Do Your Customers Feel Safe on Your Website?


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Back in 1995, Newsweek published an article titled, “Why the Web Won’t Be Nirvana” that cited several reasons why the Internet was doomed to fail. In the article, author Clifford Stoll writes, “We’re promised instant catalog shopping — just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations, and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obsolete. Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet — which there isn’t — the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.”

While all of this may seem like a hilarious read two decades later, the concerns expressed by the author are very true indeed. As the owner of a Web business, how do you ensure that your customers feel safe while shopping on your website? What steps can you take to convince them that you are not a fly-by-the-night operator and will be around to help them with their purchase? In this article, we will take a look at some ways you could build this trust.

Make Your Contact Details Available

One of the first things that a site visitor looks for is the location of your business. Even if you are based in a foreign country, make these details visible to the customer.

If your market is restricted to a specific country, it is always a good idea to provide a local business address in addition to your home country. This provides your customers the assurance that they may always reach out to you should things go wrong.

Provide a Local or Toll-Free Number

This cannot be emphasized enough. If you have an online store, chances are that your customer may want to talk to a representative before making the purchase. Provide a local or toll-free number that they may reach out to anytime during or after the sale.

You don’t have to necessarily hire a support executive in the destination country to service customers. If you are a one-person company, you may also use services like Twilio to provide a local number that redirects calls to your own phone number no matter where you are located.

Ensure Reliability and Cybersecurity

Is your website hosted on a server that is fast and can handle peak load volumes? Is data transmitted through your website encrypted and secure? These are genuine concerns and as a business owner, you must do everything possible to ensure that your customers can trust your website enough to provide their financial details. This includes setting up SSL on your server, migrating to a host that can handle high volumes of traffic, using a reliable payment gateway, etc. You can learn more about Web hosting best practices and cybersecurity guidelines through these online guides.

Online Reviews and Testimonials

A recent study found that online reviews impacted the purchasing decisions of 67.7 percent of buyers. The study further found that these reviews were an integral component of an online buying decision to at least 54 percent of the customers. Just like it is with the physical stores, customers only want to flock to online stores that are already frequented by others.

Similarly, they also prefer buying products that have already been purchased and recommended by other consumers. Online reviews and testimonials not only show your customers that your website is trusted by other customers, but also gives them a reassurance that they may trust the product. These are psychological triggers that promote or restrict a customer’s buying activity.

Building trust among customers is a slow and painful process. But it’s an inevitable hurdle that businesses must cross in order to become successful. As it is often said in the online retailing circles, Amazon was not built in a day.


  1. Would the SSL certificate be still essential if the website doesn’t handle any authorization, transactions or other security based information?


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