The online industry is on the move. According to CNN, around 2017, 10% of the sales that the United States is going to make, will be made online. So if it’s a growing trend, what happened to the 90%? Why wouldn’t online sales go up to 20%? Or even 15%? The mobile industry is booming. There are no signs that the sales of smart phones and tablets are going down anytime soon. Even people who already own a smartphone or a tablet dispose their gadgets to buy a better one or to get the latest model. This ensures the growth potential of ecommerce. Sometime soon, everything is going to be made online.
So, going back to the question, what is keeping the 90% from buying online? The problem is people still find it hard to trust online stores. There is always an issue of security.
It is not easy to trust online stores.
When buying from online shops, the very first thing that clients look for is security. In the online world, they only want to deal with trustworthy companies. Even the big, online merchandise markets face this problem each day with its sellers. Blogs that share tips on how to discern whether an online shop is a trusted seller or nothing but a scam are ubiquitous. There are also a lot of consumer reviews and forums dedicated to sharing their negative experience on attempting to buy something, paying for it, and in the end not receiving the product they have paid for.
In this light, the number one factor, ensuring your online shop’s very first sale, is its trustworthiness. But how do you make sure that your new online shop will convey security, integrity, and credibility—the three factors that make a brand trustworthy? Here are 5 ways to make existing and potential clients trust your brand:
1. Partner with trustworthy brands.
If you’re new in the online business and don’t know where to start, building an online shop from scratch poses a problem. You don’t have a reputation built and you haven’t sold anything yet. So, one of the best ways to build trust online is by getting reliable services from trustworthy brands. You have to have a secure payment system for online payment, like Paypal, or an ecommerce platform that provides you everything you need to create your ecommerce website, like Shopify.
2. Invest in high-quality content and images.
There are two things that clients will see when they enter your website—images and copy. Your copy must be professionally written. Your photos must be crisp, stylish, and clear. Your website reflects what your brand is all about. If you lack content or if you display poor images, what will it say about your brand? Poor content may be equated with poor quality products and services. You have to make a great impression every time a potential client visits a website. Never leave product presentation to chance.
3. Be consistent.
Building trust does not end with making a great impression; it takes time and effort to truly build trust, and you have to sustain excellent customer service. As your consumer list grows, you will also need to manage their expectations. An article published on Time’s website lists inconsistencies as one of the main problems with online shopping. To build trust, you need to make not only your brand look and feel consistent, but also your prices, promos, and customer service.
All the little things that make up your brand, from the logo down to your customer support, should be consistent. Existing clients expect a certain level of service from you, and if you disappoint them, you risk losing clients and sales.
4. Establish a relationship with your clients.
The success of any company, especially in its early stages, lies mostly on client relationships and loyalty. After developing a great product or service, offer customized solutions. Clients feel valued when you offer them personalized services.
Get to know your clients so you will know how you can customize your product or service based on their needs. While getting to know your clients, you can also learn about their spending habits. The key measure of business success, according to motivational speaker and bestselling author Brian Tracy, is customer satisfaction. The first thing you must do in order to achieve this is to get to know your customers and their needs, so you can find a way to make them happy.
Another way to establish a relationship with your clients is by asking for feedback and responding to it. You can use feedback to improve or promote your business, but respond in a prompt manner. When you receive a positive note, thank your client. Also, be careful when responding to negative feedback. The best way to handle negative feedback, when you do not have the solution immediately at hand, is to respond promptly by thanking them and acknowledging that you received their message. Assure them that you will respond with a solution to their concern within a specific time frame.
Dialog with your clients. If your budget does not allow you to conduct events, you can do this through blogging and social media. Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ allow you to communicate with your customers in real-time. Update your social media pages regularly with your new products and any relevant information connected to your brand that your clients will find useful.
5. Make your online shop safe.