Why you can’t afford to skip business email [Infographic]

4 min read
Andrea Rowland

Would it surprise you to learn that, when it comes to building trust with eCommerce customers, business email is just about as important as online reviews? That sending email from an address like jane@janesflowers.com instead of janesflowers123@gmail.com affects your business’s credibility nearly as a much as a positive review on Yelp?

It surprised me — but that’s what the results of our new survey suggest.

GoDaddy recently polled 1,000 U.S. small business eCommerce customers about what makes them trust businesses on the web. Business email ranked fourth among 10 big trust factors — from securing an eCommerce site with an SSL to maintaining active social media profiles.

Check out the results in the infographic below, and read on for highlights from the survey.

Building trust online: The Big 10

What makes people looking to purchase products or services online trust small business sellers? Here’s what our survey says:

1. SSL

The majority of the consumers we surveyed ranked SSL as the No. 1 indicator of a trustworthy ecommerce site. A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate protects the information that people enter on your website — information like credit card numbers and personal info. It makes prospective buyers feel more secure doing business with you.

Not sure if your website needs an SSL certificate? Read this article.

2. Website content

You’ll build trust — and an eCommerce site that converts — by filling your website with descriptive, error-free content that offers real value to visitors. Write robust product descriptions with product images from a variety of angles. Include testimonials from satisfied customers. And include an About Us page to offer insight into who you are and what motivates you (more on that in No. 7).

3. Online reviews

Forty-six percent of our survey respondents rank online reviews as a top trust factor. In fact, it’s estimated that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Make it easy for happy eCommerce customers to leave reviews directly on your website. Plus, keep an eye on third-party review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. Be responsive and respectful.

Learn how to set up online reviews on your WordPress website.

4. Business email

About one-third of the consumers we surveyed doubt the trustworthiness of business emails sent from personal email addresses (such as @yahoo and @gmail). That generic email account probably isn’t doing your business any favors.

  • 24 percent of consumers are concerned about sharing their personal info with businesses that email from generic accounts
  • 23 percent of consumers are wary about sharing their credit card info

Three-quarters of the consumers we surveyed believe that having an email address that matches your business’s website address (such as jane@janesflowers.com) is key to building trust.

5. Website navigation

From an intuitive path from page to page to clear page titles and plenty of white space, make it easy for visitors to move through your website with clean, logical navigation. Forty-four percent of our survey respondents award trust points to websites with clear navigation. Get tips for website navigation that delights visitors.

6. Mobile-friendliness

Today’s consumers expect websites to look good and perform well on smartphones and tablets. With mobile commerce expected to account for 45 percent of all eCommerce by 2020, your online store must be mobile-friendly to fulfill its potential. Be sure to optimize your eCommerce site with a mobile-responsive theme or app.

It pays to create a strong mobile strategy for your small business.

7. About Us page

Familiarity breeds trust, so give website visitors a glimpse into who you are and what you stand for with a dedicated About Us page. Your About page is the perfect place to start telling your business’s unique story with text, images and video.

8. Visuals

Build credibility by including high-quality visuals — photos, videos, graphics, etc. — on your website. In addition to product images, use video to demonstrate your goods in action.

9. Website design

For nearly 25 percent of our survey respondents, a well-designed website signals a legitimate online enterprise. But you don’t need to be a professional designer to design a website and logo that will do your business proud.

10. Social media

Small businesses with active social media sites also inspire consumer trust. Engage with your customers on their favorite social media networks, and include a link to your eCommerce site in your social posts. Want to learn more? Get a step-by-step guide to social media for small businesses.