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Indicators of credibility
olly




msg:4131498
 5:03 pm on May 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I was reading a newsletter that paypal sent out yesterday which gave out tips on how to increase online sales.

Amongst the tips were placing a privacy policy link next to any email form fields and using credibility indicators such as McAfee or TRUSTe on checkout pages.

Does anybody have any experience regarding the above? Is it really beneficial to have something like a McAfee/TRUSTe badge, I can't say that I look for those indicators myself.

 

digitalv




msg:4131579
 7:25 pm on May 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

You'll probably get different answers on this one, but personally I don't believe it's worth paying for, but to people who don't know any better it might mean something.

All it means is that your code isn't vulnerable to the injection attacks they test for and that your web host has a firewall, which most do. Personally I'm more worried about what an online store does with my information themselves than a hacker targeting them to try to steal it. :)

If anyone has any experiences of these increasing online sales, I'd love to hear about it, I just don't see it happening. The way your site looks will do more for your sales than any badges.

piatkow




msg:4131828
 5:51 am on May 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

As a customer my first indicator of credibility is a physical address. Better if I can look on StreetView and see the same name on the door.

topr8




msg:4131886
 8:07 am on May 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

>>using credibility indicators such as McAfee

haha, these would be the guys with the aggressive telesales people who ring all the time trying to tell you how much better your sales would improve if you pay them some large amount per year for a seal!

personally i think true trust indicators are:
bricks and mortar presence.
physical address clear on website (this is usually a card processor requirement anyway but i see it ignored all the time).
genuine photos of staff - not a stock photo of a pretty girl with a headset
answering emails as quickly as possible
very clear phone number, answered by someone who knows what they are talking about.
high position in serps, ideally first (many people really believe that google are actually recommending well ranked sites)

jsinger




msg:4132700
 3:08 pm on May 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

genuine photos of staff - not a stock photo of a pretty girl with a headset

Funny. And don't you love the sites that show some huge warehouse with their company name obviously photoshopped onto the building. LOL

As for the common company/employee/pet pictures, most I've seen just prove the company is more half-azzed than I would ever imagine. I don't recall any major web retailers showing real photos of their customer service people.

many people really believe that google are actually recommending well ranked sites

Yep

rocknbil




msg:4132908
 7:44 pm on May 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

The older I get, the more I come to realize that "ad blindness" infects other areas, some of them important, and people have become blind to nearly anything on a page except for exactly what they are looking for. This includes any of the "badges" of credibility/reliability, even SSL cert thingies. If I'm looking for widgets and the page contains anything but widgets, I'm blind to it.

This is not to say these are bad, and shouldn't be used, they should be present for what I feel is the minority looking for them. To answer "Indicators of credibility" - the one thing a large percentage of sites out there miss?

Make sure everything works, and works as expected, for everyone. (please.) Especially if you're selling items. You'd be surprised at how many site owners are blind to their own tunnel vision.

Descend into other items from there, second in line is an overall "make it real." Business contact info, brick and mortar even better, adhere to regular business hours ("Phone in orders only on M-W-F between 3 and 5" ugh.) You don't have to say you're a serious business, show it.

piatkow




msg:4132983
 10:09 pm on May 14, 2010 (gmt 0)


You'd be surprised at how many site owners are blind to their own tunnel vision.

Going off slightly at a tangent it isn't specifically a web thing, I have observed that in the music industry for decades. The number of times, for example, that I have seen publicity for a gig that doesn't include the address.

MisterT




msg:4133095
 6:40 am on May 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

my suggestions:

- list your full contact information including a physical street address and a toll-free phone number. if you have a home-based business, spend the $15 a month and get a private mailbox that has a physical address. same goes for the phone number. $10 a month for toll-free makes a difference. also, have a professional sounding phone system and voice mail message. hire a professional to record the messages for you.

- have a professional email address or email ticketing system, and respond to emails quickly. include your company details in email signatures.

- display your ssl seal, authorize.net or other merchant seal, credit card logos, etc.. i personally don't see the need to spend thousands on McAfee when you can establish trust much cheaper.

- show some photos on your "about" page: either photos of your office, your employees, yourself, your warehouse, anything. sharing photos with customers makes you seem real. you are real, show them.

- don't try to fake out customers. people can smell phonies. just be real, be authentic, and provide good service. good service is like good karma, it will come back to you.

topr8




msg:4133101
 7:05 am on May 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

>>As for the common company/employee/pet pictures, most I've seen just prove the company is more half-azzed than I would ever imagine.

partly agree, if you use photos make them 'professional' looking rather than family album snaps

>>I don't recall any major web retailers showing real photos of their customer service people.

i'd assume that a major web retailer doesn't require help with credibility, but smaller companies may do.

MisterT




msg:4133103
 7:15 am on May 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's also worth mentioning here that many customers actually prefer buying from a smaller business. A lot of people like the idea of buying from a little shop, versus a big company like Walmart or Amazon... being a little store can be a strength. Be little, but be professional too.

sniffer




msg:4134054
 2:44 pm on May 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

The older I get, the more I come to realize that "ad blindness" infects other areas, some of them important, and people have become blind to nearly anything on a page except for exactly what they are looking for. This includes any of the "badges" of credibility/reliability, even SSL cert thingies. If I'm looking for widgets and the page contains anything but widgets, I'm blind to it.

yeah, I agree

It's not necessary. Establish trust by your own means, not by third party.

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