Trust is the foundation of every successful organization — in terms of having a successful business online this, too, is no exception. With the many options served to shoppers today, customer loyalty is harder to attain.
If you’re just starting, how does trust develop for shoppers when they purchase a new product online or buy from an online store they’re unaccustomed to? What elements of an online store’s experience are trust builders or trust deal breakers?
What makes for a trustworthy website?
Last year, the Shopify team conducted a series of in-depth interviews with a varied group of North American shoppers, asking them to share their recent online shopping experiences.
The Shopify team sat down with each buyer for an hour and asked them to write a review of a recent purchase that involved either a product they’d never purchased before or a store they’d never purchased from before. We also invited them to make a real-world $40 purchase from a Shopify store they’d never visited before.
The study’s goal was to figure out what makes a new buyer feel at ease when buying a new item or from an unknown business. Shopify was looking for answers to the following questions:
- How does a shopper’s trust develop when evaluating a new item in a new store?
- Which pages or components in your store are most crucial for gaining shopper trust?
They identified a few patterns after monitoring their actions during these purchases, allowing them to target design features that are trust breakers and trust builders in online retailers.
Trust builders are components or design details that reassure customers, assuaging their fears and helping them feel more confident about making a purchase. Shoppers are put off by trust breakers, who make them wonder about the business’s legitimacy and authenticity, as well as whether or not making a purchase is a safe decision.
The findings of the study are as follows::
1. Ace the first impression with your homepage
What the customer is asking: Is this a secure website? Is it possible for me to find what I’m looking for and explore this site quickly?
Business goal: On the initial visit, create a welcome homepage and define the overall appearance and feel of your store.
We discovered that on their first visit, shoppers are more critical of a store’s design and layout, regardless of whether they’re looking for an item they’ve never purchased or a product they’ve used before. Because your homepage typically functions as a digital welcome mat, it’s critical for establishing customer trust. It should focus on making a good first impression and directing customers to the next best thing.
Our findings demonstrate that customers look for key must-have features on a homepage, as well as nice-to-have extras that might help tilt the scales in your favour — but only after the must-haves are in place. We’ll split these two groups throughout this article so you know what to prioritise.
- Consistent and polished content, including high-quality photos and error-free copy throughout the site
- A clutter-free and uncluttered design
- Easy-to-understand and use category navigation across all devices
- Clear and easy-to-understand category names in your navigation (e.g., Shop, Women, Men, About, Contact, etc.)
- Copy and information should be translated into the shopper’s native language, and prices should be listed in the local currency when selling worldwide.
- Pages that load quickly and without problems across your entire store (shoppers usually only notice performance issues when pages are slow or broken)
2. Provide customers with essential information
What the customer is asking: Is this product capable of resolving my issue? Is it of good quality and the correct size or dimensions? Is the price reasonable, and am I able to afford it?
Business goal: With informative product pages, reliable search results, and collection pages, you can make product information easy to find.
We discovered that after a new consumer leaves the site, they usually go straight to a product page. Whether they’re visiting a new retailer or one they’re acquainted with, shoppers evaluate a product’s worth on the product page.
Customers may more easily decide if each product gives the value they want by using the correct layout and design elements on your product page. Customers pay close attention to images, descriptions, sizing charts, stock and inventory details, and shipping and tax information.
While there is no one-size-fits-all method to creating the ideal product page, our findings suggest that there are key factors to consider for gaining trust in every business.
- For each product page, there is a choice of product images.
- For readability, product descriptions are divided into sections.
- When it’s suitable, include a size chart on your product page, preferably with size conversions.
- On the product page, there are some recent product reviews.
- On the product page, you’ll find information about returns and delivery.
- On the product page, there is a video of the product.
- Only available on desktop: a “quick view” option on collections allows buyers to see the product without having to open the product page.
3. Share your story and why the business started
What the customer is asking: Is this a respectable company? Is it honest with its customers?
Business goal: Assist the shopper in feeling confident that this is a legitimate company. Share your brand’s storey and why the company was founded if you have a purpose or principles.
Shoppers want to understand more about the brand — and the people — behind the products, so we created an About Us page. A page about us should provide answers to the two questions that customers have.
First, curiosity about a brand’s About Us page is piqued when someone is unsure whether or not the store is legitimate. Shoppers frequently want to ensure that a firm will be around for the long haul and will not abruptly close its doors. This is why a Contact page is useful: it provides shoppers with reassurance by including a contact phone number, email address, and retail location (if one exists).
Second, many customers are curious about the company’s objective and purpose, as well as whether they share any values with the company (e.g., sustainability). They’ll go to the About Us page to find out more about the company they’re buying from and, for more socially concerned clients, how it’s run.
- An About Us page
- A Contact page
- A phone number included on the Contact page
- A detailed story of the brand included on the About Us page
- On the contact page, include a professional email address related with the store domain (e.g., email@example.com, not firstname.lastname@example.org).
- An online chat alternative for contacting customer service
- The address of the merchant’s physical location(s) is mentioned on the contact page when applicable.
4. Show current customer satisfaction
What the customer is asking: Is the product as described by previous customers? Is the company treating its customers fairly?
Business goal: Give customers the social proof they need to believe in your business and its products.
According to research, shoppers place a high value on the reassurance they receive from unbiased customer and store reviews, and they pay close attention to what past customers have to say.
Shoppers want to check reviews on product websites, other sites and marketplaces, and social media before making a purchase on a new website. Shoppers are looking for anomalies, specific cautions from prior customers, or feedback that contradicts what a company states on its website. On social media, for example, customers may use mental math to determine whether the ratio of Instagram followers to likes appears to be genuine.
It’s critical for business owners to realise that community sentiment can make or break a customer’s decision to buy a product.
- Product reviews with a score of 70% or higher are considered positive.
- Product reviews that are largely good have been shared on social media (e.g., reviews shared on Instagram, YouTube, etc.)
- Product evaluations that are detailed and include client feedback
- A following on Instagram, Facebook, or other social media sites
- Positive store reviews on third-party sites such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, Trustpilot, Amazon, eBay, and others
- Product reviews that incorporate photographs on product pages
- Product reviews for apparel, accessories, and health and beauty products that include a description of the reviewer (so shoppers can relate to review more)
- Product reviews that contain a product video
- Links to the store’s social media pages are prominently displayed throughout the store.
5. Ensure the transaction is transparent and easy
What the customer is asking: What will the delivery cost be, and how much will taxes or duties be? Are the payment choices widely-known and safe, as well as functional?
Business goal: When estimating the total cost at shipment and payment, remove client doubts and risk.
“Price is what you pay, and value is what you get,” as the adage goes. While high-quality photos and appealing copy assist to communicate product value, customers also want to see the complete amount they’ll pay as soon as possible, including all discounts and levies.
Although price is fairly obvious, there is a great deal of subjectivity when it comes to how much a product costs and how useful a buyer believes it is. As a result, providing context around price and eliminating unwanted surprises is an important part of establishing confidence.
- A straightforward and easy-to-understand return policy
- When delivering overseas, a shipping policy that specifies who is responsible for duties and taxes is required
- On the online store’s front, shipping charges are minimal.
- The ability to use discount codes in the cart, as well as the ability for the customer to alter the contents of the cart
- Methods of payment that are familiar (such as PayPal and Shop Pay)
- Order status tracking is an optional feature.
- On the order confirmation page, there were rewards and discounts for future sales.
- In the event that order adjustment is required, easy access to the contact page is provided.
- A language and currency switcher is required for international stores.
Customers reward businesses they trust
Because founders don’t question their own trustworthiness, customer trust is typically a blind spot for firms, especially freshly founded businesses. Why would you ever consider yourself “untrustworthy” when you’re keeping promises to customers and telling real facts and tales in your marketing? However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that trust is a matter of perception, and it’s something that every company must acquire.
Your company can gain trust over time by having a large number of satisfied customers and great word of mouth. Your reputation will have preceded you by then, and the finer aspects of your site may not have to do as much work. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use tried-and-true best practises to make your site feel familiar, trustworthy, and easy to use. This will put customers at ease, making purchasing from your store easier, and even unlock step level growth for your brand.
Source: Shopify blog
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has changed what a normal life looks like. Because of the vast shift that we all have to adapt to, all traditional businesses are especially affected, specifically through the practice of social distancing that discourages customers from visiting physical stores. However, the good news is that, despite social distancing, people are still actively shopping from home.
In fact, according to an analysis by ACI Worldwide, transaction volumes in most retail sectors have seen a 74 percent rise in March compared to the same period last year, while online gaming has seen a staggering increase of 97 percent. If anything, this means one thing: business owners with brick and mortar shops will soon have to move their businesses online, FAST!
The good news is, the pandemic has also changed consumers’ habits when it comes to online shopping. Before, people would normally only shop online for clothes, gadgets, and other non-perishables and would prefer to buy their groceries in physical stores. But due to the need for quarantining, consumers have started purchasing groceries online, opting for either self pick-up or engaging a delivery service.
To help retailers make their shift online, Shopify offers solutions, like creating a simple Shopify store to offer curbside pickup or local delivery options to customers. This can eventually lead to a more holistic shift to selling all or most of their products online.
If you’re new to the e-commerce landscape, below are some essential steps you can take to kickstart your online business. Soo, you will learn how to treat your homepage like your storefront and transition some of your physical store experience onto your product pages.
So, how do I create an online store?
1. Start a Shopify 90-day free trial
The first step is to go to shopify.com and sign up for a free 90-day trial to get started with your online business.
You’ll pick a name for your store here, which will become the URL or domain name that your customers will use to access your store. To begin, you can choose the Basic plan, but you can always increase as needed.
Note: You’ll have to enter your credit card or PayPal information. Because you’re on a 90-day free trial, you won’t be charged during that time, and we’ll give you a reminder before it expires.
2. Choose a theme
In the Shopify Theme Store, you can find the perfect theme, or website template, for your online store. You may either start with a free Shopify theme or purchase a theme created by one of their Partners.
You’ll want your physical store and online presence to be in sync, so browse themes by collection or industry and pick one that best fits your business. Of course, no theme is limited to a certain business; it’s simply a way to get you started quickly. You can always change your theme later if you want to.
Prep your essential pages
Customers will be able to continue purchasing your products sooner if you make your online store open as soon as possible. Focus on the essentials: make sure your store includes easily recognisable parts of your company (such as your logo or brand colours) and is simple to browse and purchase.
There’s no need to be concerned about the extras. Your first aim should be to get your products online and sell the inventory you have in your store. Before you begin, we recommend that you create the following pages:
Treat your homepage as if it were a physical storefront. Shoppers utilise the homepage to find out about new deals and promotions, as well as to navigate to product pages. Consider having a banner or notification bar that informs customers about important information, such as what purchase or shipping alternatives you’ve made available, or how they can help you by purchasing a gift card.
Because recent supply chain difficulties have had an unforeseen impact on shipping services, your consumers may have a few shipping-related questions for you. Take a look around to see how other local businesses are handling their Shipping FAQs right now. It’s critical to disclose any additional precautions you’re doing to keep clients safe while shipping purchases to their homes, such as extra safeguards taken when preparing or packaging your products.
Return and exchange policy
You may provide clear, consistent standards for how customers can replace or refund their purchases with a documented return policy. Return and exchange requests should not be handled on a case-by-case basis, since it might add extra complexity (and cost) to your operation.
An excellent Contact Us page sets the correct expectations with customers and explains how and when they can contact you. Include a map of your store’s location for local customers, as well as a contact form so they don’t have to leave your website to reach you.
It’s critical to make your product pages thorough and attractive because they’re where you market the value of your products. With the tools you have, we’ve included resources to help you construct high-converting product pages, write interesting product descriptions, and take good-looking product photography.
Add your products
If you have a huge catalogue, adding your products can take some time, but there are ways to get started quickly. We recently released modifications to make this process faster and easier, and we’re also providing free data migration services to customers who are opening their first online store.
Here are a few options for adding products:
- Bulk upload from your Shopify admin. You can make a simple bulk upload of your goods into Shopify if you’re a Shopify customer.
- Use Shopify Mobile or Shopify POS. If your inventory is out of date, use the Shopify Mobile app to take photos of your products with your mobile device’s camera and upload them to your online store in one easy step.
- Use our free POS data migration service. This solution will assist you migrate your POS data onto Shopify’s platform if you aren’t utilising Shopify POS for your brick-and-mortar store. Most POS systems, including Lightspeed, Square, Quickbooks, Vend, Shopkeep, and others, can be migrated.
Set up gift cards
One of the quickest methods for a brick-and-mortar business to start selling online and secure instant cash flow is to sell digital gift cards. The following is how it works:
- You create a digital gift card
- Customers may then use your new online store to purchase and pay for gift cards.
- Gift cards that have been purchased are then emailed to your customers. All active gift cards can be tracked and managed in Shopify as consumers redeem them in the future.
- Customers can redeem gift cards at checkout as you introduce new products that can be purchased online or as you make your products available for local delivery or pickup. The gift cards you create will never expire by default.
Set up shipping
Shoppers are stranded at home, and many require orders to be delivered to their doorstep, thus delivering a cost-effective and convenient shipping experience is now critical. Here are some suggestions for keeping your business running in these unpredictable times while remaining secure with social distancing.
1. Keep shipping costs down
Shipping costs may quickly cut into a retailer’s profit margins, so plan ahead when it comes to shipping and fulfilment. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Opt for manual shipping: Print labels, send shipping alerts, and keep track of every detail of your purchases, as well as personally fulfilling orders when possible.
- Skip the fancy packaging. Simply opt for the packaging from your courier provider.
- Set up Local Shipping. You can offer a “local delivery” option to consumers who are close to your business. Customers in your chosen zone will automatically be charged local shipping costs at checkout.
2. Try Shopify Shipping
Shopify Shipment works with courier providers like DHL in Singapore and Malaysia, and each carrier has different mail classes, so depending on the carrier and mail class you choose, you can get features like overnight delivery, package pick-ups, tracking information, international shipping, and more.
Shopify also works directly with carriers to negotiate affordable rates for each shipping service, which are included in every plan at no additional cost to you.
3. Set up self pick-up for local customers
Curbside pickup allows your local clients to order anything online and pick it up from your store without ever leaving their automobile. This “drive-through” alternative not only eliminates face-to-face interactions, but it also saves time and money on shipment. The steps are as follows:
1. Your customers will place orders and pay for them via your new online store.
2. The order will be emailed to you so that you may safely prepare it.
3. After that, you’ll notify the customer when it’s ready for pickup.
4. Your client will arrive at your store and open their trunk.
5. You’ll put their order in their trunk carefully.
6. That’s all there is to it; you’re done!
Setting up payments
When deciding which payment methods to offer online, there are a few points to keep in mind. You can use Shopify Payments or a third-party service to allow your customers to pay with a credit card. Customers can also pay online without using a credit card, using PayPal or an online bank transfer, for example. Finally, accelerated checkouts such as Shop Pay save shipping and payment information for returning customers, making it easier for them to check out.
Read these terms and instructions to make sure you choose the right payment methods for your business.
Let shoppers know you’re open for business
After you’ve set up your internet store, the first thing you should do is notify existing clients that you’re still in business. Here’s how to let your clients know you’ve opened an internet store, as well as a few places they may find you:
- Email your customers. Have you gathered emails from clients in person, through an existing website, or through your POS system? Now is an excellent time to stay in touch with them on a regular basis, and email gives you a direct path to their inbox. To begin, inform customers about recent developments and how they can continue to buy your products or contribute to your cause by purchasing gift cards.
- Add signage to your storefront. A sign on your door pointing shoppers to your online business can be a simple but effective way to alert local foot traffic about your new online store.
- Post to social media. If you’re on social media, include your business’s URL in your Instagram bio, tweet your new URL or domain name, and post a status update on your Facebook page with a link to your store.
- Add or update local listings. Google My Business is a free service that allows you to promote your local business on Google Search and Google Maps. For example, on your Business Profile, you can provide the URL of your website as well as photographs of your products, which will appear in Google’s search results. You can also mention any special specials or deals to entice customers to shop online with you.
- Announce it on your homepage (when it’s live).
And there you have it, folks — your new online store!
Source: Resilient Retail: How to Move Your Brick-and-Mortar Business Online
Once upon a time, Shake Shack was one of the many one-off boutique stands that set shop in New york’s Madison Square Park. Today, having recently gone public in an IPO that ballooned to a whopping $1.6 billion, the once-humble shack has grown to become a multinational burger titan with franchises in Moscow, Istanbul and Dubai.
So, what is it that makes Shake Shake so successful? More importantly, what can we learn from Shake Shack’s success story to craft our own?
Foundationally, Shake Shack is made up of an excellent team. Its founder, Danny Meyer, is a thriving restauranteur who’s responsible for the success of some of the hottest restaurants in New York. Pat LaFrieda butchers blended the umami-rich mix of brisket, chuck, skirt steak, and short rib in each burger. And architect, James Wines is responsible for developing the original shack structure in Madison Square Park.
The real question is, what of the casually catchy Shake Shack branding that has spread so seamlessly to cultures across the globe? The logo, signage, bags, and uniforms were all designed by Pentagram in a project led by principal graphic designer, Paula Scher.
Before Shake shack, Scher was already leading a pro bono redesign of Madison Square Park’s identity for the park’s Conservancy. Therefore, when the Conservancy decided to build a permanent burger stand on the public premises, it only made sense to have Scher on the project to ensure that the burger branding doesn’t become conflicting. Originally, Scher has picked up the Shake Shack project for free since it was an extension of the Conservancy project.
Shake Shack’s branding came from two sources of inspiration that evolved over time. The first one was the shack structure itself — a corrugated metal hut that would go on to earn James Wines a National Design Award for lifetime achievement in 2013.
According to Scher, the original idea was that the shack would be part of an urban landscape in parks — and that’s how the first one was designed. Therefore, when the logo for Shake Shack was designed, it was really the architecture that drove the design.
In addition to that, the shack exuded a kind of approachable modernness, and Scher wanted a typeface to match — and she chose Neutra. To this day, metallic, Neutra lettering spells out Shake Shack in front of all their global stores.
Scher introduced a second wave of branding some time after the store had opened for business. This time it would be paid work. It tapped the core idea behind Shake Shack itself — a ’50s burger joint reimagined for a modern context. So, for the text on menus and bags, Pentagram selected the curvaceous Galaxie Cassiopeia font, or what Scher lovingly calls “a phony neon script” that still felt modern enough to keep up with the logo. The typeface was paired with squiggly burger, shake, and fry icons that evoked classic signage. Even rendered in ink, you can almost see the 1950s neon shining through.
Although the branding was designed for the distinctiveness of Shake Shack’s original site, it has managed to scale to franchises placed in more typical storefront locations and even airports.
“I think the modernness of it is somehow perfect in keeping with the quality of the food. It’s a contemporary fast-food chain with a high-level product–as opposed to McDonald’s, which is also modelled after 1950s burger chains but serves downscale food,” Scher says. “In retrospect, if you’d done a million years of focus testing and consumer studies, you wouldn’t do a better job. It shows you the charm of the happenstance.”
When asked if it felt a bit strange to see pro bono work now define the face of a $1.6 billion public company, Scher admits that it is “a bit.”
“They offered me a stock purchase before the public offering,” she says. “And in fairness, no one had an idea of how successful it would become.”