Reports show that about 80 percent of Americans do the majority of their shopping online. That is a steep increase from even 10 years ago. Even though businesses are seeing more sales through their online market than ever before, consumers are more cautious about where they shop. They want to feel the same level of security that they get from a physical cash register, but within the comfort of their own home.
With all of the security breaches you hear about on the news, your customers have some valid questions about online shopping and you need to be prepared with good answers.
Are you even real?
Since you may not have a physical location that your customers can patronize, you need to be ready with proof that you are an authentic company. The “About Us” page on your website can be a valuable tool for your customers in determining your legitimacy. Spend time polishing this page. Include details about how long your company has been around, how it got started, and what its goals are. Display customer reviews if possible, and write with a friendly, authentic voice. Your description should tell your customers how you can address their needs.
Additionally, your customers need to know that they can reach you if a problem arises. One way to satisfy this concern is to prominently display your contact information on your website. Include many different contact options, whether it be via email, phone, or social media and be sure that you follow through with customer comments or concerns quickly.
Can I trust you?
Because you are not available to greet your customers face to face, everything from your homepage to the lowliest subpage needs to be clean and intuitive. By making the user experience straightforward, you can build a relationship of trust between you and your customers. If you have received any recognition from other companies or customers, display them prominently on your website. Place links to your policies, contact information, and “About Us” page in a visible location on your homepage, and design your website so that these links are accessible at all times.
As far as your products go, showcase each item individually and accurately. Use good, clear pictures that precisely represent the final result that your customer will receive. Include customer reviews of the product where possible.
Is my money and identity safe?
Many times, customers do not shop online because they don’t feel that their personal information is safe. You need to work hard to mitigate that concern. Keep a trusted security badge visible at all times. Use well-known payment interfaces such as Venmo and Paypal to keep your customer’s payment information secure. Include privacy policies for your customers to read as an added measure to make them feel safe using your website. Lastly, you need to be vigilant about updating your website’s security features to thwart potential hackers.
Is someone available to help me if I need it?
Sometimes customers need help; that’s just a fact of working in retail. Without a sales associate a few feet away, customers might feel a little lost when considering a purchase. Make sure that your website always has customer service representatives available, whether it be via an embedded live chat app, FAQs page, or 24/7 customer service phone lines. Your customers need to feel that someone is taking care of them around the clock.
Do you have a return policy?
One of the most common consumer concerns pertains to a company’s return policy. Simply stated, you need to have a return policy of some sort. In the event of returns, the process needs to be easy, quick and guaranteed.
Because so many people do their shopping online, you need to make sure that your company doesn’t miss out on a slice of the consumer pie. Consider your customer’s concerns as you update and polish your website. By making answers available even before shoppers ask, you are providing the superior customer service that will keep them coming back for more.