A great turning point occurred when the pandemic affected how customers shopped in person. Fears that customers may contract the virus drove physical stores to close or make access more difficult. Fitting rooms in many stores were closed and customers were not permitted to touch display items. Since this took away the experience of shopping in person, many people have turned to online shopping as a solution.
Growing your business without building customer trust is an uphill battle as more and more people shop online. Trust increases customer loyalty, which in turn increases lifetime value. Research (Bain & Company) shows that a 5% increase in customer retention results in a 25% increase in profits.
It is costly to constantly acquire new customers, but if you focus on customer retention, you can achieve remarkable results. ‘So what should I be doing?’ I hear you say. You'll learn five best practices for building trust and key features to include on your product pages that you shouldn't ignore in this guide.
1 - Always provide social proof
As many of us do, you read reviews before making a purchase. It's not enough to tell your customers what a great product you have. Most customers want to read and see pictures of the product in a review. According to HubSpot, most customers trust recommendations from friends and family vs the company they are buying from. Social proof is one of the greatest marketing tools, so take advantage of it on your product page.
The popular clothing brand ASOS has added a review feature that addresses two major concerns about online clothing purchases. The inability to try clothes on or feel their quality can deter people from shopping online. The ability to see the two aspects rated by verified customers can influence the buying decision. Reviews should only be allowed from verified customers because consumers are wary of fake reviews.
2 - Augmented Reality / Virtual Try-On
New technologies open up a world of possibilities. The introduction of augmented reality has enabled customers to access virtual items in real life. They can see how glasses will look on them or if a piece of furniture will fit into their decor. AR's use in online shopping, the possibilities are endless. By giving them a more immersive and hands-on experience, augmented reality helps boost customer trust. Virtually demonstrating how your product will fit into their life will increase their likelihood of purchasing.
An Adloid study found that AR can increase conversions by 200% when done correctly. Since most companies do not currently use augmented reality, if you do, you will have a unique digital experience and keep your customers longer. Increasing customer engagement on your website is usually associated with higher sales.
3 - Video
You don’t want to go viral for the wrong thing. We have all seen the embarrassing videos of customers comparing the item they purchased online vs what they received. When optimising your product page incorporate unedited videos of your product.
E-commerce sites such as Boohoo and Missguided include catwalk videos in product listings. It boosts trust as customers can see all angles of the product and get an idea of how it will meet their needs. Video also helps with transparency by eliminating concerns potential customers may have about a photo editing.
4 - Product Guarantees
A manufacturer's warranty can make or break a buying decision. The best way for customers to feel confident about a company's product is to see it 100% stands behind it. Let's take Apple as an example. Every device sold has a one year warranty, any systematic issues will fixed free of charge. Of course, accidental or cosmetic damages are not covered.
Your goal should be like Apple's, give your customers a great product experience. Customers should have confidence in the belief you have in your product and the quality of it. Have a look at your current warranty or returns policy, do they reflect how much you stand behind your product?
5 - Live Chat
Today's world is becoming increasingly instantaneous. Customers have questions and expect answers to their questions quickly. Average within 30 minutes or less when using an online service like a chat bot or social media.
33% of American customers consider changing companies after having a bad experience or receiving poor service. The use of a live chatbot is a fast and effective way to interact with customers. You can automate a bot to answer frequently asked questions, but making sure someone is on hand is best.
When customers have a good experience with your company, you build trust and become more memorable. This is reflected in two eye-opening stats from American Express:
90% of Americans share their experiences with customer service with others.
69% of Americans say they would spend more on a business with better customer service.
Businesses have the opportunity to stay ahead of the market. As e-commerce penetration grows globally and customer shopping habits change. In 2022, keep track of shopping trends and think towards the future. If you see an increase in mobile traffic, take action and optimise your website for mobile first. Choose the most applicable of five key features outlined above and combine it with a great omnichannel strategy.