It’s no secret that ecommerce is booming—and the competition for customer trust is growing more intense. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have been switching between brands more than ever before, and 73% of them will stick with the brands they switched to instead of reverting back to old habits.
One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd and increase both revenue and customer lifetime value is to build trust. We’ve outlined eight proven ways to do exactly that.
1. Display trusted reviews and recommendations
Showing product reviews is one of the best ways to show credibility and trust—especially to those who haven’t shopped with you before. A whopping 93% of customers say they’ve been influenced by product reviews, and 82% report that reviews were the deciding factor on whether or not to purchase. These numbers are too big to ignore.
Not only is it important to make reviews easily viewable on your site, it should also be relatively straightforward for customers to leave a review once they’ve made a purchase. Using automated follow-up emails is a great way to encourage customers to leave reviews.
Similarly, displaying recommendations for related products wherever relevant can help inspire and educate your customers to add more products to their shopping carts and increase AOV. Relevant recommendations to what shoppers are already looking for can build trust and further solidify your brand as a leader in your industry.
Don’t want to manually create recommendations for hundreds of items? The good news is that product discovery software like Constructor.io optimizes recommendations automatically based on click and conversion behavior to help you provide a more personalized shopping experience.
2. Provide detailed product descriptions
Product descriptions can make or break your customer experience. In fact, they’re one of the most important things customers want in an ecommerce site. A 2016 study from the Product Information Report revealed that 87% of consumers would be unlikely or very unlikely to repurchase from a retailer that had inaccurate product descriptions.
Your product descriptions should paint a full picture of each item. Include all dimensions, material and sizing information (i.e. does an item run big, small, or true-to-size), care instructions, warranty or return information, and anything else that would be helpful.
Don’t be afraid to update item descriptions as you receive customer comments and reviews. Showing that you listen to feedback by improving product descriptions and providing detailed FAQs is another excellent opportunity to build trust with customers.
3. Ensure your customer data is secure
No one wants to shop from a company that doesn’t store data securely. Behind every ecommerce sale is sensitive data: account usernames, email addresses, passwords, physical addresses, and most importantly, credit card numbers. This consumer data is highly valuable, and as a result, can fall prey to cyberattacks like malware, ransomware, and e-skimming without proper safeguards in place.
You can make your business much less susceptible to attacks and build consumer confidence by implementing the following:
- Using a SSL certificate on your ecommerce site, along with a trusted hosting provider and payment processor
- Training your employees on best cybersecurity practices
- Installing high-quality cybersecurity and anti-fraud software on your site’s backend
- Regularly auditing your security practices and making necessary improvements or adjustments
- Encrypting all sensitive data stored on online servers
4. Make your website accessible
While technology has largely democratized access to information, not everyone has equal access. Your website should be easily accessible to anyone, regardless of the quality of their Internet connection or disability status. Customers will benefit from a more reliable and inclusive shopping experience and so will your brand’s reputation—a win-win.
While the ADA only legally requires websites that fall under these 12 categories to be accessible, it’s a smart move to invest in accessibility for your ecommerce site for your business’s long-term health.
Some great best practices you can implement are:
- Straying away from using colors as a primary tool for distinguishing between content
- Creating a “low power” or more minimalist version of your site for those with lower Internet bandwidth
- Adding accurate alt text for images
- Providing closed captions or transcripts for all videos
- Using ADA-approved fonts
5. Invest in good UX design
UX has an enormous impact on revenue. A report from Forrester found that every $1 invested in UX brings $100 in return. To provide a frictionless shopping experience that builds customer trust, make sure your website loads in two seconds or less, is optimized for mobile on every page, and has a clean, easy-to-follow layout.
Your team should also ensure that your site is checked regularly for dead or broken links, and that any new page that’s created goes through proper testing for bugs and optimization for the best possible experience.
Another underestimated benefit for ecommerce UX is anticipating “zero search results” pages: what happens when there are no relevant results for a user’s search query. This might happen because of a misspelling or typo, but it might also occur when there’s nothing that your search engine recognizes as a synonym for the query that’s been typed in.
As a product search platform, Constructor leverages AI and machine learning through Cognitive Embeddings Search to anticipate these events and estimate the closest best option to display. The result? Dramatic reductions in zero search results—and a lift in conversions and purchases. It also provides a better experience for users by making them less likely to click off your website and look for another store that can meet their needs instead.
6. Deliver a consistent experience
In addition to great products and user experience, most consumers also take customer service into consideration when deciding where to shop from. That’s why it’s important to deliver the best service possible and make sure you measure up to customer expectations on all channels.
Just one instance of inconsistent or poor service could lead to losing a customer for good. A report published by PwC found that one in three customers would stop doing business with a company entirely after only one negative experience.
7. Personalize customer experience through technology
Technology is a powerful tool for personalizing your shopping experience, and you don’t need to rely on cookies or third-party data to do so effectively. Constructor brings dynamic personalization to enterprise ecommerce, thanks to machine learning:
- Improve your product discovery experience by making search engine results personalized to each user using Search.
- Make browsing your pages just as personal thanks to Browse.
- Create landing pages that are tailored to any user with Collections.
In a research report from Salesforce, the majority of customers said tailored engagement based on past interactions is crucial to winning their business and trust. Constructor uses customer behavior to show results that are attractive and relevant to them, leading to increases in key KPIs.
8. Incorporate customer feedback at scale
Customers love to be heard. Take legendary D2C beauty eCommerce giant, Glossier, for example. Glossier built customer feedback loops into their overall strategy by “listening at scale.” Customer representatives took to platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit to actively listen in on and participate in organic discussions from customers, and incorporated this into both their brand strategy and customer marketing. This translated into both trust and dollars, with Glossier sitting at a $1.8 billion dollar valuation.
Taking a page out of Glossier’s book is a smart way to boost customer confidence in your business. Knowing how your customers talk about your brand will help you better shape your product roadmap, marketing, branding, customer service, and site experience—as well as make you stand out from your competitors.
How to measure customer trust
Measuring brand health and customer trust levels can be as simple as looking at CSAT results or customer reviews across sites like Trustpilot and Feefo.
Before you implement any changes, take note of your brand’s health. That way, you’ll have figures to measure the results of your efforts against. Some tools like Constructor let you run A/B tests across your site, so that any lifts in conversions and positive behavior are easy to both track and measure. Make sure to factor in confounding factors like promotional schedules and seasonality.
Relationships take work—but they’re worth it
Building trust in ecommerce takes time, but with the right tools and strategies in place, you’ll be able to further establish your brand as a dependable and reputable shopping destination.
Looking to deliver a more personalized shopping experience with every click? Learn more about how Constructor’s AI-powered product discovery platform can help you offer a more consistent, exceptional experience to your customers and drive the business KPIs that matter most.