How to Make your Website Appear Trustworthy to First Time Visitors

If your brand were a person, your website would be its personality. And just like trustworthiness is affected by personality traits, a customer’s first impression of a website is based on its appearance. If your South African online store comes across as suspicious, customers will shop elsewhere rather than compromise their personal information when they need to do EFT payments.

By implementing a few simple steps, you can inspire confidence in visitors and increase your earnings from your eCommerce business.

Professional web design

New visitors to your website need only look at your web design to decide whether or not they want to conduct their business at your online store. Whether you're just starting out or updating your old design, a good web design can go a long way toward winning your customers over. Elements of good web design that require some effort on you and your designer's part include your business logo, high-quality product images, well-written page copy, a simple layout, vibrant colors, and fresh content.

Create an ‘About Us’ page

An ‘About Us’ page is the first section new visitors would go to if they want to find out more about your business. An "About Us" section allows you to tell your business' story while showcasing your brand personality. Here, you can share your company history, what your business does, where you’re currently at in terms of your business goals as well as a mission and vision statement. It is also an excellent opportunity to highlight your company's list of accolades and who you've worked with – anything you can think of to make customers feel safe on your site.

Show that you accept a variety of credit cards

Although South African online shoppers prefer using debit cards or make EFT payments, many are not aware that credit cards are safer to swipe because they offer more protection benefits than debit cards. Your eCommerce site will appear more trustworthy if it is able to process several credit cards from reputable credit card companies. This will indicate to shoppers that your site provides a secure payment method because companies like Visa and Mastercard had to certify the services first. A seal of trust from these credit card companies verifies that your eCommerce site is reliable.

Have a proper exchange and return agreement

Shoppers are more content if they are able to return or exchange products. In fact, websites that have a hassle-free return policy (including a no-questions-asked refund) tend to have a higher conversion rate than those that do not. Some of the information you should be putting on this page includes how long customers have to return an item, the expected condition of the returned goods, how you will refund them, and who will cover the cost of shipping returns. Legitimate eCommerce sites prioritise their returns policy and customers who find these details missing will become doubtful and bounce away.

Specify your privacy policy

Your website's privacy policy tells visitors how their personal information is collected (usually via sign up forms and payment fields), what your website does with the information and what precautions you have in place against theft and fraud. While the collection of personal information can be beneficial to online business in terms of building customer relationships, a privacy policy is essential for your own legal protection as well as the safety of shoppers. You can either use a privacy policy generator, have a lawyer draw one up for you or buy an existing one from another online business.

With so many scam and phishing websites out there, it's becoming more difficult for eCommerce business owners to earn the trust of potential customers. Use these easy tips to increase the appeal of your website and give your customers the reassurance that their personal information is secure.