Lina Pedelini
February 13, 2019

You Gain Or Lose Online Trust In 2.8 Seconds

Business handshake. Others look on in the distance, blurred

Visitors need only 2.6 seconds to land on that area of a website that most influences their first impression, according to researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. It then takes less than 1/5th of a second for them to actually form that first impression. Do you know how to impress them?

If it is hard to build trust in B2C brands, the job of B2B brands it’s even harder. So how can they do to construct a significant level of confidence? This post will guide you in the journey to show your audience your brand is reliable through your website and online presence.

The rise in online shopping has led to a new business model. A survey conducted by TNS in April 2005 (via Comodo Group, Inc.), found that 70% of canceled online purchases are caused by a lack of trust.


When visitors arrive at your site, they do not know you, nor your products. When buying in a physical store, they can see the product in front of their eyes. It is not necessary to ask about the size or the quality because they can see it, smell it and touch it.

In a store, customers can clear up any doubts since someone will be there to help. However, when it comes to generating this trust in online sales, it is not that easy.

Consequently, it is necessary to gain the customers’ online trust to succeed. You need to understand how customers judge brands throughout the entire purchasing process. What brought your customers to your site, is not the same that take them to the shopping cart. This also involves intangible products and services.


Networking with your stakeholders can form brand awareness. It’s important to be accessible all time, in social networks, by phone, email, or at the office.

As we all know, the attention provided by the seller will be reflected in the purchasing behaviour of store visitors. The quality of that service affects the perception of clients. The quality of the service offered online is key to influence the decision of buying a product or service.

By showing care and responsiveness, a brand will instantly be perceived as more trustworthy. If a client trusts your brand to provide expert advice, then they will see your product or service as an answer.

Measure Online Trust In Your Site

Above all, when customers trust your brand, they are more willing to buy.
There are thousands of factors that affect the online confidence of customers when buying. Aspects related to web design, confidence stamps, product photos, business cases or success stories, and… guess what? Feedback.

Upon arrival to a site, customers are already researching an analysing the brand. This first stage is important, but what happens during the rest of the buyer journey?

After the first impression, customers make more subconscious judgements about your company, and that influences the final decision. If you successfully close a sale your chances to turn that customer into a loyal customer will increase.

Client retention has been spoken of endless times. Why? It is enormously profitable. Recurring customers spend 67% more time in a site than new customers. Even more, they are more likely to become ambassadors of your brand, which will bring more customers.

However, you should bear in mind that to get a recurring customer base, you have to earn the trust of those who arrive for the first time and bought.

Let’s take a quick trip on how the trust is forged during the online purchase process:


First Stage: Awareness

This is the moment when customers realise that they need a product or service. What does influence them to feel that need?

Research conducted by KPMG shows that 59% of the consulted customers cited one or more online channels, and online reviews were cited by 15%, whereas 52% cited one or more offline channels.

Therefore, customers are likely to be influenced by a mix of both channels: online and offline.

Second Stage: Research

This is the moment when customers start researching for that product or service they realised they need. They might research online and offline information, but we will focus on your ONLINE presence and how you can provide them with trust marks.

It is mandatory to give an excellent first impression through your site. Take into account that if the visitors of your web are there for the first time, they will need to see it as a serious company.

Visitors need only 2.6 seconds to get an idea of your brand according to the study mentioned before. Once you’ve lost those visitors, the chances to bring them back to your site are minimal.

Those 2.6 seconds are determinant: Where does the attention go when they first visit your page?

There are three main factors when it comes to first impressions:

  • Professional web design.
  • Good UX – user experience.
  • Fast loading of the page.

Brands can improve customer confidence by improving these three aspects. There are some more, such as mobile compatibility and Domain Authority. High-quality external links provide sites with a high DA. Conversely, inbound links provide sites with a much lower Domain Authority score.

Making navigation and the purchase process easy and intuitive helps a lot. Demonstrating UX knowledge and appropriately placing and grouping trust elements in your site increase your brand’s trustworthiness.

Moreover, at this point, we mustn’t forget the power of Social Proof.

A lot of websites can have a great design and generate some great first sensations but: Are they able to overcome the next step?

Client reviews and opinions are the most important factor of trust. Accordance to Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report, 92% of consumers around the world say they trust recommendations from their fellows such as friends and family, above all other forms of advertising. The same study demonstrates that 70% of the surveyed indicated that online consumer reviews are the second most trusted source of brand information.

Here comes the good bit. Buyers are looking for the real opinions of customers who have already bought your product or services. They can search for them in external places such as Yelp or Facebook, or you can place reviews on your website to increase conversions.

Also, customers increasingly prefer not to rely on what the brand says but on the opinions of customers who have already purchased.

Third Stage: Conversion

Once you have gained a client’s trust, the risk assessment process begins.

A survey by KPMG found that 50% of the asked consumers trust the most all those websites that make it easy for customers to contact people at the company.

The key issues of trust are the reliability of providing personal information and how secure it is for them to make a purchase.

The first step to gain their trust is to ensure them that you will protect their information at all times and offer security: According to the 2018 CIGI- Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust, over half of internet users surveyed are more concerned about their online privacy than they were a year ago.

Showing complete and easy to find contact information would be a good way to build trust. They want to be sure that you will be easy to rich if something occurs. Include multiple options to contact you like a phone number (preferably free), mail or online chat to reduce the risk of missing a purchase. Include in your Frequently Asked Questions all details about your return policies and tracking shipments in a visible area.

Make sure to show you accept the most popular payment options, such as credit cards and PayPal. And while they are in the various stages of the buying process, continue to show customer testimonials that emphasise your customer service in order to encourage them to trust and close the sale.

Fourth Stage: Create Loyalty

Furthermore, the trip does not end when customers close the deal.

This is your chance to transform that customer into a regular buyer and a brand advocate, someone who not only returns but attracts more buyers.

Offering an excellent first experience is a must. All your efforts should be concentrated in offering a terrific service that encourages them to come back.

Motivate buyers to leave a comment, share their experience and convince others. User- generated reviews can considerably influence the buying decision of future customers.

You can encourage customers to review with discount coupons for the future. This will also motivate them to repeat.

Understanding your customer will help you providing the trust marks they need to trust in your brand. Providing excellent customer experiences will drive loyalty, positive feedback, customer retention, and obviously, new clients.

You may also want to read3 Powerful Pillars of SEO: Authority, Trust & Relevance

7 Ways to Boost Your Consumer Trust

Lina Pedelini is a Social Communicator, specialised in Digital Marketing. She works at Revi, a Reviews management system for online stores. Lina can be found writing about Digital Marketing, Social Media trends, the benefits of collecting customer reviews and tools that help small business to grow. You can reach Lina on LinkedIn, Twitter (@revi_io_en) or by email.

Featured image: Copyright: ‘‘ / 123RF Stock Photo



The following two tabs change content below.


Latest posts by CURATTI GUEST (see all)