“Customers are more likely to purchase from a website if they perceive a higher degree of trust in e-commerce and have more experience in using the web. Customer’s trust levels are likely to be influenced by the level of perceived market orientation, site quality, technical trustworthiness, and user’s web experience. Sites with a higher level of perceived site quality seem to have a higher level of perceived market orientation and trustworthiness towards e-commerce. Furthermore, people with a higher level of trust in e-commerce are more likely to participate in e-commerce. Positive ‘word of mouth’, money back warranties and partnerships with well-known business partners, rank as the top three effective risk reduction tactics for e-commerce websites.”
~Brian J. Corbitt, Theerasak Thanasankit, and Han Yi. Trust and e-commerce: a study of consumer perceptions. ScienceDirect, 2003).
How do you build that trust? In addition to the three quick tips mentioned, you must listen to the voice of the consumer. Doing so will help you deliver exactly what they want from your web site. This is where some more traditional research methods come into play. Here are some listening techniques:
1. Quantitative Data: Online surveys about the visitor’s site experience. You have probably experience an exit survey from your bank or favorite e-commerce website. These are relatively inexpensive to administer and there are some handy tricks to improve reliability, accuracy and validity. Some general guidelines for designing surveys are found here.
Some providers offer online survey tools. My favorites are ForeSee Results and iPerceptions.
2. Qualitative Data: Lab usability studies. Some innovative focus group facilities offer usability services. They have the ability to design controlled testing sessions specifically for your website, drawing participants from your segmented target. One of the best testing facilities is right here in Denver: Ingather Research.