Often, when we meet new people in real life, we smile, greet them, give them a firm hand shake (well, there’s nothing worse than a limp hand shake is there?!) and look them right in the eyes.
It’s easy to gain someone’s trust if your encounters with them are positive, personable and on a level that resonates well with who you are and what your expectations are.
In an ever more digital world though, with more and more business being carried out on-line, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for e-commerce start-ups to earn and gain the trust of potential customers using their website alone.
Often businesses are more concerned with a quick fix, “Get us online!” – Well, I’m sorry but a presence isn’t enough. The manner in which you deal with potential customers and the setting you create for them, can be the decider between a short lived idea and potentially a huge ROI. Cha Ching!
It’s all in the design
If you want a quick fix, and you want an online presence next week or even tomorrow, then you might be tempted to pay some dude pennies to make it happen. Successful eCommerce stores, provide an experience- they appear trustworthy, and secure. Hack jobs that don’t work as they should, nor provide a unique UX will ultimately struggle in the competitive market, regardless of price or proposition.
Personable and professional
There is no reason that an e-commerce store should lack personality or professionalism. Like a real life handshake, users should feel as comfortable using a website as they would physically browsing a store, communicating with the stores assistants to seek advice before they buy.
There are a few ways to assimilate this feeling in an e-commerce environment in order to establish relationships built on trust. We want to make our customers keep coming back don’t we?…
Facebook and Twitter are obviously the most popular ways to build and generate an organic online community. Not only does Social media integration encourage 2-way interaction between brands and the public, but it allows the brand to behave in a way that is relevant to its audience. Some brands that do this exceptionally well are Victorias Secret Pink and New Look. Their profiles are kept very on brand and personable, with posts including style tips, celebrity gossip, and aspirational images, the brands personality resonates extremely well it’s audience.
Integrated blogs are an excellent way to garner trust. People want to see that there is a team of real life people behind a site, rather than just a corporate money spinner. Blogs about industry related concepts, themes and trends as well as what is going on behind the scenes; Who’s in, who’s out, who’s shaking it all about, will work to achieve this.
Our client Bobby Glam use their blog similarly to the posts on Facebook mentioned above; providing advice, tutorials and gossip.
Forums aren’t easy to get going; you can’t force users to contribute, but once they do, regular posts will generally mean that the forum can manage itself, phew. Forums can become a huge endorsement of your hard work, and a sign to other visitors that there are loyal users dedicated to your brand. Blogs can act as forums too, but again you can’t force users to leave and contribute to posts.
Like Amazon, review/star rating systems work well to point out what other users who have bought and used the product thought of it. If the product placement is bang on the money you’ll have glowing reviews and this will only work to further endorse your products and reinforce that all important trust factor.
Our client Bikers Gear, have utilised the rating/ review system, and are reaping the rewards. More and more customers are buying products that they can see have been tried and tested.
While these simple things may seem like a no-brainer, many new e-commerce businesses simply don’t have the time or the man power to run social campaigns that are on-going. While I’ve covered the basics of social platforms, blogs, forums, and reviews, there are still a great number of things not covered here that take next to no time and also work well to gain customers trust, but we’ll save that for another post! :)