Practical Ecommerce

Use Your ‘About’ Page to Build Trust with First-time Visitors

“Who are these guys?”

It’s a question many consumers likely ask themselves when shopping at your site. In this post, I’ll explore how to address the mindset behind the question.

Doubts and Worries

Visitors who find something on your site that they want but have never heard of your company may fear being scammed. How do they know that typing in their credit card and other personal information will result in a timely delivery of what they ordered? How can they feel confident that the items they receive will function properly and that you’ll be responsive if there’s a problem?

Buying online has become a habit for many people, but caution still kicks in when they consider an unfamiliar site. After all, they cannot touch or smell the merchandise. They can’t try things on.

Some shoppers may have practical concerns, such as finding out where a company is based so that shipping will be reasonable. Others want to make sure their personal information, including what they are ordering, will stay private. Still others poke around on a site, wondering if it represents a business they can feel good about patronizing.

To earn the trust of shoppers, ecommerce sites at a minimum must include their physical address and telephone number, their return policy, shipping speed, and privacy policy. They also should display the secure-server indicator (“https”).

When all that is taken care of, an informative “About” page will go the remaining distance to comfort first-time visitors.

Credibility

Scammers don’t go to the trouble of creating a company history with its values and original photos. Consumers know this — they are reassured by original content on your “About” page.

To build trust, an “About” page should include unique details, such as who started the company and why she bothered, as well as what drives her to keep at it. Communicate the story in a real and distinct manner — not as a faceless bureaucracy.

The “About” page for Popov Leather tells a simple, straightforward story about its origin, along with interesting photos and a short, authentic video.

The “About” page for Popov Leather tells a simple, straightforward story about its origin, along with interesting photos and a short, authentic video.

Some companies use their “About” page to introduce staff, including a full name, photo, and a mini-profile that includes items about their background, habits, or tastes. This gives visitors confidence.

Hillwalk Tours sells treks in the U.K. Its "About" page offers prose and photographic profiles of each employee. As you’d expect, those employees are passionate about trekking and traveling.

Hillwalk Tours sells treks in the U.K. Its “About” page offers prose and photographic profiles of each employee. As you’d expect, those employees are passionate about trekking and traveling.

Other companies emphasize values and commitments, rather than personnel. For instance, a company that sells remanufactured toner cartridges might highlight on its “About” page everything it does to help the environment, from using recycled office equipment to reducing its carbon footprint.

Blingsense, an online jewelry retailer, tells visitors about the company and, importantly, about whom it has in mind when it creates original jewelry:

  • “Blingsense is about fashion handcrafted jewelry made of sterling silver with gemstones.”
  • “We bring together selected Greek designers to produce unique handcrafted jewelry for fashion-forward individuals.”
  • “Our jewelry aims at vibrant individuals with busy social lives that wear their jewelry as an extension of their personality.”
  • “We are based in Greece. Our clientele is mostly based in the USA. We offer free shipping worldwide.”
  • “Life is too short to wear boring jewelry!”
  • “We have been featured in Vogue UK (April 2017).”

Other options include (a) describing how you make or select the products you sell, (b) explaining how you manage to ensure high-quality merchandise at fair prices, (c) describing your work culture, and (d) featuring media coverage you’ve received. Although not required, humor livens things up. For instance, I once saw a Hawaii-based company talk about how it held “board meetings when the surf was up” (that’s a pun).

In fact, some companies offer a multipart “About” section, with separate pages describing the company leaders, its history, its mission, its values, its processes, and more. The key is to include original, compelling writing, not text that simply fills up space. Avoid stuffiness and business-school jargon. Sprinkle in informative and lively photos.

The Synergy Company, which sells organic supplements, has one of the most extensive “About” sections you’ll find anywhere, consisting of pages on its desert location, ingredients, commitment to organic and environmental principles, charity programs, research and development, founder, press coverage and logo.

The Synergy Company, which sells organic supplements, has an extensive “About” section, consisting of pages on its desert location, ingredients, commitment to organic and environmental principles, charity programs, research and development, founder, press coverage, and logo.

In short, a well thought-out “About” page adds to your company’s identity. It showcases your style, your story, your values, your advantages, and, in the best of cases, your uniqueness. All of that and more calms jittery shoppers.

Marcia Yudkin

Marcia Yudkin

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  1. Hillwalk Tours January 22, 2018 Reply

    Hi Marcia,

    Firstly, thanks for the mention of Hillwalk Tours in your article!

    We totally agree with regards to the value in which having an ‘About Us’ page can have to your website (so much so in fact that we now have all employee profiles listed). It not only helps to build trust with the customer, as it highlights the human element of the business (which is important given the world of technology we currently live in) but it also gives employees a sense of belonging within the business i.e. they are not just a cog in a wheel, they are valued employees who make the difference, so why not tell the world about them!

    You pose a very interesting discussion with the article, which will hopefully encourage other businesses to engage with customers and tell them who you are!

    Happy Trails,
    Hillwalk Tours.