For about five years I worked for an ecommerce and catalog company.
It was a great job. I had the chance to work with really smart people.
And the company had been around for over a hundred years. Any time a company is around that long there is something working in the things it does.
The job also provided some great insight into how businesses and consumers work together.
Something often talked about in the online business world is conversion.
No matter what business you’re in, business is always about selling. If there is something wrong with your sales vehicle then you’re going to lose out on sales and that directly impacts the business.
With catalogs, the company I worked for had decades of experience with the medium. They knew how to put together a catalog that would sell the recipient on the merchandise on the pages.
The company also had websites and was a big player in the online world for their industry.
I paid attention to all of it to see what was important to make potential buyers purchase the merchandise.
And many times it came down to two key emotions to determine if a customer would buy.
Can your target customer trust you and your website?
Some businesses don’t think design is important, but it is very important. Trust is the main reason. If someone comes to your site and is turned off by a design that looks shady and amateurish they’re never going to purchase from the site.
There are too many issues in the online world that people hear about. Companies have also abused information shared on sites. Giving an email address to a site is a big commitment. The person wants to know that they can trust you not to spam them.
A recent study on eMarketer found that consumers are trusting websites even less now that smartphone use is on the rise. This makes complete sense. We’ve been talking about responsive design as one of the big priorities for businesses this year. The reason is that many website experiences on smartphones are not good.
When the design is not good, like it currently is on smartphones, people don’t trust the site. They aren’t sure if the information they share with the company will be safe.
Action Step: Invest in quality design for your business. Invest in responsive design. More people will use their smartphone to access your website in the future. Give them a good experience to earn their trust. Use content to reassure your visitors that they are safe when on your site.
At my previous job we found that partnering with companies such as PayPal and showing the PayPal logo on our site improved trust. People recognized PayPal and trusted that their information would be secure. The same is true for other website security companies.
Privacy is closely related to trust, but privacy is a big enough issue to stand on its own.
Here is another study shared on eMarketer regarding privacy and online consumers. The major finding is that 9 out of 10 young people want to keep their information private.
This may seem strange to those that see people posting all kinds of things online, but there has been backlash against this lack of privacy and now people are valuing what they share online.
People don’t want to get hacked. They don’t want to worry about making an online purchase and having their information shared with the world.
Action: Assure your visitors that their information is private. Partner with a quality transaction company that will make sure that your online transactions are safe from hacking. There are ways to encrypt this information. Make the partnerships and let your new visitors know that this is the case. They’ll feel like their privacy is intact and that you care about their online security.
If people don’t trust you they’re not going to purchase from you.
That’s just the way it is.
Focus on making your website an experience your target users can trust. It will go a long way to ensuring that you’re target customers purchase what you’re selling.