Establishing Credibility Difficult for Online Only Merchants

You’ve got an e-commerce site, traffic is picking up, but sales are few and far between. Sound familiar? This is an indication that your site may have a credibility issue and overcoming it takes time and patience.

Establishing credibility is more difficult for online only merchants than it is for retailers with a physical presence. A physical store is a place where customers can visit, touch the products and get personal assistance. And, merchants with physical stores gain instant credibility with an established customer base when they build an online website. But, an online only merchant doesn’t have the luxury of instant credibility and must earn the trust of each visitor one sale at a time.

In order to establish credibility you have to build trust with potential customers. Advertising can help attract new customers, but it is not going to get you the initial sale if they don’t trust your online store as much as the competition that is already firmly established in the market. Finding industry influencers like journalists and bloggers that are respected in the industry and asking them to write and publish an honest, unbiased review of your products and services can help build credibility quickly.

Whilst testimonials can be helpful, customers will often find an independent product review on a third party website from a bona-fide customer to be more credible and give it more weight in deciding whether or not to make a purchase. Because of the power of customer reviews, many e-commerce websites now allow customers to rate and comment on product purchases.

Creating product videos, building loyalty with existing customers and offering refer-a-friend programs can also help online merchants build trust and credibility that will result in increased conversions and sales.

Today, customers have more online choices than ever before and it is likely that competition will only get tougher, not easier. Therefore, taking steps to build credibility and trust from the onset will help you compete more effectively, regardless of the industry you are in or the product or service you are selling.

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