Trust is hard to describe, because it's the culmination of many things that together give a consumer confidence to essentially turn over their credit card or other payment information.
Some of the key elements that can build (or destroy) trust with an Internet retailer:
- Customer service – Does the company take care of you before and after the transaction. If you e-mail, do they respond quickly? If you call, does someone with product knowledge answer your question?
- Security – Does the site have good password security? Does the site use the latest and greatest technologies to protect your information?
- Returns – Unlike ease of use, the Trust/returns category is more around policy. Does the site have a policy that makes it hard to return defective products?
- Spam – Does the site e-mail me incessantly or does it only e-mail me when needed. If the site has a newsletter, can I subscribe/unsubscribe easily?
- Ads – Are the sites trying to throw irrelevant ads in your face so they make money vs. helping you find the products you are looking for?
- Shipping and handling performance – How quickly do your products get to you? Do you get exactly what you ordered, when they said you would get it?
- Shenanigans – Are there any shenanigans like forced up-selling ("don't you want a filter kit with that camera?!"), or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable?