How to Earn and Maintain Consumer Trust as an Ecommerce Business
When it comes to trust there is one thing we can be certain of – when it’s lost, it’s lost.
This stands particularly true for the trust between company and customer, as you simply don’t have the depth of relationship which leaves room for error. There is a risk potential and a level of uncertainty present in most transactions, especially online, which can make customers wary of buying and even more wary of giving a second chance to businesses who have let them down.
It can take months and years to build a good reputation from the ground up, but just one bad experience can turn a customer away and even cause a ripple effect reaching dozens of other potential customers through negative reviews and word of mouth. According to buySAFE, around 81% of people shopping online are less likely to buy from a website with which they are unfamiliar, which can impact conversions as customers and sales are lost.
As we talked about in our Online Shopping blog, Ecommerce isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Shopping online is how many customers prefer to buy because it’s easy, quick and convenient. According to economists, distrust is a psychological state that can be influenced directly by perceived risk, so cultivating a good reputation for honest advertising and customer service is something worth focussing on.
Strengthening Trust in your Business
Gaining loyal customers who will keep coming back and will speak highly of your business to others is invaluable; it’s also no easy task to achieve.
Unlike, say, the first time you meet your partner’s parents, you’ve really got to make a good impression off the bat. If you spill wine on the carpet, your mother in law might one day forgive you. But if your website is hard to navigate or your customer service is unhelpful, you may find that customers choose to shop elsewhere rather than give your company a second chance to make a first impression.
It’s what they get from you besides the product or service you offer that really wins repeat customers who keep on coming back. Here’s how to make sure they do:
1. Take Security and Privacy seriously
This is a big one. One of the main concerns for online shoppers is the security of their personal data, particularly things like credit card information and personal details.
Many shoppers will choose to only buy from online stores they know are highly secured and who take privacy very seriously. Once your company is known for a security breach it can be difficult – even impossible – to win back the trust of past and potential site visitors, so the best thing any Ecommerce store can do is ensure they are hosted on a reliable platform. It can take a long time to build trust in your company’s capability to protect customers’ data, but no time at all to lose it, so this should be a priority from the start.
2. Be Transparent
Customers don’t typically appreciate feeling misled or misinformed. If you use confusing, multi layered navigation to conceal things like delivery charges or returns policy you will undoubtedly discourage shoppers from returning and leave them feeling duped.
Customers are also more likely to trust you enough to buy your product if they are provided with accurate, detailed product information which gives them an expectation aligned with the product they will then receive. Information about size, materials, care instructions etc. are good for customers as the more informed they are, the more comfortable they will feel when purchasing.
Visuals and reviews further support the impression of transparency and trustworthiness. Providing customers with high quality images alongside the product information leaves less room for miscommunication and having an easy to access review page shows confidence in your product.
3. Great Website Design
We all know that a good, well designed website is very important for any online seller as customers appreciate a visually pleasing site that is easy to navigate, but did you know that this is also useful for making your company appear trustworthy?
Consumers are significantly less trusting of websites that are difficult to navigate, disorganised and not up-to date. With a well designed, professional looking site customers will feel more confident, which will lead to more leads, an increase in sales and, over time, a solid foundation of trust built from positive online shopping experiences.
One of the most effective ways to inspire trust in potential customers is through reviews and word of mouth marketing. Many buyers make a point of reading through the reviews when weighing up a potential purchase, so reviews can play a critical role in the decision to purchase or not to purchase.
Reviews can also affect how authoritative your site is perceived to be by google and can be beneficial to your SEO. If google views your store as trustworthy, your site will rank higher. If customers see your store as trustworthy, they are more likely to buy and recommend your products to others. So it’s a win win!
5. Turn your shortfalls into opportunities
Mistakes are going to be made. Issues are going to crop up. What’s most important is how you deal with them.
You cannot build a stellar reputation only on the back of your successes, because it is very unlikely that you will be able to avoid a mishap forever. What really builds customer trust is how you handle complaints and instances where your product has fallen short of the expected standard. This links to the importance of reviews, as public reviews highlight issues being raised. Shoppers want to hear about the experiences of other customers, so making sure you are responding appropriately to complaints and questions will boost your trustworthy image.
Instead of focussing on the individual complaint, remember that there may be several others watching for your response – so listen, respond well and go the extra mile whenever you can. Even if the individual does not respond well, everyone else watching will see your willingness to work hard to fix the issue.
Despite the pitfalls described above, Ecommerce continues to grow. Why is this? It’s simple – our lives are quick paced these days and people value their time very highly, so convenience is key.
Now is the time for companies to get their digital transformation underway and make sure they are ready to capitalise on Ecommerce opportunities, while also making strong efforts to gain and maintain trust from customers. At Clydewire we work with clients to help them achieve their goals by leveraging our in house commercial expertise and ability to build bespoke solutions. Contact us at 0141 308 1029 or send an email to email@example.com.