How to Increase Conversion Rates With Ecommerce Trust Signals

How to Increase Conversion Rates With Ecommerce Trust Signals

According to a 2017 Experian survey, 73% of consumers are worried about their financial information being stolen or hacked.

And because credit card theft is the most common form of identity theft, it’s no wonder why consumers are hesitant to buy from websites they don’t know very well or trust.

To get new website visitors to purchase on your ecommerce website, you need to include trust signals that erase their fears about sharing credit card information with you. Below we’re sharing the top 5 ecommerce trust signals you need on your website to improve and increase conversion rates and gain new customers and sales.

Not sure what Conversion Rate Optimization is? Read the following articles to learn more:

5 Ecommerce Trust Signals to Increase Conversion Rates

1. Add a TLS / SSL Certificate to Your Website

A TLS (Transport Layer Security) certificate and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate are both protocols that keep information transmitted on websites secure and confidential. This is key for keeping information like credit card numbers safe from possible website hackers.

You can tell if your website has a TSL or SSL certificate by looking at how your URL appears in the URL bar of your preferred search engine.

If your website has a lock symbol and http:// in front of your URL, then you have a TSL/SSL on your site:

Chrome - Secure Notice in Address Bar
Notice you will see if a website has SSL installed on their website within Chrome’s address bar. You will see a green padlock icon along with http:// in a green color.

However, if your website doesn’t have the lock symbol or has http:// in front of your URL, then you most likely do not have TSL/SSL on your website:

Google Chrome - Not Secure Warning
If a website doesn’t have SSL on the web page you are viewing, you will see an exclamation icon. If you click on that icon you will see the following warning that

Not only does having a secure website show trust to your customers, it also shows trust to Google. Google only wants to provide quality search results so in 2018 they announced that they would mark all websites non-secure if they did not have an active SSL or TSL certificate. This designated speaks volumes to consumers, making it a critical need for your ecommerce website.

Is your website still not secure? Learn how to change to https now!

2. Include Reviews in All Digital Marketing Collateral, Including Your Website

When you’re looking for the best plant-based protein powder, you’re most likely reading product or service descriptions, ingredients, and product reviews to help you make your decision. The product reviews are the key to your search because you want to make sure the powder you buy doesn’t have a chalky taste or that the flavors actually taste good. By reading about other people’s experience, you’re able to decide on the right protein powder and buy for yourself.

Reviews help consumers make buying decisions and are a huge trust signal. Think about it: If you were looking to buy from a company you’ve never bought from before, would you be hesitant if you didn’t see any reviews about their customer service, product, etc.? I would.

Where to Use Reviews

To build trust with your consumers, incorporate reviews on your product pages, checkout page, homepage, blog posts and digital marketing campaigns.  

You should also try to include user reviews near you calls to action, such as “Add to Cart” buttons.  This will improve the intended desired action and push people through your website’s funnel.  This is especially helpful with lead generation efforts.

Loopy Cases uses reviews in almost every aspect of their marketing: website, social media, and email. Their website even has a Reviews page in the main navigation.

Example of https in URL bar

(And check out the lock symbol and http:// in the URL bar!)

It’s really hard to not buy a Loopy Case when the reviews speak volumes about their quality, customer service, longevity, and how they keep your phone safe from cracked screens. (I bought a Loopy Case after reading the reviews and I’m a customer for life now – #powerofreviews.)

How to Get Reviews

Getting reviews always seems to be a challenge for businesses. However, it doesn’t have to be if you include it in your already existing processes.

For example, after someone buys a product from you, you follow-up with them about their experience, right? Well, just add on to this by asking them to leave you a review on Google, Bing, Facebook, or your website.

By including this into an already existing process, you’re not adding any additional work to your team (only to create the email template and add into your after-sales workflow) and dramatically boosting your review count.

3. Share Your Return Policy

Buying anything online is a gamble. Even with pictures and sizing charts, you can still buy the wrong size dress or the wrong color lamp for your living room. Or worse, you could end up with a completely different product.

And because not all ecommerce stores also have a physical retail store, consumers are sometimes leary of buying when they can’t just go to the store for a refund or exchange. (Like if you buy from Old Navy online and then return to your closet Old Navy store.)

That’s where including your return/exchange policy on your website can help.

Knowing that customers can return their product if they need to is a huge relief. It makes the decision of buying less of a decision because they have a way to get their money back if they aren’t satisfied.

If you offer free shipping, make sure you spell out in your return policy if you also offer free return shipping, since many consumers are conscious of the possibility of returning their orders.

Going back to Loopy Cases, it’s relatively easy to learn about their return policy because they include it in the footer, on product pages, and on the homepage of their site.

Return policy located on website's footer
Return policy example

Highlight the Ease of Your Return Process

One of the major pain points with returning online purchases is the customer service and actual return process. You don’t want to make your customers jump through hoops to return a product they’re not happy with – that will only lead to frustration and a negative experience.

Make your return process easy – so easy that it’s painless for both customers and your team.

If you’re not sure how your return process works, go through it yourself. Buy from your site and try to return it as if you were a customer, not an employee. This will give you good insight into what your customers actually go through. If you find it to be too cumbersome or frustrating, most likely your customers do too.

While you don’t want customers to return your products, it does happen (and for a variety of reasons). By making it clear that you do have a return policy and making it easy to go through, you’re increasing your trust levels with prospective and current customers.

4. Add Your Address and Phone Number to Your Website

One of the most important ways to build trust is to tell consumers where you are and how to get ahold of you.

This means adding your address (or email address)  and phone number to the footer of your website or on the contact / support page.

Uncommon Goods offers several ways for visitors and customers to contact them: Live chat, email address, and phone number.

And on their Contact Help page, they also give you customer service hours and a fax number.

They’ve offered several ways to review the legitimacy of their business and team.

5. Add Actual Trust Badges to Your Website

In addition to building ‘invisible’ trust symbols  through reviews and your return policy, you can also add actual trust badges to your website to show you take website security and your business seriously.

For example, in the Think Geek footer they include the following badges: Secure Trust, BizRate, and BBB.

Trust badges example

These badges add legitimacy and credibility to the Think Geek name. (Also notice the address right underneath the badges – multiple trust builders happening here)

Other trust seals you might include are Symantec, TrustLock, GoDaddy, and your payment gateway provider, like Authorize.Net or PayPal.

These badges, while they might seem small compared to the other trust factors on the list, are huge in conveying a safe and secure checkout experience.

If you have active social media accounts, you can add social proof by including links and live feeds to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and any other social media accounts that you have.

If you offer anything free, make sure you list that everywhere. For example:

  • Free Shipping
  • Free Return Shipping
  • Free Trial

If you want to test your ecommerce trust signals, try split testing different trust badges on your website and pick the winner after several weeks of testing.  You can split test this through Google Analytics or other 3rd party A/B split testing tools

Online shopping isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. However by not including ecommerce trust symbols on your website you won’t be able to grow your store or customer base.

Need Help with Improving Your Ecommerce Conversion Rate?

Contact SurgeStream, a conversion optimization firm, for a free strategy session, or fill out the form below.

About SurgeStream

SurgeStream is a full service digital marketing and SEO company that works with small to medium sized businesses in order to help increase their website's online visibility.

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