How Can Online Retailers Build Trust With Their Customers?

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Leigh Mardon

Reading time: 2 minutes

During the most recent Internet Retail Expo, Cristian Van Tienhoven of the Amazon Merchant Services, spoke about the growing need to build ‘trust’ between the customers and retailers. He believes that things like faster, secure payment are responsible for increased trust and sales at checkout.

However an online business should be encouraging this trust throughout their eCommerce site and not just at the final hurdle. So what are the essential features needed on an eCommerce site that help encourage trust from customer to retailer?

Showcase unaffiliated testimonies

88% of customers trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation and 60% are more likely to shop on a site where they’re featured, so including some form of testimonial can help sway a shopper towards a purchase. According to the study, a mix of image ratings and written reviews give the best overview of a product to potential customers. You could even include these reviews in the emails sent to customers. For example, if any email is triggered to a customer with something in their baskets, the addition of a review about that product may push them towards a purchase.

Not only are peer reviews a great form of advocacy but they’re also good for SEO. A higher search ranking can encourage trust because it looks like you’re the go-to choice for products. Also, because review pages are more active compared to other landing pages, they’re likely to be higher up the search engine results.

blubolt client Cass Art take peer reviews one step further: they’ve introduced a Q&A section on product detail pages. Built-in bluCommerce functionality means customers can ask very specific questions knowing that the retailer is on hand to answer any them, building an extra layer of trust between shopper and retailer.

Highlight your site security measures

Having a secure website and trusted providers to handle your customers information is essential for building trust. You need to be transparent with the types of security measures you have in place throughout your website in order to give your customer’s peace of mind.

The checkout process is the main place to highlight security, clearly display the trusted payment gateways you’re affiliated with so customers know their details are secure. As an additional note, be clear and upfront about any and all costs involved during a purchase, nothing breaks trust more than hidden costs.

The inclusion of a trusted commerce seal highlights good business practice and communicates to customers that your site is a safe place to shop. Obtain a SSL certificate to encrypt and secure connections to your site. The little padlock symbol or a green ‘https’ in their browser is a sign of authenticity, which helps reassure your customers that their sensitive information, emails, addresses, card details, are safe.

Emphasise your accessibility through customer service

Before purchasing, customer’s want to know delivery costs, times, returns, and your refund policy; so having all this information easy to locate in the first place can help to initially clarify any doubts. However, if any queries can’t be answered, customers want reassurance that they can get in contact with the company easily and receive  quick responses.

Make sure you have your contact details such as phone number, nearest shop/office address, customer care email address clearly displayed in the main site header or have a clear link that navigates you to easily to this information. Also, having a Live Chat function will give the customer instant reassurance.

Source: Sales Force

Social media has opened a new channel of communication between retailers and consumer but only when utilized well. Around 88% of customers said they’re less likely to buy from companies who leave complaints via social media unanswered, so responding is vital for building customer loyalty. Also, using social media for immediate feedback provides a voice and can help “humanise” your brand which again, is an essential way to build trust with your customers.

Source: Sales Force

New Look actually have a separate Twitter account called @newlookhelp that focuses entirely on responding to customer issues and aim to do so in 30 minutes or less.

These are just a few simple examples that can help build a trusting relationship with customers. If you’re a retailer looking for a bespoke e-commerce platform and would like to hear more about what blubolt can offer you, please do get in contact today.

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