Why do people choose to support one brand instead of another?
Some business owners might think that the way to boost sales in 2021 is through improving product quality, investing in successful marketing strategies, or setting more affordable price points. But while all of these matter when looking to appeal to audiences, research suggests there's one more key ingredient to improving conversion rates.
According to Edelman, trust ranks among the top three factors influencing consumer purchasing decisions. And considering that brand credibility decreases price sensitivity, it's easy to conclude that, to buyers, a brand's trustworthiness ranks just as high as a product's price or features.
Are you looking to improve conversion rates on your website? If you are, investing in brand credibility might help you exceed the average ecommerce conversion rate of 1.84%. Experience shows that it should.
So, without further ado, here are the techniques you can use to boost your brand's credibility and increase website conversion rates.
Add Testimonials to the Homepage
One of the easiest ways to boost brand credibility on your site – and consequently improve conversion rates – is to add a dose of social proof to your landing pages.
According to a 2019 report by Trustpilot, 82% of consumers said they were more likely to make a purchase when shown a trust signal, with 86% of them saying that star ratings and user reviews displayed on a brand's homepage made the most impact. Moreover, a 2007 test conducted by VWO and WikiJobs showed that including social proof on sales pages increased conversions by an impressive 34%.
From a technical standpoint, testimonials are easy to add to any webpage. And not only are they an easy solution, but they can also provide multiple benefits.
Well-chosen customer stories that resonate with website visitors do a great job positioning a brand's product as a viable solution to a problem. For example, the reviews displayed on the Headspace homepage address concrete issues the SaaS company's clients solved by subscribing to the service, inspiring web visitors to give meditation a try.
But there's more to ratings and reviews than just proving that your brand is capable of delivering the results it advertises. Homepage testimonials can also play a role in adding a dose of transparency to your brand, showing that it's honest in its marketing efforts and that its value propositions aren't just sugarcoated promises.
To take your social proof to the next level, consider using off-site aggregators like Trustpilot, Google Reviews, or Capterra. These are excellent sources for gathering consumer feedback. They deliver the required transparency, as opposed to hand-picked reviews that are often biased or fake. Plus, being sourced from trusted sources, they're instantly more effective at driving credibility than alternative solutions.
This is what Bay Alarm Medical does on its homepage, using a dynamic Google Reviews badge that appears in the lower-left corner of the screen. The great thing about this solution is that the badge remains visible even as web visitors scroll down the homepage.
This instance of adaptive design ensures that the rating is seen by everyone visiting the site. Moreover, the fact that the rating is pulled from a reputable source like Google (the #1 most trusted brand in 2021) adds a dose of authenticity to the brand's image, ensuring that it's seen as a good option by people looking for a reliable medical alert system solution.
Maintain an Active Social Media Presence
Another great way to boost credibility and positively impact conversion rates on your website is to utilize all the spaces that help your business connect with its audience. Social media, for example, gives the perfect opportunity to engage with followers, allowing brands to continually build brand trust and positively influence website conversion rates.
There are several ways to use social media presence to build credibility.
One excellent strategy is to practice transparency. According to Sprout Social, being transparent on social media makes consumers more likely to purchase, recommend, and champion brands, which is a significant gain if your goal is to boost sales.
For a great example of how you can be more transparent on your social media feed, you can check out Everlane for inspiration. The brand is intentionally open about the materials and resources it uses, ensuring that its followers know exactly what they're buying every time they choose the brand's products.
Of course, it's not just transparency that helps brands position themselves as authoritative and trustworthy in their industries. Educational and entertaining social media content can do the same.
For example, the TD Athlete's Edge Instagram page relies on posting educational content about training and injury recovery to build credibility. By giving its followers value, this brand creates an image of a dependable resource for fitness advice. And, by actively working on raising awareness about its services, TD Athlete's Edge is effectively managing to use social media to build up a successful business.
If you choose to go this route to boost credibility, increase organic traffic, and boost conversions on your site, don't forget to utilize calls to action in your posts.
Invite followers to engage with your content, use ephemeral to build rapport, and take every opportunity you can to send traffic to relevant landing pages on your website. That way, the success you achieve won't just stay on your social media profiles but will translate into website conversions and (hopefully) a growing base of satisfied customers.
Optimize Product Pages With Customer Reviews
Another super-simple method to build brand credibility is to take a close look at your product pages and find ways to optimize them for conversions.
Ways to do this include improving your product photography and writing better website copy. You can also get great results by adjusting the page layout to highlight high-value elements like CTAs.
But, for another simple method to prove your brand's reliability, you should also consider adding social proof to your ecommerce product pages.
Check out how the brand Allbirds does this.
In addition to including customer reviews on its product pages, this brand also uses customer feedback to improve the shopping experience for people who have never worn Allbirds shoes before. So, it includes a fit guide that informs potential buyers on what to expect from their purchased pair of shoes resulting in a positive boost to the brand's credibility and a better overall buying experience for consumers.
Show off Industry Certifications
Is there something that makes your brand stand out from the competition? Are you a purpose-driven company that aims to connect with consumers over shared values? Well, it might not be a bad idea to use this information to build your brand image.
According to Zeno, being clear about what your brand stands for can boost sales by up to 4x. All things considered, it's an impressive result for such a simple strategy.
But how exactly can you credibly do this?
Well, one method would be to show off your industry certifications.
As you can see on the Future Kind homepage, this brand chose to highlight the fact that it's a certified B corporation, which means that it's "legally required to consider the impact of [its] decisions on [its] workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment."
A slightly different example of how you can use certification to increase brand credibility comes from Thorogood.
On its product pages, this brand chooses to point out that its products are Union Made, produced in the USA, and implement advanced technology from industry leaders to ensure maximum comfort and boot component longevity.
Highlight Transaction Security
Over the past two years, ecommerce has gained immense popularity (even among older generations), mainly thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. But the truth is, some people are still on the fence about the safety of online shopping.
According to survey results published by Sophos, as many as 91% of consumers are worried about online threats, with 48% fearing financial fraud.
For this reason, it's not a bad idea to approach your branding strategy with customer safety in mind.
If, for example, you want to prove that you're a trustworthy business that delivers on its promises, you can use transaction security badges. Popular ones include those provided by Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, and other third-party payment apps.
Any of these will instill confidence in your brand and remove those pesky safety concerns, which are stopping your current web visitors from becoming paying customers.
Use Existing Conversions to Boost Trust & Sales
Are you looking for a slightly more exciting method of adding credibility to your website? If that's the case, it's not a bad idea to look for ways your existing conversions could help you make more sales and develop a more trustworthy brand image.
Widgets like real-time conversion popups – such as the one used by Orizaba Original – are an excellent example of how web visitors can influence one another to take action.
Think of these widgets as you would of a line outside a brick-and-mortar store or social media hype about an upcoming tech release.
Consumer psychology shows that people often make purchasing decisions based on social factors and crowd behavior. So, if a person is unsure about the best product for their needs, chances are, they're going to do the same as the people in their immediate surroundings. This is why people opt for well-known brands, make similar fashion choices, or even watch the same content on streaming services.
Display Industry Awards and Media Mentions
Although no one likes arrogance and overpromising in a brand, you should never allow yourself to be shy about the praise and attention your brand has received. After all, one of the best ways to communicate the unique value your company offers is to show how others have perceived that value.
Industry awards and media mentions are both excellent approaches for highlighting the positive about your product or service, helping you position your brand as an authoritative and dependable business committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience.
Take a look at the Gong homepage. In addition to making impressive claims (promising a 27% increase in revenue per rep, 20% time savings, and 53% reduction in onboarding time), it also provides proof of the quality it offers, namely by including awards badges from G2.
If you haven't won any awards yet, you can still effectively use this technique to invest in brand credibility and improve conversion rates.
Media mentions, for example, are another great way to inspire consumer trust. Thrive Market chooses this route on its homepage, displaying quotes from publications like Refinery29, FastCompany, and Glamour. Knowing that its website visitors will recognize these publications, Thrive Market is, essentially, building its authority on the names of these brands.
However, there is one thing you will need to keep in mind if you decide to display media mentions or awards on your site. The proof you choose to highlight will have to come from a relevant authority in your audience's eyes. For example, an exercise enthusiast won't care about a media mention in a fashion publication. But, they will be impressed if the trust badge you show off comes from a top fitness magazine like Men's Health.
Drive Consumer Trust Together With Your Existing Customers
Do you have an outstanding product and a host of satisfied customers to prove it? If that's the case, it might not be a bad idea to let those customers' impressions and success recommend your brand to your target audience.
Check out how SurveyMonkey does it.
In addition to showing off the logos of its most famous customers, which include Box, Johnson & Johnson, and Intuit, it also points out that 98% of Fortune 500 companies use its products to gather data.
Envoy goes even a step further in showing off its satisfied customers to build credibility by enriching its homepage with insightful case studies covering a wide range of ways big brand names like Lionsgate, BuzzFeed, and Samsara use its solutions.
Now, sure, a small startup or newly launched fashion brand may not have dozens of customer satisfaction stories it can use to inspire conversions. But every little instance of real-world data helps build credibility. Even if it's just a simple website widget that pulls user-generated content from social media platforms, like the one Barts uses.
Whatever your business goals and your preferred marketing methods, it's safe to say that investing in the credibility of your brand is well worth the effort.
And that's not just because it's a great way to reach new audiences, increase website traffic, and boost conversions. Essentially, it's a strategy that provides benefits both in the present and in the future.
After all, you can't build up a brand overnight.
But, if you do a good job at positioning your company as trustworthy and reliable from the get-go, you're much more likely to build a loyal following. We're talking about the kind of following that will generate sales and contribute to the longevity of your business investment.