’ browsers so that all their data is kept private. Getting an SSL is basically a requirement nowadays, and many savvy customers know to look for it when they find themselves on a new website.
But not just any SSL will do — try to get an organization or enterprise-level SSL certificate. SSLs come in different validation levels, which refers to the amount of vetting the SSL issuer will perform before giving you the certificate. This also means that information about you and your company will be available when customers click on the padlock, which should instill confidence about who you are and your legitimacy.
2. Prioritize customer experience
This is a pretty all-encompassing point covering everything from your site’s design to customer support. Make things as easy for your customer as possible. Otherwise they’re going to bounce. And that’s not being dramatic — with so many competitors out there in this day and age, why wouldn’t customers go to a competitor that makes things easy for them? So make sure your website is easy to use. Test that the layout makes sense and that it’s fast to load. Should a customer run into any trouble, make sure customer support is clearly signposted on your site. The ideal timeframe to get back to customers is immediately to 1 hour, but of course, that won’t be possible for many new companies. In that case, make sure you give the potential customer a good idea of when you’ll get back to them, whether that be 3 hours or 3 days.
3. Be as transparent as possible
Somewhat related to the last point, transparency is vital if you want to win the trust of potential customers. To be blunt, if customers can’t find some piece of information quickly, such as your returns policy or in-depth details about a product, they’re going to presume it’s for a reason and that the reason is not good. Avoid presumptions like this by creating a returns policy page that clearly lays out how returns and refunds work. Make sure to clearly link it on every page so that it’s easy to find. Make sure that your product descriptions and photos are as detailed as possible. Pay extra for a good copywriter if needs be — it can make all the difference.
Figuring out how to make customers trust you can be a head-scratcher. It may even seem like a complicated endeavor at first, but actually, it shouldn’t be. By taking a few simple steps, like being mindful of your site’s layout, securing it with SSL and making transparency a priority, you’ll be headed in the right direction.