E-Commerce Consumer Trust: Causes, Struggles, and Tips

One of the many challenges that e-commerce stores face is a lack of consumer trust. Most people don’t trust e-commerce businesses they’ve never interacted with before.

This lack of consumer trust can be attributed to a wide range of factors, including the fear of being stuck with a product they don’t like, the fear of not being able to track their orders, as well as concerns over the safety of their credit card data.

We’ll discuss these reasons in detail and then provide actionable tips to build consumer trust in your e-commerce business.

Here Are 6 Reasons Why Consumers Don’t Trust E-commerce Websites

1. Fear of Getting Stuck with a Product They Don’t Like

One of the significant disadvantages of shopping online is that customers cannot touch, feel, smell or inspect a product physically before buying.

Because of that, they fear ending up with a product that doesn’t meet their expectations and paying high shipping fees to return it.

2. Fear of Losing Their Orders

This is another cause of consumer mistrust in e-commerce. When there’s no tracking service provided, shoppers become reluctant to purchase because they fear that the orders will get lost and they’ll lose their hard-earned money just like that.

3. Fear of Their Personal Information Being Sold to Third-Parties

Consumers also fear e-commerce websites will sell their personal data to third parties for commercial purposes.

They don’t want to be bombarded with endless solicitation emails and offers from people to whom they didn’t entrust their personal details.

4. Fear That Their Credit Card Information Will Be Stolen

The rising cases of identity theft and credit card fraud have made consumers reluctant to embrace online shopping. 

Consumers fear thieves will steal their data if they use their credit cards to make payments online.

5. Fear of Choosing the Wrong Item Because There’s no Salesperson to Help

Those who buy from brick-and-mortar stores are used to being assisted by knowledgeable salespersons to find the right product for their needs.

However, online shopping has no salesperson to help you if you get stuck. So, customers fear choosing products themselves and ending up with the wrong item.

6. Fear That E-commerce Stores Don’t Exist

Lastly, there’s also this uneasy feeling among consumers that e-commerce businesses are not real. Since these businesses don’t have a physical location, it sometimes makes consumers doubt their existence.

7 Actionable Tips to Build Consumer Trust in Your E-commerce Business

Now that you understand some of the most common fears consumers have about shopping online let’s discuss the measures you can take to increase their trust in your e-commerce business.

7 Actionable Tips to Build Consumer Trust in Your E-commerce Business

1. Use Photos of Real People on Your Website

One way to assure customers that there are real people behind your e-commerce company is by posting photos of you and your team.

You can do this on the About Us page and your social media pages, so customers who are curious about your brand can know more about you.

Posting human photos is one of the easiest ways to establish a human connection with your customers and get them to warm up to you.

2. Display Your Product Adoption Statistics

When you display the number of customers using your product, it indicates that people already trust your brand enough to buy from you.

This can make potential customers visiting your website start trusting in you as well. And as their trust grows, their willingness to buy your products will also increase.

3. Provide 24/7 Live Chat Support

Consumers also don’t like the idea of calling or emailing your business for help and having to wait for several hours or days before being assisted.

Therefore, offering 24/7 live chat support on your e-commerce website is something many people will appreciate.

It’s a great way to assure your current and prospective customers that you’ll be there to help them immediately if they run into problems while shopping.

Live chat support boosts consumer trust in your business and drives more conversions. Just ensure that you have a team ready to keep your promise of 24/7 assistance.

4. Maintain a Vibrant Blog

Another way to improve consumer trust is by maintaining a vibrant blog on your website. As you know, it takes a lot of time and effort to regularly produce great content for your blog readers.

Therefore, when customers see that your blog is constantly being updated and vibrant, they’ll know that your company truly exists and is committed to providing them with valuable information to ease their decision-making process.

This can go a long way in increasing their trust in your brand.

5. Offer Discounts with Discretion

Offering mouth-watering discounts to customers may seem like a nice idea to get them to shop with you, not your competitors.

However, offering extremely high discounts all the time can make people suspicious of your business. They’ll wonder how you’re making profits and sustaining your business with such generous discounts.

So, be careful not to go overboard with your discounts, making customers lose your trust. Consider making them slightly higher than your competitors while considering scarcity and urgency, and you’ll be safe.

6. Display Your Contact Information Clearly on Your Website and Social Media Pages

Contact information is another strong indicator that your online retail store truly exists.

So, ensure that your website and social media pages have your updated contact information to assure customers that there are real human beings at the other end who can assist them if they need help.

7. Display Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Most customers go online to read reviews from different customers before deciding whether to shop with you or not. This is because they trust such reviews more than the product information you give them on your product pages.

So, displaying customer reviews on your website and other point-of-purchase areas is necessary to prove to prospective customers that your e-commerce business is authentic and credible.

Here are three ways to use customer reviews effectively:

  1. Feature good and bad reviews on your site to make online shoppers trust your business. The more transparency you provide, the more authentic you will appear.
  2. Generate reviews from real users of your products instead of paying professional reviewers to write promotional reviews for you.
  3. Focus on both the quantity and quality of the reviews.

Other than customer reviews, testimonials from third parties can also help to add authenticity to your brand and make it look more trustworthy.

Final Thoughts on E-Commerce Consumer Trust

Earning the trust of your e-commerce customers is possible if you know how to do it right. However, to achieve long-term success, you must be willing to work on it continuously.

We’ve discussed several causes and strategies you can use to increase customer trust in your business. It’s best to run A/B tests before implementing them to find out what works and doesn’t work for your business.