If you are serious about attracting new customers online, invest in your website. Users tend to prefer and trust websites that are of high quality and designed to a professional standard.
While photos are not a guaranteed way to build trust across all websites, research has shown that simply using a photo of a person on one web page can have a significant, positive effect on trust. Choose wisely and only use photographs on the pages that really need it—such as the testimonials page.
Stay away from stock
When adding photos, don’t cut corners by using stock photographs— customers can spot them a mile away, so they are more likely to harm your reputation than raise your credibility. Instead, ensure that any photos you do use are congruent with your brand’s identity and that they reflect and sit comfortably within the design of your website.
If you want loyal, happy customers, improve your website’s usability. Research has found we tend to trust websites that have good usability and that this can also increase our website loyalty and user satisfaction.
Satisfy your clients’ need for cognitive trust by showing them that your shop is competent and can deliver safely and on time (testimonials always help here). – Be coherent As in the real world, when we’re online, we look for cues to assess if we can trust a website or not. In the case of e-commerce, coherence is key —so make sure your website and all its components (design, text, images, layout, privacy policies) align with the core values of your brand and its identity.
To elicit emotional trust, express your sense of goodwill by having a free postage and returns policy. You can also show that you offer value and integrity by providing benefits such as live customer care.
If you are selling a particular product or showcasing an article about a particular topic, make sure any accompanying photo of that source of information is congruent to the topic in question. For instance, if you are a website dedicated to health products, using an image of a doctor will be more congruent and credible than, say, a photo of a chef.
Make the time to engage your clients in conversation and, where possible, create solutions that show your clients that their needs trump yours. This can be as simple as offering a choice of payment plans, a free no strings attached consultation or a comparison service giving them a transparent view of how you stack up against your competitors.
Bear in mind that we tend to find people and sources of information similar to ourselves more credible and the characteristics we identify as similar will vary from one demographic to the next. If in doubt, analyze your customer base (young moms, for example), identify the common traits of the majority (gender, age, ethnicity, income level) and reflect these characteristics in the photos you include in your website. As a rule of thumb, like attracts like.