Launching a new online store is only the beginning. One of your first goals after launch is to begin establishing the trustworthiness of your e-commerce site. It is difficult for visitors to your site to gauge the quality of your offerings when they have no product or customer service reviews to look at. So how do you overcome the lack of social proof? You’ll need to purposefully adopt strategies and practices that will help you win customer trust and start growing your e-commerce business.
The Humans Behind the Brand
Take some of the focus from your products and services and shine it on you, the business owner. Flesh out the “About Us” page on your website. Tell your story at the same time you are telling the brand’s story. We tend to trust people we know more about so share your personal experience in the industry, communicate your expertise, and build an emotional connection with potential customers.
Content as a Relationship Builder
Content provides an opportunity to connect with consumers without bombarding them with a full-out sales pitch. A company blog is an excellent channel through which you can build a relationship with your site visitors. Let people know you are invested in your business and industry. Showcase your brand’s dedication to customer service. Share the personality behind your brand. Encourage interactions by asking a question at the end of your blog post or inviting readers to leave a comment once they’ve read your article. Your social media profiles are another place to share high-quality content. Plus, being active on those profiles and responding to customer comments, questions and reviews will go a long way towards building trust.
Consumer reviews and comments regarding your products and services are paramount to building a trustworthy online store. In the infancy of your e-commerce life, you may have to ask for feedback. Set up an email that is pushed out to buyers five to seven days after purchase to ask how they are enjoying the item. When possible, ask if they will share a picture of themselves interacting with your brand on Instagram or Facebook – wherever you are active. Display your social media icons and don’t forget to provide a branded hashtag for them to use on the post!
Communicate that Security is a Priority
With the multitude of hacking occurrences, even to major chains and businesses, consumers are rightfully wary of sharing their credit card information. Display security badges like the McAfee Secure Shopify plugin to inform customers of the efforts you are taking to keep their information safe. Use HTTPS encryption for checkout pages to ensure that no data is improperly accessed.
Consumers will also feel more at ease if you offer multiple payment options, especially a third-party gateway like PayPal or ApplePay. Abandoned cart rates also tend to decrease when you make available at checkout a variety of digital payment options.
Pay close attention to the usability of your online store. Make it easy to search your site and move back and forth between products. Opt for an e-commerce platform that provides hover effects, product zoom, and quick view. Streamline your checkout process into as few steps as possible. Make it easy to add or remove things from the shopping cart or bag and just as easy to leave the checkout process to add a few more items first.
Offer a Solid Return Policy
Buyers who are not absolutely certain about making a purchase tend to take the plunge when they know they can change their mind after the fact. A solid return policy indicates high-quality customer service and that you prioritize customer satisfaction. It also communicates the brand’s confidence in their products. The key is to make sure your policy is advertised on your website and throughout the purchasing process. Include it in your FAQs and consider dedicating a page of your website to the topic.
In addition to a return policy, consider offering free trials or samples. It may cost a bit of money up front, but the likely positive return on that investment will be worth it. Free trials indicate that you have confidence in your product and have no doubt that once someone has tried it, they will come back for more. Include a feedback channel on the free trial. This will be especially important if the trial is a bust. Critical feedback, however painful it is to receive, can inform you of any changes that need to be made and how best to move forward.
Have posted on every page of your website and online store, any and every way a customer can reach you. Provide an online contact form, email, a phone number, and social media account information. And then back it up by responding quickly to any inquiries. Consider integrating a live chat option for a seriously speedy communication channel. A positive customer service experience will keep people shopping and coming back for more.
Be as specific as possible with your products descriptions. Include exact measurements and weight, ingredients or manufacturing materials, features unique to each product and any relevant warranty information. Vivid images and demonstration videos also help communicate the quality and benefits customers will receive from your products or services.
Have an FAQ Page
Hosting a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page serves a number of purposes in your efforts to promote and grow your online store. Inform users about your brand and products. Overcome common objections that hinder the purchasing process. Use the answer portions to direct readers to other parts of your website that thoroughly address the topic or provide an opportunity to learn more.
Nothing is worse than buying something online and not hearing from the company prior to the product showing up at your door. Have a set of emails to guide consumers through the “after purchase” process. Email a receipt with the expected ship date. Communicate again once the item ships – provide a tracking number and the expected delivery date. After delivery, send a message from customer service inquiring about the customer’s satisfaction with the order and requesting feedback. Be sure to include contact information on that last email!
Little Things Matter
Perception is incredibly important and difficult to overcome if a poor first impression is made. Have multiple sets of eyes on all part of your website and online store. Fix the errant extra space or font size that isn’t what it should be. Replace any slightly fuzzy images and steer clear of stock photography. Utilize resources like Spellcheck and Grammarly to ensure proper spelling and grammar are displayed. Credibility is easily lost over the little things which will impact your conversion rates.
As You Become Established
Feature video testimonials of your clients talking about your services or interacting with your products.
Highlight positive press you’ve received.
Feature customer quotes about your products or services.
Create a competitor comparison chart that communicates the value and benefits of choosing your business over another.
Customers need to feel that an online store and the people behind it are honest and worthy of their business. Cultivate trust by building a positive reputation and ensuring the security of your website and online store. The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing can help you create and maintain an impressive and user-friendly online store. Contact us today!