The trend of e-commerce shops is on a rise these days especially in Singapore. With minimal or little investment, anyone can own an online shop and start selling things to customers. While most internet savvy users have little qualms about purchasing things online, some are still wary when it comes to purchasing products online. The problem lies with the fact that just anyone could own an online shop. So how do we create a shop that people will trust and buy from?
1. Reassure visitors with a professional design. A person’s first impression about your whole shop and company is based 5 seconds upon loading your home page. With the rise in popularity of Apple products and internet savvy people, the importance of good design to build credibility and quality is essential. Build reassurance by having a professional design. Good design comes with good usability and functionality. Many people will not trust a shop that has a bad design because it looks like not a lot of effort and money has been invested into the business, and gives the feeling as though it is not very serious, or even a quick scam.
2. Provide product reviews where people can leave comments about the product. Not only is user-generated content great for SEO, a lot of people base their purchasing decisions based on reviews from others. By allowing product reviews (which you can moderate by the way), is also a sign that you are dedicated to providing quality products with quality service and is a huge plus point in building a trustworthy shop. While this may not be ideal for fashion shops where products are released weekly, and people don’t really write reviews for clothes, you may consider a sitewide testimonials page as well.
3. Quality of product photos. Many online shop owners fail to provide professional photography for their products. Customers are not able to touch and feel your products, plus good photography shows the status of your shop. All the big fashion stores such as ASOS and TOPSHOP, have professional models wearing their products and their photos taken in a studio, which results in a clean white background image. Products taken hanging from your bedroom cupboard handle or just tossed on the floor brings no reassurance that your store is professional at all. A lot of photos can easily be stolen from supplier sites or sites like Gmarket and Taobao, so as a customer, how do you know the shop actually has these products in stock? To solve this, it is best to have your own photoshoots with a model.
4. Elements of trust. Provide elements of trust throughout your website. These can be in the form of informational pages stating your dedication to provide customer satisfaction, trusted payment logos, contact details including shop address, phone number or email, business registration number. Return policies show that you have thought all of these through. You can also consider a live chat box.
5. Social network integration. Link your shop to a Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram. Not only does this help with your shop’s marketing for absolutely no cost, it also encourages participation and contribution amongst your visitors. A shop that has activity builds more credibility than a shop that’s just a standalone shop in the quiet depths of the internet. Besides, all the brands and shops now have a Facebook page, it would be weird not to have one!
These are just some of the practices that should be considered when trying to build a credible e-commerce store. I’m sure there are more, but lets leave that for another post!