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Blog posts tagged Online selling

Why trustmarks matter for small online businesses

March 12, 2015 by Guest contributor

Trust{{}}Although consumers have been shopping online for many years now, they still want reassurance that they're safe to shop on a website they may not have visited previously.

What are trustmarks?

A web store with a trustmark such as Norton Secured, McAfee Secure or TRUSTe, makes shoppers feel safer. A site displaying such a seal means that the issuer:

  • has verified it as a legitimate legal business entity.
  • scans the website daily for thousands of known malware exploits, malicious links and phishing scams.

A trustmark is more than just a logo. You paste a block of code into your site that shows dynamic content from the issuer, including the date the site was last verified as secure. When a customer hovers over a trustmark or clicks on it, they see full details about the website, which can be independently verified on the issuer’s own site. When a website is compromised and this is detected in a scan, the seal disappears until the business rectifies the issue.

Trustmarks are far more important to small businesses than to well-known brands. Amazon, eBay and John Lewis, for instance, don't display a trustmark because people are already confident that they are serious about security with a proven track record. However, a small retailer with an unknown brand doesn't have the same luxury, so needs to do all it can to reassure shoppers that it is trustworthy.

“Concerned visitors don't become customers. 45% of people have abandoned online shopping carts due to security worries” – Mcafee Secure.

How do trustmarks help?

Shoppers are now much more familiar with a number of popular computer security companies as a result of their anti-virus software being installed on new computers as standard. A consumer who's already placed their trust in any of these companies will readily extend that trust to a website that's been accredited as secure by those same organisations.

An eConsultancy consumer survey in 2014 found the most widely recognised trustmarks are from companies who are also strong in the consumer security software business, with 35.6% of shoppers choosing Norton Secured and 22.9% choosing McAfee Secure as their preferred mark of safety.

Other measures

A trustmark is just one tool in a suite of measures online businesses should use to build customer confidence.

  • You also need to display your secure payment processor's logo (eg PayPal, Sage Pay or World Pay). This further builds the consumer’s confidence that their financial transaction will be handled by a well-known PCI DSS-compliant solution with robust protection against anti-fraud and identity theft.
  • It's equally important to have a well-designed website that's easy to navigate, with detailed product descriptions and quality imagery. Your business contact details should be clearly visible and all enquiries must be handled in a timely manner.

All of these aspects contribute to establishing your business as trustworthy and overcoming a customer's fear – which could otherwise lose you the sale.

Copyright © 2015 Simon Horton of hosted shopping cart and ecommerce plug-in provider ShopIntegrator.

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10 tips for starting an online business

January 17, 2013 by Oliver Ewbank

10 Tips for starting an online business/online shop{{}}Starting an online business is not an easy undertaking, there are many considerations to take into account before you even get your new business off the ground. Often new businesses fail because they don’t plan adequately or neglect to consider the magnitude of the task ahead of them. Here are my top 10 tips for starting a successful online business.

  1. Identify your market
    So you’ve got an idea and a product (or products). Now it’s time to start thinking about who you are planning to sell to. This should help you to decide some of the fundamentals for your website, such as the localisations and designs you will be using.
  2. Set realistic budgets
    This is core to the success of your online business. Good web design and online marketing professionals aren’t cheap and cutting corners with companies offering their services for next to nothing is an accident waiting to happen.
  3. Pick the right domain name
    Getting your domain name right is a very important step, because once you have it you can do a lot of damage by changing it later. You need to ensure that it fits the brand, is easy to spell, as well as avoiding confusing words such as ‘dot’ or ‘dash’.
  4. Get your design right
    Choosing the look and feel of your site can be one of the toughest elements to get right because you need to ensure that usability and functionality aren’t distracted by pretty designs that don’t lead to sales.
  5. Search engine optimisation (SEO)
    Ensuring that your target market can find your site is essential to making your new business work and SEO is core to that. Doing this right from the start is essential to your site’s long-term visibility.
  6. Pay per click (PPC)
    Through effective PPC you can make sure that your target market see ads for your products for all relevant searches. Making sure you are running a competitive Ad campaign can be the making of an online business.
  7. Social media
    Social networks such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter are integral parts in the online business machine, allowing you to engage with your audience and attract new customers. Ensure you secure your brand name early for these.
  8. Brand protection
    Securing as many social profiles with your brand name as possible is important because this should ensure that you dominate the first page of search results, as well as protecting yourself against malicious use of your brand name.
  9. Pick the right host
    You really do get what you pay for here, and to make sure your site remains live at all times and loads as fast as possible you need to pick the most reliable host for your site.
  10. Maintenance and getting the right content management system (CMS)
    Once live, it’s a certainty that your site will need maintenance. Finding the best developer to handle the technical stuff and getting the best CMS for you is very important. 
  • Oliver Ewbank is a digital marketing manager at leading digital marketing agency Koozai.com. He can be found on Twitter as @Koozai_Ollie. 
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