Shopping online can be scary! Especially when it’s a new brand you’ve barely heard of. When you’re starting an online boutique, potential customers are looking for cues that they can and should spend their money with you such as your online boutique website. Building that intrinsic trust will go a long way to not only getting those first customers but driving more repeat business and referrals.
But how do you do that through your online boutique website?
As an online boutique owner, there are some simple ways to establish a trustworthy online presence that invites more visitors and ultimately more sales.
But you have to know what barriers you’re dealing with first.
You can have the best products in the world but the advertised value will always pale in comparison to how you’re perceived.
And while you can’t control everything that happens on the Internet, you can provide sign posts that let customers know you are concerned about providing them with the best web experience possible.
Make it Personal
Trust is a result of experience.
As an online boutique owner, you have to be able to microwave the relationship in the few seconds that visitors linger on-site before making the decision to explore more or close the tab and find another online boutique website they can trust.
By addressing the customer directly or a specific situation that they can relate to, you command their attention and compel them to stick around. It makes it seems as if your business ‘gets’ them.
Provide a Point of Contact
People innately want to hedge their bets, especially when their information and money is floating around on the web.
Shopping online means there’s always a “what if…” hanging around in the back of their head. So the worst thing you can do is lead them to an anonymous contact form.
Having a direct email (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone line, live chat or even Facebook Messenger on your online boutique website goes a long way in building confidence and credibility.
Remember: tension creates barriers, comfort removes them.
Display Testimonials & Reviews
Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful motivators of a buying decision! That’s why having social proof on your site is so important.
Testimonials and product reviews add another layer of trust. If a potential customer can see how other people have benefited, it makes their choice to shop that much easier.
Now reviews can be good or bad. You may not have 5-star experiences across the board. But giving a ‘not-so-great’ review a voice adds in a level of honesty and transparency that makes your brand and products more trustworthy.
If confronted with a negative review, display it and respond with a resolution that fits the customers’ needs. Addressing it publicly shows interested shoppers that their satisfaction is your priority, even if something happens to go wrong.
Include Site/Payment Badges
Displaying a trusted, independent third party is a great way to boost your credibility.
Badges are a common type of endorsement which indicate that your store is a safe shopping destination. These can include Bizrate, Trustwave, and Google Trusted Stores.
You can also add badges from trusted payment processing companies like PayPal and all the major card providers.
You can also include on your online boutique website some shopping incentives such as free shipping, hassle free returns, 24/7 customer service, etc.
Address Risk Aversion
Someone, somewhere is always looking for a guarantee. And even though you assume risk as an online retailer, shoppers want to know that they can count on you in various circumstances.
Offering money back guarantees, price matching, or even free shipping and returns help to balance that risk they take when they punch in their credit card information.
Just make sure that they’re easy to find. Customers may not read them but the assurance of their presence makes their shopping experience that much more secure.