Ecommerce Growth

30 Ways to Build Trust FAST (On Your eCommerce Store)

First-time visitors dropping off? Here are 30 ways to build trust fast, and get people to browse more.

30 Ways to Build Trust FAST (On Your eCommerce Store)

Want first-time visitors to find your store trustworthy enough so that they spend time on it? 

Here’s where you start: 

Let’s go! 

Why Trust Matters in eCommerce

Most advice for increasing trust veers towards creating a really powerful “About-us” page or adding trust badges. 

However, in 2024, the clock starts ticking with a new user’s first session

Research says you have about 8 seconds to make your case. 

According to Chubb, below are the 6 things, an average shopper will look for (within your online store): 

Image contains a funnel shaped inverted triangle to describe the common trust barriers

So, where do you start?

30 Actionable Ways to Build Trust on Your eCommerce Store

1. Incorporate Sustainability Statements

Nearly 80% of young Americans are extremely likely to base their purchase decisions on a brand’s mission or purpose. 

Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen Alpha are all geared towards one goal: spending more on brands that relate to their cause(s).

Here’s what we suggest:

  • Highlight certifications that your products or brand hold, like Backdrop does:
Image of Backdrop's footer text which showcases their commitment towards climate protection
  • Be honest about your sustainability efforts and portray a cause only if you believe in it
  • If your ingredients are sustainable/organic/tied to a cause, highlight them like Gaia Herbs:
Image of eco-friendly ingredients from Gaia Herbs

Also Read: Inclusive Marketing: 22 eCommerce brands that do it right

2. Offer Live Chat Support

By answering customer questions, you drive purchase decisions—note how Outerknown leverages a live chat on their homepage:

outerknown's live-chat-page-increasing trust

What Can You Learn From It?

  • Answer the most common trust barriers within your Live Chat—think of them as your FAQ section
  • Ensure that you mention your operational hours within the live chat
  • Avoid triggering the Live Chat within the first 8 seconds of a session or first scroll—keep a minimalistic sticky widget (that users can click and trigger)

We Recommend Reading: Conversational Commerce: 21 Amazing Real-World Examples (eCommerce Brands)

3. Feature Best-Sellers With Feature Mentions

The most expensive trust barrier is: Popularity.

92% of consumers find it hard to trust websites they don’t recognize. 

Earth Harbor navigates that by displaying a stamp of approval from Elle magazine on one of their featured products:

Earth Harbour homepage best-seller winter products with Elle feature

Doing this drives innate trust and a belief of “Ok, so this is popular!”

4. Don’t Offer a Discount Immediately

Offering discounts in exchange for personal information during the very first visit, comes across as desperate. 

About 85 to 90% of all Gen Z, aren’t comfortable sharing their personal information, right away.  

Instead, it’s better to ask what they may be looking for.

Or, offer them options to explore, as Papier does by displaying product categories in the first fold:

Papier homepage design that builds trust

Additionally, Papier, also offers the user a callout on their category page—the goals are to reaffirm trust and offer personalization. 

Papier trust callout with personalization, reviews, and trust badges

It’s worth noting that nearly 45% of Gen Z shoppers abandon a website if they aren’t offered choices they like/want/need.

What Can You Learn From It?

  • Offer a discount, only after a user scrolls through
  • Don’t immediately trigger a popup—wait for exit intent behavior
  • Offer a pop-up then, then, that solves their pain points
  • Don’t offer more than one pop-up per session

We Recommend Reading: Exit-Intent Pop-Ups: overcoming common mistakes + 20 brilliant examples

5. Get The Usability Right

If your website looks like it came straight out of 2006, you will run into a trust issue. 

To demonstrate this, we have taken Clare’s and Ocooch Hardwood’s product pages’ first fold.

While both brands lie in the middle of B2B and B2C eCommerce, the biggest difference is perhaps their approach to design.

Note how Clare’s product page features a clear description of product features along with a variety of useful information like:

  • Product Size
  • Product Features
  • Usage of the Product
Clare trust-inspiring product page UX

Meanwhile, Ocooch Hardwood’s page acts like an encyclopedia, which gives users the information they may need about the product.

While functional, it lacks visual appeal (and may raise the question, “is this legit?”).

Ocooch Hardwood's outdated product page design that doesn't inspire trust

Thus, how do you ensure that your website has its usability right?

  • Look at your KPI’s, particularly the drop-off between sessions and engaged sessions on your GA4
  • Your average engagement time/session duration and returning users also tell the story
  • Try optimizing your website for sales (trust leads to sales)—make changes and A/B test them

We Suggest Reading: Getting Traffic But No Sales? 21 Reasons Why (+ How To Solve) 

6. Be Active On Your Socials

Questionable website design is always a trust barrier.

However, being active on social media helps build “legitimacy”—take a look at how Toy Arena achieves this: 

Toy Arena Website vs Social Media: Social Media increases trust and social proof

Note the stark difference between their website and their Instagram page. 

Note the reply on this Reddit post about Toy Arena’s trustworthiness:

Reddit post affirming Toy Arena's legitimacy

According to Pew Research Center, nearly 50% of all young American adults trust social media more than any other news outlet. 

Building a great-looking store just won’t do—ensure that you spark conversations online and offline as well. 

Here’s what you can do:

  • Ensure that you participate in local events
  • Engage with your customers in real-time through email and social media
  • Get your brand on Google Business Profile (and ensure to fill in all details and ask customers to review you there too)

We Recommend Reading: eCommerce social proof: What, why & how (with proven examples)

7. Show Your Team On Your About Us Page

Employees are among your most trustworthy assets—a PWC survey shows so. 

Other than affordable products and services, the next biggest trust factor is how a brand treats its employees.

The young shopper may support brands, but their biggest trust factor is seeing how employees are treated—note how Francesca nails this within their “About Us” page. 

Francesca's Team on their About Us page, which helps increase trust

Ensure that your About Us page contains the following information:

  • Your Commitment & Purpose
  • How You Started Out
  • A Visually Attractive Display of USP’s
  • Your Awards & Accolades
  • Team Members
  • How It’s Going
  • Your Goals
  • Name, Address, Phone Number
  • Policies

8. Provide Excellent Customer Service 

Emotionally connected customers are more valuable—and they are the customers you retain.

Universal Standard offers a truly unique value proposition (UVP) that’s like no other: a year-long return period.

Universal Standard's year long return period that increases trust

What’s unique about this trust-building strategy?

  • Continues the brand story from their value-oriented “About-us” page.
  • It not only reaffirms their commitment to a purpose but also towards charities like Dress for Success.
  • Additionally, it works as a solid returns policy (that helps drive the trust and the sale)

Recommended Reading: 19 Customer Retention Strategies that Actually Work (for eCommerce)

9. Show Them That Their Data Is Safe

47% of online shoppers fear personal data theft from eCommerce stores.

However, if you can explain why you are collecting data and what you are going to do with it, it builds trust among 91% of your customers.

Note how Cybex confirms user choices (even if it means users leaving the site)

Cybex asking for cookie settings confirmation, that increases trust

Thus, it’s equally important to ensure they know—they’re in control of their data. 

Note how Poppin drives the trust within their footer, by displaying a clear way to get back personal information:

Poppin increasing trust, by displaying an option to control what's done with the user's data

Also Read: 7 Smarter Marketing Alternatives to Third-Party Cookies (for eCommerce)

10. Highlight Your Shipping & Return Policy

Trust increases when a brand is easy to do business with”—that is what 98% of business leaders and 96% of consumers agree on. 

Meanwhile, only about 35% of consumers find their most trusted brands easy to do business with. (Deloitte, 2021)

 In the same article, Deloitte reports that customers are 2.4x more likely to stick with a brand that owns up after a mistake. 

And, about 2.3x more likely to try a new product or service from a brand that exhibits reliability.

What’s reliability: Free shipping is one of those ways (along with free returns)—note how Away does it:

Away's clear return policy that instills trust in their eCommerce

Right on the homepage, Away mentions what users can expect, and the CTA doesn’t over-promise (or under-promise).

On clicking the CTA, users are led to a fully descriptive FAQ Page, that answers and provides users to opt for returns and perform exchanges. 

Away clear FAQ page on policy, that increases trust and session duration

What can you take away from this?

  • Let users readily find your returns (and exchange) at key points within the website
  • Key points include: Homepage, About Us, Contact Us, Category, Product, and Checkout pages
  • Other places may include your footer and notification banner; note how Away mentions their policy on their footer 
  • Also, try announcing your back-in-stock products on footer/dedicated sections, as Away does:
Away displaying clear option to make an exchange and returns on the footer

11. Show Your Vulnerability

Continuing the theme from the previous point, showcasing your “humanity” is key to building trust. 

Doing recalls may seem like a counter-active measure (however, it generates an insane amount of WOM and coverage)

Note how Ikea does it on their product recall page:

Ikea, product recall page that increases trust on the long term by showing vulnerability

While the trust may seemingly go down, research shows voluntary recalls have a positive impact on loyal consumers (if done right).

Note the amount of coverage Ikea gets for their recalls:

Ikea's publicity through their recalls

12. Use The Right Payment Badges Above The Fold

What message do you send when your eCommerce store features BNPL payment options?

“Credit Providers trust us!”

Keeping that in mind, note how Zo Skin Health offers an option to pay with “Link” (alternative to Afterpay) on their product page:

Zo Skin Health's payment CTA above the fold on their product page

13. Highlight Positive As Well As Critical Reviews

Thinking of adding in fake reviews to highlight a new product?

Well, customers can spot them from a mile away. 

5 star ratings are extremely suspicious (and having one points to definitive manipulation)

According to Northwestern Edu, 82% of consumers go out and want to find negative reviews.

Note how Elf Beauty masters this balance, on its product page:

e.l.f. beauty showing critical reviews, that increases trust

The takeaway from this?

  • Offer users the negative reviews along with the positive reviews 
  • The art is in finding negative reviews that don’t speak too badly
  • Additionally if you aren’t using an auditing mechanism, use one like Shisheido does:
Shisheido offering options to flag reviews, which instills trust in ecommerce

14. Get Reviews Vetted By a Third Party

Continuing the previous point, Naturewall ensures users know what’s on offer, right on the notification bar:

Naturewall's notification bar, that helps increase trust

The effect of doing this is that all reviews from the brand are viewed with a greater likelihood of trust.

If that isn’t enough, Naturewell ensures that users can see customer reviews with photos of installations. (which brings us to our next point)

Naturewall's reviews, that helps increase trust

15. Include Customer Photos In Reviews

Including customer photos helps customers understand whether the product is indeed a right fit for them. 

Before making a purchase, 62% of shoppers look at customer photos in reviews.

A perfect example of this is found on Clare’s product page:

Clare's reviews that are extremely helpful and increase trust, overall

Note how the review mentions the full detail of how the product was used along with:

  • Product being reviewed
  • Who used the product
  • Skill level of the user
  • Where it was used
  • What’s the best part of the product
  • Images
  • Ease of use
  • Helpful or not
  • Verified buyer (or not)
  • Name of the person

16. Reply To Reviews

Replying to reviews shows your empathy. (and works towards managing your reputation.)

Note how Popsockets swiftly replies to a user’s grievance:

Popsockets replying to reviews and maintaining their reputation and trust

Doing this is a no-brainer trust move.

Unfortunately, most store owners see this as a weakness, and most users see this as a generic reply. 

Here’s how you can build trust with review replies:

  • Do help/reply to users 1:1 through email/any other medium of their choice (not yours; refer to CAN-SPAM rules)
  • Follow through on promises made in your reply
  • Remember that all your replies are public
  • Lastly, never delete a review (or try washing out with positive reviews)

17. Get YouTubers to Review Your Product

Gen Z and Millennials will contribute to a 48% increase in the generational share of retail spend by 2030. (Afterpay)

Thus, it’s no wonder YouTube is THE place to build trust in your products.

According to Google, YouTube drives purchase decisions for 68% of consumers and product discovery for over 40% of shoppers.

Framework leverages exactly that when they get famous YouTubers to review their product:

Linus Tech Tips's review of Framework

The caveat here lies in:

  • Only getting 1 YouTuber to review your product isn’t enough
  • Disclose paid sponsorships (at the get-go)
  • Or arrange a giveaway to generate the trust (and reviews thereof)
  • This strategy is excellent for new brands (and new products as well)
  • Always use a callback to these reviews on your website (boosts trust as well)—note how Framework does this:
Framework featuring Linus Tech Tips and Dave 2D on their website

18. Add Social Media Content To Your Product Pages

Social media has tremendous recommendation power. 

According to a SurveyMonkey Survey, influencer recommendations get trust from nearly 58% of Gen Z, 56% of Millennials, and 46% of Gen X.

Particularly in the Fashion product categories like clothing, beauty, skincare, and eyewear.

Other than that, social media is an excellent source of UGC and social proof.

Note how Eye Buy Direct leverages social media content on their product page to drive trust (and product recommendations):

Eye Buy Direct showcasing UGC on their product pages

Remember these points while featuring social media content:

  • Show relatable faces (ones that represent the average person)
  • Showcase a “Verified Purchase” badge on your UGC feed as well
  • Feature photos from your review pages on your feed as well along with relevant trust badges

We Recommend Reading: 10 eCommerce brands winning at Social Commerce (+ Lessons we can learn from them)

19. Add a Trust Badge On Key Pages

What’s a trust badge?

A seal of approval that tells users, “somebody has vetted and verified this brand’s {cause/feature/quality}.

However, some badges are completely free (Trusted Bear for Shopify), while most take significant costs and dedication. (BCorp Certification)

The most common trust badges are payment badges, but there are more types.

As there are key areas to display trust badges on. 

Note how Tennis Point features payment badges on their checkout page along with their salient features in bullet points (and legal terms within the footer):

Tennis Point's checkout page that inspires trust

Another example of trust badges in use can be seen in Eye Buy Direct’s footer.

They feature their social media links as well as awards and other certifications:

Eye Buy Direct footer with trust badges and awards

Eye Buy Direct also features trust badges on their first-fold—note the returns policy, 24x7 customer service, and Sitejabber vetted reviews:

Eye Buy Direct's homepage banner with trust badges

20. Display “Money-Back” Nudges

This move may seem counterintuitive, but research shows that offering a “money-back guarantee” has an incredibly positive effect on customer loyalty.

This tactic holds water because online shops can’t provide the physical display of products. 

If you are worried about wardrobing, ensure your return policy mentions your restocking fee and the time period for the return, like Tennis Point does:

Tennis Point's return period, building trust

Remember: transparency is key.

What’s also notable about Tennis Point is that they nudge users to take note of their featured brands and shipping partners.

This section repeats on almost every page (except for the checkout and payment pages).

Additionally, you can also use a callout like Clare does with their “Happiness Guarantee”:

21. Add Trust Badges To Your Checkout Pages

Continuing the conversation on trust badges, note how Zo-Skin Health provides nudges to users:

Zo Skin Health check-out page with trust badges in microcopy

Note the use of the following:

  1. “Secure Checkout” badge at the header
  2. Phone No. on the header
  3. Live Chat on the footer
  4. Toll-Free number on the footer
  5. “Secure Shopping” Badge
  6. Payment-Processor badges

The caveat here is that these badge sizes are minimal—the sizes aren’t oversized to over-compensate (or too muted to underplay).

22. Offer Guest Checkout With Delivery Date

Guest checkout reduces the need for sign-in, and having a definitive delivery date helps alleviate pre-purchase anxiety. 

Not providing one can make your store lose customers and $5 on average for each time you involve customer support.

Note how Dupeshop balances both by offering guest checkout with standard shipping and “Next-Day” tracked shipping.

Dupeshop in-detail guest checkout page with delivery date

23. Offer Transparent Pricing On Product Pages

Pricing is the single most important factor for any purchase decision, and this goes for trust too. 

If a $249 price goes up to $450 with shipping and taxes, customers aren’t staying. 

Or if a $249 product gets sold for $50, people will notice. 

The balance has to be achieved through maintaining transparency.

Note how The Online Mirror Shop achieves this:

The Online Mirror Shop displaying transparent pricing on Category and Product Pages

Note the use of Afterpay and the messaging below the PayPal CTA. 

Pricing remains consistent within their category, product, cart, and checkout pages:

The Online Mirror Shop's Cart Page with transparent pricing and payment badges

Note that the only extra bit left to be calculated is the shipping cost on the checkout page:

The Online Mirror Shop's checkout page
  • Ensure new users get the benefits on offer (like free shipping or any other promotion) on checkout
  • Let them enter their coupon code, as The Online Mirror Shop does on their cart page
  • Note how they also feature a floating “5% off on your first order” CTA

24. Ensure They Know You’re Reachable

Other than your SEO, your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are the most critical factors driving trust.

Having one shows customers that you are available (and also drives compliance).

Note how Outpost showcases their NAP on the footer:

Outpost footer displaying clear information for every purpose

25. Celebrate Reviews From PR

Press features form a part of earned media—thus getting yourself in the news is a good idea. 

While news intermediaries aren’t that highly trusted, they are an excellent source of product discovery. 

Note how Away uses a quote from The Wirecutter on their About-Us page:

Away's media feature

It’s best to remember that getting press coverage is important (but not more important than getting user reviews).

If you are a new brand or have a new product, get it reviewed by influencers first, and then by the press.

26. Offer To Change The Language (But Let Customers Choose It)

Personalization is good, but not so much that you change your website’s language, currency, and more. 

It’s best that you let your customers change the language, should they choose to.

Note how Baxterwood does this:

Baxterwood currency selector that showcases accessibility and personalization

27. Ensure Accurate & Descriptive Product Descriptions On Category Pages

Most eCommerce category pages, simply display products and feature a bit of text for “SEO”

What that does is: it makes your store look like any other store. (and leads to choice paralysis and low trust)

Note how Cybex gets in a lot of text with their product display on their category page:

Cybex category page with in-dept product descriptions

Instead of featuring a tile, they take up a panel-like display. 

It’s within the product page that users can make a decision. Note the microcopy that highlights:

  • The safety rating
  • Who’s the product for
  • Color options
  • Price range
  • Technical specifications
  • Accurate product display
  • Option to compare
  • Reviews
  • Accurate and descriptive description
  • Clear CTA

If you have too many product items under one category, ensure you use this to feature some products. 

Doing this helps with the trust (and helps with conversions as well)

We Recommend Reading: Build high-converting category pages (13 ideas + great examples)

28. Avoid Making Typos

Till now, we have talked about gaining trust—however, did we tell you the quickest way to lose trust?

Making a typo on your website. 

With the advent of grammar and spell checker tools, typos (or bad grammar are tolerated no’ mo’)

The psychology behind this is the same as our website design point. 

Low res images, spelling mistakes, and design errors all increase the cognitive load. (an increase of which leads users to take notice)

Also, keep a look-out for:

  • Dead links (links that don’t have a proper URL) and broken links (links that lead to 404 errors)
  • Complete and typo-free product titles as well as SEO meta titles and meta descriptions
  • Repetitive content (or duplicate content) on your website—use duplicate content checker tools like Copyscape/Siteliner

29. Avoid Low-Res Images

Continuing our previous point, take note of this section from WoodWorkers Source:

Woodworker's Source's low-resolution images

If you are going, “Why are the images so small and pixelated?”, you’ve hit the trust barrier.

The same psychology goes with broken images (images that don’t display), note Advantage Lumber’s footer:

Broken images don't increase trust

Thus, it’s always the best idea to audit your site regularly and always keep responsive design in mind. 

Also Read: 45 eCommerce Product Page Optimization Hacks (+ Examples)

30. Partner With Charities/Causes Your Brand Stands For

Can a brand go big on sustainability/showcase a cause all while generating goodwill and sales?

The answer is – yes, it can. 

Popsockets has partnered with BCRF and ensured that all sales from a dedicated product go towards BCRF.

Popsockets and Breast Cancer Research Foundation, partnering up

If you do follow through, ensure that you drive awareness for a cause (which you personally believe and advocate for).

Ensure that users can participate within your website (as well as your socials)

More Trust = More Conversions

Setting up for more sales means getting past the trust barrier. 

98% of visitors who visit an eCommerce site—drop off without buying anything.

Even if you are all set up for trust. 

Why: user experience issues that cause friction for visitors.

And this is the problem Convertcart solves.

We've helped 500+ eCommerce stores (in the US) improve user experience—and 2X their conversions.

How we can help you:

Our conversion experts can audit your site—identify trust issues and suggest changes to improve conversions.

And we won’t charge for this one.

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