How to gain customers trust online?

|
Marketing

In this cold and barren hellscape, we must stay vigilant. Adapt to the ever-changing landscape, prove ourselves worthy, or fail to entice enough customers through our doors to stay afloat and crumble. At least, that’s the case for some of us.

The bigger, battle-hardened titans of industry have no such worry. Their reputations precede them, and how they present themselves is always backed by years of recognition as a trustworthy source in their field.

Brands starting from the bottom don’t have this luxury. Reputation is earned, trust is proven, and customers are convinced. There is no assumed reliability, no assumed quality, nothing can be taken for granted.

Gareth, 35, from Southampton, doesn’t know you. He doesn’t know the effort you’ve put in, he doesn’t know your products like you do, he doesn’t even know if you really exist. It’s up to you to prove all this to him. Lure him in and validate his natural concerns with evidence that you can be trusted. 

Or at least, make him think that. The drop-shipping angler fish amongst you know who you are. 

So how do the little guys build this trust? Let’s dive right in. 

First impressions

Now, no one needs to be remided of the importance of trust in brand-consumer relationships. It is the brittle glue that binds you and them. Sturdy on the surface, but prone to shattering under pressure.

Your customers don’t know you like your nan does - and they certainly won’t love you unconditionally. So, what can you do to make them trust you more?

Trust is a factor in any relationship, which is why it has to be applied to E-commerce for brands to flourish. That said, Nike has dominated sportswear for decades but do we trust that everything they sell is as good as it can be? No. However, do we trust that on the whole, they’re good for their word? Yes. As this demonstrates, trust is a process of weighing up and deciding for ourselves, taking into account a huge variety of elements.

So how do we start the process?

The obvious ones

Shipping and returns - First things first, honest and accessible returns and shipping policies are a must. They aren’t going to drive conversions on their own, but there’s no denying their importance in Ecom - even if they do have a darker side

About us - Next up, have an identity. Give your (probably) faceless entity a personality! Let people know who you are (or who you want them to think you are). 52% of people look for an About Us section on a website as soon as they arrive - so at least have something there, whether it’s true or not.

Customer service - Another obvious one is customer service. People value having the chance to ask questions about products and services more than you might think. This is also hugely important for retention, as you can imagine. With 89% of customers being more likely to purchase again after experiencing good customer service.

Now that the obvious ones are accounted for, let’s get stuck into something juicier.

 

Product images

One of the biggest factors in trusting a brand is trusting their product. Before Ecom existed you’d establish this with your hands, looking and feeling the authenticity of someone's handy work. Obviously, most customers aren’t able to do this nowadays. So you need to provide them with the next best thing - perfect product images.

Nailing your product imagery is of the utmost importance. Evolving shopping habits mean people are looking through their screens rather than with their hands, so you have to ensure your images capture every detail of your product they might need to see.

Though it may seem like an obvious thing to mention, this not only helps customers visualise, but it also shows that you want them to see all angles of your product. Purveyors of quality goods should have nothing to hide.

Many brands also benefit from showcasing their product amongst other objects, to give it a sense of existence a clinical white background does not. This can be seen in the rise of still-life-inspired product images. This functions similarly to having images of models wearing garments to supplement flatlays, or vice versa. 

Website 

Imagine yourself walking into a shop; the furnishings are tacky and cheap, and the design looks rushed, like the whole place has been slapped together in a hurry. Is your first instinct to whip out your card and splash the cash? Probably not. Why then, would a website be any different? 

The importance of an authentic, purpose-fit website cannot be understated. First impressions are crucial. Much as we might pretend otherwise, we do judge books by their cover. Sometimes clichés exist for a reason, so don’t spare the effort in ensuring your website is optimised for whatever you’re selling and whoever you’re selling it to. 

One way you can do this is by making your website look and feel like a reliable, real place to shop. This can be achieved by giving your site a sense of texture, using the same principle I mentioned earlier. I’m not advocating for wooden fonts here, but a bit of texture can’t go amiss. 

You’ve also got to make sure that your website is easy to navigate. If you walked into a shop and got lost and frustrated, you’d feel as though your time was being wasted and leave. The same applies here: don’t let your customers wander around aimlessly, increasingly resentful of your lack of organisation or direction. Collections should be easily located, cleanly laid out and ideally only a click away. 

Retention marketing

Another key means to building trust is retention marketing. Regular communication is a key component in trusting relationships and email and SMS are both highly effective ways of keeping regular communication with your customers.  

Email marketing in particular allows you to personalise messages based on the recipient's preferences, behavior and previous interactions. This means subscribers can receive relevant content that they’re actually interested in, providing a sense of value, and understanding and ultimately fostering trust.

Value led emails

Providing valuable, relevant content in your emails is an easy way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in helping your audience. Whether this is solving their problems, meeting their needs, or simply talking about something they’re interested in. When subscribers consistently receive content that enriches their lives or businesses, they're more likely to trust your brand.

This can be done in a wide variety of ways, making it easy to keep things fresh. One such method is providing educational resources like how-to guides, tutorials, or industry insights. By sharing these, you can position yourself as a trusted source of knowledge and expertise. 

Not only this, but it’s also a crucial way to keep people genuinely interested in you. If people are anticipating your emails to give them valuable insights, whatever form it may take, then they will be more likely to trust your authority in your field. Why else would you give them so much free value, if not to help them out?

Specificity 

Another core element is how specific email marketing can be to the customer. Giving it a more personal, humanlike connection. 

This can be achieved in a variety of ways, the most obvious being segmentation. By segmenting your audience based on demographics, interests and or purchase history, you can send targeted emails to ensure that subscribers receive proven relevant content. Naturally, this builds trust and engagement.

Another easy way to achieve this is through exclusive offers and promotions. Providing these creates a sense of exclusivity and rewards customers for their loyalty. By offering shiny deals or early access to new drops you demonstrate your appreciation for their support and incentivise future engagement. Ultimately fostering a stronger sense of trust and loyalty 

Involvement

Another solid option is interactive content. Incorporating interactive elements in your emails, like surveys, quizzes or clickable calls-to-action will encourage engagement and in turn foster a sense of two-way communication.This will help you understand your audience's preferences and needs, which will ultimately strengthen trust over time. Simple as that. 

Having an engaged dynamic with your customers is crucial, and email marketing as an entity encourages this through the very nature of it being permission-based. Because email marketing relies on people opting in to receive messages, they have already given explicit permission to be contacted. This not only establishes a foundation of trust from the get-go, but it also gives them a sense of power within the dynamic; knowing that they could opt out whenever they choose.

Honesty 

In echoing human-human relationships, brands must prioritise honesty as much as their business permits. No one likes you if they can’t trust you - and why would they? Customers owe brands nothing and the relationship between them is incredibly fragile, so avoid misleading them (whether “accidentally” or not) at all costs. 

One such way is to make sure your subject lines and preview texts fairly represent what’s in the emails. It sounds obvious, but being misleading with SLs + PTs - though it may get high opens for that particular email - will always damage trust. For example, don’t tempt people with “Open for a gift!” if there’s no such gift inside. No one likes to be disappointed - never forget it.

This shares similar elements with the matter of transparency. The most effective email marketing campaigns should be relatively transparent about what subscribers can expect when they sign up. This can include the frequency of emails, the sort of content they’ll see, and how their precious data will inevitably be used. Naturally, transparency breeds trust by demonstrating honesty and integrity - which again, are hugely important in mimicking humanlike relationships.

Word of mouth 

Outside of marketing, what’s the thing that convinces you to buy stuff the most? Advice from people you trust. Now, that’s not always easy to come by, but the principle still stands. Hearing from a reputable source that something you want is good, is good! Here are a few easy ways you can apply this to E-com and use it to your advantage.

Feedback loops

Applying this concept to marketing is essential, so establishing a strong feedback loop is imperative. Encouraging subscribers to provide feedback or reply to your emails creates a loop that grows open communication and demonstrates that you value their opinions. Actively listening to your audience and addressing their concerns or suggestions helps build trust and loyalty.

Influencers

This can be similarly applied to influencer marketing in how it functions as trust by proxy. Essentially, by having an established and renowned authority figure endorse your product, you can hijack the trust they've earned from their audience and apply it to your product. Such as Gordon Ramsay with Hexclad, or Andrew Huberman with Athletic Greens

Review mining

Last but by no means least, reviews are essential. That said, you need to make sure you’re getting the right ones… Get specific by review mining, delving deep into your reviews and finding ones that hit the following criteria; product-specific reviews, ones based on other competitors, ones about branding and lastly ones about about customer service. 

This way you can help customers find helpful insights by gleening the specific ones for them. 

If you run an e-commerce brand and are looking for a digital marketing partner to take your business to the next level, book a call with one of our team.

Written by Conel Freeman Harrison - Content Marketing Executive

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

ARE YOU READY TO

START SERIOUSLY
SCALING YOUR BRAND

We’re already helping 40+ online businesses scale their profits, so now is the perfect time to hop on board. We promise if we don’t improve your current ROI by 23%, we’ll give you your money back.

TAKE OUR QUIZ AND BOOK
A DISCOVERY CALL TODAY!

How to gain customers trust online?

|
Marketing

In this cold and barren hellscape, we must stay vigilant. Adapt to the ever-changing landscape, prove ourselves worthy, or fail to entice enough customers through our doors to stay afloat and crumble. At least, that’s the case for some of us.

The bigger, battle-hardened titans of industry have no such worry. Their reputations precede them, and how they present themselves is always backed by years of recognition as a trustworthy source in their field.

Brands starting from the bottom don’t have this luxury. Reputation is earned, trust is proven, and customers are convinced. There is no assumed reliability, no assumed quality, nothing can be taken for granted.

Gareth, 35, from Southampton, doesn’t know you. He doesn’t know the effort you’ve put in, he doesn’t know your products like you do, he doesn’t even know if you really exist. It’s up to you to prove all this to him. Lure him in and validate his natural concerns with evidence that you can be trusted. 

Or at least, make him think that. The drop-shipping angler fish amongst you know who you are. 

So how do the little guys build this trust? Let’s dive right in. 

First impressions

Now, no one needs to be remided of the importance of trust in brand-consumer relationships. It is the brittle glue that binds you and them. Sturdy on the surface, but prone to shattering under pressure.

Your customers don’t know you like your nan does - and they certainly won’t love you unconditionally. So, what can you do to make them trust you more?

Trust is a factor in any relationship, which is why it has to be applied to E-commerce for brands to flourish. That said, Nike has dominated sportswear for decades but do we trust that everything they sell is as good as it can be? No. However, do we trust that on the whole, they’re good for their word? Yes. As this demonstrates, trust is a process of weighing up and deciding for ourselves, taking into account a huge variety of elements.

So how do we start the process?

The obvious ones

Shipping and returns - First things first, honest and accessible returns and shipping policies are a must. They aren’t going to drive conversions on their own, but there’s no denying their importance in Ecom - even if they do have a darker side

About us - Next up, have an identity. Give your (probably) faceless entity a personality! Let people know who you are (or who you want them to think you are). 52% of people look for an About Us section on a website as soon as they arrive - so at least have something there, whether it’s true or not.

Customer service - Another obvious one is customer service. People value having the chance to ask questions about products and services more than you might think. This is also hugely important for retention, as you can imagine. With 89% of customers being more likely to purchase again after experiencing good customer service.

Now that the obvious ones are accounted for, let’s get stuck into something juicier.

 

Product images

One of the biggest factors in trusting a brand is trusting their product. Before Ecom existed you’d establish this with your hands, looking and feeling the authenticity of someone's handy work. Obviously, most customers aren’t able to do this nowadays. So you need to provide them with the next best thing - perfect product images.

Nailing your product imagery is of the utmost importance. Evolving shopping habits mean people are looking through their screens rather than with their hands, so you have to ensure your images capture every detail of your product they might need to see.

Though it may seem like an obvious thing to mention, this not only helps customers visualise, but it also shows that you want them to see all angles of your product. Purveyors of quality goods should have nothing to hide.

Many brands also benefit from showcasing their product amongst other objects, to give it a sense of existence a clinical white background does not. This can be seen in the rise of still-life-inspired product images. This functions similarly to having images of models wearing garments to supplement flatlays, or vice versa. 

Website 

Imagine yourself walking into a shop; the furnishings are tacky and cheap, and the design looks rushed, like the whole place has been slapped together in a hurry. Is your first instinct to whip out your card and splash the cash? Probably not. Why then, would a website be any different? 

The importance of an authentic, purpose-fit website cannot be understated. First impressions are crucial. Much as we might pretend otherwise, we do judge books by their cover. Sometimes clichés exist for a reason, so don’t spare the effort in ensuring your website is optimised for whatever you’re selling and whoever you’re selling it to. 

One way you can do this is by making your website look and feel like a reliable, real place to shop. This can be achieved by giving your site a sense of texture, using the same principle I mentioned earlier. I’m not advocating for wooden fonts here, but a bit of texture can’t go amiss. 

You’ve also got to make sure that your website is easy to navigate. If you walked into a shop and got lost and frustrated, you’d feel as though your time was being wasted and leave. The same applies here: don’t let your customers wander around aimlessly, increasingly resentful of your lack of organisation or direction. Collections should be easily located, cleanly laid out and ideally only a click away. 

Retention marketing

Another key means to building trust is retention marketing. Regular communication is a key component in trusting relationships and email and SMS are both highly effective ways of keeping regular communication with your customers.  

Email marketing in particular allows you to personalise messages based on the recipient's preferences, behavior and previous interactions. This means subscribers can receive relevant content that they’re actually interested in, providing a sense of value, and understanding and ultimately fostering trust.

Value led emails

Providing valuable, relevant content in your emails is an easy way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in helping your audience. Whether this is solving their problems, meeting their needs, or simply talking about something they’re interested in. When subscribers consistently receive content that enriches their lives or businesses, they're more likely to trust your brand.

This can be done in a wide variety of ways, making it easy to keep things fresh. One such method is providing educational resources like how-to guides, tutorials, or industry insights. By sharing these, you can position yourself as a trusted source of knowledge and expertise. 

Not only this, but it’s also a crucial way to keep people genuinely interested in you. If people are anticipating your emails to give them valuable insights, whatever form it may take, then they will be more likely to trust your authority in your field. Why else would you give them so much free value, if not to help them out?

Specificity 

Another core element is how specific email marketing can be to the customer. Giving it a more personal, humanlike connection. 

This can be achieved in a variety of ways, the most obvious being segmentation. By segmenting your audience based on demographics, interests and or purchase history, you can send targeted emails to ensure that subscribers receive proven relevant content. Naturally, this builds trust and engagement.

Another easy way to achieve this is through exclusive offers and promotions. Providing these creates a sense of exclusivity and rewards customers for their loyalty. By offering shiny deals or early access to new drops you demonstrate your appreciation for their support and incentivise future engagement. Ultimately fostering a stronger sense of trust and loyalty 

Involvement

Another solid option is interactive content. Incorporating interactive elements in your emails, like surveys, quizzes or clickable calls-to-action will encourage engagement and in turn foster a sense of two-way communication.This will help you understand your audience's preferences and needs, which will ultimately strengthen trust over time. Simple as that. 

Having an engaged dynamic with your customers is crucial, and email marketing as an entity encourages this through the very nature of it being permission-based. Because email marketing relies on people opting in to receive messages, they have already given explicit permission to be contacted. This not only establishes a foundation of trust from the get-go, but it also gives them a sense of power within the dynamic; knowing that they could opt out whenever they choose.

Honesty 

In echoing human-human relationships, brands must prioritise honesty as much as their business permits. No one likes you if they can’t trust you - and why would they? Customers owe brands nothing and the relationship between them is incredibly fragile, so avoid misleading them (whether “accidentally” or not) at all costs. 

One such way is to make sure your subject lines and preview texts fairly represent what’s in the emails. It sounds obvious, but being misleading with SLs + PTs - though it may get high opens for that particular email - will always damage trust. For example, don’t tempt people with “Open for a gift!” if there’s no such gift inside. No one likes to be disappointed - never forget it.

This shares similar elements with the matter of transparency. The most effective email marketing campaigns should be relatively transparent about what subscribers can expect when they sign up. This can include the frequency of emails, the sort of content they’ll see, and how their precious data will inevitably be used. Naturally, transparency breeds trust by demonstrating honesty and integrity - which again, are hugely important in mimicking humanlike relationships.

Word of mouth 

Outside of marketing, what’s the thing that convinces you to buy stuff the most? Advice from people you trust. Now, that’s not always easy to come by, but the principle still stands. Hearing from a reputable source that something you want is good, is good! Here are a few easy ways you can apply this to E-com and use it to your advantage.

Feedback loops

Applying this concept to marketing is essential, so establishing a strong feedback loop is imperative. Encouraging subscribers to provide feedback or reply to your emails creates a loop that grows open communication and demonstrates that you value their opinions. Actively listening to your audience and addressing their concerns or suggestions helps build trust and loyalty.

Influencers

This can be similarly applied to influencer marketing in how it functions as trust by proxy. Essentially, by having an established and renowned authority figure endorse your product, you can hijack the trust they've earned from their audience and apply it to your product. Such as Gordon Ramsay with Hexclad, or Andrew Huberman with Athletic Greens

Review mining

Last but by no means least, reviews are essential. That said, you need to make sure you’re getting the right ones… Get specific by review mining, delving deep into your reviews and finding ones that hit the following criteria; product-specific reviews, ones based on other competitors, ones about branding and lastly ones about about customer service. 

This way you can help customers find helpful insights by gleening the specific ones for them. 

If you run an e-commerce brand and are looking for a digital marketing partner to take your business to the next level, book a call with one of our team.

Written by Conel Freeman Harrison - Content Marketing Executive

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

ARE YOU READY TO

START SERIOUSLY
SCALING YOUR BRAND

We’re already helping 40+ online businesses scale their profits, so now is the perfect time to hop on board. We promise if we don’t improve your current ROI by 23%, we’ll give you your money back.

TAKE OUR QUIZ AND BOOK
A DISCOVERY CALL TODAY!