How Can Small Businesses Develop Trust with Customers?

We know; At starting time, small business look like a Lion and customer is a lamb. So, In a small business, your top priority when dealing with customers is trust. Recent high-profile security breaches have eroded consumer confidence, and it’s more important than ever to reassure your customers that they’re safe shopping with you.

trust between customers and business owner

According to Symantec’s Sr. Director of Product Management, Robert Hoblit, the vast majority of visitors to any shopping site will arrive through web search or advertising, and first impressions are vital. “Around 80% of the customers that land on your website are actually first-time buyers,” he says. “They’ve never seen you before, they’ve never encountered you as a company, so they’re wondering ‘is it safe to buy from here?’”

The Impact Of Lower eCommerce Confidence
A lack of consumer confidence has a significant impact on online commerce. According to figures from the US Department of Commerce, there is a huge difference between the real value and the potential value of online transactions in the US, with lack of trust in online security cited as a key factor.

According to the Department of Commerce, of the 10 trillion dollars of commercial activity in the US, 3 trillion could have taken place online. However, just 220 billion dollars were spent online in 2012, meaning the online economy achieved less than 8% of its potential.

Solutions To Build Trust

Quickly building trust is vital, and Symantec offers two services that can help – Norton Secured Seal and Norton Shopping Guarantee.

The Norton Secured Seal is a mark of trust, as any website displaying the seal is being continuously vetted in a number of ways.

“First, we scan the website every day, and if we find malware we send an alert to the company informing them,” explains Hoblit. “Then we offer what’s known as a critical vulnerability assessment, which means we’ll check the website for potential vulnerabilities an attacker might exploit.”

The next Secured Seal check is not so much for the business, but for users running Symantec security software on their PC: sites with the Secured Seal will appear in Google search results with a check mark next to them for an added level of reassurance.

The second service Symantec is beginning to roll out in the US – Norton Shopping Guarantee – is an extension of the Secured Seal. This badge indicates that shoppers are protected when making a purchase. Mouse over the badge and up pop the details: it guarantees customers will receive their product, will be insured against identity theft, and will be offered a refund if the price drops in the next 30 days.

These simple tools can play a major part in boosting consumer trust. The Secured Seal offers security protections for your website and peace of mind for your customers, and the Shopping Guarantee is the cherry on top.

Finally, pay attention to Robert’s three tips for any small business looking to build and maintain a level of trust with their customers:

  1. Make sure you use SSL, and consider always-on SSL. Always-on SSL means every page on your website is encrypted, as opposed to just specific pages. A lot of very prominent websites have adopted this: Google has always-on SSL, Facebook has it, and Twitter has it. 
  2. Consider posting a seal of trust to demonstrate to customers that you are a legitimate website. If you click on a website’s Symantec seal it takes you to some details about that company, and shows that it has specifically been vetted by Symantec. 
  3. Consider using guarantees. The Norton Shopping Guarantee is an example we’d recommend, but it really applies to any purchase guarantee a company can offer its customers.

As Robert warns, “trust is still viewed as the primary impediment to the growth of e-commerce”. You might convince yourself that security breaches will be forgotten and customers will go where the prices are lowest, but on the internet getting trust wrong can have far-reaching consequences.

First published at Norton’s Blog

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