By Alisha Shibli, Radix
They say “the first impression is the last impression” — and in terms of your online presence, your website is what does that for you. It is where your potential customers come and, based on what they see first, decide whether they will transact or not.
The struggle with being in an online space is the lack of human connection. Unlike a brick-and-mortar store, an eCommerce store doesn’t have someone who can gauge the mood, tone, and body language of your visitor and communicate accordingly.
However, that doesn’t stop online stores from being able to build a trustworthy connection, and that’s exactly what we’re going to explore in this post. Let’s look at five ways small businesses can establish a relationship of trust with potential customers.
1. Use social media to your benefit
One of the best ways to connect with your customers is to be where they are. It is imperative that you establish your presence on the top few social channels and stay consistent there. Establishing presence but being inactive will leave a bad impression.
Additionally, people on these platforms are there to stay updated or for entertainment, so ensure that your messages aren’t too salesy. Fit in using a tone and message that is conversational, in line with your brand’s tonality. The key is to offer value before asking them to buy from you.
2. Pick the right domain name
Your web address is your first touchpoint for new customers. So, it makes sense to invest the right amount of efforts and resources in picking something that helps your business. A great domain name is short, simple, memorable and catchy. Pick a domain name that positions you as a futuristic and cool business.
Here’s an instance: let’s say you sell customized mugs online. Now you could have a domain name like customizedmugsstore.com or customizedmugs.store. One of these two options is simple, short, intuitive, and stands out. It’s easy to guess, for you and your customers, which one it is.
Some of the new domain extensions that you can consider for a brandable, credible domain name are:
• .STORE for retail and eCommerce
• .TECH for technology and startups
• .SITE for small businesses
• .ONLINE for online businesses
• .PRESS for news, media and blogs
• .FUN for entertainment and travel
3. Make use of loyalty programs
One way to build long-term trust and loyalty amongst customers is to incentivize them. Loyalty programs are one of the best ways to do this. It’s established that your current customers are interested in your products. Offering loyalty benefits to them further strengthen their relationship with you and lets them know you appreciate them.
Offering special deals, discounts, and member-exclusive sales are some ways to make customers happy. Try a few of them to see which ones they react the best to. However, ensure that they are easy to use and that redeeming benefits is not a frustrating process. If it’s too complicated to understand, customers will go away.
4. Invest in an SSL certificate
SSL stands for ‘secure sockets layer’. Acquiring an SSL certificate adds an “s” in http:// and makes it https://. The “s” indicates ‘secure’ which tells your visitors that your online store is safe to transact with.
This certificate comes at a price and that contributes to the credibility of your business. If you have invested in one, it shows that you are committed to what you do and serious about your customers’ personal data.
So, get an SSL certificate, especially if you are hoping for customers to transact on your website.
5. Make customer service a priority
In an industry where you’re serving the customer, it goes without saying that your customer service needs to be impeccable. Nothing upsets a customer like bad or inactive customer support. In a lot of cases, all a customer wants is to know that their needs are being taken into consideration. Knowing that a company is going above and beyond their call of duty when it comes to customer service will illustrate how much your business cares about them.
Building customer trust and loyalty is important for every business and both require time and resources. In a competitive market, customers won’t stay with you if they don’t feel valued. These five trust-building practices will get you started in the right direction, and give your visitors confidence that your business caters to their needs without compromising on security.