June 23rd, 2009 | 3 MIN READ

Retailer Reputation: Showing Off Your Street Cred

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

Meghan Keane from eConsultancy reported recent findings from Webcredible's "ecommerce persuasion poll." Of 1300 online shoppers surveyed, the top reason shoppers purchase from one website over another is seller reputation (28%) followed by price (26%).

  • Seller reputation - 28%
  • Price - 26%
  • Website look and feel - 16%
  • Website ease of use - 15%
  • Special offers - 4%
  • Delivery factors - 3%
  • Appearance in search listings - 2%

Retailers must realize persuasion and conversion is not all about pricing and landing page testing, but communicating trust.

How do you demonstrate your e-store is reputable?

If your retail brand is a household name, you've got a strategic advantage here. But if you're not famous, you can still be seen as trust-worthy. We have discussed the importance of clear value propositions, still they alone are not enough to persuade today's Google savvy Internet shopper. Whatever you claim about yourself is only marketing until it can be verified by customer testimonials or other independent raves and reviews.

Show off store ratings and media mentions

Not just for eBay sellers, retailers like GamePointsNow display customer feedback on their home pages to show off their reputation. Using a feedback service provided German company eKomi, GamePointsNow saw conversion lift by 5%.

Clicking on the Ekomi badge takes you to the retailer's detail page, where you can read the positive, neutral and negative feedback details:

Below the Ekomi badge, GamePointsNow also links to a positive media mention from a gaming magazine.

EyeBuyDirect features customer testimonials, media mentions (linking to its pressroom) and its recognition as an Internet Retailer Top 100 site on its home page:

EyeBuyDirect uses scrolling testimonials in a box on the home page as they recognize that visitors often have a short attention span and it's unnecessary to read more than a few testimonials. If visitors want to read them all, they can click through to over 4 pages of praise.

Even more impressive are the media mentions, which EyeBuyDirect dedicates primo real estate to on the home page (top right of content area). Understanding that, even at a sub-conscious level, when customers can connect your brand with logos he/she is familiar with and trusts (like ABC network, InStyle magazine and Forbes magazine), it's powerful. Roy Hessel from EyeBuyDirect shared that after adding the media logos, customers were 45% more likely to stay longer on the site and complete a purchase.

What's missing from the survey list is shipping costs, seller's policies (including privacy policies), site security and payment options the seller accepts. (And don't forget the conversion killer of required registration). These are all important factors in the retailer selection process -- with reputation, website appearance, usability, security and policies making up the trust quotient; and the others (including price) the service quotient.

Show off your reputation in search engines

Shopping comparison engine TheFind launched a new feature last week that exposes this information about a retailer in search results, so customers can get a quick look at security seals, payment options, policies, shipping options and even links to social media like Twitter and blogs.

Would be nice if this kind of feature was also available in traditional search engines like Google. Maybe TheFind can license its tool to the big G or even the big 3 (Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Live Bing).

Another way to build your trust as a retailer is to practice reputation management in search engines and across the Web, as customers might do some digging about your company. A great resource for reputation management is Andy Beal's book Radically Transparent (you can read my review and tips for finding a reputation manager for your company here).

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