Credibility is one of those words that is always found around conversations with business and sales, though the exact value of the word is always a bit fuzzy. When you're running a website with services to offer, like an e-commerce site, credibility can be your best friend, which is why you should use credibility markers on your site. Of course before you can add credibility markers to your website, you have to know what the term really means.
Credibility markers are little features that you can add to your site to show visitors and potential consumers that are you are worthy of their business. Credibility markers can add a trustworthiness and accomplished look and feel to your company, even for consumers who may not have ever heard of you or your company or website.
Proving your worth to customers instantly upon their visit to your website goes a long way in keeping consumers around, and it helps break down the trust issues that may exist when forging an online relationship in the age of "Catfish" and fraud and identity thefts. The sooner you can get started including these markers, the better.
Top 6 Credibility Markers That Work for E-commerce Websites
Credibility markers can come in all different shapes and sizes. Below are a few examples of credibility markers and the best ways to use them to your advantage:
This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how few e-commerce sites offer up their real contact information. Companies and the people that run them may figure they don't need (or want) to include their contact info on the website because they have social accounts or general 800 numbers in place.
But what if there's an issue? Whatever it is you are offering – knowledge, information, products, etc. – you want people to feel comfortable being your customer. Offering up various ways to contact you is the first and easiest step at making that happen. Offer an email, a phone number, or some sort of customer care that can send consumers directly to someone who can help. More than anything, make sure this is visible on your site. If people can't see or find your contact info, what purpose does it serve?
Even if you don’t think it’s appropriate to have a long document full of privacy information like many e-commerce sites, something as simple as the warning shown below will even help:
And also be sure to include under what circumstances you would share their private information to a third party, if any. Don't leave that part out, because there very well may be situations where you will need to share private information, but of course for good reason.
Testimonials may be the most common way companies show they are worthy of a consumer's trust. Think about "Yelp" or other popular reviews of restaurants/bars/other locations or movie/TV show ratings on IMDB.com. These help determine whether or not a consumer is going to visit a restaurant or watch a movie/show. These are all reviews, but they can also be seen as testimonials if highlighted in the right way (as shown in the screenshot below).
Testimonials from experts are even better than reviews oftentimes, especially if you can put a video of the person "testifying" to their experience with your business. This gives consumers a reason to trust what the person is saying, even if the person is a complete stranger to them. The following is a screenshot from Econsultancy.com shows an excellent way to create video testimonials from influencers that stand out:
Security badges are a fantastic way to keep consumers' minds at ease. They'll know their credit card/bank account information is as safe as possible should they actually progress to the point where they are purchasing something. Below shows several potential security badges you may want to get for your site:
Below is an example from Jabong.com:
Keep in mind that less can be more in this situation. Don't inundate visitors with four, five, six security badges. It may send off alarms in your visitors' mind wondering why any site would need all those security measures. Adding a bunch of security badges could look like you're trying to dupe the consumer. This all comes down to creating a great web design with this credibility marker in mind, which you can learn more about here.
Provide Authority Certificates
You know how you walk into a doctor's office and you see their graduation certificate or banner up on full display? It helps set the patient at ease. It lets them know they're in good hands with somebody who is qualified and deserves to be in the position they're in because they worked at it. If you have certificates or any sort of authentication that proves you are trustworthy, find a way to place those on your site. Let the consumer know you can talk the talk and walk the walk. Below is one possible example:
Spellcheck and Proofread Your Website
This may seem ridiculous and certainly appears at first glance like it doesn't fit in with the other potential credibility markers, but nothing can sink your credibility down the drain like spelling or grammatical errors. Cleaning up any spelling/grammatical errors on your website is the first thing you should do to add credibility to your site. (Extra: Visit here for an SEO checklist that will include spelling and grammar checks.)
In the end, Adding credibility is a no-brainer in terms of setting your e-commerce site up for success. It gives your business and your website a leg up in the eyes of potential consumers, and in many cases it can be the determining factor in whether or not you get someone’s business. An e-commerce site is also arguably one of the types of businesses where this matters most yet it is used the least, so this is an excellent way to stay one step ahead of your competition.
What have been your experiences with credibility markers on your site? Have you added any credibility markers and noticed a difference at all? Have you been a consumer and felt better about paying for services because of a credibility marker in the past? Let us know your experiences in the comments section below.