Earlier I asked a question on how to authenticate business identities, now I am wondering on the other side (the user side). There is also How do I choose whether to trust a particular website?

How can one create trust with a user when you are a new site, and are requesting for some personal information like address, phone or even a business registration copy?

Of course most user registring would be business, which they make the address & phone publicly available, but there are also freelancers that wouldn't feel comfortable sharing their home address...

I was thinking of Truste but the price tag is making me wanting to stay away. What methods or solutions can I implement to create a trust with users?

  • Those freelancers who work from home won't get much sympathy from me considering how many fly-by-night operations do that - if they aren't serious enough to rent an office somewhere, then that fact alone diminishes my trust in them. And this information should be available in the websites registration information. – user2813274 Nov 15 '14 at 21:47

The main way to help users to trust you is be worthy of your users' trust, and make it apparent to your users why you are worthy of their trust. There are various ways to establish that you are worthy of trust. The details are likely to be specific to your particular site, but here are some examples from other domains.

One way is through branding: if your brand is familiar (e.g., the user has had positive interactions with you before, or they have heard positively about you from friends or family), they will be more likely to trust you.

Another suggestion is to ensure that everything you do is in the customer's interest -- and make this apparent to the customer. Don't be "sleazy".

For example, don't ask for the user's address or phone number just because you want it or because it would let you send the user marketing. Wait until a point arises when the user will get some tangible benefit from providing this information, and then allow them to provide it. For instance, it is one thing to ask for your customer's shipping address and phone number when they want to order something and have it mailed to them; it is another to require them to provide this information just to create an account with you. If you must ask at account creation time, make it optional and allow them to provide it later when it is needed.

Another way is to provide user-friendly policies. Think of mail-order companies, which promise that if you don't like what you ordered, you can return it for a refund, with no questions asked. Think of Zappos, which not only offers no-questions-asked returns, but will even pay return shipping. That can increase confidence among customers and give them peace of mind that if they don't like what they ordered, they can get their money back.

You will probably want to have a privacy policy (though many users will never look at it, some may).

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  • 2
    +1. also, if you have an all-in-one-form type form, consider using HTTPS connection for that. – Ayesh K Mar 14 '12 at 7:00
  • @AyeshKarunaratne - You should send ALL traffic over a HTTPS connection( except perhaps images ). – Ramhound Mar 14 '12 at 18:22
  • @Ramhound, from a security point of view, yes. However, this question is more about UX than security, as most internet users don't know what HTTPS even is. As such, HTTPS is rather irrelevant until this happens:security.googleblog.com/2016/09/… And even then, most people will not even notice it. – Stephan Bijzitter Nov 11 '16 at 18:07

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