Building consumer trust online - 8 easy tips
In eCommerce, building trust with your consumer online is of vital importance. In the digital age, customers miss that personal touch and you can get ahead by providing yours with it.
1. Encourage user-generated content
One of the best ways of creating trust with your eCommerce customers is to promote user-generated content. When fellow users can see how real people interact with your product they can begin to imagine themselves with it. This creates a genuinely authentic insight for the consumer and helps build trust with your brand. The good news is this also means they will be more likely to convert!
Two of the best forms of user-generated content are product reviews and photos. Using a trusted review platform like Feefo or Trust Pilot will help create this trust. Not only will it help the consumer there and then but it will also help your Google ranking. A good tip to encourage customers to take more photos of your products is to organise a photo competition. Send it out through your social channels and email campaigns and build a huge library of the stuff.
2. Provide a live chat option & easy to find contact options
There is nothing more frustrating for a user, who is already fed up or irritated, than to have a hard time finding your contact details. Display them prominently and consider adding live chat functionality to your site. This builds trust with consumers who get to experience a personal touch during their eCommerce journey. It can also help a customer convert as you can answer any queries there and then, helping push them over the purchase line.
3. Focus on consistently producing content
People love patterns, routine and familiarity. Building in regularity to your outreach strategy helps create a consistency that builds trust and expectation over time. For example, once you start emailing people on a consistent basis, you become part of their routine, their habit. This is when you can turn an averagely performing campaign into an outlier - creating personal engagement that generates a direct return.
On the other side of the coin, an ominous sign for a user can also be a brand that hasn’t posted anything on their social channels for a long time. Again, be realistic, rather than sending lots of posts and then nothing, consistently send a few out. The return will be far greater.
4. Featured in the media logos/security badges & awards
A fairly obvious one this, but show your potential consumers where you’ve been, what you stand for and what you’ve won. If you’re a business that produces organic food, or that your fashion brand plants trees, then shout about it! Anything you can produce to showcase your values, ethics and credibility within your marketplace will be an instant winner.
5. A change of tack - use your blog to serve your user, not your business
This might be the hardest one to truly get right, but it’s guaranteed to make all the difference if you do. Instead of creating content that drives home a sale, you need to understand the user’s needs. Not only will this help with your search rankings (as your content will be more relevant), but it will feel more comfortable for them and less ‘spammy’ if you’re including masses of links in your content.
In eCommerce, think of your blog as the section that entertains and answers your customers' queries on topics in and around your area of expertise. This doesn’t mean you can’t get great conversion rates from your articles. It is, however, a soft sell - the user arrived there without looking to buy. Use this as an opportunity to help the user, whilst educating them about your brand and product range. If you can aid the user in their query, even if they don’t buy there and then, they will go away with a positive experience from your brand - which will hopefully benefit you in the long run. Save the harder sell for your product pages, when visitors have arrived with clear intent.
6. Authorship & comments sections
A simple and easy win can be had from adding authorship to your content. Helping the customer put a face to your brand will help you come across as more likeable and trustworthy.
Equally having a (monitored) comment section is a great way to get users to spend more time on the page. If you respond to customers queries or questions, you can also showcase your expertise and help improve their experience.
7. Outbound linking to trustworthy and relevant content
The ranking benefits from this seem to be becoming more and more significant. But not only that, outbound linking has been proven to help build trust. If you can link out to your source of information then you will show the reader that you know what you are talking about. It also clearly indicates complete transparency, which in the digital age can be lacking.
8. Have a great site
To round up with the most obvious point, having a top-quality website with an easy and well laid out customer journey showcases that you’ve spent time and money to provide a smooth experience. If it looks good, responds well on mobile devices and has a quick loading time then you’re already halfway there.
You'll also want to adhere to eCommerce best practice wherever possible, as customers are used to established steps in the process of buying online. If you miss one out then it's possible to subconsciously make the user uncomfortable, which risks losing the sale.
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