6 Elements Of A Trustworthy E-Commerce Web Design

by Stephanie Hamilton

Last updated on February 21st, 2018

Should I trust you?

That’s what e-commerce shoppers are asking as they creep closer and closer to making a purchase.

You can’t blame them.  They are about to put their credit card information into your website in the hopes that you will deliver the goods.

There are no hard rules about designing for e-Commerce, but there are plenty of fundamentals to follow to ensure you are garnering the trust necessary to be successful.

In this article we will delve deeper into these fundamentals and expose some areas that may be creating some skeptical shoppers on your website.

1. Guarantees

An online shopper is making a sacrifice.  They can’t physically see, touch or smell your product.  A well-placed guarantee can overcome the fear that your shopper has regarding the purchase.

REI Guarantee

Notice how REI places their guarantee front and center early on in the buying process.

2. Search

If you are selling a number of products, you better have a search function and it better work well.  If it doesn’t, the trust in your company decreases.

All Absinthes

You can find the absinthes that most suits you by using the array of filters on the search bar at All Absinthes. Further customization allows you to search with a country of origin with a bar to the left.

3. Reviews

Customer reviews are critical in the success of an e-commerce website.  Studies show that product and company reviews are among the most important elements on an e-commerce page.

These reviews are a way to begin the conversion with the customer by demonstrating that others have purchased from you successfully.

The Kahala Resort features a page dedicated to customer reviews – an important feature to have when investing in a luxury vacation package.

Reviews are commonplace on electronics sites such as Newegg. Many customers will forgo purchasing larger expense items such as electronics if there aren’t reviews on the product.

4. Well-Written Product Detail Pages

Customers tend to spend a lot of time on the product detail page and you should work towards presenting all the information the customer needs to know about a product in an intelligent and easy to access format.  Typos, grammar errors and otherwise poorly written product descriptions can be the death of your sale.

More examples of a trustworthy ecommerce website

The detail page for a product on Opermage.com is both clear and concise in presenting the information about the product before making a purchase.


Kashi Trust Elements

The product detail page for a Kashi cereal allows you to view nutritional info, send to a friend, and print the page, in addition to purchasing it. The detail page gives visitors the information they need and allows them to interact with the information.

5. A Clear Checkout Process

The checkout process should have as few steps as possible to avoid confusing the shopper or making them feel trapped. That being said, be careful about asking for payment information too soon, as they’ll begin to suspect things are out of order. Also be clear about taxes and shipping costs.  Be as transparent as possible in the check-out process.


The checkout process for the online retailer Anthropologie details where you are in the checkout process as you go along. It also doesn’t make the customer feel stuck and includes options for saving it for later or moving the item to your wishlist.

Here are four quick ways to make the check-out process feel more trustworthy:
• Tell the customer where they are in the checkout process
• Retain customers previously entered information, in case they leave to get more information, etc
• Provide a complete summary of the purchase
• Provide images and detail throughout the process that indicates the accuracy of the order

6.  Transparency About Additional Costs

We all know that the price we see on the product detail page isn’t the price we are going to pay.  Why not be up-front about it?

Tiger Direct Shipping And Tax Costs

The first page of the TigerDirect checkout form offers a tax estimator based on zip code and states what will be taxed.

Target Trustworthy Ecommerce Website

Target provides shipping information below the product details to provide transparency to those shoppers wanting to know the total investment before getting too far into the check out process.

Should I trust you?

If you don’t have all of the above elements in your e-commerce website design, probably not.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of trust elements on an e-commerce web design.  What would you add?  Please let us know in the comments.



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Stephanie Hamilton

Stephanie Hamilton runs a small branding and web design studio where she helps clients market their company online. Visit By Stephanie and let's collaborate to tell your brand's story. Visit the blog for more helpful design and business resources.


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  1. Prashasti says:
    September 2, 2014 at 3:39 am

    Nice! Important points of any e commerce website are covered here. Every business owner must take care of all these while sending the requirment to e commerce website development service provider so that you can earn max benefits from it.

  2. Mark Taylor says:
    June 20, 2012 at 6:34 am

    I try to include SSL/TLS logo’s with click to verify links on secure check out pages. I think this helps establish trust that the site is secured with a reputable provider.

    • Russ Henneberry says:
      June 20, 2012 at 8:49 am

      @Mark Taylor — Great suggestion Mark. Thanks!

  3. Kritika says:
    January 25, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Along with the above it is also important to have a well designed website which will focus on the above to help you convert your visitors into sales.

  4. Jeanette says:
    January 14, 2012 at 2:53 am

    What a great blog

  5. F F says:
    December 23, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Great points highlighted here. I find that using logos of our manufactures as well as BBB & credit card badges help with establishing trust.

    I also feel any local associations your belong to such as Chamber of Commerce or state programs your company have adopted help a great deal.

  6. infinitevizionz says:
    December 21, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Really each and every point written over here is perfectly right. An E commerce owner should have to read this article before going to choose start work.

  7. Wasim Ismail @ Alrayes Web says:
    December 20, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Having a professional ecommerce site is important, as well as having all of the above, the main point is to have them all displayed in a professional manner, as you can have well written detailed page, along with reviews on the site, but if the site does not look attractive as well you will not convert as well. Along with the above it is also important to have a well designed website which will focus on the above to help you convert your visitors into sales.

    • December 23, 2011 at 10:36 pm

      I agree Wasim! Although I chose to focus this article around the user experience of an e-commerce website, a solid design will absolutely leave your business a cut above the rest.

    • October 20, 2013 at 7:24 am

      I agree with that the first step start with the professional design then turned to the elements of trustworthy

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