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When you’re just starting out online, getting initial sales can be tough.
You don’t have the data you need to optimize your sales pages. Even worse, that data seems so far out of reach because you’re hardly making any sales.
Listen – your product may be a great value, it may eventually go on to become a best seller without any changes at all from you.
The problem right now may simply be that the person doesn’t trust you. Not only that, but even though their heart is looking for reasons to buy, their brain is instilling fear, doubt, and uncertainty in them.
Ultimately, a lack of trust kills conversions even more quickly than a high price does.
Remember – when people feel that your product is more valuable than what you’re asking for it, and they trust your company enough that you’ll deliver on that value, they will buy.
It all comes down to that.
In this article, let’s look over how you can begin building that critical, initial trust for your website. These methods are the same regardless of whether you’re a blogger, eCommerce store owner, course creator, book author, or anyone else selling physical and digital products online.
1. Include As Much Contact Information As Possible
It should go without saying, but people need to know that they can reach you in the event something goes wrong.
When a potential buyer arrives on your sales page, chances are they are not 100% sold on the product. They’re going to use your website to close the sale, or abandon it.
Throughout this process, they are already looking at things that can go wrong, and they want validation that everything is going to go smoothly.
After all, this is why we pay attention to customer reviews and customer testimonials. These things show us that we won’t be let down.
Adding a clear way to get in touch with you can do a lot to calm customers down, especially if you don’t have any other forms of social proof already working for you.
One contact method, such as phone or email, will certainly be appreciated. However, you’ll do much better offering both, and even better if you include additional information.
A physical address can prove that you’re actually a real business, and should be mandatory for companies selling physical products as it’s relevant to both shipping and returns.
2. Utilize Live Chat
Live chat can also dramatically increase trust as well, as it shows people that you’re instantly available to help solve any problems that come up.
People don’t want to potentially wait on the phone for 10 minutes to get through to a human, or wait hours – or even days, to get an email response back.
“But wait,” you may be thinking. “I offer great customer service! The phone never even makes it to two rings before someone answers!”
That’s great, but your customers don’t know that yet – your brand isn’t known for that right now, so that fact doesn’t help you much. They are never going to call or email in the first place unless they’re really desperate – they’re going to bounce.
Enabling live chat on your site is proven to increase conversions, even when it’s not used. The simple fact that it’s there helps to build trust.
Additionally, more people are preferring live chat as their ideal communication channel with businesses – especially among the younger demographic. Live chat is preferred over phone for online shopping queries the majority of the time, by those currently 55 and under.
In addition to closing more sales, live chat has another huge benefit that’s worth implementing it alone:
Live chat allows you to collect data on what is stopping the sale. You can then use this data to go back and improve the sales pages, increasing conversions over time!
This is huge.
My baby product brand has utilized live chat extensively over the past few years, and I’m about to implement on all of my sales pages here as well. It’s that powerful.
3. Run A Blog, With Timestamps
Potential customers need to know that you’re still around supporting the business, even if they don’t bother to reach out to you.
This is especially true if you are selling physical products, and especially true if you aren’t using live chat.
On my baby product site, we see through Google Analytics as well as heatmapping software that shoppers often click through to social pages and our blog to see how active those areas are.
Could you imagine what would go through the customer’s mind if the last time we posted anything was 6 months ago?
It’s simple. They would wonder if we hadn’t paid any attention to our business, or fulfilled any orders in the last 6 months.
Honestly, every company should be running a blog anyway – it is perhaps the best way to build a brand and drive qualified traffic to your sales pages.
I’ve put together a course specifically on building a blog that converts readers into buyers. If you’re interested in learning more about it, click here!
4. Include Trust Badges
Trust badges can show buyers that their payment information is handled securely, and that they don’t need to worry about their credit card details being stolen if they decide to purchase through your site.
We all know that these can be added by anyone (even those with malicious intent), but it does help buyers feel more secure.
Badges like the one above can also showcase that you accept alternate payment options (such as PayPal) which may help potential customers feel more safe.
5. Clarify Your Store Policies
Can orders be cancelled? What is your policy on refunds? How long can buyers return products for, and under what conditions are products eligible for return? For physical products, who pays for return shipping?
These things need to be made clear up front. By clear, I mean that they can be read and understood in a few seconds – not masked under some 10 page terms and conditions document.
Again, this is a way of reducing risk. The more questions a potential buyer has in their head regarding something going wrong, the more hesitance they’ll have when it comes time to pull out their card.
Geotargeting is the act of modifying your pages based on the person’s location.
This can be as simple as displaying the price in the visitor’s local currency, or completing changing your copy to tailor it towards that specific area.
If operating a store selling physical products, geotargeting will make it clear you ship to that country. In either case, it helps the customer feel a bit more like your company is a fit for them – the page is targeted.
This isn’t going to magically turn people that don’t trust you into buyers, but it certainly won’t hurt!
7. Back Up Claims With Facts, Statistics, Photos, And Video
It’s a proven copywriting principal that by using specific figures on your sales pages (i.e, your product is 61% better in X area than other leading products), that you’ll convert better than using vague figures and numbers.
This is because it gives off the belief that you’ve actually run tests to arrive at that specific number.
However, simply stating something on your pages does not cause it to be believed. You need to be able to back up your statements with proof.
Making claims that seem to good to be true, without doing anything to back those claims up, will often have a negative effect on your conversions, not a positive one.
This is especially true when you aren’t yet trusted as a brand.
Even something as simple as talking about your story, and how long you’ve been in the industry can help with this.
8. Enable Reviews And Utilize Testimonials, Even If You Have Few
The only thing that is worse than a company with no reviews, is a company that doesn’t allow them to be submitted in the first place.
The only thing this tells the buyer is, “I have no place to share my viewpoint if something goes wrong! What are they trying to hide?”
Spiegel Research Center has reported that displaying reviews can increase conversions by up to 270%.
Utilize every testimonial you possibly can, even if they aren’t all 100% positive. This can do wonders to build perceived legitimacy, and it may be worth even giving your product away at first if it means you can accrue testimonials more quickly.
(Note: The FTC has rules and regulations in place regarding compensated reviews, which will be important to review if you pursue this strategy.)
9. Leverage Other People’s Trust – Consider An Influencer Marketing Campaign
If you’re not trusted yet in your target market’s minds, it may be worth it to engage in an influencer marketing campaign.
Only after you’ve implemented everything else mentioned here first, of course.
This will involve you sending out your products to influencers, and potentially an additional payment as well.
They’ll give their honest impressions on the product, and share those thoughts with their audience – instantly sending a flood of traffic to your site, and shining your brand in a positive light.
The beautiful thing about influencer marketing for new brands however, is that it allows you to leverage the trust of the influencer.
Their followers don’t need to trust you as much, because they already have genuine trust with the person promoting your products. Their endorsement gives the social proof they need to feel comfortable with their purchase.
You may also be able to use their testimonials on your own sales pages as well, improving conversions and helping to build trust with new buyers in the future.
It’s a truly powerful strategy for those just starting out, and I highly recommend looking into it further.
Building trust is not easy for new brands, but it’s imperative to build pages that convert.
It doesn’t matter what type of product you’re selling – whether it’s physical or digital, $5 or $500. Without building a certain level of comfort in the purchaser’s mind, they’re never going to hand over their credit card details to you. It simply won’t even be a consideration.
However, if you take the advice laid out for you in this article, it will go a long way to easing customer’s doubts, and helping you build the first sales you need to scale.
I hope this article has helped you in some way. If so, I’d really appreciate it if you’d share it with other entrepreneurs in your circle, and leave a comment below sharing what you’re doing to build trust on your site.
We could all benefit from what you have to say!
To your success,
– James McAllister
Review the main points of this article in the SlideShare below. Feel free to embed this on your site, use it in your organization, and share it with others! All I ask is that you give credit! (Download links are available from SlideShare’s website, which you can access by clicking the LinkedIn icon)