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Complete Guide for Building Website Credibility for New Online Store Owners

Published on
April 15, 2024

Table of contents

Having an online store means all your sales and revenue depend on your website's credibility and overall digital reputation. Isn’t that obvious? Duh! Even in 2024, potential customers are hesitant to purchase from an unknown website and give their credit card, address, and other billing information. And rightly so, of course! The internet has been infamous for being full of fraudsters and scams. 

To start, what Is Website Credibility? Website credibility is how reliable and trustworthy a website is perceived to be by its users. But how to establish credibility for your online store, so customers trust you and don’t feel insecure about getting scammed? 

We've got you covered! In this article, we will go into detail on how to build credibility for a new online store, how to gain loyal and returning customers, and most of all how to achieve success shortly and efficiently! 

Let’s go! 

Steps on How To Establish Trust and Credibility With a Customer for Online Store

According to a study by Tidio around 35% of Gen-Z have a belief that the majority of online stores cannot be trusted. And without trust, even the most exhilarating products and innovations cannot succeed. With this in mind, online market newcomers, no matter how frustrating it is, have to prove their credibility and trustworthiness, no matter what! 

Here are the steps that you need to take as a new online store owner to establish trust and credibility with customers. 

1. Using High-Quality Website Design to Build Trust and Credibility

What shows is what sells! Design is the first sub-conscious messaging your brand can communicate to your customers. The good part is that you can control that communication through your website design and aesthetic.

See the site as your physical store, but it is of a digital type. Just the way you would expect a physical store to be friendly, clean, and neat, your site should also show a professional touch without errors.

HeadphoneZone, an online hi-fi audio store, is a good example of this as it creates an exciting welcoming experience for its audio fanatics users. 

Source: HeadphoneZone

Right from the top, it looks genuine as it shows product categories in the top menu, buttons for profile, browsing, and a cart. It further showcases a GIF that shows people enjoying music, which is the pure definition of “selling the experience”.

Source: HeadphoneZone

It further shows the product line, new launches, and other broad categories, and checks off all the boxes of a high-quality website design. 

Source: HeadphoneZone

Also, the online store has a neat categorization of products, so people can easily and quickly find what they are looking for. If you also want your online store and website to look genuine and credible, here's what you can do to improve your website design:

  • First Impressions Matter: A good and well-made brand design indicates the business is credible and professional.
  • Ease of Use: Clean look and beautiful designs increase intuitiveness and trust, which enables shoppers to move around the store easily without frustrations.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: A must for accommodating those users who shop with a smartphone, paying attention to the user interface design and usability in various devices.
  • Fast Loading Times: Slow websites lead to the high cost of bouncing out and lead to lost sales.
  • Design Language: Know your customers and use your fonts, colors, copywriting, and content accordingly. You can use tools like Figma for website and UI design.

2. Building Credibility With A Clear Brand Message

The brand message that is lucid and consistent acts as the spine of a book, which, in turn, constitutes the vertebrae of your brand; it eradicates any clutter and gives class to the brand. 

Let's dive into why this is non-negotiable for establishing credibility and how you can master the art of communicating your brand's essence.

Significance of Clear Brand Messaging

  • Builds Trust: A unified and consistent messaging on multiple channels equates to brand reliability and trust.
  • Differentiates: It’s the soul of your business that sets you apart. 
  • Creates Emotional Connections: For the audience to connect with your brand, you must humanize it by attaching values and emotional cues, so people can resonate with it.  

Articulating Your Brand's Essence

  • Define Values: Correctly articulate and build the key framework connecting your brand to the audience.
  • Craft Mission Statement: Make your core purpose and contribution accurate and appealing to the audience in one or two sentences.
  • Highlight USP: Emphasize those aspects that define the brand and make sure they are easy to understand.
  • Adopt the language of your customers: By language, we don’t just mean words, we also mean their demography, what colors they are attracted to, and other cues that make your website appear more “familiar.” 

Rage Coffee is a great brand to look up to and here it’s why. Its copy speaks to its audience and gives a message of fearlessness, authenticity, health consciousness, and good taste. 

Source: Rage Coffee

3. Showcasing Social Proof for Establishing Credibility

Humans are psychologically wired to look for references while making decisions. Therefore, most successful brands are built on the psychology of social proof, whether that is done via online or offline word-of-mouth. This is why brands use a celebrities or influencers for social proofing, to create a sense of familiarity with the audience, as people know and trust them. Additionally, brands rely on online reviews and customer testimonials, and sometimes, they do so by using UGC (user-generated content). 

A Trustpulse survey suggests that about 99% of online shoppers go through reviews while making a digital purchase, and 96% of them specifically scan negative reviews. 49% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.

Hence, out of all the practices, for small to medium-sized businesses, especially new online retail businesses, online reviews, and testimonials are the most accessible option and also have the highest ROI, as they also help boost the website SEO which can bring new customers. 

Tips on Building Shop Reviews/Collecting Testimonials for Free

  • Post-Purchase Emails: Send a follow-up email asking customers for a review after they have received their product.
  • Incentivize Reviews: Offer a small discount or entry into a giveaway in exchange for leaving a review.
  • Make It Easy: Provide a simple way for customers to leave reviews directly on your website or through a review platform.
  • Engage on Social Media: Encourage satisfied customers to share their experiences on social media and tag your store.

Similarly, you can also display statistics and quantifiable metrics to show credibility, just like Morris Design has done on its website. 

Source: Morris Design

Next, check how Vale Tudo Training has integrated Google Reviews on its website, effectively improving its credibility and customer trust. 

Source: valetudotraining

You can also integrate your website's Google reviews and video testimonials using specialized tools, like Testimonial Donut. You could utilize this software to gather and organize testimonials and online reviews with ease. 

We provide you with the best GUI, templates, video collection software, survey links, and other similar tools that would help you collect all forms of testimonials, whether video, written, or audio. So do check Testimonial Donut out! 

4. Use Secure Payment Options for Higher Website Credibility

You have landed a user on the website, but how do you build credibility so that they feel comfortable enough to do a transaction with you and turn into a customer?

It is important to ensure safe payment gateways to attract customers and create a “fraud-free online store” perception and environment. Here's a deeper dive into why it's essential and how you can implement it effectively. 

Importance of Secure Payment Options

  • Builds Customer Trust: Since their financial data is protected, customers are more included to make a second purchase or recommend you to friends and family. 
  • Reduces Cart Abandonment: Payment is one of the major steps in the purchase flow and the shoppers' trust is usually broken if the payment process cannot be trusted.
Source: HeadphoneZone showcasing credibility with a secure and encrypted Razorpay payment gateway. 

Payment Gateways and Encryption

  • Variety of Gateways: Incorporate the widely adopted payment means such as PayPal, Stripe, and Square that the customer base is aware and familiar with.
  • Encryption Methods: The security of data transmission is a vital factor for your website, so make sure your website is equipped with SSL (Secure Socket Layer).
  • PCI Compliance: Complying with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) involves the generation of secure environments for transactions and the protection of cardholder data.

Displaying Trust Badges and Security Seals

  • Trust Badges: Include logos of the payment methods you accept and security certifications (like VeriSign or McAfee Secure) on your website, especially on checkout pages.
  • SSL Certificates: Display an SSL certificate badge to show that your website is secure and that customer data is encrypted.
  • Clear Communication: Use simple language to explain the security measures in place, helping to demystify the process for your customers.

By implementing secure payment options and communicating these security measures to your customers, you not only protect their transactions but also reinforce the credibility of your online store.

5. Transparent Policies and Clear Communication for Building Credibility

Customers should be able to see all the details of their orders, such as estimated delivery date, shipping, returns, customer services, etc. That transparency gives the users reassurance, sets the expectations right, and is a direct answer to how to establish trust and credibility with a customer.  

How do you build credibility once the customer likes the product/service on your website but is hesitant about whether they should go for it or not? To do that, we suggest you inform the customers about all policies through varying mediums like email, WhatsApp, SMS, etc.

Amazon is the best example of this, as it provides these details in a simple, streamlined, and easy-to-follow way. 

Source: Amazon

6. Build Relationships with Influencers and Partners

So how do you establish credibility amongst customers regarding the quality of the product? You do that by having familiar faces and trustworthy bodies/organizations to support your products. 

Influencers and industry experts are figures who people already trust. If you understand the art and influence of testimonial propaganda, you’ll have a huge advantage. Building meaningful relationships is a great way to show credibility to potential customers. Identify, find, and connect with influencers who genuinely connect with your target audience and whose values align with your brand.

We also suggest encouraging user-generated content in content marketing and showcasing your product or service in non commercial way which is closer to the audience.  Rage Coffee, for instance, uses certifications from food organizations to showcase itself as genuine. On top of that, it also offers a money-back taste guarantee, which screams “CREDIBLE!!!”

Source: Rage Coffee

7. Offer Guarantees and Warranties

This is a good old way of proving your legitimacy and dramatically increasing consumer confidence in your products. Whether it's a satisfaction guarantee, a money-back policy, or a product warranty, these assurances tell customers you stand behind your offer.

8. High-quality images 

The need for high-quality images cannot be overstated. Imagine going to a website and seeing product photos that are poorly shot in bad lighting. The image is a visitor's first impression of the product, so that must be presentable. 

Images not only showcase your products in the best light but also contribute to the overall perception of your brand's quality. Investing in good photography or learning to create high-quality images yourself is essential for making your products stand out.

Source: Skyviewads

9. FAQ section

People can have several doubts about the product/service that you offer, especially when they can’t physically touch or feel the product. 

FAQs cut through that extra layer of resistance by adding clarity increasing transparency and helping customers understand all features of the product. Especially today, with so many options available, a helpful FAQ section can make your website stand out, make potential customers trust you, and increase conversions. Moreover, FAQs with the right keywords can boost your SEO rankings, just like testimonials

Songfinch is a company that delivers customized songs as gifts, which makes it quite an unconventional product. FAQs for businesses like these are essential. See how Songflinch listed their FAQ section. 

Source: Song Finch

10. Post-Purchase Care

Effective post-purchase care is key to gathering reviews and building long-term customer relationships. Hit the iron while it’s hot! When customers have just purchased from you, leverage that moment of familiarity and service and ask for feedback from the customer right away, urging them to share their experience(s). 

Source: blog.smile.io

Notice how Bellroy took advantage of a fresh online purchase and urged the customer to rate their experience. You must utilize opportunities like these to get more reviews and build more social proofing around your brand. 

Following up with customers, asking for feedback, and promptly addressing concerns can encourage positive testimonials. We have built a tool for exactly that purpose. With Testimonial Donut, you can set up and use mail templates, and manage your testimonial and review collection well. So do check us out! We are here to help ease your testimonial collection process and make it less tedious and time-consuming.

Final Thoughts

Building credibility and trust is non-negotiable for a new online store. However, the good news is that with the technology available today, doing that is no longer a hassle.  You can use Figma for a solid website design, easily integrate international payment methods like Paypal and Stripe on your website, and use AI tools or free stock image websites like Pexels.

The possibilities are endless. ‍You can also utilize a tool like Testimonial Donut to collect reviews and testimonials. We offer services that can save you a lot of time and effort, at a zero to minimal cost. If you’re wondering where to start and how to establish the credibility of your online store, start your trust and website credibility building journey right here, with Testimonial Donut.


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