Online shoppers today are flooded with an amazing amount of options but have serious concerns when it comes to shopping safely.

As an online shop owner, building trust can seem like an uphill battle. After all, online shoppers can be quite wary when it comes to buying from an online store they aren’t familiar with.

In order to create a trustworthy reputation for your online store, a thoughtful and systematic approach can help you identify which aspects of your online store experience garner trust—and which ones might send them clicking elsewhere.

In this article, we’ll teach you how to analyze your online store through the eyes of your customer and share some best practices to build trust.

4 steps to assess customer perceptions of your online store 

To get valuable insight on how your potential or existing customers feel about your online store’s trustworthiness, it’s important to dive deeper into their experience, examine your data, gather feedback, and look at what your competitors are doing.

Let’s explore this a little more:

Experience the customer journey

Go through your website and try to experience it objectively. Trustworthiness is kind of an abstract concept, so you might not be sure what you should be looking for. From a user experience perspective, consider some of the following questions:

  • Does your website have a modern look that is easy to navigate?
  • Do you have an “About Us” page?
  • Is your contact information easy to find?
  • Do you have both shop and product reviews?
  • Do you offer a variety of payment options?

As you can see, there are more than a few “tangible” things to investigate to see if your website comes across as trustworthy. Of course, there are more things to consider as well.

Get your eagle eye out and look at the customer journey from beginning to end, starting with the advertisements you publish all the way through to the post-purchase communications meant to inspire repeat purchases.

Look at your data

Next, you should dig into your analytics. Figure out where you are losing these potential customers.

Look into your website page’s bounce rates (a statistic that shows how often users visit one page on your site and then directly leave). For reference, the average bounce rate in e-commerce is around 45%, according to BigCommerce. If your bounce rate is high, it’s time to investigate why.

Figure out how users arrive on those pages (e.g. an advertisement or a popular keyword search) and then analyze if the landing page matches the expectations given by the source link or ad. If some don’t, address those issues one at a time.

Get feedback from other users

Of course, getting the opinions of people outside your company is always useful. Start with your friends and family. You can also ask people who are active in e-commerce forums for feedback.

Make sure they go through the checkout process as well, taking note of anything that they didn’t like. Don’t take that feedback personally. After all, this is about optimization, not ego. You may not agree with every critique, but at the very least, it should give you food for thought.

A round of feedback is always good, whether it comes from inside the company or outside it.

Source: Unsplash

If your budget allows it, reach out to an agency or consultant that specializes in e-commerce optimization. Of course, don’t forget to read your customer reviews for feedback (more on that later).

Check out the competition

Explore a successful competitor’s site. Is there anything specific or unique that you think has led to their success?

It can be something simple like implementing customer reviews throughout their site (both shop and product reviews). It can also be something less obvious, like detailed product images or unique product descriptions. Remember, unique content will boost your SEO, and a high ranking in the search results is also a huge trust-building element in and of itself.

Your starter plan to improve your trustworthiness

Now it’s time to make a plan. Although you can take action immediately, it’s important to know that maintaining trustworthiness is not a short-term project. It takes time and should be monitored rather frequently. After all, trust is difficult to earn but easy to lose.

Assign owners

At bigger companies, you might want to gather a task force of sorts. A lack of trust in your business can affect all your teams, so it’s important that these efforts involve everyone—whether it’s simply informing them or giving them a specific role.

For example, your customer service team should monitor and respond to your customer reviews while your developers implement a trustmark on your site. The legal team can improve your Terms & Conditions and the marketing team could share some of those best reviews in their ads.

Optimize your efforts with a project management tool

Project management is extremely important for a long-term, cross-team project like trust-building. Getting multiple teams on the same page with regard to project statuses and deadlines is vital to a smooth workflow and collaboration.

monday.com offers a tool that is perfect for cross-team collaboration. Besides being able to tag internal and external parties on project tickets, you can even integrate other tools your team uses into their service, whether it’s Google Docs, Slack, LinkedIn, or a platform like WooCommerce. This tool lets each team customize the platform to work best for them.

Taking action

After you’ve identified your issues and made a plan using the right tools, it’s time to put your plan into action. Strong communication between the different teams is also vital here. Hold regular meetings to make sure all parties involved are working in harmony.

Be sure to measure your success throughout the project. Take note of when you implement any changes and keep an eye on those KPIs and other informative statistics over the following weeks to see if these efforts boost your site’s performance.

In terms of taking action, it’s worth taking a moment to talk about how vital reviews are for building trust. According to the Spiegel Research Center, the purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270% greater than the purchase likelihood of a product with no reviews.

If you use a Google-certified reviews provider, your reviews can end up in search results or in Google Ads in the form of star ratings. With this in mind, it’s clear that reviews can help boost (or tarnish) a company’s reputation before a customer even visits its site.

Over 2,000 reviews contributed to monday.com’s 4.6 rating.

The Trusted Shops Reputation Manager is a convenient tool that helps you distribute review requests for a variety of review platforms like Trustpilot or Google reviews in order to maintain a good score across the web.

Build trust from the ground up

All in all, improving your online reputation requires conscious effort, including ongoing analysis and collaboration.

Paired with an all-in-one project management tool like monday.com, these steps to improvement can have positive impacts on your company’s trustworthiness, and ultimately your conversion rates.