If you are going to make money from your website you are going to need to process payments. This could be for subscriptions or the purchase of products, services or events.
It is a big step in trust for your visitors to move from being a browser to being a buyer. To make this step as easy as possible you need to continually reassure them that your website is secure and their personal data will be safe.
In 2002, 40% of internet users said they would never put their credit card details on the internet.
In 2006 this figure had fallen to 17%. In the UK in 2005, over 26 million adults used their credit cards online.
In 2017 Card payments made up 78.4% of all retail sales in the UK
Total spending on all debit and credit cards in the UK reached £800 billion in 2018
The perception that credit card fraud on the internet is rampant and out of control has largely evaporated as the media have got bored of writing about it. However, people still have become much savvier at deciding if a website is legitimate or not. Little things done badly or not made clear will lose you, clients.
It is very important that you reassure prospects that you and your website are legitimate, honest and safe at every opportunity, not just when you are asking for their credit card details.
Here are a handful of steps you should take to give reassurance that your site and business can be trusted.
- Provide a telephone number that people can call that is answered by a human.
- Have the address of your physical office on your ‘Contact Us’ page
- Offer a 100%, no conditions, money-back guarantee.
- Use a high level of security when processing credit cards. Make sure you state clearly what security measures you have in place.
- Never send credit card or personal details over the internet unencrypted. Tell your customers that their data will be encrypted.
- Write a security policy that explains how all personal data and credit card details entered into your site are encrypted before being sent to the bank. You can get this information from your payment gateway provider. Link to the security policy from all the payment pages.
- Only ask for information from customers that you really need.
- If you are selling subscriptions, offer a low-cost, entry-level subscription. This is usually a monthly subscription rate that allows subscribers to risk just a small amount of money in the first instance (£4 – £19) whilst they get to know you and your site.
- Have photos on your website of the founders, team, and office. It all helps to convince your customers that you are a real business.
- Answer email queries quickly and professionally
- Provide delivery timescales for products and services in the product descriptions on the website and always stick to them.
You can never do too much to convince your website visitors that you are trustworthy.
You must continually reassure them that you place a great deal of importance on data security and protecting their personal details. Repeat these statements at every stage of the payment process. It is better to say these things too many times than too few.
Finally, when you are making purchases from established websites, take a look at what they do to reassure you that their process is safe. Copy ideas from these sites and continually improve the way you establish trust with your customers.