E-Commerce Trust Drivers: How to Gain and Retain Your Customer’s Trust

E-Commerce Trust Drivers: How to Gain and Retain Your Customer’s Trust

February 14, 2019

Getting people to your site is one task, convincing them to make a purchase is a whole new ball game. Not only do you need to have good products, good images, and good product descriptions, you need to be trustworthy too. And in this post, we’re going to walk you through integrating e-commerce trust drivers into your store.

Picture this scenario.

You’re walking down the street, someone comes up to you and asks if you want to buy their car.

Now you haven’t even seen the car. You also don’t know who this person is.

Would you buy the car? Heck, would you even consider buying the car? The answer is no.

That’s because you don’t trust the person selling it to you.

Even if you were in the market for the car. The way they’ve approached you unannounced doesn’t fill you with any trust and so they’ll lose the sale.

The same goes for e-commerce. If someone lands on your site and feels as though you’re untrustworthy, they’re not going to buy from you. It’s as simple as that.

Let’s look at some of the things you can deploy on your own site to boost trust and sales.


People trust other customers more than they trust you. Instead of you telling them that your product is the best, it will hold more weight if they hear it from your previous customers instead.

In a consumer trust survey, 25% of respondents stated that they trust a product’s rating if between 11-50 people reviewed it, and another 21% trusts if they see between 51-100 reviews.

This is why reviews are so important.

When people look to buy a new product, what they’re really looking for is to see whether other people just like them enjoyed the product too.

If you have reviews for your products, they should be displayed in an obvious place so people can see them.

In most cases, this involves including reviews on specific product pages.

Also, don’t worry if you don’t have 100% 5* reviews.

People understand that not everyone will be completely happy with every product they buy and so having a range of reviews at different levels can actually be a good thing.

Converse to that, though, if you only have 1-star reviews, you should use this feedback to improve your product.

Amazon does a great job of highlighting reviews on their site.

Amazon Reviews

As you can see at the very top of the page they show a star rating as well as the total number of reviews.

It means a user gets a glimpse of the quality of the product without having to scroll all the way down.

Compare that to this product listing by Joann.

Joann Reviews

With no reviews present yet, how do you know whether the quality of the product is any good?

What Joann could and should try to do is encourage their customers to leave a review post-purchase.

They might offer 10% off the next order for any review or simply ask within the transactional confirmation email.


The basis of e-commerce warrants that someone has to complete a monetary transaction online.

For most people this is second nature, the idea of entering your card details online and hitting purchase is a natural act.

But for many shoppers, they’re hesitant to freely hand over their credit card details if the site doesn’t appear trustworthy.

Let’s take Amazon for example. You’d have no issue entering your card details on there. After all, they’re a retail giant.

But the same might not hold true for you.

If you’re a smaller e-commerce retailer you need to add trust badges that show you care about your customer’s data and their credit card security.

In this example by VitaDaily, they use a range of different trust indicators on their website to show that they care about their customer’s security.

E-commerce Trust Indicators

This is especially important for products like supplements, or when you’re dealing with edible or health-related products.

Returns policy

What do you do if a customer buys a product and decides they no longer like it?

Most e-commerce stores have some level of returns policy. Wherein, after a set amount of days, if a customer is not happy with their purchase, they can get their money back.

This in itself builds trust. You feel more confident buying a product because you know you can return it if it’s not what you were actually looking for.

The thing to remember with e-commerce is that your customers can’t touch or see the product in real life.

Now, this is no issue if you also have a presence in brick and mortar stores too. A customer may have seen your product in a store and decided to buy online at a later time.

But if your only presence is online, you need to make sure that you’ve covered all your basis and offer your customers the option to return the policy.

It’s also important to note that your returns policy should be visible and easily accessible on your site.

Most potential customers are lazy and if they can’t immediately find the information they’re looking for, they’ll buy from another vendor.

CB2 have an entire page dedicated to their returns policy.

E-commerce Trust Returns Policy

On this page, they clearly show the returns procedure for all different types of products.

This way, you can always be certain how long you have to return your products and the process of doing so.

Customer support & be available

At the end of the day, no matter how trustworthy your business is, or seems to be, there will still be instances where a customer has an issue.

Perhaps their product hasn’t arrived by the agreed shipping date? Or maybe the product arrived but it was faulty or not as described.

And you might find that even potential customers have issues.

Maybe they want to buy a product but need help deciding which one is best for them. Or suppose they’re ready to make a purchase but your checkout form doesn’t seem to be working.

Regardless of the cause of the issue, if you want to build trust, you need to make sure you have a good to excellent level of customer service and that your team is available to speak and sort issues.

Now that’s not to say you need to be online every single moment of every single day (although if you have the resources to have a 24/7 customer support team – that would be beneficial.

It means that when a support request comes in you handle it in a timely manner.

At Club Monaco, they have a contact page and specific contact details for different kinds of queries.

Club Monaco Contact Details

This is important because it shows a potential customer that their email won’t get lost amongst all the others.

It also highlights that when you have a specific issue like shipping or returns, you can speak directly to someone who deals with those sorts of issues.


Transparent businesses naturally come across as more trustworthy as they’re happy to share their processes.

When it comes to being transparent, you can do this in a number of ways.

You might decide to show full transparency as to where you source your products or materials from.

You might decide to show full transparency as to where the revenue you make goes, whether that’s directly to pay your staff, reinvested into improving your product or even donated to a charity.

E-commerce trust – get it right!

Installing trust indicators on your website is crucial for gaining sales. When someone lands on your website, without prior knowledge as to who you are and what you do, they need to know that they’re not making a mistake handing over their money.

If you haven’t yet thought about building trust in your business model and site, the time to start is now.

What ways to do you build trust in your e-commerce site?

  1. Jagtsko
    February 14, 2019

    Very inspiring article. Thanks!

  2. Olivia Davis
    February 25, 2019

    Great points! What helped us a lot in gaining and retaining trust from our customers was online reviews. We should always encourage our customers to take time to leave reviews about our products or services. Of course, make sure to respond to all online reviews. This will make them feel valued and this is an excellent way to earn their trust and loyalty. Also, keep in mind that people usually don't believe a word you're saying, but they believe what ther fellow customers are saying.

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