Why and how to increase trust levels in your online business

Entrepreneurs believe the power of positive thinking will help us overcome our biggest challenges — like getting people to buy our products and services.

However, potential customers don’t think or do as we wish. They work hard to put money in their bank accounts and pockets, so they’re averse to risk — especially with brand new businesses.

Before people commit or hand over any cash, you’ve got to prove that your business can be trusted, that you’ll deliver the goods on time and to the standard they expect.

But, now you’re stuck with a chicken and egg scenario, how do you get them to trust you without doing business with them?

By harnessing the power of psychological and social influence.

Don’t worry this isn’t some dastardly weapon used by a James Bond villain. It’s simply a few techniques you can use to ramp up the trust levels of your online business.

 

#1) The Power of Social Proof

Let’s start by looking at Social Proof — this powerful psychological force encourages people to follow the action of others.

For example, if they see lots of people buying a product or using a brand, they’ll see this as a positive action, and follow suit.

There’s five kinds of social proof that your business/website can use:

1) Celebrity

2) Institutional

3) Customer

4) Expert

5) Crowd

Celebrity Social Proof

What is it?

It’s when a celebrity such as Will Smith or David Beckham endorses your product.

How do you get it?

If you’re lucky enough to know a celebrity, they might help you for free, otherwise you must pay a hefty fee for their endorsement. If you can’t afford these super influencers you could look at sponsoring smaller ones on platforms such as Instagram.

How to make the most of it?

Consider making a video and organising a photo shoot so that your sponsorship deal lives on beyond the initial contract. It’s also important to choose a relevant celebrity for your product and audience.

 

You May Like to Know :  Top 7 Tips to Boost Your Small Business’ Sales Even in a Tight Budget

 

#2) Institutional Social Proof

What is it?

This could be a recommendation or mention from a Government, University, NGO, TV Station or Newspaper.

How do you get it?

If you fulfill a contract with one of these institutions, they may endorse your product or service. A newspaper or magazine could love your business story/products and feature you in an article.

Making the make most of it?

Be sure to highlight these organisations and news mentions on relevant website pages:- Home, About, In the Press or Client.

Endorsements from these power houses can dramatically and positively change the perception and trust levels of your business.

 

#3) Customer Social Proof

What is it?

When your customers review the service and/or products your provide.

How do you get it?

Ask (Nicely!) past customers to provide you with reviews on your customer service.

How to make the most of it?

Feature these reviews in important conversion points for your business. You can also ask customers to rate your products out of five and feature the average rating near the product headline — this often works well in a star system.

business trust flow

#4) Expert Social Proof

What is it?

When an industry expert gives a glowing review about your business and products. For example, if Chef Gordon Ramsay praised a particular set of Woks and Frying Pans.

How do you get it?

It can happen organically — if experts love your products, they may happily shout and share them with their audience. You can also send your products to experts (with a covering letter) and ask kindly for a review or mention.

How to make the most of it?

Include your social media handles and website address so that people can easily credit your brand when discussing your products. Remember just one twitter mention could drive thousands of people to buy your products.

 

Read : Home Based Business Tips

 

#5) Crowd Social Proof

What is it?

Similar to customer social proof, but the focus now is on the number of people that have bought or used your product — “1000+ happy customers”

How do you get it?

By keeping track of the number customers that your business has served and the number of reviews you have received.

How to make the most of it?

Feature these large number prominently near key conversion points on your website — refer to Amazon’s products pages for examples of how these numbers are used.

Remember, social proof has powered the growth of industry titans like Amazon — it’s important for businesses both big and small.

So far I’ve focused on social proof, I thought I’d finish by mentioning a few other ways that you can improve trust in your website…

 

#6) Three Additional Ways to Boost Trust on your Website

1) Show the team or who’s behind the business:-

People like doing business with real people rather than faceless corporations(especially if they’re new).

If nobody is willing to be the face of a business why should anybody they trust them? Having an about page with photos of the team members and small bios is the right way to approach this issue. Giving this human edge to your business could give you an edge over the competition as well as boost those important trust levels.

2) Publish your business address:-

If appropriate (probably not suitable for home businesses) show your business address or map on the website.

This will show potential customers that your business is a serious proposition and that you’ll still be around once the credit card payment has gone through.

If you have a nice office or surrounding area, you could also use this opportunity to differentiate your business and show the unique personality and the home of your business with some nice photography.

3) Be upfront about delivery times and your returns policy:-

Perhaps you have long delivery times? Don’t hide these, be upfront and honest with your customers. Being transparent and upfront will increase trust levels and help you get more sales in the long-term.

 

It’s time to Invest in Trust

Whether you’re starting a new fashion brand (check out my guide to starting a clothing line) or trying to generate appointments for your consultancy, trust shouldn’t be underestimated — it can be the difference between a sale and a no-sale.

And anything that impacts your bottom line is surely worth your time, money and attention.

Of course, you won’t be able to achieve everything I mentioned in this article straight away. But, if you focus on just adding a few of the above ideas to your website, you should see an uplift in conversions, enquiries, and sales.

That’s got to be a worthwhile investment.

 

About Kishan

Armed with skilled knowledge regarding SEO and little bit of life, Kishan Rana owns Shoppingthoughts.com. He currently working as a SEO analyst.
View all posts by Kishan →

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