image of oonline shopper for website credibility article

Consumers and Website Credibility

image of a computer doodle for website credibility articleIn the 1990s, when graphical browsers graced computers with a way to view websites, web surfers became enamored with the technology and their ability to visit, or surf, websites for information. When businesses began using the digital channel to sell their products, many consumers lacked trust in eCommerce websites. Studies have suggested that a consumer’s intention to purchase online directly correlates with their trust level for a particular website. With over 6-billion indexed web pages (as of 2020), web surfers and consumers have plenty of places they can find themselves online. 

One of the many challenges small to midsize businesses face with digital marketing is projecting credibility through their website. It’s no longer true that if you build it (a website) that “they” (consumers) will come. They may come, but they will not stay, let alone make a purchase from your website if it appears to lack credibility.

What is Credibility?

Credibility is the quality of being convincing or believable. It refers to how trustworthy and legitimate your website looks. Credibility is a primary consideration for consumers and web surfers when deciding to use or make a purchase from your website. Below are ten elements that can help boost your website’s credibility.

Ten eCommerce Website Credibility Elements

Professional Looking Website
Although it is subjective, websites that appear professional and not appear to be built by an amateur do better in the credibility department. A clean, professional website communicates stability to the consumer; it demonstrates that you have an organized process and are serious about doing business online.

Company Address and Phone Number Readily Available.
Having your company address and phone number in prominent places on your website communicates to consumers that real people are operating the business and that you are easily accessible.

About Page
Consumers want to see the human side of your business. The “About” page offers insights into your company. It also tells the story about how your company started and its business purpose and goals. In other words, your story. It’s also a good idea to show images of real people working within your company to give the consumer a sense that real people are behind the scenes doing the work.

Authentic Testimonials
Having testimonials is an excellent way to present credentials. It’s social proof that people are willing to buy from your business or visit your site and use your services. Testimonials also provide potential consumers with the confidence that someone else is satisfied with your product or services. Testimonials with names are acceptable. Adding a photo to the testimonial is even better. However, video testimonials are the best way to convey trustworthiness to potential consumers. 

Reputable Sales Channel
For eCommerce websites, having a reputable sales channel helps build credibility. Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento are excellent shopping cart and eCommerce platforms. Pair that with Amazon.com or eBay.com, and you even add more credibility to your eCommerce store.

Associations, Affiliations, Awards
Adding the logos of any association or affiliation or any other organization you are associated with will boost your website’s credibility. The same applies to any awards you may have as a company. All of these show consumers your commitment to your business.

Third-Party Reference or Endorsement Links
If other, credible websites endorse you on their website, it’s a good idea to link to their endorsement of your business. By doing so, it’s an excellent way to assert your credibility without tooting your own horn.

Updated Content
Keeping your content updated is a way to show that your business is active. A news or blog section, and even your social media pages, that are not regularly updated communicates to consumers that nothing is happening within your business. Keep the content flowing regularly. Developing a content calendar is an excellent way to stay on target.

Error-Free Website
Websites with grammar and misspelled words communicate a site or company that is unprofessional. While many readers may not pick up on the errors, the few that do can cause you plenty of grief. Errors also extend to broken links, malfunctioning online tools, and other parts of the website that underperform your brand’s promise. 

The Takeaway

Developing a website is only one part of your company’s digital marketing strategy. To successfully get customers to purchase from your eCommerce website, it must appear credible. Following the ten tips above provide a good starting point. As research has shown, customers that perceive a website as credible will most likely engage and purchase from that website.

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