Or: As always, the foundation for good business Trust continues to be the most important basis for successful business relationships – this applies to a special degree to doing business on the internet, because personal, human contact is missing.
If you observe a couple of simple, basic rules you can create trust on the part of prospective customers and thus build up long-term and stabile customer relations – because in online business it also holds true that it is considerably easier and cheaper to sell to regular customers than it is to acquire new ones.
For more than half of regular online buyers the security perceived when shopping on the internet is the decisive factor for regular repeat purchases. Many potential customers don’t know what awaits them when they go shopping online. The consequences are often unfounded threshold fears that in the end keep them from buying.
How can you impart this so important feeling of security and reliability? Explain clearly to your customers that security is the top priority in your online store, e.g. by handling order processing, the entry of sensitive data and the payment process using secure 128-bit SSL encryption, which is practically unbreakable. By the way, your customers can recognise that the connection is encrypted by the closed padlock icon displayed in their browsers.
You can tell your customers a lot about security and trust when shopping in your store – but it’s still more convincing to have your store tested and certified with respect to security and compliance with established standards and legal aspects by an independent body.
Note: You can increase trust even further by offering more than the usual or more than you’re your competition for returns, guarantee and warranty. By assuring your customer before a purchase that returns are acceptable and with money back without having to provide a reason. This can greatly reduce the “perceived risk” on the part of your customers.
Studies have clearly shown that online buyers always expect multiple payment options. You should therefore always offer as wide a range of popular and secure payment methods as possible that are easy for as many customer as possible to use. The most important and frequently used payment methods in eCommerce are invoice, cash on delivery, debit transfer, direct debit and credit card. Each method of payment has advantages and disadvantages from a store operator’s perspective.
Note: In your store you should offer at least three of the methods of payment described above including payment by credit card in order to give the customer a wide range of options to choose from. The choice of a digital payment option or “online payment” is of great significance for your store – especially if you want to sell your products internationally. Payment online by credit card depends primarily on smooth, simple and secure handling of the payment transaction, which is transparent and understandable to the customer.
Your ePages store provides credit card payment and electronic debit collection by a number of different payment service providers. You will find support for PayPal, eWAY, SecurePay, Dialect Solutions, Netregistry, DPS, WorldPay and a variety of international providers.
The security of customer data should be the highest priority for online merchants – from of their own interest. Security concerns still rank at the top of the list in the eyes of internet users and can stand in the way of online shopping. The possible security standard for credit card transactions is undergoing continuous optimisation and today has already attained a very high level. Credit card payment is secure from a purely technical standpoint.
As long as customers believe that payment transactions on the internet are not secure, it doesn’t matter if this is not actually the case. The effect is the same: No orders are placed and no customers are gained.
If you want to build an online store you should therefore always offer complete information about the encryption methods used and security mechanisms and explain that the security of customer data for you as an online merchant is your number one priority. Once customers have gained confidence and have gone shopping in an eCommerce store and paid online, trust – as the results of several studies show – increases in the current security standards and payment methods. Satisfaction arises from the first successful and smooth transactions.
Note: One more thing: Other personal data not related to credit cards is also very sensitive. The assertion that no data will be transferred to third parties must therefore be stated explicitly. Because just like in conventional commerce this applies: You can only successfully build on trust and do good business.
Behind every online store there is a team of people operating the store. To your imprint (containing all necessary information about your store and a standard store feature – see the section on Law) add photos of the people in charge and who stand “behind” the online store. This will surely increase trust more than mile-long, complexly formulated general terms and conditions, and impersonal e-mail address or a blank form.
Make sure that you offer a wide range of contact options in your store. Your customers expect it and should thus have the option of being able to contact you via different channels – even by telephone. Of course, you’ll want to answer e-mail queries fully and in a friendly manner within 24 hours and won’t ever let your customers wait for any longer than this for a reply. To answer questions that come up repeatedly you’ll want to create an extensive list of questions and answers (FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions) that clearly and fully explains the most important aspects about online shopping – from the ordering process and terms of guarantee to delivery.