With so much publicity around scams and online fraud, the general public is getting much better at taking precautions online. As a result, website owners are having to raise their game when it comes to ensuring their sites are trustworthy, knowing that failure to protect their customers can lead users to shop elsewhere. And with increased regulation, like GDPR, there are bigger penalties for those which let their customers down. To help, here are some of the things you need to do to create a website customers can trust.
Promoting your trustworthiness
In the rest of this post, we’ll look at things that can make your site more trustworthy. However, if your visitors do not know you have put these measures into place, then it’s not going to make them trust you more. It is important, therefore, that wherever possible you promote the security and reputation of your site and your business. When you do this, visitors will be more willing to browse your site and feel comfortable providing you with their personal details and payment information.
An SSL certificate is a form of technology that encrypts personal data sent from a customer’s browser to your website. This includes payment data, such as credit card details. By encrypting this information, it ensures that it cannot be stolen during transit and in this way prevents your customers’ accounts from being hacked.
Today, SSL certificates are essential for any company that accepts payments on the internet. Indeed, most payment gateways will insist you have one before they will enable you to take payments from your customers.
Aside from protecting user data, one of the other benefits of having an SSL certificate is that sites which have them are labelled as secure by browsers. This comes in the form of a padlock icon which is seen next to the URL in the address bar.
When visitors see this icon, they immediately know that the site has been verified as secure by internationally recognised technology companies such as Google (Chrome) and Microsoft (Bing).
However, it is not just eCommerce companies that can benefit from SSL certificates, all websites can. The reason is that sites which don’t have them have the words ‘not secure’ written in the address bar and this can put many people off using the site altogether.
Secure payment gateways
In order to accept payments, you’ll need a payment gateway. These are service providers that process the transactions between the user, their bank and your bank. They take the user’s details, verify that they are accurate and that the user has authorisation from their bank to pay for the items. They then arrange for the monies to be transferred to you.
Today, there are numerous payment gateways available, not all of them, however, are well known to the public. To make customers feel more confident when they buy, it can help to use a payment provider that is well known and has a solid reputation, such as Visa Checkout, PayPal, Apple Pay, etc. When customers see these, they are more inclined to believe that their transactions will go through safely. The fact that you are using them on your website also makes your site look more reputable.
Indeed, to widen your chances of selling more, it can be a good idea to offer a range of different gateways so people can use their favourite way to pay. For more information, read our article: Why eCommerce Sites Need to Offer Easier Ways to Pay
Malware free websites
Nothing will make a visitor abandon your site more quickly than their antivirus program alerting them to the fact that your site is infected – and it’s unlikely they’ll ever return. What’s worse is if your site’s infection spreads to your visitors’ devices or the malware is used to create a backdoor in your site where data can be stolen.
Tools, such as Site Scanner, ensure your website is free from malware and other known vulnerabilities. It also prevents loss of data to hackers that may damage your organisation’s trustworthiness.
Today’s internet users rely heavily on social proof. Before buying any product, they will look at reviews from other buyers and when using a company, they’ll look at review sites like Trust Pilot that enable customers to give a rating and leave comments about customer service, delivery and other important factors.
When a company is given good reviews by its customers, it inspires others to use it too. If past customers have found you trustworthy, new customers are more likely to shop with you. If you have lots of good reviews, you can make a feature of these on your site.
Building a trustworthy website can have a significant impact on your business, giving customers the confidence that shopping with you is safe. This involves two things, firstly you need to put measures in place that make your business trustworthy – SSL certificates, secure payment gateways, malware scanning and providing service that gets 5-star ratings. Once you have these in place, you need to make your customers aware of what you do to make them safe. Together, these help you build that trustable reputation that is so crucial online.
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