Chances are you bought something online recently. The site you purchased from sent a you a few “trust signals” ahead of time and while you were browsing that made you feel comfortable knowing they were a legitimate business. These specific signals aren’t apparent to many because they are e-commerce best practices, things you take for granted when you go to any website with the intent to buy. You only notice them when they are not there.
As more utilities and energy-efficiency programs develop marketplaces and move further into using e-commerce to engage their customers, they need to ensure they send the right trust signals to their customers or else they can potentially turn them away for good.
So, what are some of these signals? Glad you asked.
Missing Site Objective
There should be a clear intention stated on the site as to why it exists for the customer to understand why they were directed to it in the first place. Marketplaces that lack clear objectives can confuse customers; they don’t know who operates the site, and sometimes, why they were brought there and what they are expected to do. Utilities have an added challenge with marketplaces. Customers don’t associate their utilities as a being in retail (except for them selling their customers electric or gas to power their home). Without a clear and concise objective, even if it’s as mundane as “welcome to our store – buy energy efficient stuff for your home,” you run the risk of alienating your customers.
Unsightly, Unkept, and Error-Filled
Nothing like visiting a site where there’s poor grammar and spelling errors, odd layout and formatting, low resolution images, visible code snippets, and 404 error messages. These occurrences are cringeworthy. If you come across them when you are shopping, you typically tend to close the browser and do another search for the product you are looking for. It doesn’t give you confidence the retailer cares enough about their business to ensure its error free and appealing to their customers. This is the equivalent of visiting a dirty, unclean store and having a rude conversation with a salesperson. There’s really no excuse for this experience online. Its sloppy implementation.
The most critical part of the online purchase experience is checkout. If you’re a customer and you don’t see the Mastercard, Visa, Discovery, American Express, PayPal, Amazon Pay, or Apple Pay icons and buttons available on the page, you become a little suspicious as to who you’re buying from. In addition, what if there are no security certificates? Nothing having a payment processor identified with their credentials visible sends a message that you may not be a secure site to purchase from
These are just a few quick examples of trust signals you need to send through your marketplace. If you have a marketplace and have low bounce or conversion rates, come talk to us. We’re happy to help you build a site that exudes trust and credibility to your customers.