50 milliseconds. That’s it!
That’s the time you get to make an impression in the minds of your website visitors — an observation from the Department of Psychology at the University of Basel.
The truth is, people trust other people a lot more than they trust a business. Unlike entering a retail store where customers can talk to another human about the brand and its products, online businesses have to find other ways to engage with their customers. And if your website doesn't build credibility, it won't take long for a customer to bounce off your site.
This is why it's vital for a DTC brand to make its website appear reliable, authentic and human.
In order to capture your customer's attention, you need to make a conscious effort to establish reliability and authenticity. Now the question comes: What assets or factors can you add to your website to build credibility? I'll dive into 9 must-haves in this article.
1. Ensure you have a professional website design
A good website design is the first thing your customers will notice. And you do not want to lose them here. Because if you do, then there’s no coming back.
Good designs should enable the customer to find the most important information on a website easily and quickly. Your website design needs to be clear, have appropriate color schemes, and a good balance of visuals and blank space. A good example is Glossier, a beauty brand that keeps their design simple and clean.
2. Follow best practices for website accessibility
Ever heard of an ADA lawsuit? Without following ADA requirements, you could get caught up in a lawsuit that's completely avoidable. You can check the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to understand what you need to do to make your website ADA compliant.
3. Secure your website from data and privacy theft
Your website needs to be secure and safe from any data and privacy theft in order for customers to feel safe being on it. Here are a few essential things you must have:
- Your website must have an SSL connection.
- A logo of secure payment processors
- Install McAfee, Norton or Bitdefender security on your website for a secure connection
You can also add logos of your partners to reflect you are a legitimate business. And your partner’s reliability and authenticity will benefit you as well.
4. Build trust by leveraging social proof
In today's world, there are numerous ways to promote your product. Yet, word of mouth is still considered the best form of marketing. The reason is simple: people trust other people.
When you include genuine testimonials and reviews of your product or service on your website, it shows people have purchased from you before and were satisfied with the purchase.
Your customers do not want to get cheated or be victims of another online scam. Thus, testimonials and reviews tell customers your products are genuine and worth the investment. It also proves you are a legitimate business.
5. Be transparent with customers
There's no reason to hide information from your customers, and doing so gives your customers a bad experience. In addition to your brand story, you should be fully transparent with customers about where your products come from, your shipping times and delivery charges, privacy terms, payment partners or any other information customers may need to read before they decide to make a purchase.
You can also mention FAQs on your website to enable customers to find answers to some common queries easily.
6. Add any press mentions to show brand credibility
Press mentions show that a brand has a strong reputation. Add a press mentions page to your website in your "about" section where customers can learn about how often the media is talking about your products. Another way to leverage these are on your social channels — some brands create Instagram stories whenever they get a new mention.
You can create more reliability and authenticity when you add a quote along with each press mention, which is how Fancy Hands does it on their press page.
7. Tell your brand story and tell it well
Your brand story is where you can tell your customers what you stand for, what led to the company's inception and what it intends to achieve. When you share real stories behind your brand and business, people will feel connected with you. This connection is important for staying relevant on your customers' minds, so they think of your brand when they want to purchase another item in your brand's industry.
A great example is House of Wise, which uses the about page to share the founder's story is navigating a divorce, young kids and a marketing career, and how CBD oil helped her get through that. She enables other women facing struggles to feel empowered to take CBD oil as well.
8. Be consistency in creating content
Consistency creates trust, reliability and authenticity.
You need to be consistent with your messaging, design and branding throughout your website. Being consistent will tell people what to expect from you, and this predictability will make you more reliable and authentic as a brand.
Creating consistency with your website content plays a crucial role. When you provide original and valuable content on your website, people will start relying on you more. Your content needs to give value on its own and not be promotional. This will establish that you know about your industry more than any competitor.
When consumers get more familiar with you, your content and what you offer, they will start buying from you.
Build an authentic ecommerce site your customers can trust
Every aspect of the business has a lot more to do with people than anything else. Ask yourself what characteristics a reliable and authentic person carries: you will probably get traits like welcoming, honest, considerate, secure, trustworthy, likable and more along the same line.
Take a cue from these traits and look to reflect them through your website. Focus on great user experience, specific messaging, security and social proof. With these, your website will become more reliable and authentic.