I’ve worked in e-commerce for about four years now, and I’ve seen thousands of sites, and when I say thousands, I mean hundreds of thousands within that period. It always makes me have a little tear when I talk with super lovely shop owners that just aren’t making any sales. A lot of the time it’s not that they don’t have a great product (sometimes it is, I’ve seen some weird sh*t out there people!), but it’s because their shop doesn’t look legit.
Which then got me thinking, what makes some stores look legit and some look like they’re going to run away with my hard earned money and funnel it through a Swiss bank account while they drink Dom Pérignon on their private island and laugh at my misfortune. Okay, that might be taking it a tad too far but seriously, what makes some stores have a buyable look and others don’t.
There are a lot of factors that help make an online store look trustworthy but here are three ways to make sure that you’re helping your store to look credible.
YOUR DESIGN IS ON POINT:
The sad but true fact is that it only takes customers 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds, yikes!) to decide whether your site is credible or not, meaning you have a very short window of time to knock their socks off!
You don’t need to have a top of the line $50,000 site to be able to sell online, but you do need to have:
A site that has easy to follow navigation
High-quality product photos
Lifestyle slideshow | Banner images
Great copy that appeals to your ideal customer
There are a lot of ways that you can get this done on a budget if you don’t have the cash-ola to put into building a custom site, starting with a paid theme and doing some small tweaks can take your “out-of-the-box” theme to a whole new “custom” level.
Yes, this means you have to one by one crop all of your images to the same aspect ratio and then upload them again.
YOU HAVE ALL THE RIGHT PAGES:
Every site will likely have pages that some need and some don’t but every online store, regardless of if you’re just starting out or if you’re raking in the dolla-dolla bills will all need to have the following four pages, period:
A B O U T P A G E
Yes, it’s everyone’s least favorite to write and one of the most visited pages on every website. The reason being, people want to support people that they know, like and trust. By having a stellar about page that shows who you are and you're why behind starting the business that you did people will start to feel more connected to who you are and what you do.
C O N T A C T P A G E
Cuz like duh, if people need to get a hold of you or have a question they need to know how they can reach you. By having a contact page with a contact form, you’re making it super easy for them to do so.
R E F U N D S + R E T U R N S P A G E
Hate having the difficult conversations? Yeah, we all do. For most makers refund and returns make you feel a little queasy on the inside. It’s tough to hear that people don’t like your product or want to return something. So save yourself the barf-bags and ginger ale and write your refunds and returns page. This way you’re writing the policies that you think in your heart are fair for you and your customers, before you get those emails and when you do get the emails you can merely say. “We don’t give refunds after 30 days; please refer to our Refund and Return Policy here [add the awesome link to the refund page here because you’re a boss like that, and look really pretty today].”
B L O G
Oh yes, the blog page. The one that you hoped I wouldn’t mention. Welp, I did, and you need it! Blogs are super great to help you have content to consistently promoting your business without feeling salesy, and keeping fresh content on your page. If you don’t have content updating regularly for your store, when search engines crawl your site they will log it lower if you haven't had any changes to your site in the last month which will rank you lower on the search results page. If you have new blog posts come out weekly or bi-weekly, it keeps your site active and keeps customers coming back to consume your information.
But what are you gonna blog about? Listen to your customers and use the questions that they ask you about your product in email and on social media to create content.
LASTLY, THAT YOU’RE ROCKING SOCIAL MEDIA
According to a few studies out there, 96% of people that will come to your shop are not ready to buy just yet, however, if they like what they see they will follow you on social media.
To be able to stay top of mind of your customers you need to stay consistent and post great content. When you’re trying to juggle all of the things it can be especially tricky to stay on top of this.
If you’re struggling with this take advantage of some of the amazing tools out there that can help you automate this. I’m a huge fan of Later, the lowest plan is free and it lets you schedule Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Take some of the hard work off of your plate and automate (cheesy but true!)
Now that you’ve got the skinny on a few things that make online stores look more credible take a new look at your own see if you’re missing any of these.