trust doesn’t come for free. this is common knowledge in the business world. but when businesses communicate online – they need to work twice as hard as their bricks-and-mortar counterparts to earn the trust of their customers.
it’s not your fault. it’s the fault of the beauty bar. the samples. the fitting room.
but (like anyone with a sense of humor) I see this as an opportunity. instead of sticking to the tried-and-true methods used by age-old retail companies – ecomm brands should use the new tools at their disposal to build trust.
I’m talking about the overshare. believe it or not: the overshare IS a form of content. free content you can source to get a pulse on how your customers feel. from user-generated content to choosing when NOT to say something – you can guide your customers to a new level of trust with your brand.
here are two quick pivots that will help you grow customer trust:
read your reviews
what do customers absolutely LOVE about your brand? is it the speed with which your product is delivered? do they love the scents or textures of your products? are they absolutely obsessed with how your clothing makes them feel? do you have the comfiest socks in the entire world? (if you do – let me know.)
if you pay attention to your customers’ reviews you can highlight your product’s most-loved attributes. this approach shows your customers that you’re listening.
this concept also works in reverse. when you get a negative review: be thoughtful in your response. consider how to address the less-than-glowing feedback in the most productive way. absorb it. use it to close gaps in your product—and how you advertise your product.
here’s an example: let’s say you’re a footwear company and your shoes just don’t make the cut for people with high arches. instead of trying to sell your product to those people: admit that your product doesn’t work well for folks with high arches. you can even have flat-footed jokes throughout your copy and ads.
don’t rely completely on promotions
customers are savvy. in recent years they’ve become sensitive to online coupon codes. and not without good reason – the things are everywhere. these discounts are so ubiquitous that entire businesses have popped up to help consumers scour the internet for coupon codes and feed them into the discount box before checking out.
if you’ve visited any big-box store’s site – you know what I’m talking about. their homepages are overloaded with coupon codes. it’s overwhelming. as a customer – you might even assume that the company is going under because of how much they’re undervaluing their products.
quality trumps quantity with promotions. stick to 1-2 promotions per month. make sure your content directly references those promotions as they’re going on. if you’re doing a BOGO sale: post content that includes the items you’re including in the sale. reinforce that promotion from every angle so there’s no question whether it’s a big deal.
by not hawking coupons all of the time: you’re sending a message to your consumers that you value yourself. and when you value yourself – you also send the message inherently that you value your customer.
next time you’re looking to build trust between your brand and your customers – glance over these 2 things. does it demonstrate how much you value not only their continued loyalty – but their time and energy? if not: it’s time to re-evaluate your content.