Category: Digital Marketing
Building Trust is Critical to the Success of Your E-Commerce Business
The world of e-commerce is a truly wonderful one. If you have always dreamed of owning a retail store of some sort, e-commerce can allow you to do so without all of the start-up capital and overhead costs. It is also a great way to let the world know about your products, so you can build a bigger fan base — and therefore a bigger customer base — rather than relying on people in your local community.
Even though e-commerce can be a great alternative to a brick-and-mortar retail store, however, it does come with its own set of challenges. One challenge is building trust. Luckily, once you learn how to do that, you can really grow your online business.
Building Trust is Important
Although more and more people are getting into online shopping these days, people are still often nervous about scams. Even though they might not worry when they buy from big online retailers, such as from big retail stores that have physical locations or from well-known online retailers like Amazon, many people worry about smaller online businesses that they have never heard of.
The concern is understandable, of course. The Internet is riddled with scams, and it can be easy to be taken advantage of. Plus, along with scams, there are other things to worry about — whether or not returns are a viable option if the customer isn’t happy with what he or she ordered, whether their personal information could be compromised on a not-so-secure server and other issues all come to mind.
Plus, some people are more accustomed to face-to-face interactions and being able to walk around a “real” store. Obviously, these things just aren’t possible with online storefronts.
Because of all of these issues, you do have to put some work into building trust among your customer base. The goal is to make your customers feel just as comfortable with ordering from you as they do about bigger and better-known retailers. This can be challenging, but it’s definitely possible if you take the right steps.
Create the Right First Impression
First impressions are important, especially when it comes to an online-based business. It only takes seconds for users to figure out if they want to stay on a website, and it is easy for them to navigate away from your page, never to return.
This means that you need to focus on high-quality, professional-looking Web design that will make your customers feel more comfortable. You should also be very careful about typographical errors, improper grammar and other issues that can make your business look less than professional. Also, invest in a high-quality logo and good graphics for your site. Taking these steps can make the difference between viewers being interested in learning more about what you have to offer and people thinking your site is shady or unprofessional.
Ensure Your Site is Secure
Website security is critical. This is true for any site but is especially important for an e-commerce platform, since you’ll be taking personal and financial information from your customers. If potential customers don’t feel secure using your site, they won’t buy from you. Plus, if your customers’ information is ever compromised, you’ll have a big mess on your hands.
Provide Top-Notch Customer Service and Communication
One thing that can make people uncomfortable with the idea of e-commerce is the lack of face-to-face contact. Even though this obviously won’t be an option for your business, providing multiple contact methods and staying in touch with customers can help you build trust. Offer various ways for your customers to contact you, such as through contact forms, via email and via phone. Make sure that you get back with customers who have concerns of questions as quickly as possible. You want your customers to see that you are available for them and that you are serious about your business.
Don’t Ignore Issues That Arise
It can be easy to shy away from dealing with certain issues, such as bad online reviews or complaints from customers. Dealing with these issues can be unpleasant, and sometimes they are unwarranted. However, if you ignore the situation, you’ll be doing exactly what some online users worry about — running away from the issue rather than addressing it because you’re better able to do so with an online business than at a brick-and-mortar business.
Maintain a Strong Online Reputation
With any business, reputation is key. This is especially true online, however, where people can quickly and easily perform a Google search to find out what others are saying about your e-commerce website. If what they find is less than positive, then they just might decide to skip buying from your company. Luckily, a professional reputation management firm can help with this.
If there is one thing that you need to know about running an online business, it’s that building trust is critical if you want your e-commerce company to do well. Luckily, following the above-mentioned steps can help. You can also use a professional service to assist you every step of the way. If you need further assistance with building your online storefront or building and maintaining trust with your customer base, contact us at Art + Design Lab today.