Building Consumer Trust this Christmas

Culture Building Consumer Trust this Christmas

All I Want for Christmas is… Sales

It’s a common complaint voiced by many an ecommerce retailer that despite the seemingly optimal performance of their individual marketing channels, their website simply isn’t performing as expected. It’s unfortunately the case that even though you might be getting consumers to your site through a variety of marketing platforms including Google AdWords and social media advertising, getting them to actually hit the ‘Checkout’ button is a new challenge in itself. The question of the hour – or rather the festive period – is why consumers are so reluctant to convert through your site, and perhaps more importantly, how can you increase your ecommerce website’s performance?

Last Christmas

It’s no secret that way back in the darker days of the internet (when we were still using Internet Explorer and making our own fires with pieces of flint) many consumers were ‘burned’ by their ecommerce experiences, and often the victim of shoddy customer service, or even outright scams. Hence, consumer trust in smaller websites that don’t have the brand saturation of competitors like Amazon or eBay is at an all time low.

That’s not to say there’s nothing ecommerce retailers can do to build and restore faith in their brand; there’s now a wide range of free and cost-effective ways to build your reputation and increase website sales. The most popular method of regaining the trust of the consumer is to offer them a range of payment options; there’s nothing less appealing than a site that wants your credit card details up front for a large transaction. Services like PayPal and Sage Pay act as a third party transaction service, and most importantly function to reassure the consumer that their money is safe, and can be reclaimed in the event of a lost order.

Live Aid

Naturally, if you want the advantages of these services, you’re going to have to pay an amount of commission on each sale generated. There are, of course, other options to generate trust over time without affecting your profit margins. Google’s recently launched Certified Shops Magento plug-in has been specifically designed to give smaller ecommerce sites the backing of a global name. By feeding certain metrics about your business back to Google over time, you can earn a badge to be displayed on your website, and even appear in your AdWords text ads. Building an engaged community around your brand is also of paramount importance; studies show that younger consumers are much more likely to convert with a brand if they’re active on social media. Building an audience on sites like Facebook and Twitter can then have a drastic (if indirect) impact on your seasonal sales.

I Wish It Could Be Cyber Monday Every Day

Ultimately, building consumer trust should be a core part of your marketing strategy over the Christmas period. As well as offering them a range of secure payment options (and a good deal of course) it’s important to start connecting with your consumers on a more granular level through social media. Having genuine interaction with your followers, receiving feedback or offering advice, is the best way to spread word of mouth – and build trust – in the digital age.

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