Why is it important to generate trust for consumers in e-commerce stores?

E-commerce is an important enabling tool that helps businesses to expand their commercial operations beyond local markets. Throughout the world, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) develop e-commerce platforms based on different business to consumers (B2C) strategies. However, the main challenge these SMEs might face when exploring markets overseas, is the trust perception of their e-commerce websites.

According to a survey carried out by the British digital consulting firm digital econsultancy.com about transaction credibility in SMEs’ e-commerce websites, 61% of the respondents, answered that they decline their intention to buy in SMEs websites, due to the lack of safe instruments that ensure reliable transactions.

How can ecommerce companies improve users’ trust perception in ecommerce websites?

  • Security certificates and safe electronic transaction check mark: These instruments are distinctive symbols that increase the perception of being in a place for safe commercial transitions, giving at the same time legitimacy to the e-commerce site. Companies such as Pay pal, McAfee or VeriSign offer handy and affordable security software to ensure safe SMEs’ e-commerce transactions.
  • Contact Information: This feature is an indication that there is a real person beyond the virtual environment that can help users in case something goes wrong with the electronic transactions on the e-commerce web site. A contact form, an email address, a phone number, and mailing addresses can help to increase the level of customer trust.
  • Consumers’ reviews and discussion forums: These two mechanisms give social legitimacy to the interactions that take place in the e-commerce site. When users’ comments and ratings are deployed, the level of trust and authenticity increases. Good and bad reviews help to build relationships of reliability with consumers and to improve the site reputation.

Trust perception might not be an issue that represents a risk for companies such as Amazon, ebay or Alibaba. However, the future of many SMEs that base their e-commerce business models on B2C strategies can be determined by their decision to implement mechanisms that enhance users’ perception of performing safe transactions in their websites.

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