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How to build trust online

What makes customers – whether they are b2c or b2b – decide to buy on one website versus the other? How to create trust online not just for the quality and originality of your products but also for your website. Every month the rates of online purchases from desktop and mobile apps are increasing. With this the standards the buyers set to the sellers are increasing too. A colorful website is not sufficient anymore, nowadays to convince users to purchase online you need to create trust.

How do you build trust online?

Without the possibility to look your customer in the eye and to show your shop, how can you create trust? We have created a list of possible ways to increase the sense of trust on your website, next to a user friendly web design and an easy check-out.
To build trust online we suggest:

  1. be available to your customers
  2. use certified seals, payment and shipment standards
  3. be transparent both on your products and your company
  4. be authentic and to keep your content up-to-date.

Let’s take a deeper look at the different aspects of creating trust for your online store.

1. Availability

Be available to your customer. This means being there. Accompanying them in the process of purchasing online with visible contact information, a live chat or a forum with frequently asked questions. Do not let your customers leave with questions unanswered. A person walking into your store and looking around, a bit confused, hesitant, unsure to ask will be delighted to find your contact details easily displayed on your site, a chat window readily flashing in the lower right hand corner of your site or a whole knowledge base with topics to dive into.
Nobody likes to have to go through endless queues of clicks to find a phone number only to discover that is only a robot voice, an automated machine, at the other end of the line.

Be there for your customers!

2. Affiliation

Affiliate yourself with other great stores and you will be in good company, use prominent and secure payment options and offer an ensured delivery with known companies like DHL, Fedex or UPS. In some countries, certificates, trustmarks or certified site seals like Trusted Shops or TRUSTe are well recognized by customers and will give peace of mind. You probably already use textile standards, like the Global organic textile standard (GOTS) to clearly label the quality of your produce, why don’t you do the same for your online storefront?
A secure payment options can be offered through PayPal or the payment gateway Stripe, which lets your customers in turn pay with different debit and credit card depending on your and their location.

3. Transparency

Let your customers review your store, your service and your products through reviews and a rating system. Showcase these testimonials to increase social proof. On platforms like airbnb we all look for reviews – How was the stay at this house? Do the photos really correspond to the place? How was the communication with the host? – so why don’t make your customers’ lives easier and give these reviews to them directly. An easy rating system with stars, as can be found on Amazon for example, makes it easy for your to boast with the reliability, professionally and friendliness of your company.
Another way to create trust through transparency is through adding a clear privacy policy so that the user visiting your site knows exactly what is happening to her or his data. Insert your privacy policy next to your About Us or Contact page and let your users know that their personal information will not be shared with third parties.

4. Authenticity

Let your customers know who you are with an honest ‘About us’ page, images of your team or even a video that shows how you produce your clothing, how you design new patterns or even how your marketing team comes up with new ways to promote your products.
Make and use authentic photography of your product, which transmit your brand’s tone of voice and style. The imagery you use, the words you employ and what is perceived of your brand upon reception of your products should be aligned, coherent in style, transmitting an authentic message to your customers.
In the case of a b2b site, you could also think about including use cases so as to show your visitors how others existing customers have used your product and made the most of it. How does your product make their lives easier?

5. Being up-to date

The fifth point to creating trust online, we believe, is through being up to date. If you already have a website, why don’t you include a blog or set up social media channels (like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter…) to present your brand? It is nice to be present in different places, but be aware, that you need to maintain them. If a possible customer visits your blog and the last update is more than a month old, he or she will become sceptical most likely asking him or herself if your company is still in business. You can include a blog preview on your website and even a social media stream to showcase your activities. Let your customers be part of your brand, let them participate and share their own looks, upload their combinations of your pieces with others or share your photography of their favorite outfits with their friends.
Try these tipps out and let us know how it goes! We are curious to know how you are able to improve your online presence.

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