5 tips to relieve customer anxiety - and help reduce cart abandonment

PayPal Editorial Staff

PayPal Editorial Staff

April 16, 2018

Shop assistants with laptop working in potted plant store

Shopping cart abandonment remains a significant cause of heartburn for just about every online business – from the smallest storefront to the largest mega-retailer.

Why do shoppers fail to complete a transaction? There are several causes, including cost, security, and the website experience itself.

The impact of trust on cart abandonment

One big reason is trust – the perception by visitors that your business is legitimate and reputable. A lack of trust in a site and its ability to securely handle credit card and other sensitive information accounts for 21% of all checkout abandonment. 1

To establish trust, you need to show customers that they’re transacting with a reputable business. After all, they’re about to give you, a complete stranger, their sensitive information. There are several things you can do to help build trust with prospective buyers.

  1. Choose your words carefully

    A professionally designed website can have a huge impact on the trust level of a first-time shopper. It shows the world that you have put thought, sweat, and money into presenting your business to the world. Likewise, spelling and grammar errors say to the world that you’re not serious about your business.

    Be particularly careful about your word choice within the checkout process. For example, a “checkout” can be a “secure checkout” (if it’s truly secure). Ask customers to “verify” their email addresses, not “re-enter” them. Picking the right words might seem small, but it’s an important way to relieve anxiety during checkout.

  2. Display trust seals

    Trust seals have been proven through countless studies to help reduce shopper anxiety and improve confidence, yet many brands don’t display security or trust information during the checkout process.

    They come in a variety of flavors and can be placed where they can be seen throughout the site, such as in the header or footer:

    • Security seals tell customers that you’ve been authenticated as the rightful owner of the domain they are visiting—and that their sensitive personal information is being handled in a secure manner.
    • Privacy seals are granted by companies after they verify that you have a robust privacy policy and that you strive to meet it. Of course, this means that you must actually have a robust privacy policy and that you take steps to follow it.
    • Business seals verify that you’re the owner of your company and your domain name, and they verify your reputation as a responsible and honest business. To be accredited, you must demonstrate sound business practices and meet their accreditation standards.

    Don’t forget to take advantage of your relationship with PayPal by displaying one of the PayPal security banners in prominent places on your website, such as the header and on product pages. Displaying it helps shoppers feel comfortable that their transactions will be handled securely.

  3. Provide and display a satisfaction guarantee

    Satisfaction guarantees reassure shoppers that you’re willing to accept returns for items. Your satisfaction guarantee seal doesn’t have to be fancy – there are thousands of them available free online. Put it where the customer can see it on every page, such as the global footer.

    Also, add a link to your return policy. It helps customers see “what they’re getting into” when they do business with you. Making this information readily available will help build trust among consumers – even if they’re not happy with the policy itself.

  4. Don’t hide your customer service contact information

    Nothing is more frustrating than having an unanswered question about your product or service. Your shopper is displaying an interest in your goods and wants to find out more – but, alas, she’s unable to.

    If you just don’t have the staff to handle an inbound 800-number, consider outsourcing to a third party. Also, consider implementing a real-time communication app, such as Livechat.

  5. Tell your story

    The less well-known your brand, the more important it is to establish credibility. Make sure to include an “About Us” section. Tell the story of how you started your business or why you carry the products you carry. Include images of you and your employees, even your warehouse or office (if you have one). Even posting your company’s mailing address can reassure shoppers that they’re dealing with real people at a real company.

    Customer testimonials also help verify your trustworthiness. Post short comments on strategic parts of your website.

    To read more about building trust in order to build sales, download our e-book, Establish trust in your online business.

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