Three quarters of Americans think having a domain-based email that matches your website is a very important factor when it comes to trusting an online small business, according to new research from GoDaddy, which commissioned a survey to identify the most important factors for consumers when it comes to trusting online small businesses.
“You never forget a first impression, either in real life or online. Often your first direct interaction with a customer takes place over email and so looking professional in this context is hugely important,” said Steven Aldrich, chief product officer at GoDaddy, in a news release. “Using a professional email address that ends with your company’s domain offers you an opportunity to build your brand every time you interact with a customer versus promoting an Internet email giant like Gmail, Yahoo and others.”
Using a personal email address can also negatively impact profits. Nearly a quarter of respondents stated they would be reluctant to provide their credit card information and/or personal information (contact details, phone number) to an online seller using a personal email address which could be perceived as suspicious.
“From the moment a consumer views your email address on a business card, your website, or in their inbox, they are immediately going to make judgments about your business, so don’t fall into the trap of using a personal address that anyone could get. It detracts from the trustworthiness you’re looking to convey,” added Aldrich.
As an indicator of trustworthiness, consumers rank domain-based email addresses as three times more important than maintaining an active social media channel such as Twitter or Facebook.
Respondents also listed the following as additional important factors to consider when trusting an online business: having a website security certificate, the quality of content on the business’ website and third-party customer reviews.
Looking professional has never been more important for small businesses at a time when 60 percent of consumers are looking to support small and independent businesses, according to the survey.
Key study findings:
- 75 percent of respondents believe having a domain-based email that matches your website is a very to extremely important factor when trusting an online small business.
- 33 percent of respondents doubt the trustworthiness and legitimacy of a seller when they use a personal email address.
- 24 percent of respondents would be hesitant to give their personal information to a seller who uses a personal email address.
- 23 percent of respondents would be hesitant to give their credit card information to a seller who uses a personal email address.
- If a company uses a personal email address, consumers are 35 percent more likely to research the company through online customer reviews.
- 34 percent of respondents believe active social media channels are not an important factor when trusting an online small business.
- Only 14 percent of respondents think having an active social media account is an extremely important factor when trusting an online small business.
OnePoll surveyed 1,000 American adults in February 2016.
Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel