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You need to create a sense of trust to make online salesThis is a continuation of my post last month on required content and carries on the theme of building trust with your shoppers. 

Increased trust means increased sales.  Building trust isn't something that The Gap or Amazon need to worry about, but for the rest of us, we have to work hard to convince people that have never heard of us to spend their hard earned money on our great products.

Basic details like a toll free number, an address, and a return policy all help, but more and more sites are adding third party verification services to their sites.  These range from Better Business Bureau logos (great for businesses with a local service angle) and a variety of other seals.  Some of the common ones we recommend are:

1) SSL Site Seal:  Most SSL vendors have logos you can add to your site that allow shoppers to click to verify that your site is secure.  Web Browsers have included this functionality since SSL was invented, but the bright and sometimes animated seal on every page can help increase trust through repetition.  These seals are usually free from you SSL vendor.  Some vendors offer less expensive certificates with no seal so confirm what you are paying for and if the site seal is available.

2) Security Audits: Third party audits and certification have been shown to provide a significaant lift to conversions for many online shoppers.  Anti-Virus vendor McAfee has leveraged their strong consumer brand and has begun offering certification for web sites to confirm to shoppers that the sites are secure.  McAfee is one of several vendors in this space but has the advantage of being a known computer security related brand.  Another strong player is Trustwave with their "Trusted Commerce" certification. Both of these certifications are paid for by the merchants on a monthly basis and involve answering questionnaires and regular security scans.  Questionnaires and scans can be technical and you will likely need to involve your developers.

3) PayPal: Yep.  This well known name can help build trust.  Why?  Many security conscious web shoppers would prefer to handle their transactions through PayPal rather than some merchant they have never heard of.  We always recommend offering traditional payment methods but on some sites where we offer both we have seen as much as 40% of transaction volume being diverted through PayPal where the majority of shoppers still use their credit card to make the purchase.  With PayPal the shopper knows that the merchant will not receive their credit card details, thereby reducing their risk.
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Canadian eCommerce Network | Canadian Online Statistics
Monday, May 10th, 2010 at 8:03AM
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