Building trust in your websites

For an eCommerce strategy to be successful, trust in the brand has to be conveyed through elements on the portal. Here’s what marketers need to do.

Recently I happened to buy a pair of shoes from a very famous Indian eCommerce site. Before proceeding to the payment forms, I happened to check the product’s price in various other e-commerce portals. They offered prices which were much lower than the first eCommerce portal for the same pair of shoes. This made me wonder if I could trust the website and its eCommerce strategy. I am sure a lot of people have faced similar dilemmas. A dilemma in choosing between

  • Reliability over Price
  • Trust over Quantity
  • Service over Offers

After a lot of consideration, I decided to drop the price advantage and choose the portal that I trusted the most. Later I analyzed what could have been the factors that influenced my decision. The sites which offered lower prices were cramped with information overload, had disorganized layouts and buttons and used unusual colors in inappropriate styles.

Why do such factors affect customers’ view? A potential customer might be a lawyer, a doctor or people who don’t professionally deal with design sensibilities. Yet these factors continue to influence decision making. Well you may wonder how that is possible but the Gestalt Principle has an logical answer for the same.

The Gestalt Principle states that “the human eye sees objects in their entirety before perceiving their individual parts, suggesting the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” So in the case of websites, the overall shape and layout is perceived. The small details and definitions in a design become secondary. If a design layout is disorganized or asymmetric, your brain knows there is something out of place. This in turn influences decision-making and judgment adversely.

Whatever website you may be designing – a small business showcase website or a large scale E-Commerce portal – communication isn’t effective until you connect with your target audience. Overall experience of the website with assurance of reliability and accountability will surely give you a bigger edge than monetary discounts.

What are the other elements that should be taken care of while building trust in websites?

About us page : There are a lot corporate websites with the about us page having a more human feel, like what Kickstarter did. Here the concept of crowd-sourcing is reinvented by showing the team behind it. Adding more personal content about the company staff, what their hobbies are and how much fun they have at work provides the potential to go viral.

Flawless Navigation : Navigation is the basic functionality your visitors interact with first on your website. Having a navigation flaw will discourage visitors from browsing and result in them bouncing. Navigation should be minimal and smart navigation system will help your users understand your website easier which in turn will enhance confidence and trust.

Creating Brand awareness or Uniqueness : Every brand has their own color guidelines. Repeating unique set of patterns through out the website experience will build reliability for your brand.

Not involving too much content : Too many large chunks of content can make it visually bothersome. Incorporating pictures and videos will make the experience lighter and more pleasant.

Involving big brands : Including mentions and logos of big brands that your organization has worked for will add to the trust-building exercise.

Having Faster Page Loading Time : You have a visitor to your website for a reason – either to purchase or collect information. There’s nothing more frustrating for him than an annoying loading symbol.

Showcasing Awards and Recognition : Awards relating to the work that your organization does.

Showing off Social Reputations: In an era where the number of re-tweets and likes judges what kind person you are, it would make sense to showcase how you’re faring and interacting on social networks.

Having a Strong FAQ section and a Online Customer Service team : Support service icons give the user confidence regarding the product/service offered which again builds a great trust

Privacy Policy : Explicitly informing the user that their data will not be sold or used privately is required to gather information without losing credibility.

Staying Transparent : Allowing users to create content (such as comments and reviews) and responding to them with immediacy will not demonstrate responsiveness.

Contact Us Page : A quick contact us page with built in free tools which allows the user to contact the organization in case of inquiries or offers. Also a detailed genuine address about the firm will provide assurance.

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”George MacDonald




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