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Increasing Online Sales by Increasing Trust: Part 1

October 13th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

More Information.  More Trust.  More Sales.

–>Lack of Trust

We’ve all have read or heard about the reports of the phenomenal growth of e-commerce; however, what we do not hear about as much is that its full growth potential is being restrained and inhibited by feelings of insecurity and lack of trust. I don’t want to throw a bunch of numbers at you, but you will notice that this particular blog posts has more numbers/statistics than usual because I think it’s important to see the numbers to really drive home the message of how important it is develop trust with your customers. I can’t help but think about a Gartner Group report that stated that consumer jitters over security cost online retailers nearly $2 billion in lost sales in 2006.

According to that same Gartner Group report, just over 46% of the 155 million U.S. adults who go online admitted that misgivings about information theft, data breaches, or Web-based attacks have affected their purchasing, online transaction, or e-mail behavior. and 85% are concerned that they could become victims of identity theft. Accordingly, one of the problems the internet and the e-commerce industry faces overall, and small to medium sized businesses in particular, is the need to provide customers with a sufficient amount of information transparency to enable potential customers of a merchant to make an informed trust decision about that merchant’s performance capabilities. Ultimately, each prospective customer either objectively or subjectively asks and answers the following questions when they visit an online merchant’s store: (i) “Do I trust this merchant with my personally identifiable and financial information?” (ii) “Will this merchant keep my information secure?” and (iii) “Will this merchant perform appropriately?” If the answers are “No”, it really does not matter how cheap the merchant’s product is relative to its competitors, the transaction stops there. As a result, a genuine customer need has arisen for indications of trust and security. Consequently, a whole industry has developed around messaging security and trust to customers via trust marks and seals.

Tomorrow Part 2 of this post will discuss these trust marks and seals.

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