Trust Is Critical When You Date, Bungee Jump and Sell Online – KickScore Research Shows

We all know how important trust is.

Some guy in a clean uniform and a firm handshake approaches you, you feel pretty good. Some creep in a sloppy uniform, tangled hair and blood dripping from a meat knife makes you cringe.

Your web site is no different. (See Ramon’s – 10WebSiteMusts.com )

When customers or prospective customers visit your web site they want to feel that they can trust what they are buying (or even just reading) from your web site. The more information you have online about your business the more comfortable shoppers will feel in buying from you. If you’re not a brand (an already trusted brand) like Amazon.com, WalMart or some other retailer – you’ll need to do a LOT to build trust, with each mouse click, with new visitors.

KikScore , a service which provides a reputation score to web sites, in a recent survey, found the following insight from the survey:

With the substantial increase over the last few years in online shopping, consumers have become aware of the constant threat of hackers, scammers, and identity thieves that operate online. Now consumers are increasingly searching for and hiring local service businesses such as contractors, lawyers, plumbers and landscapers. These shoppers and consumers that perform local searches raise growing concerns about the trustworthiness of the businesses that they find online. Increasingly, if shoppers and browsers visit a website and feel that it is not trustworthy, consumers will simply leave and go to another website. According to findings from the KikScore survey, the fear of being defrauded or being a victim of an online scam has led more than 90% of consumers that shop online not to complete a transaction.

Shoppers and Browsers Want More Information About Small Businesses

Consumers are increasingly demanding to have access to more information relating to who they are about to buy from or hire. Shoppers and local seachers, now more than ever, seek information about the reputation of an online business, the management team and their track records. These are just some of the key findings in the KikScore Online Trust Survey about shoppers newfound demand for reputational information and tools that provide greater transparency behind a business:

  • Over 60% of website visitors are more likely to buy from a small business website that posts information and details about the management and owners.
  • 87% of consumers feel safer buying from websites that feature information about the business behind the website and its financial track record.
  • More than 90% of website visitors that perform local searches are more willing to trust a service business that posts information on their website about their business history and track record.
  • 85% of consumers who conduct local searches would be more willing to hire a small business service provider if the business’ website had a trust seal that displays reputational information about the business and management team behind the website.

The Survey’s Implications – Small Businesses that Provide Reputational Information Will Sell More

As small businesses operate, sell and serve during the holiday season and beyond, they need to understand the shifting trend to consumers seeking information about online businesses. Therefore, online businesses that provide this reputation information will have a “leg up” on their competition whether consumers find their websites through local search or other channels. Raj Malik, CEO & Co-Founder of KikScore, said, “Small businesses can win the battle of online trust by being more transparent. The path to do so is by displaying more information on a website namely about the business itself along with information about the reputation and track records of the business owners.” KikScore’s recommendation to address this new trend is for small businesses to display information to website visitors about the following items:

  • Management information for the small business;
  • Financial history of the business and the managers;
  • Location information for the business;
  • Website history and security details;
  • Information about privacy, customer service, return and other polices;
  • Actual customer feedback about the small business and services; and
  • Certifications and awards for the business and management.

The Survey’s baseline findings is that an asymmetry of information exists between website visitors and online small businesses. Therefore small businesses that take the actionable steps outlined in the report and utilize the correct tools can directly address this asymmetry that exists with shoppers and local searchers that are seeking products and services online. Small businesses that display important reputational information to website visitors will find themselves conveying a sense of trustworthiness and credibility online which will help yield greater conversions as well.

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

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