How Trust Can Help Convert Online Shoppers To Buyers
With a myriad of options available to consumers, how do you become their go-to resource? Columnist Jonathan Hinz says it's all about trust and discusses the ways you can earn it.
When you and your competitors are selling the same or similar products, how can you help your e-commerce brand stand out from the crowd and convert potential customers into buyers?
It all comes back to trust. Earn trust from your customers, and they will want to buy from you.
Ease Fears Of The Unknown
A Google/Ipsos Media CT study showed that 78 percent of buyers used the internet for holiday shopping research in 2014, yet only 40 percent of holiday shopping occurred online.
If you’re a smaller e-commerce brand, new customers may not trust that products will arrive promptly or that your site is secure when they enter credit card information. Use your website and social media to showcase shipping guarantees or to explain to customers the security processes you have in place.
Everyone shies away from the unknown. Help customers get to know and trust your brand before they buy, and purchasing decisions will come easily.
Educate Your Potential Customers
The 78 percent of shoppers who used the internet for gift research in the Google/Ipsos Media CT study far outweighed those who asked for reviews from friends and family (only 29 percent of shoppers). Shoppers are already online researching products — how else can you help them?
This is where your brand’s inbound content (think blog posts, ebooks, infographics and reports) can help educate shoppers.
Did your analytics guru pull statistics about the top-selling products of the 2015 holiday season? Turn those stats into an educational infographic to help indecisive shoppers with their purchasing decisions.
What were your best sellers around Father’s Day last year? Pull together a blog post on your recommendations on the best gifts for dad.
This education and transparency will build trust between the consumer and your brand without overly marketing your products.
Utilize Third-Party Commentary
Nearly all (88 percent) of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.
Don’t bury your customer reviews at the bottom of your website. Put testimonials on the home page, next to products and near the shopping cart.
Remind buyers why they are buying from you with proof points that come from outside of your marketing department.
Reviews aren’t the only form of third-party endorsement that your brand can use to build trust. Have you received a great piece of media coverage recently? Let your customers know about it by featuring the news on your site.
If your customers are on Twitter praising your products or services, engagement is key. Retweeting a positive post will not only help build a relationship with that customer but will also show potential consumers what making a purchase with your brand is like.
Earning trust isn’t easy when you’re a small online company — but it also isn’t impossible. Give your brand a personality, educate your customers and show your worth through third-party testimonials.
Trust will come when shoppers realize you’re more than a screen and that you are there to help them. If you want to bring customers back and become their go-to resource, you must continue to engage with them and build their trust.