Building Trust and Credibility: Strategies to Increase eCommerce Sales for Small Businesses Online

September 2, 2023
increase-eCommerce-sales

With the rise in online scams, eCommerce businesses are at risk. Scammers are always looking for a chance to deceive online shoppers, taking advantage of the growing popularity of online shopping. This is where trust in a brand becomes crucial to increase eCommerce sales. 

A wonderful amount of proportionality exists between a brand’s reliability and conversions. To support this claim, Adobe’s Future of Marketing Research Series carried out survey results to see the reactions of online buyers.

  • 71% of UK consumers plan to stop future purchases if trust is broken.
  • 54% of consumers have already stopped buying from brands due to trust issues.
  • 74% of Gen Z and 67% of millennials abandoned a brand after trust was broken.

The cost of broken trust could be significant for any online retail business owner. It results not only in terms of downward revenue or sales but also in terms of losing a larger customer base. 

Why are Buyers Skeptical About New Online Selling Platforms?

Even as eCommerce grows, many people still find it uncertain. The numbers from the USA show this uncertainty:

  • While approaching Black Friday 2022, Check Point Research found that 4% of all new eCommerce websites were malicious. 
  • Evidence from Federal Trade Commission reports reveals that American consumers lost almost $184 million to online shopping-related scams in the first half of 2022 alone. – This is according to the Atlas VPN reports.

shopping-scam-stats-ecommerce-industry
Relevant reasons have been pushing the global audience to be skeptical of trusting eCommerce businesses, especially small-scale online retailers.

For many years, eCommerce owners came up with some conventional and generic trust-building strategies to instill a sense of reliability and authenticity and increase eCommerce sales. However, given the rise in online fraud and usage of online selling platforms, now is the time for you to try out unprecedented things. 

It is time to infuse some growth hacks and learn how to boost ecommerce sales by authentic trust-building among the shoppers to boost high-value orders, sales, and goodwill.

Simple Role of Trust-building to Increase eCommerce Sales

Trust-building between a brand and end-users has become more important than ever. It helps you acquire new customers and increase the retention of the old ones too. Many experts firmly believe that trust-building is essential for the sustainable growth of an eCommerce business.

Impact of Trust: 

Adobe’s Future of Marketing Research Series revealed some incredible findings with citations of the consumers who trust the brands for online shopping. 

  • 71% of respondents are likely to buy more from a trusted brand.
  • 61% of respondents will recommend the brand to their network of friends and family.
  • 41% of respondents will be up and ready to join the brand’s loyalty program.
  • 40% of respondents finish off their purchase with positive reviews or leave positive comments on social media.

If this is not enough, there’s more from the same research from Adobe.

  • Deloitte Digital and Twilio report that customers on average spend 25% more from trusted platforms.
  • Salsify reports that 9 out of 10 online shoppers are likely to pay more for a trusted brand.

Impact of Distrust:

It only takes one bad experience to lose trust built for ages. Your loyal customer will jump ship in the blink of an eye to buy the same product from your fiercest competitor. As a result, your online store sales will be affected.

A higher cart abandonment rate is also a concern that already has been bringing lasting frowns to the foreheads of online store owners. The most recent retrieved report from Baymard Institute claims the average cart abandonment rate to be 70.19% from the data churned out of globally recognized sources. 

Nevertheless, if you are a startup or a small-scale online retailer, there is no need to panic. Let us drive our focus toward the Innovative strategies that you can implement into your eCommerce ecosystem to elevate trust-building and increase eCommerce sales.

8 Trust-building Strategies to Increase eCommerce Sales

These strategies have the potential to captivate your target audience, strengthen trust, and set up a sustainable eCommerce growth plan.

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1. Spruce Up Designs: Love At First Sight

Even the foodies believe in the quote that goes by, “The first bite is with the eye.” Lovers believe in “Love at first sight.”. 

It is the same with eCommerce websites and mobile apps too. Attraction starts with the visual presence and then many things pop in. A spick and span eCommerce website design or eCommerce mobile app design has to be the foundation today to build success on it tomorrow and increase eCommerce sales.

So what should an ideal eCommerce website incorporate in order to be successful? 

There is no common ground whatsoever. However, there are proven practices that you can follow to build one that is close to perfection.

Site Organization: 

The best example is to deliver user-friendly navigation by putting key product categories in your menu. 

site-organized-navigations

In this image, you can see the brand’s key product categorization in the top menu clearly. It instantly drives the visitors to see and select their desired options. Mark the simplicity in navigation planning to increase eCommerce sales.

Let us take another example to elevate user navigation and impact shopping experiences. You must have heard of the mouse-over effect, right? Implementing it will help you showcase subcategories in the drop-down menu. 

site-buttons-organization

Visual Design

The UX design trends evolve with time and generational gaps play a huge role in it along with technical advancements.

With age, people tend to change preferences regarding colors, contrasts, depths, movements, etc.

This makes it extremely crucial to take the age of your target audience into consideration to come up with a preferred design methodology.

Nielsen Norman Group reports showcased the differences in web design preferences by taking the perception of people from the following age categories. 

  • Users between 13 to 17
  • Users between 20 to 35
  • Users between 36 to 55
  • Users aged over 56

This is why it is important to identify the age groups and demographics while determining your target audiences to increase eCommerce sales. Your website UX design must align with the design guidelines and general preferences of your target audiences. 

Great Product Imagery

high-quality-product-imagery

Product image quality is widely considered a crucial factor outweighing the rest.

Taking professional product photos with greater consistency ignites your eCommerce branding.

A study from MarketingCharts.com reveals that 87.6% of respondents considered the product image as the key element of the shopping experience.

product-listing-factors-for-user-shopping-experience

To stretch it forward, let us take a look at this image below from Etsy’s seller handbook

etsy-stats-for-seller

Apparently, it shows that according to online buyers, the quality of the images matters even more than the item costs, shipping costs, and even customer reviews to increase eCommerce sales. 

At the end of it all, your eCommerce store needs to meet the customers eye to eye, capturing their attention and leading them to convert. You can spruce up your eCommerce design in-house, or take an extra hand and consult with QeRetail.

2. Show Your Worth: Social Substantiation

What else can be better than leveraging multiple social media platforms to target mass audiences to build trust and gain credibility? Social proof could be an excellent choice to drive the decision-making of the audience through your actions and behaviors toward others.

Validation of reviews and ratings

Platforms like Trustpilot are used by online shoppers to know the ratings and reviews about eCommerce brands before buying a product.

Trust Pilot’s report discloses the fact that 93% of consumers read reviews before buying online from an unfamiliar company.

Influencer endorsements

Strategic collaborations with social media and external influencers help to win the trust of target audiences faster than everything.

These influencers can be celebrities, idols, and macro or micro digital influencers who are paid for brand promotions for a wider community.

User-generated content

This is believed to be the most authentic and trusted source of product information.

Your customers can upload textual content and rich media files including images or short videos to explain the pros and cons of the products with active recommendations for other buyers.

3. Empowering Customers: Educate for Authenticity Identification

It is about helping your own customers to identify authentic products online. Not only does it preserve your brand’s integrity, but it also showcases your brand’s DNA about customer service that oozes concerns for user data privacy and safety. 

Following are a few ways to identify fake products and to educate or aware your customers:

  • Encouraging them to report suspicious goods and sellers in a marketplace app.
  • Search and adopt the right web-based tools for identifying authenticity.
  • The best option would be to include FAQs and a comprehensive guide about identification and checkups for authenticity. 
  • Form/email mechanism for helping customers to report infringement.
  • Shore up the benefits of buying the goods from authentic sellers to educate customers.

The majority of the customers will not want their authentic products cheapened by the presence of illicit goods around.

As a retailer, take advantage of these public sentiments by joining hands with your customers to grab counterfeit products to get them off the market. This is a sure-shot way to eliminate the anti-elements and increase eCommerce sales of authentic sellers.

4. Redefining Product Descriptions: Storytelling Beyond The Specifications

Storytelling has always been a powerful tool, but taking a transparent approach can significantly impact how customers perceive your brand. 

Share the behind-the-scenes journey of your products, from conception to creation. This connects users on a personal level.

product-description-and-specification

The product you are looking at is not just any lamp, but a Himalayan salt lamp. Immediately due to that, the buyer persona is no longer any person who is looking for a lamp. It is the buyer who is interested in finding the all-natural solution to neutralize electromagnetic radiation in the home environment or to treat certain allergies. 

In case such people do not have the idea, they will expect to find relevant and detailed information in the product description section. And this is where this product description in the image differs from being an average one that focuses on the decorative aspects. 

Subtle product details when mixed with relatable anecdotes along the brand’s journey will help customers relate to your brand and establish a deeper trust.

5. Review Roulette: Inviting Imperfection for Authenticity

Dare to do things that others don’t – to win the trust. Show your audience negative or average customer reviews along with positive ones. You have to treat them as stepping stones to transform your journey from skepticism to satisfaction.

What if I tell you not to weed out the negative reviews as they have significance too? You don’t believe it, right? Understand a skeptical customer’s mind who believes in the quote that goes by: “All that glitters is not gold.” 

Reading poor or negative feedback can in fact resonate with such customers who are really skeptical about an unknown brand. The top survey of Power Reviews reveals that,

  • A staggering 46% of customers hesitate to buy when a product has a 5/5 rating. It rises up to 53% for Gen Z audiences.
  • Buyers filtering 1-Star ratings are likely to finish eCommerce conversions by 108.8% more than a normal page visitor.

Please remember that the overall idea is not to overwhelm visitors with bombarding negative reviews. It is all about reflecting authenticity with holistic and realistic customer views on a particular product.

6. Taking On Tech: Virtual Try-On & AI-powered Assistants

Bring your products back to life like never before and transform online buying experiences with a fusion of AR integration and eCommerce platforms. AR integration into eCommerce apps allows customers to virtually “try on” accessories, and clothing, or visualize furniture in their space. This experiential dimension fosters a tangible sense of trust, erasing uncertainties about product fit or appearance.

virtual-AI-try-on-AL-powered-assistants

Farfetch, along with brands like Prada, has collaborated with Snapchat to introduce virtual fitting experiences. With Farfetch, users can effortlessly stand in front of their camera and request items like a patterned windbreaker jacket. The software then selects a suitable product from the brand’s catalog and overlays it onto their body for a virtual try-on.

This drives trust and confidence in making buying decisions. Also, the adoption of innovative tech solutions will attract customers as it boosts their online buying journeys.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), on the other hand, has been a buzzword lately. The debut of AI-powered virtual shopping assistants is transforming the shopping experience. These AI bots will show sheer empathy in providing personalized buying journeys to every customer. 

AI integration with an eCommerce website or a mobile app opens up limitless opportunities to get close to your customers and deliver the best ever personalized experiences. The Amazon app’s intelligent bot will come up with the most fitting recommendations. If you are buying a top, it will also suggest to you the best pair of footwear, accessories, etc. that matches it.

This is a brilliant way technology can be utilized to boost personalized experiences, cart values, and increase eCommerce sales.

7. Going The Extra Mile: Beyond the User-Generated Content

It has already been acknowledged that delivering a platform for user-generated content (UGC) is a prevalent eCommerce sales strategy. Something engaging yet intriguing that unearths the product capabilities and also helps to boost branding.

Salsa Jeans understood it perfectly, reaped the rewards, and became an inspiration for the rest. Take a look at the image below to see the best example of providing a platform for user-generated content (UGC).

user-generated-content-UGC

This is a unique example to attract and engage the online shoppers of the post-pandemic era. Salsa Jeans deployed a UGC Gallery to invite their customers and showcase individual styles with the purchased products. It became an instant hit as the boost in the conversion rates spiked up to 17.27%

So why limit yourself to featuring genuine customer reviews, videos, or photos? You can turn this affair into an even more engaging one. Host contests or challenges designed for customers to share their innovative ways to use products they buy from your online store. 

8. Flexible Product Trials: “Try Before You Buy” Subscription

Modern times need modern solutions, and this is why we have to break the conventional norms of doing business. Trust your customers by offering a “Try Before You Buy” subscription. The plan is to smartly invite your customers to subscribe and use your products first before they commit to making a purchase.

flexible-product-trials-subscription

Even Amazon came up with this ‘Try Before You Buy’ feature to attract customers and boost sales. It allows you to try on clothes and accessories at your home before making a decision to buy them. Offering this amazing trial experience immediately bridges a connection between the customer and the brand and helps you increase eCommerce sales. 

Always remember that satisfied customers are more likely to turn into loyal customers and brand advocates. Besides, it is a brilliant eCommerce sales strategy to overcome the biggest barrier of lack of physical interaction with the product in the eCommerce landscape.

Final Say: Spurring A New Era of Trust-building in eCommerce 

Trust is the cornerstone of these relationships, and by taking innovative steps to establish it, you’re setting your eCommerce business up for long-term success. Embrace authenticity, innovation, and empathy to sculpt a new era of eCommerce success fueled by unparalleled trust and customer loyalty.

QeRetail, your eStore handyman, can help you along the way at any point in your eCommerce journey.

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