How do you earn the trust of potential customers when you don’t have any sales and customer reviews to feature? We have the answers to this puzzle!
It’s very easy to mistrust an online retailer especially when it’s brand new. This is one of the reasons why sites like Amazon continue to rule the online retailer industry. They have the history, the mainstream media coverage, and thousands upon thousands of customer reviews to reassure potential customers that they’re legit.
But what do you have? If you’re just starting out, you don’t have any customer reviews to feature. You can get these reviews once you start selling, but it’s difficult to get any sales at the start without the customer reviews to entice buyers. It’s a classic Catch-22 situation.
How do customers know you’re actually selling real merchandise? How do they know you won’t take their money and run?
Before anything else, you really must disavow using underhanded tricks like posting fake customer reviews. That’s one sure way to destroy your brand’s reputation right at the start.
Instead, go with these proven strategies on overcoming online retailer inertia.
Tell Them Your Story
It’s an accepted fact that new brick-and-mortar shops are more trustworthy than ephemeral brand new websites. These shops on the street corner are simply more real, and so are the people behind the counter.
That’s the impression you need to send out when you have visitors to your website. You have to show them you’re real, which is why your “About Us” is crucial. It’s here that you tell your story. Show pictures and videos of who you and your workers are. Tell them how you started in this business, and what you hope to achieve. The human factor is terribly important.
It’s so important, in fact, that often when the website is brand new the “About Us” page is the landing page for those who come from Google and social networking sites looking for websites like yours. You have to tell them right away what your story is, ASAP.
Demonstrate Your Expertise through Content
The next most important section of your site is your blog or that section where you have your informational content. What you need to do is to reassure potential customers that you’re not just a random seller. You need to demonstrate your expertise and prove that you have the background, knowledge, and skill needed to be a respected seller of this niche.
So let’s say you’re selling secondhand wristwatches. Once you’ve established how long you’ve worked in the wristwatch industry or how long you’ve been collecting wristwatches, it’s time for you to show off just what you know about them.
Maybe you can tell them the history of expensive yet not-so-famous brands like Audemars Piguet, or recommend automatic wristwatches that don’t cost more than $1,000. Tell them what factors to focus on when buying wristwatches and compare watches with one another in your reviews.
Your content not only elevates your expertise but also makes your brand more familiar to your visitors. Your blog can also receive comments and questions, and that lets you connect to people on a more personal basis.
Emphasize Your Security Precautions
It’s easy enough to understand the reluctance of many to share their credit card information with brand-new, essentially unknown websites. But you can demonstrate the trustworthiness of your website by highlighting the security measures you’ve adopted.
One way to overcome this reluctance is to showcase your security badges. Examples of this include the Shopify Secure badge and the McAfee Secure badge. Both are well-known brands that can reassure potential clients that you’re taking security seriously.
Offer Multiple Payment Options
This is another excellent way to demonstrate your website’s trustworthiness. What you have to accept is that some people simply trust some particular payment methods over others.
For example, while some may be willing to use their credit cards, others may only use PayPal. So why not offer both payment options? Show off your available payment options, including Amazon Pay and Apple Pay to prove to people that you’re a real company.
Offer a Generous Return Policy
A terrific return policy is often regarded as an indication of high-quality customer service, which in turn is a sign of a great seller. A generous return policy emphasizes your belief in the products you sell. It also indicates that you prioritize the welfare and needs of your customers.
You will need to make sure, though, that your customers are indeed aware that you have a great return policy. It should be featured in your FAQ page, and a website section devoted to your return policy can really help. At the footer of your seller pages, put up a link to your return policy section.
Respond to Website Visitor Inquiries
Unsure customers will generally have questions. Maybe they have a question about the products or the shipping policy. Maybe it’s some other thing altogether. You have to make it easy for them to ask you their questions, and you need to respond as promptly as possible. Your responses should be helpful as well.
This is easy enough to understand. It’s better to give a full, detailed answer to a question 5 minutes after receiving the query, rather than to wait for a week just to give a vague and unsatisfying response.
Live chat is your best bet in this case, as you can answer their questions immediately. It offers a more human side to your website, and it also gives you the chance to cross-sell and up-sell more of your wares.
Display Ample and Accurate Product Information
Post pictures of the item from all angles, and give precise measurements and weights. List the materials or ingredients used, and feature the warranty info as well.
Be as detailed as possible. If you’re selling leather bags, tell them if they’re made from full grain leather or bonded leather.
You can add many more other improvements to your site on your own. You can base it in your own experience as an online buyer. What makes you trust a website more? Ask yourself that question, and your answers can make your website and your brand a lot more reassuring for potential customers.
Also, check out these 4 Simple Solutions For Greater Customer Satisfaction
Founder, Editor-In-Chief // A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, ICANN, and Raytheon. A mentor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Entrepreneur School, Dr. David Choi. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; and invested in some. // Let's Connect: email@example.com