Why Building Trust Helps You Sell More Online
If you want to sell more online, putting in the legwork to build trust with potential customers is the place to start. Why does trust matter when it comes to online shopping? The concept is pretty simple; people do business with those they like, know, and trust. If a customer has a positive experience with a brand and believes they produced what they promised, it’s likely they will pass the basic trust test.
Building trust online is a little different than building trust in store. First, you don’t get the opportunity to give customers a warm, in-person welcome. There’s no small talk, and there’s no helpful sales clerk—Just your website and everything you put on it. Here are a few ways to build trust with the digital shopper:
A Professional Web Design
It doesn’t matter how awesome your prices are or how great your selection is—if your website looks like it was built in 1999, you’re going to have a hard time proving the legitimacy of your business. And you’re going to experience a pretty nasty bounce rate, which is essentially customers getting one look at your website and heading a different direction.
For online shopping, your E-commerce site is the new first impression. That’s why it’s important to take the time to create a site that’s aesthetically pleasing and looks professional. If you’re just starting to consider selling online, take a look at some of the more popular sites in your industry. What similarities do you see between them in terms of layout, design, and function? Take note and be sure your developer has a robust portfolio of awesome sites to show you before diving in.
And whatever you do, don’t forego the user experience! A pretty site is useless if it’s full of broken links, slow-loading pages, hard-to-find buttons, and so on. Make your site look nice, but don’t forget to also make sure it has solid usability (across all devices, too).
Collect & Showcase Reviews
Sometimes, a little reassurance from a previous customer is all it takes. In fact, according to a study by Nielson Global Trust, 70% of people trust online consumer opinions. These opinions can go a long way in eliminating skepticism and building trust.
Therefore, you should try to get as many testimonials as possible from your past customers. If someone purchases a product from you, consider sending a follow-up email and asking for a review. Or create a special promotion for customers who are willing to review their purchased products. And of course, make sure these reviews are featured prominently on each item’s detail page.
In the unfortunate event of a customer leaving a negative review, ensure that your company responds professionally and provides some type of valid solution. Other potential customers will look at these, and if you act indignant or put all the blame back on the shopper, this won’t bode well in building trust with anyone new.
Be Transparent (& Secure)
For example, make sure you have transparent pricing. Don’t go with that “Call for a price!” strategy—consumers are online researching and looking for information they need. By hiding price in hopes of getting a lead, you may just end up with customers looking elsewhere.
Also, customers really really dislike last-minute surprises at checkout, such as extra shipping fees or a promo code that doesn’t work despite being advertised. Some studies show average cart abandonment rates at over 70%, so you definitely don’t want to give customers any extra reason to jump ship.
Produce Valuable Content
Create interesting, relevant content, put it on your website, and share it. Good content can establish your brand as an expert, which inherently builds trust with consumers. This content can be blog articles, infographics, a video series, helpful guides, and much more. Your content should focus on educating and informing above all else, not selling. But good content can help sell more online by bringing people into the top of your sales funnel. Try to think what your customer may find helpful. For the home furnishings category, this could be a guide to interior decorating, or a video series on how to pick the perfect rug for a room.
Also, post regularly. A blog that’s updated consistently shows that your site is managed well, which is an indication you actively care about your brand and customers.
Lastly, if a company puts faith in their product, this is a good sign their customer can do the same. Free returns, a 100% trade-in policy, and 100% guaranteed satisfaction are all offers that encourage customers to hit buy because they feel like they have a way out if they make a mistake. Adding an offer like this, or something similar, makes your brand more competitive in the online marketplace while encouraging a customer to take a chance on you.