In this day and age, when everything seems to get more and more depersonalized, gaining your customer’s trust and establishing a reputation for your brand is harder than ever.
With hundreds of new startup companies and online stores popping up each day, finding one that’s a safe and reliable shopping choice isn’t an easy feat. Online shopping, while taking over brick and mortar sales by a landslide for the past couple of years, is still seen as less personal and much more of a utilitarian ordeal.
Walking the thin line of people wanting to feel connected to a brand and providing a quick and easy shopping experience seems like a daunting task, especially for small business owners with their hands and minds full of day to day struggles.
However, as always, we’re here to help. We know how harrowing this entire juncture can be, and want to do whatever we can do provide our reader with the best possible advice.
Earning your buyers trust happens with time and good service, of course, but there are a few shortcuts you can take to speed the process up a bit. We’ve partnered up with SITE123, an amazing free website building platform that was created specifically with small business owners in mind, to bring you these 5 universal ways to establish your brand as a trustworthy retailer.
Create a smooth and responsive shopping experience
Nothing says amateur more than a sloppy website and constant bugs while browsing. To ensure your customers view you and your team as professionals, make sure your website is responsive, interactive and engaging.
We suggest you build your website and your store with a safe and reliable website builder such as SITE123. It’s easy to use features, quick setup process and responsive design will make everything run faster and provide a much better experience for your customers.
Add great product photos
No matter what you sell and on which end of the price spectrum your products are, having great product photos is always a must.
So, no blurry photos taken with your old camera, no phone photos with your kitchen in the background. If you can’t afford to have all of your products professionally photographed in a studio, spend a weekend doing it yourself. Create a lightbox from a cardboard box, a couple of table lamps and a piece of fabric and photograph your products with a DSLR camera.
Adjust the brightness and the contrast of the photos in a free photo editor and you’ve got yourself some pretty decent product photos.
Your customers always appreciate effort, but usually look down on sloppiness and laziness. Seeing how much effort was put just into photographing the items will make them see how dedicated and passionate you really are. And that is exactly what will have them coming back.
Get active on social media
Trustworthiness is not something you acquire instantly. Instead, it has to be built across multiple channels.
Make sure your company is on the usual social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat) and start building an audience on each and every one of them. Spend some time writing and designing your posts to ensure consistency across all social media.
Your customers will get to see what kinds of things you post, how you interact with your followers, and how large your community is. If you manage to establish quite an online presence, you can use the power of social media influencers to spread the word about your brand even more.
Being present everywhere makes your brand look like a multi-million dollar retail empire, even if it’s just a two-(wo)man operation from your home office.
Highlight your customer reviews
What’s the point of all those raving reviews you got if nobody will ever get to see them?
If you’ve built your website using SITE123, adding a testimonials page shouldn’t take more than a couple of seconds. It will get its own link in the menu bar, but a smaller preview will fit beautifully between elements on your homepage.
This is not the time nor the place to be modest, so feel free to brag a bit about your company. Don’t forget to add names and images to your testimonials so make them look even more authentic. We also suggest adding links to the reviews your products got elsewhere – be it social media, other ecommerce stores, or platforms such as Yelp! or Google Places.
Give your customers a quick and easy way to contact you
No matter how smooth and responsive your store is, or how well written your FAQ page is, questions and minor problems are always bound to occur.
To give yourself a quick and easy way to solve any impending bumps on the road, and give your customers a direct way to contact you, add a live chat app to your store.
While most of these are paid services, SITE123’s app market has a variety of apps you can choose from, so there’s bound to be one that will fit both your needs and your budget. Managing these live chats is easier than you think thanks to a centralized account you have on their platform, and you can add them to your store with a single click.
You can even set up automated responses to inquiries or custom greetings for returning visitors.
This will show your clients how serious you are about maintaining a level of customer service they’d expect from much larger companies. As cheap as they are, these live chat apps give out the impression of a high-end, premium customer service your customers would be glad to pay for.
Earning a living through ecommerce is hard work. With competition at an all time high, and people being less inclined to spend their money with lesser known brands, earning your buyers trust and generating revenue isn’t an easy feat.
And while establishing a stellar reputation and becoming a household name can often take years, there are a few shortcuts you can take to make all of this happen much, much faster. None of the tips we’ve just shared with you require a lot of time or money to implement, but will have a significant impact on how your website’s visitors view your brand and how much they spend in your store.
Ready to start earning your buyer’s trust and growing your sales? Start by creating an amazing free website with SITE123 and adding a smooth and responsive online store to it.
If you’re still not sure how and where to start, there’s a fantastic online store checklist available on SITE123’s blog – it’s a life savior for people new to the fast changing world of ecommerce.