How do you build trust online?
I read an article in the November 2010 issue of Website Magazine called, “The Four Pillars of Building Instant Trust Online“ written by Tim Ash. His article inspired me to share some excerpts from the article because after all, you are only getting less than a few seconds at an opportunity to gain trust when a potential customer clicks on your URL for the first time.
To quote this article,
“First impressions matter. Recent research indicates that people will form an initial impression of your landing page or website within 50 milliseconds.”
- The first of four pillars he refers to in building instant trust is naturally the visual Appearance of your on-line presence. A professional design to include well executed fonts, colors, and graphical elements that come together is important. In addition, well organized, clear, neat, simple and easy to navigate pages will keep your on-line ‘shopper’s’ attention longer. (Hopefully much longer than it takes to blink!)
- Next Tim mentions is Transactional Assurances. In a nutshell, this means the human on the other end has to trust that whatever personal information they give to you about them, whether an email address to sign up for your on-line newsletter, name, phone number, address and credit card number to make a purchase – you must include reassurances before they will move forward. Utilizing well known vendors to ship your products and secure on-line payments is critical as is featuring warranties, return policies, and guarantees can ease anxieties.
- Pillar number three includes Experts & Media – borrow trust from better-known brands. Tim refers to highlighting ‘expert’ reviews about your product or service, mentioning well known industry awards, media articles, using client logos (with permission) on your site – all are ways you can gain trust a little faster. For small businesses especially who might not do business with ‘big brand experts’ – just think TESTIMONIALS. Gather them and sprinkle them all over your site where they can be easily found.
- Last but not least, get Consensus of Peers. Have you ever purchased something because your peers ranted and raved about it? Of course you have! Do you trust those in our social circles? That’s why social media is playing a HUGE role in marketing and selling, right? Showing off some numbers in your network who have moved to some form of action doing business with you is one last tip for getting more than just 50 milliseconds of attention.
What helps establish trust for you? How do you decide if you’re at a website you can trust? What makes you leave due to lack of trust? Please share.