E-commerce marketing research says that companies who nurture their online customer experience have the most influence on customer spending behavior.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could pinpoint exactly where your visitors decide not to buy your product? What if you could diagnose the exact moment when their online shopping experience went from “I trust this company enough to give them my money” to “Hmm, maybe I’ll take my business elsewhere?”
E-commerce marketing research says that companies who nurture their online customer experience have the most influence on customer spending behavior. Only the happiest and most informed customers buy things online from brands they trust.
Online buyer behavior indicates that there are three key areas of your website that influence how much trust your customer has in your brand, your site bounce rate, and online sales.
Still, business owners running an online e-commerce store rarely have the time — or money — to pinpoint exactly where they are losing customers. Heat mapping software hardly fits into your business margins and employing a digital marketing team to diagnose and leverage your conversion methods is out of the question.
Increasing online sales fast is merely an exercise in trust and transparency. Your business can make strides in this area by focusing on detailing policies and procedures on your most high-converting webpages. Keep reading for tips on how to build brand trust and boost sales via your Returns, Checkout, and FAQ page.
The keywords here are “conversion” and “friendly”. Websites that convert tell a story and build trust simultaneously. People buy from companies they know, like, and trust.
Still, trust is a strange beast and many e-commerce businesses struggle with ways to establish brand trust authentically.
People are craving positive customer experiences online, citing that clear policy and procedure guidelines, transparency, simple checkout procedures, and visible security features are most influential for establishing overall brand trust and driving repeat purchases.
The bottom line is, when you break promises to your customers, provide false information, or fail to publish credible content, you lose trust. When you lose trust, visitors leave your website and buy their products elsewhere.
Online sellers should consider revamping their Return, Checkout, and FAQ web pages to keep visitors around for longer.
So what makes a successful conversion-friendly webpage? Let’s break it down. Here are a few key page features you can implement on your existing pages quickly, as well as examples of e-commerce companies that have already mastered the art of authenticity and trust on their site.
Your return policy can make or break your e-commerce business. Nearly 70 percent of consumers won’t buy a product before looking at the returns page. Believe it or not, return policies can actually help your bottom line.
“Our best customers have the highest returns rates, but they are also the ones that spend the most money with us and are our most profitable customers,” says Zappos’ CEO Craig Adkins.
Most customers want a “free returns policy”. Of course, such liberal policies are not always an option for small e-commerce businesses, but there are other ways you can encourage more online purchases with a clear and accommodating returns policy webpage.
Provide insights into your company’s inner workings, policies, and procedures in easy-read language. Ditch the business blah blahs and level with your customers on exactly how returns are processed at your shop so there are no unwanted surprises later on.
Then, give your policy maximum visibility on nearly every page. Link in on your home, check out, product, and FAQ pages to start.
2. Defined guidelines for returns via FAQs
Answers to common questions and fears about your eCommerce returns policy will translate into a more efficient experience. Include verbiage on reimbursement options, return conditions, and a time frame for acceptable exchanges to eliminate back and forth between you and the customer.
Help documentation, tips, and general guidelines available at the ready might also save a sale.
3. Expanded window for returns
Most policies include a 30-day return window for online purchases, but a more lenient time limit such as a 60-day or 90-day policy might actually decrease returns by creating less urgency for the customer.
This will be different for every product. Establish a reasonable time frame that gives your customer enough time to experience and fall in love with the product.
The Hyphen Matress return policy is listed clearly on the homepage and in their FAQs. With free shipping, free returns, and a 100-night sleep trial, they’ve addressed every typical buyer hesitation in seconds. Even better, their tone is friendly and understanding which helps reiterate their commitment to their customers in a fun way.
Check out pages that are clear, efficient, and secure will do wonders for lowering your abandonment rate. Research proves that online shoppers cite complicated checkout processes, security concerns, and hidden fees as their top reasons for bouncing before buying.
Seamless checkout processes — and the pages that guide your customer through it — will do also help establish brand trust and create a positive online customer experience.
Try these three quick tips for revamping your Checkout page.
The key to moving customers through the buyer funnel efficiently is to provide as few interruptions as possible. For example, do your customers have the option to check out as a guest? Remember, they can always create an account after the purchase has been made.
How many form fields are you requiring a customer complete? Joanna Wiebe of Copyblogger reminds e-commerce business owners to “think of every field in your check out as a hurdle your prospect has to leap over.”
2. Highly-visible security measures
Customers will not provide your contact or payment information if they do not trust you. Something as simple as posting trust badges and other recognizable verification seals at your checkout will boost sales.
3. Upfront fees and related costs
High shipping costs and hidden fees often surprise customers — and not in a good way. Transparency is key when it comes to e-commerce. Make sure your customer can access your shipping costs and fees related to return policies without having to leave the page.
Pro tip: Automated customer experience bots like ChipBot allow visitors to search for these answers from any page on your website, meaning you won’t risk losing a sale due to a lack of available information.
Not only does Nike give customers the option to check out as a guest or as a member, but it also ensures the user is not distracted by related items, promos, or accessories during checkout. All information necessary for building customer trust is clearly visible, such as total order amount, security seals, and estimated fees.
Yes, FAQ webpages are a quick way to boost your SEO ranking on Google, but they are also a highly effective way to influence consumer spending behavior. Users are more apt to buy once they feel they’ve gathered enough relevant information to make an informed purchase decision.
Here are a few quick tips to ensure your FAQ webpage maximizes online sales.
Keep SEO in mind by writing your questions with relevant industry keywords as anchor text. This will help your keyword-optimized questions appear on Google. Comprehensive, well-documented FAQ pages produce greater user traffic and better online authority — two things Google loves to see when ranking search results.
2. Logical grouping
An FAQ page without a logical structure will only confuse the reader. If your page lists a ton of questions, try adding a search bar to the page or hyperlinks to each question that redirects them to another area for more information.
Also, consider grouping like questions into easy to interpret subheads, such as “Shipping,” “Payments,” “Pricing,” or “Products” so your customer doesn’t drown in unrelated information while hunting for your payment options.
3. Common questions and important answers only
An effective FAQ page is drafted by your customers, not you. When done right, your FAQ page will address typical customer concerns and establish brand trust simultaneously. Remember that answers to general information such as “When Was Company Y Founded?” or “Why Company Z?)” are better suited for your About page, as they do little to drive sales.
Instead, ask yourself what a typical customer would need to know before buying your product when building a list of potential FAQs. Then gather a list of recurring or similar questions and list those first.
Pro tip: (Customer experience automation software like ChipBot can help you test similar questions and determine why they are being asked.)
Skip the industry lingo, forgo the irrelevant — that’s what MVMT Watches does on its “FAQ” page. Its simple but relatable language effectively answers common questions any customer is bound to ask. It is minimalistic in design and every question sits appropriately in its respective subcategory for easy navigation.
Figuring out how to build brand trust in a way that increases online sales is simply a matter of establishing a rapport with your audience. If your online business could benefit from better conversion rates, start with your most influential webpages first.
With just a few simple tweaks, you can focus on converting the visitors you’ve already attracted to the site with transparent, high-quality page content.
Lauren Hamer is a Digital Content Writer and Copy Editor who helps top companies and small start-ups to define their brand through quality, conversational content.