One thing I learnt growing up while watching my mum sell is that, business is about selling trust. Its really that simple.
We buy from those we trust. We use products we trust. We refer others to use products we trust and also refer them to buy from those we trust.
Sometimes, we go the extra mile (while ignoring merchants that are advertising within our nostrils) to search for that one merchant that makes us feel good about the purchase that we are about to make.
I find it amusing when my wife and I go to the market (this happens more often than you think), and she ignores so many merchants selling the same thing we want to get (sometimes even at cheaper prices), just to buy from a particular merchant. We may even do a 360 degree only to end up with the same merchant we started off with in the first place. Seriously, it may be as simple as buying pepper, my wife just prefers ‘that’ seller.
You know that feeling right?..*wink
Most of us walk into a shop (brick and mortar) and within a few minutes we decide whether or not we would be buying from them. We mentally do a checklist about the look and feel of the place, staff and all the other things that make us feel a connection with the shop before deciding to make a purchase.
The same thing applies to an online store.
You must have visited some sites and immediately moved on to another site just because that site had ‘something’ about it. It just didn’t ‘feel’ right. You don’t ‘trust’ them enough to complete the process.
As an online merchant, there are certain things you can do to your site to create that sense of trust:
- Create a lasting positive impression with your homepage: Remember how you walk into a brick-and-mortar shop and assess it? Your homepage is the first feel the customer gets about your brand or store, hence, it has to appeal to your target market. Find out more on how to create that lasting impression with your homepage.
- Connect emotionally with your customers: We earlier talked about those we feel connected to and trust well enough to purchase from. You have to add a personal touch to your site to get that connection. Does your brand or product or team have a story? Ensure that you share some information about you or your brand or product or team so that your (potential) customers can relate and connect with you. Adding pictures as you share your story wherever possible is also recommended. See how this merchant connect emotionally with customers.
- Be accessible: Ensure that how your customers can reach you (mobile, email, social media etc) and the info is clearly displayed on your site. You may also include work hours where necessary. Also, giving your customers the ability to leave messages when you can not be reached so that you can later contact them is advisable. A nice example of how this has been done can be seen here.
- Don’t leave your customers in the dark: Provide all the necessary information that may be required by them. Do you have a Return Policy, what is the expected shipping timeline, are there FAQs that your customers should be aware of? By making all of these visible, you would have addressed the potential fears that your customers have. This merchant has included all the necessary information in the Quick Links Section at the bottom of the site.
- Ensure that your site is secured and protected.
- Talk about it: We started off by saying that we buy from those we trust and also refer others to them. Is anyone saying anything nice about you or your team or product or brand or service? Share it!!! Don’t let positive reviews go to waste, let others know that people have been satisfied with you and ‘trust’ you enough to make a purchase. Create a section for testimonials (whether written or video), clearly display them and if you have been featured somewhere else, like in a blog, display it.
So the next time you make a purchase, just remember that, ‘trust’ has just been sold to you.
Be sure to share with your friends.