How to earn your customers trust, with ZERO sales

Imagine visiting a new online store for the very first time. You know nothing about the brand, the quality of its products, or commitment to customer satisfaction. Like most shoppers, you’d probably search for reviews from past customers, looking for any proof that the business is legit! But what if it is your eCommerce store, and you haven't had any sales. This means no social proof to leverage on. No user comments. How do you bridge the gap in trust to instill confidence in your potential customer? This is a problem that every new entrepreneur will face, period. Customer trust is hard to earn, and even more so when you haven't had any customers yet. How can you solve this? Fortunately, there are several ways you can overcome this problem to establish trust as a fresh upstart and grow your eCommerce business. In this post, you’ll learn some strategies to win customer trust and start growing your eCommerce business from the ground up.

01 | Show the human side of your business

Skeptical by nature is the name of the game when it comes to humans. We tend not to trust a brand at first glance. After all, they are in it to make money right! But we humans are more inclined to relate on a personal level when deciding to trust someone or some business. As the store owner, you have to relate to your potential customers. So, be personal! Use the About Us page on your store to show your human side. Consider introducing yourself, the person behind the business, to your potential customers. This is especially important if it would add authenticity and credibility to your brand, for example, if you sell products that you make yourself. By focusing on you as the business owner instead of just your products, you can tell your story and your brand’s story at the same time. This helps customers get to know you more, which lays the foundation for them to trust your business, too.

02 | Content is still king

Content is a powerful tool that you can utilize to build trust with your visitors. If you walked into a shop and the place was dirty or smelled a bit funny, you would probably not be inclined to spend your money there, right? Well, a website is exactly the same. Although it cannot physically smell (yet), it can stink! We put in a lot of thought to ensure our templates we offer you are of the highest quality, but what it feels like is up to you. Here are some ideas on ensuring a beautiful store: Use images that are striking and beautiful. Images capture emotions, and low-quality images will put your customers off your store. With our partner, Pexels Image Library, you have thousands of thousands of stock images that are free to use. Blog regularly. This will tell your customers that there is someone behind the storefront. Someone, who takes the time to share their thoughts. This will also help your visitors to build a connection with your store, which will aid when they have to decide if they want to buy from you. Product images and videos can not be understated. The more the better. Again HIGH QUALITY! And don't let your product descriptions just be a few statistics or details like 40cm Wide. Imagine yourself walking into a shop, from which you have never bought, and there was no one there to assist you. Well, an eCommerce store is like this, and your content is the shop assistant, so ensure your customer understands and knows your product with images, videos, and descriptions.

03 | Security is tops

For online shopping, one of the top 3 reasons people are scared to buy online is security. Will my card details be stolen etc.? We ensure that your store is secured with an SSL certificate which encrypts all the traffic between your visitor and the servers. This is above the standard out there. So what can you do to help? Payment options. The more the merrier. If a customer has different options, this will allow them to choose the option they feel comfortable with. So make sure you offer them the options they want!

04 | Delivery and Returns Policy

The number 1 and 2 reasons people list as factors when deciding whether to buy from an online store. When it comes to the delivery of their order, use a courier people trust. Couriers in South Africa are known for their lack of service. It's a big country, and things can go wrong, but ensure that whoever you partner with, you know they will be on your side when you need them. It's not good enough that you use the cheapest option and 80% of your deliveries go well. When the other 20% happens, and you don't have the right partner, and your customers get frustrated. Well, let's just say the 20% will find it much easier to let other people know of the bad service than the 80% will do for good service. eParcel courier is a courier partner for eCommerce stores that has experience in delivering, but even more in assisting when everything doesn't go to plan. Your store already comes integrated with them! Easy peasy. If you were on the fence about making a purchase, what’s the one thing that would immediately make you feel better about buying? A great return policy. Good return policies are seen as a sign of quality customer service. They show that you prioritize the customer experience and that you're confident about your product, so much so that customers can send it back for a refund if they don't like it. Just asked Wendy Knowler about this and she will tell you all about it! Return policies immediately lower the potential risk your customers assume when they buy online. If you offer free returns within thirty days, no questions asked, people, will be a lot more willing to purchase from you. If you can't afford to offer free returns to all of your customers, consider offering subsidies on it. It’s not just enough to have a great return policy, though, you also want to ensure your visitors know it. You can edit your returns policy on your store and you must! Don't forget to mention it to them via the Banners and Notice Bar.

05 | Be Available

Customers who are unsure about your brand may reach out to you through several different methods, including your site's contact form, chat widgets, email, and social media profiles. They may want to know about return policies, shipping dates, or other product information. It’s important to answer these inquiries as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Who would you trust more: a brand that responds within two minutes with a full answer to your question, or one that takes a day to deliver a four-word answer? Speed is particularly important in today’s age, where instant gratification has made consumer demands more urgent. Because of this, if possible, integrate live chat on your site (such as Tawk.To or Whatsapp extensions). Knowing that they can get a near-instant response may encourage potential customers to send questions, and you can chat with them to address concerns or objections in real-time, even up-sell or cross-sell other products. Live chat is becoming a staple of customer service excellence. It’s also a preferred method of communication for many customers, with 92% saying they felt most satisfied during the buyer’s journey when using the feature and 53% of consumers preferring live chat to other methods of communicating with a brand.

06 | Provide detailed product information

The more customers know about what they’re about to buy, the more likely they are to actually go ahead and purchase it. Being specific helps—instead of saying “leather,” it sounds much better to say “genuine leather.” Some things to consider adding to your product descriptions include: Correct Measurements. Make use of the Size Chart extensions to help your potential customers. The exact weight of the item. Product ingredients/manufacturing materials Warranty information Individual product features (“Adjustable strap”) and their subsequent benefits (“so you can ensure this purse is custom fit to you.”) It also helps to have as many images and videos as possible to demonstrate the product quality and how it can be used. This helps people envision it in their own lives, and the clearer they can see it, the more likely they are to believe you can deliver what you say you can.

07 | Fix the little things that erode trust

Last, but definitely not least, don’t forget to take an honest close look at your store, on desktop and mobile, from your homepage to checkout. Ask colleagues and friends if they would trust the site enough to buy from it. If so, why? If not, what’s creating that sense of unease? Is your homepage unclear about your business is about? Are your shipping times not transparent enough? You may know that you’re honest and trustworthy, but that doesn’t mean that customers do. Comb your site for small mistakes. If there are obvious spelling or grammar errors in your copy, you can lose credibility and hurt your conversion rates. Even if you're not a writer, you can run your copy and content through Grammarly to catch any stray errors. Poor quality graphics look unprofessional and cheap. These might seem small but they can affect whether a customer trusts you in just a split second, so don’t ignore these details. Trust is a requisite for purchase, especially when shoppers today have countless options available at the click of a mouse.