According to an Experian report, 73% of consumers are uneasy about providing financial and personal information in websites. This happens mainly due to fears of it being stolen which is not surprising when there are frequent news of data breaches and hacking stories. Furthermore, another study showed that 18% of consumers will abandon their shopping cart if they do not trust the website (Baymard 2020).
The main point is that if people cannot trust a website, they are unlikely to purchase from it.
Developing and securing the consumers’ trust is pivotal for any website. This article will look at how a website can inspire and build consumer trust, not only from a technological approach but from a human approach as well.
Increase trust by encrypting your website
Web browsers can inform prospective consumers on a website’s security. How? Browsers examine whether a website has an SSL certificate, thereby informing the visitor if the website is safe for browsing or not. An SSL certificate installed on a website, helps browsers authenticate the website’s ownership. They also enable encryption in the data exchanged between the website server and the visitor.
To make sure that your website is marked as trusted by the browsers, here are a few ways to optimise your site’s SSL profile:
- Verify that an SSL certificate is installed on your site. Browsers will display a “Not secure” red label, warning your visitors that you do not have an installed SSL. This may result in potential consumers abandoning your website. So first and foremost, make sure to get an SSL and install it immediately. Even if you do have an SSL installed, some browsers may still flag your site as unsafe. This happens when the “HTTPS” secure protocol is not being forced (How to fix) or if there is “mixed content” on your website (How to fix). So, make sure you have an SSL but also that it’s working properly.
- Upgrading to premium SSL certificates provides higher authentication and malware scanning services. Domain Validated (DV) SSL certificates provide the minimum level of data encryption and authentication. Premium SSL solutions, such as Organisation Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates, ensure that a human has validated the website organisation’s physical address. Moreover, premium SSL solutions can include malware scanning tools, enabling you to find and sort out small issues before becoming substantial problems. EV SSL certificates provide the highest level of authentication. They enable the browser to show website visitors -with one-click- the “Issued To” company information. This results in higher consumer trust: there is a real company behind the website.
Increase trust by adding human elements to your website
Retailers such as Walmart and Amazon benefit from already having established consumers trust. How can you compete when your brand is not well known yet? The answer is: leverage established badges, symbols and testimonials to inspire trust in your site visitors.
- Site Seals (Trust-Badges): Along with the previously mentioned benefits of SSL certificates, they also include site seals that inspire trust and boost conversions. Website owners who have purchased their SSL certificates from a major brand should make sure that they properly display the included site seal. Many consumers recognise these seals and understand the third-party vetting that is involved (Baymard 2020). Notably, displaying a site seal when payment information is needed can significantly increase conversions. A study conducted by Conversion Fanatics (2017) saw a 71.1% increase of revenue per visitor after they added a trust badge to their checkout page.
- Awards and PR mentions: Has your brand received any industry awards or has it been featured in publications? By showcasing these accolades on your website can be helpful in building trust with your visitors.
- Display user-created content: Happy customers are typically more than thrilled to promote your product or service with generous reviews or product photos. Make sure to encourage your customers relate their experiences online so you can share their reviews on your site. Testimonials validate your brand to prospective customers, helping them be more comfortable spending their hard-earned money in your brand.
As your brand grows bigger, there are effective and simple ways to inspire trust in your site’s visitors. The more trust-building activities you implement, the greater the conversions will be and will eventually maximise your sales.