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I'm going to design an information architecture for an online diamond jewelry shop with focus on a diamond ring configurator for a project at university.

A questionnaire has identified these customer priorities(descending in importance):

  1. Trustworthiness of the company
  2. Safe processing of the purchase and the shipping
  3. Certified diamonds, already included in the site
  4. Cost effectiveness
  5. Product quality

There're some facts known about who the customers are:

  • Pretty much every age bracket 30+ is represented
  • 1/4 of customers have no diamond knowledge, 1/2 has little diamond knowledge and 1/4 has solid diamond knowledge
  • 1/4 of customers are buying for themselves, 3/4 for someone else (called 'gifters' in this context)
  • Pretty much every customer is comparing the site with at least one other online diamond shop

Are there certain aspects in particular that I can take into account to underline the trustworthiness of the site when building the information architecture?

I'd appreciate your input.

Edit:

If you guys want to take a look yourself, here's the site I'm talking about http://www.yorxs.de/diamantringe/diamanten/

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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

While your research has come up with good parameters,I also recommend looking at best practices in inducing trust for an eCommerce site.Given below are are some recommendations on how to build the trustworthiness of your site

  • Using Trustmarks : Trustmarks are symbols and certificates which assure the user that the site is verified and secure. However the logo or symbol used also defines how the site is perceived as shown in this article

The effectiveness of trustmarks on e-commerce sites depends on customer recognition of the logo, meaning that they are almost useless if you use a lesser known provider. Stats from Actual Insights suggest that just a handful of trustmark logos are actually recognised by consumers.

Indeed, 76% of survey respondents had not purchased something because they hadn't recognised the logo.

The study tested the responses of users to 20 different trustmark logos: enter image description here Customers recognised several of the logos, but the most well-known were:

  • McAfee (79%)
  • Verisign (76%)
  • Paypal (72%)
  • BBB (37%)
  • TRUSTe (28%

enter image description here

The survey (of 150 mainly US respondents) which accompanied the Usabilia test also reveals much about consumer attitudes to trustmarks.

  • 76% said that trust logos did affect their sense of trust in a particular website, which 64% said unknown logos affected their level of trust.
  • 61% had not made a purchase because no trust logos were visible, while 76% hadn't because they didn't recognise the logo.

The results therefore suggest that

  • Trustmarks do matter.
  • Only a handful are instantly recognisable.
  • If your trustmarks aren't recognisable, then you may be better without them.
  • Clarity of product and price information : To quote the same article :

Retailers should be upfront about pricing and delivery charges, and the total price of the purchase should be made clear before customers enter the checkout.

Being coy about extra charges or only revealing them at the last possible moment will not make customers trust the site. Our recent checkout abandonment survey found that 71% are deterred by 'hidden charges' when they reach the checkout.

  • Clear contact information : To quote the same article referenced

If customers can see clear contact details, a telephone number or live chat option especially, then they will feel more confident that they can get in touch if they have any problems when making a purchase.

Whether you’re a well established brand or new to the market, displaying customer testimonials and ratings is the perfect way to install trust in potential buyers. Research by PayPoint.net shows that 54% of online shoppers are reassured by other customers experience, and 62% of consumers actively seek reviews before deciding to purchase.

Your website should display impartial and honest reviews that are easily accessible to visitors browsing your site. Demonstrate that you listen by effectively acting upon what is being communicated through customer reviews, be it negative or positive. Knowing you care increases trust and confidence amongst consumers, both of which are key components to a beneficial B2C/B2B relationship.

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Great post Mervin. Bonus points for solid reference. –  Rickyfox Jul 1 '13 at 13:27
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