We need to be trusted in order to sell something online. But how can you earn trust?
Address and Phone Number
A physical address and phone number are the most important things to put up on your website to be trusted by visitors. Everything on the Internet is virtual, so visitors want to know if there is a real person on the other end. The physical address of your business (not a P.O. box address) implies that your company does exist. A phone number assures potential buyers that they will be able to get hold of real person if something goes wrong with their order.
People do care to whom they are giving their money, so they want to know about you. In fact, I receive e-mail related to my "about us" page every day. Post a short biography of yourself or a history of your business, along with pictures of yourself, your employees, or your place of business.
Becoming a member of trusted organizations, such as BBB online, TRUSTe, etc., is a good thing to do. However, you don't have to be a member of all of these organizations. Being a member of only one organization is sufficient. Also, this is not as efficient as being a member of trusted organizations, but testimonials from satisfied customers will assure potential buyers that they are not being ripped off.
Because people are skeptical about your business to begin with, if they aren't sure about what you are going to do, they will not trust you. However, if you blow those uncertainties away by clearly stating all of your policies, people will more likely trust you. Make sure to post all of your policies, such as shipping and handling, return/exchange, and guarantees.
© November, 2005