Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
From the author of

Building a Feeling of Trust

A successful digital presence makes a visitor to your site feel comfortable doing business with you. The two areas that effect a feeling of trust are privacy and, if your site engages in e-commence, credit card security.

You might think by now that the concern over credit card security would be put to rest in the minds of online consumers. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Survey after survey shows that online consumers are still concerned about the theft of their credit card information. When asked what concerns them most about buying online, consumers put the security of their credit card information number one—followed on its heels by privacy concerns.

Your web site should proactively inform shoppers that you're concerned for their security and privacy. You have to make it very clear that your site is safe for credit cards, and that the personal information collected in the course of the order is protected. This disclosure should be made clearly and effectively throughout your site.

While your IT staff undoubtedly understands that the URL a shopper is directed to when checking out changes from an http format to an https format, that means little to the average consumer. You may even have a pop-up box alerting the shopper that he is now entering a secure section of your web site. This is all well and good. But what about informing the shopper before he decides to make a purchase from your web site? Tell customers up front—on your home page—that credit card purchases are secure. Direct them to a page on your site that explains how credit card numbers are protected when used on your site.

Next, tell visitors and customers how you'll use personal information that you gather on your site. This goes a long way in building trust. Your site's Privacy Policy page should be accessible from the footer of every page on your site.

Here are some more privacy pointers to keep in mind:

  • Inform the visitor that you're collecting information. Those site logs discussed earlier are obviously collecting information; your privacy policy should disclose the collection and use of this site log data. Companies also make routine disclosures of personal data to their lawyers, auditors, computer service companies, and sometimes under subpoena. None of these disclosures are terribly bothersome, but they should be mentioned in the privacy statement.

  • State that all information about your customers is secure and that no other party has access to it. If you're keeping personal credit histories and credit card numbers on file, how are those numbers being protected from hackers? Don't get too technical here. Just state that their private information is secure on your servers.

  • Make sure that regular folks can read your privacy policy. Leave out the legalese and tell it in straight, easy-to-understand language. Remember to be clear and concise and state everything that you will and won't do. If you don't have a privacy policy page, the Direct Marketing Association has a Privacy Policy Generator that you can use.

All this communication will make shoppers feel more comfortable doing business with your company.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account