How to Make Visitors to Your Site Feel Good About Spending Money


It’s time to get over e-commerce. That is not to say that we should stop doing business online. Far from it. What I mean is that we have to stop making a big deal about the nature of doing business on the internet.

At this point, all commerce is electronic commerce. Try running a cash register without electricity. Try taking a credit card without some kind of network connection. With trillions of dollars in business to business transactions occurring annually over the internet, it is no longer e-commerce. It’s just commerce.

Despite that undeniable fact, doing business online is fraught with greater perceived risk than doing business onsite. There is some debate over whether that perception is valid. Identity theft happened long before the first Amazon transaction was completed. No one seems concerned about handing a loaded credit card to minimum wage serving staff at a restaurant to be taken out of sight, processed, and returned at their convenience.

All kinds of bad things happen to one’s personal information at trusted retailers, hotels, and airlines. Data breaches have no problem victimizing people who avoided the online portal and went to a physical location to shop onsite. For a number of reasons, they still don’t trust your online store with their business. Here’s how to win their trust:

Accept Money

If a person walks into your onsite store with a debit card and is told that you accept cash only, they are confused as to why you don’t accept money. For them, the debit card is money. For countless millions, cash is a ridiculous anachronism featured in someone else’s nostalgia. News flash: They also don’t have landline phones.

It is important that your website does not put up this kind of roadblock to money. That is why services like exist. They allow you to take virtually all major credit cards, virtually everywhere in the world you want to do business. Additionally, you have:

  • Access to over 150 currencies
  • Card storage
  • 1-click payment
  • Fraud management

These are the kinds of benefits once available only to large, multinational corporations. They used to have the advantage of being able to transact business in the most trusted and respected ways. Now that the same ability is shared by even the smallest business, that advantage is neutralized.

Stop Demanding Personal Information You Don’t Need

If you go to a grocery store or restaurant, you collect your items, swipe your card, and try to figure out where in the lot you parked your car. You do not have to go through what feels like a questionnaire designed by the good folks at your local DMV.

Your website starts putting up a bunch of red flags with every piece of unnecessary information you ask for from a person who just wants to pay and go. You don’t actually need that email address for anything. You just want a mailing list so that you can spam them later. Hint: That’s not good marketing. Some requests may even be illegal.

There are merchants who will not let you pay for a pizza or buy an extension cord without a postal code and phone number. They would rather not have the transaction than go without the information. You need to decide if you want happy customers paying you money or a bunch of personal information you can data mine and sell. If you want people to feel comfortable giving you money online, stop being the creepy person asking for information you don’t need.

Make the Billing Clear

The most suspicious part of a transaction is a bill that does not match the expectations of the purchaser. Be sure that when a person sees the transaction on their bank statement, they know who that transaction was with. They will be suspicious of charges by a company they never heard of. The amount and company need to be clear. You need to have a way they can verify their purchases online. No one does this better than Amazon.

Online, you need to accept as many forms of money as possible. Stop demanding information you don’t need. And bill accurately and clearly. The rest is just commerce.

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