Discover eight ways to minimize or eliminate perceived risks on your website so visitors take action with confidence and you can make more sales.
The more risk a consumer believes there to be, the less like they are to make a purchase.
When asking a website visitor to take action, it’s your job as the site owner, to minimize or eliminate all perceived risks so they can take action with confidence, be comfortable with their purchase, and feel like they made the right choice.
Mitigating risk is about more than moving a site from HTTP to HTTPS, or adding a bunch of “trust logos” to the page. In fact, there are eight key areas you can focus on to reduce risk and improve conversions on your website:
- Managing objections
- Highlighting social proof
- Offering a clear privacy statement
- Displaying payment icons
- Providing a guarantee
- Making returns easy
- Using badges and icons
- Displaying contact information
Let’s look at each tactic a little closer below…
Objections are unavoidable.
Potential customers will have concerns, they will second-guess their decision to purchase, and they will worry about all sorts of things you may never even imagine. Luckily, you have the ability to manage and even squash the most common objections before they become an issue.
In a brick and mortar retail location or office, clients and customers can speak directly with an associate or salesperson, ask questions, and get the information they need to overcome their concerns or objections. Online it works a little differently. While you can mimic the experience of talking to a live salesperson with live chat options and support hotlines, not every visitor will take advantage of those tools. This means your website needs to squash objections for you.
To effectively manage objections:
- Identify the primary concerns potential buyers may have
- Find out why prospects abandon their cart, fail to submit a request for quote or inquiry form, or make it to the sales page and never buy
- Track what questions visitors are asking about your offers or products
Once you understand why people aren’t buying, you can create content to specifically address those issues and help visitors overcome objections on their own.
- “Even If” statements on the sales page or in the product description like, feel warm and cozy even if you’re someone who is always cold
- A frequently asked questions page or an FAQ section on a product page
- Every single detail you have or know about the product, service, or program being offered
- Why this offer is better than one they may have already tried but didn’t work
- Case studies, testimonials, and reviews
- Images of a product being used, an event being attended, or an interaction being had
Ultimately, your responsibility as the site owner is to preempt buyer objections by providing the information, reassurance, and social proof needed to feel great about making a purchase and communicating benefits that outweigh their concerns.
Highlight Social Proof
One of the simplest ways to reduce risk is to use social proof — to highlight and feature real testimonials, actual customer reviews, influencer endorsements, subscriber counts, and results-oriented case studies. This mid-funnel content helps move visitors interested in your offer closer to making a buying decision.
Social proof is basically leveraging third-party influence to sway potential customers and it works like a charm. In fact, a study by Zendesk revealed that 88% of respondents admitted that positive and negative reviews influenced their buying decisions.
Why does social proof work so well? Consider this:
If you walked by two restaurants on a Saturday night at 7:00 pm and one was empty and one was full, you would automatically assume the empty restaurant wasn’t very good. An empty restaurant on a busy Saturday night is a signal that if you dine there, you’re risking bad food, high prices, and/or poor service.
The same logic applies to online purchases because people want to have what others have, experience what others experience, achieve what others have achieved, and be who others are; they want to be part of the club, feel in the know, and have common ground with others; and they definitely don’t want to miss out or lose an opportunity.
If you can show social proof that others are buying, having a great experience, and achieving amazing results, it reduces the associated risk and signals to prospective buyers that they too can enjoy the same things if they also take action.
Offer A Clear Privacy Statement
It seems as if a new security breach or data breach happens every week. If major corporations can’t keep their data safe, how can a small online store or retailer? At least that’s what some consumers are thinking…
Display Payment Icons
When the conversion is a purchase, display the logos for all payment options you accept below or near the payment button to help prospective customers quickly identify that you accept their preferred form of payment. This not only makes them feel more comfortable during the checkout process but assures them that you are legitimate and credible.
Provide A Guarantee
Many people are scared to purchase a product, invest in a program, or hire a service provider without some form of guarantee. As a result, without a guarantee, you jeopardize conversion rates and compromise sales.
A guarantee is a form of risk reversal.
By providing a money-back guarantee and including it in a highly visible location on your sales pages and through your store, cart, and checkout pages, you remove one of the most common purchasing obstacles, demonstrate your confidence in the offer, help customers feel good about their purchase, and communicate that they won’t lose anything if it doesn’t work out.
Worried about offering a money-back guarantee? The truth is most people don’t have the initiative to pursue the guarantee even if they are not satisfied. You also have many other options to structure a guarantee so it fits your needs:
- A Money Back Guarantee: Get your money back no questions asked
- A Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not happy we’re not happy
- A Risk-Free Guarantee: Try before you buy, cancel at any time
- A Time-Based Guarantee: 14 day, 30 day, 90 day
- A Results-Based Guarantee: Achieve a specific result or your money back
- A Partial Guarantee: Get all of your money back except the non-refundable deposit
- A Requirement Guarantee: Prove you did the work/provide these things and receive your money back
- A Lifetime Guarantee: Get a replacement or return it at any time forever
- A Low Price Guarantee: This is the lowest price or you get the difference refunded
- A Price Match Guarantee: Match any other price so customers get the lowest price
Remember, you always have the option of offering no guarantee at all — which is becoming more and more common with digital products and online courses — or combining multiple types of guarantees to create your own super guarantee.
Make Returns Easy
Buyer’s remorse is never a good thing. Buying the wrong item, making a purchasing error, realizing this isn’t what you needed, or buying too many of an item is frustrating and when the return process is difficult, it sours the customer on not only the purchase but the brand.
More and more online shoppers are reviewing return policies before making a purchase, and how easy or hard the process is will affect whether or not they buy from you.
- If your customer has to pay to ship the item back, but your competitor offers free returns, who is going to earn the sale? Not you.
- If your return policy is hidden or vague and unhelpful, prospective buyers will move on and buy elsewhere.
- If it takes you 14 days to process a return, but your competitor processes a return right away, chances are they’ll earn the sale and you’ll lose out.
When purchasing online, consumers don’t have the option to try it on, try it out, or see it up close, so a clear and generous return policy will reduce risk and give your customers confidence in their purchase — just make sure it’s easy to find on your website.
Use Badges And Icons
Trust has a huge impact on website conversion rates and sales, and trust signals help people feel safer and more secure in their decision to purchase a product, program, or service. While various forms of social proof act as important trust builders, there are other trust signals you can leverage to put your prospective customers at ease, including:
- Security logos: Tell customers they are sale
- Industry and business memberships: Demonstrate you’re credible and not fly-by-night
- Client or customer logos: Show that others trust you
- As seen on logos and media mentions: Prove that others listen to you and believe in you
As online fraud and identity theft threats increase, authentic, recognizable trust signals are playing an even more important role in the website conversion process. They create perceived security and safety that helps consumers feel better about entering their personal information into a website. Just be sure you don’t overdo it with too many logos and badges!
Include Contact information
Inspire confidence and deliver assurance by making it easy for visitors to find your complete contact information. Provide options to contact you, your team, or your company in as many ways as possible — by phone, email, fax, chat, or form — and provide a mailing address.
If you really want to connect with your audience, don’t make your contact page an afterthought. Instead, make it part of your brand story and show the real people behind the brand.
- Include photos of the people they will be speaking with if they call or of the executive in charge of customer service
- Share a personal message from the owner along with their photo
- Add in some human details like: We’re located at 1234 Street Name next to the Awesome Deli, where you’ll usually find at least a few of us chowing down at lunch.