eCommerce Made Easy

The Trust Advantage: Exploring Authenticity and Transparency in E-Commerce

December 05, 2023 Carrie Saunders Episode 32
eCommerce Made Easy
The Trust Advantage: Exploring Authenticity and Transparency in E-Commerce
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The first step to fostering long-lasting customer relationships is creating trust. However, how do we do that? In the second episode of our Customer Trust series, we dive into how you can set realistic expectations & avoid blindsiding your customers with the unexpected. 

From using clear language that your customers can understand to presenting products & buying process with transparency, we aim to transform your eCommerce business into a trusted brand! Equip yourself with valuable insights and strategies that will make trust-building a breeze.

Mentioned Resources: 

Customer Trust Series Part 1: The Power of Testimonials

Find out more information about the Business Visibility Made Easy Course at www.ecommercemadeeasypodcast.com/bvme

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Carrie Saunders:

A lot of clients ask me how they can build customer trust. It's actually one of the first things I look for when I'm doing a website audit. I want to see if the website is building customer trust right away and pretty much immediately when you look at it. Without customer trust, a customer is far, far less likely to buy. So if you wondered if you're doing an effective job or wondered if you're missing a key element in building customer trust, then this episode is for you.

Carrie Saunders:

Welcome to the eCommerce Made Easy podcast. I'm your host, kCarri Saunders. When we started this business, all I had was a couch, a laptop and a nine-month old. My main goal To help others. Now, with over 20 years in the eCommerce building industry and even more than that in web development, I have seen a lot. I love breaking down the hard tech and to easily understandable bits to help others be successful in their online business. Whether you're a seasoned eCommerce veteran or just starting out, you've come to the right place. So sit back, relax and let's dive into the world of eCommerce together. Welcome back to the eCommerce Made Easy podcast. I'm your host, kiri Saunders.

Carrie Saunders:

This is the second episode in a series talking about customer trust and how to build it, especially online. Be sure to visit the show notes when we're done with this episode, as we will link to the previous one, where we talked about customer trust when it comes to testimonials and reviews, but today we're talking about customer trust by setting expectations through honesty and transparency on your website. No customer wants to be blindsided. Now, blindsided might be a bit of a dramatic word to use for it, but even small surprises or unexpected delays or services can really make a customer feel that way. So how do we prevent that? How do we prevent them from having something unexpected come their way when they're working with you? So, first off, we need to be really clear and authentic in our language. What do you do? Really describe this in terms that don't use your lingo. Use the consumer's lingo when it comes to your products or services. This is a really case. You don't create a language barrier there if you're using language they aren't used to seeing and aren't used to using. And also make sure you really describe what are you really offering them, whether you sell products or services or digital goods. What are you really offering? What is that going to do for them and their life? Think about it from the customer's perspective. And who is this for? Describe your perfect customer, describe what they think, what they're feeling, try to get to understand them and use language that helps them realize that you understand them as well.

Carrie Saunders:

And this is where having a peer or a business friend to review your language is really key, because it is so easy when we're looking at our own stuff over and over again. Sure, it seems clear to us and intuitive, but when you have an outside person review your things, they can pick up on those little nuances that it's very easy for you to look over. I find this time and time again. I know with our stuff, it's so easy for me to miss some details that our consumers might get confused on. But if I have a peer or a business friend look at it, they can really be like what does this mean, carrie? I don't understand this. And then that helps me be like oh yeah, I need to make that more clear. I use too much of our jargon. I need to use the consumer's jargon and then I can be more clear.

Carrie Saunders:

Alright, so if you sell products, specifically physical products, you really want to make sure your images are accurate. We don't want to surprise a consumer with a product that they receive. That is nothing like what they expected by looking at the images on your website. So you want to be very meticulous and detailed on your product images. Show multiple angles if needed. Make sure you're doing size comparison. You want to make sure you put the dimensions with your images, particularly if it's something that would be important to know the dimensions of. This could be home goods that are sitting around your house that you're selling, or it could be clothing. You know people want to know how long that t-shirt is, because some people are taller than others and they might need that extra length. So you really want to make sure you're there. You're really putting out the details in your physical products.

Carrie Saunders:

Talk about the durability, if you can. You know how well does your product stand out? That can really set you apart. Say, your products like a little bit more than competitors, but yours, you know, lasts longer. Talk about that. And if you go back to the previous episode about the customer trust, have your customers talk about that and the reviews, the durability of it. Also, be very clear on your color options, you know. Also, make sure you if you have other options available that are currently sold out, make sure you indicate that and particularly if you know you'll be getting that back in stock and you want them to be able to come back and buy it, make sure you show them that and possibly provide a way for them to be notified when it's back in stock. Also, if you're selling physical goods, this is super key and I find this that a lot of people miss this, but it seems obvious when you really think about it Make sure the shipping options in timeframes are very clear and front and center how long is it going to take to get the product, what shipping options do you have and what is it going to cost?

Carrie Saunders:

Make sure that's very easy for the consumer to find. If they can't figure out what it's going to cost them to ship the product to them, they're probably going to go somewhere else. So using flat rate shipping is a really good idea when possible. I know there are certain products out there that that's very hard to do. Then make it really easy to do a shipping estimator on your website and also make sure you do accomplish those shipping goals. You want to distinguish between how long it takes you to ship it as well as how long it takes to receive it. So if it takes you one or two business days to get the item out, or maybe it takes you three to five business days, you need to make sure that you're very clear with that so they can mentally add that on to the expected delivery time on the shipping method that they pick.

Carrie Saunders:

Now let's go on to digital goods, though. In this type of situation so digital goods we can also talk about how fast your customer will receive them. Many times, digital goods are right away and they get it right away. But you also need to also be clear on how are they going to get it. Is it going to be right on the page after they buy? Are they going to get an email about it? How do they get your services when it's digital? Make sure that's very clear. Maybe you have some fraud checks in place before you actually deliver the digital goods, so maybe it's going to take about a day for them to get it. Make sure that's clear as well.

Carrie Saunders:

If you're selling custom digital goods or custom physical products, how long does it take for you to build that for them? Think about these things you want to think about. What are these decisions that they really need to make? And don't be afraid of scaring somebody off because your shipping or your delivery is going to take too long. You'd much rather have a customer who doesn't buy because you don't fit their needs as far as how fast they're going to get the product than have an angry customer who did buy your product and it wasn't clear how long it would take to get their product and then they're angry because they expected it faster. So make sure you're super clear on that. That's going to create a lot better customer service for your customers.

Carrie Saunders:

Also, make sure you have clear pricing. So this goes whether you have physical goods or digital goods. But make sure that if there are any other extra costs they might incur, that you be very upfront with them. For example, we have some clients who sell physical goods that their products can vary on their price. So a specific product can greatly vary on how much it costs. So in that case you don't want to put the prices. Let's say $9.99. You want to say starting at $9.99. Because, depending upon the options, it could be that $9.99. It could be $15.99. It could be $25.99. It just really depends upon what they built upon that product. So making sure that you're very clear about your pricing is super important.

Carrie Saunders:

And if you're doing services, make sure the services that they're going to get from. The price is very clear as well. Make a nice bulletin list, something very easy to digest that is very clear on what they're going to receive for your services that they paid for. And you also especially if we're talking about services, which many of you are also service providers address the fact that if there are new features or new items that they want as you're going along, explain what that process is. Say, hey, here's what we have laid out for you for this price. If you'd like to add on more services, or if we find more items you want us to do as we go along, then we can revisit that as we're going through the project and we can help you know what else needs to be done and you can let us know if that's in your budget. So, just kind of, you know, create that transparent communication as to what might happen if what they're needing is beyond what your idea of their scope was or beyond what your services typically are.

Carrie Saunders:

Also, particularly when we're talking about services, you want to, like I said, give the expectation of how long they're going to get it. But when you do that many times you want to. You know there's things that are outside of our control when it comes to giving a services type Of work. Whether you're a coach, whether you're a web developer too, like us, you know things can happen, but as long as you're transparent and very upfront with the client and keep them updated regularly, we have found over 20 years, people are going to be generally very happy as long as you're communicating with them regularly about the process and what is going on. So this is something I definitely look for for sure when I'm doing a website audit, for customer trust is making sure that your About Us page is done and done well.

Carrie Saunders:

The About Us page really needs to bring them into the story of who you and or your business is. You need to be very honest. You know here's how we started. You know. Pull in some interesting stories on how things got started, what you love to do, why you love doing what you love to do. Really kind of bring them into your story. Obviously, don't be fake. Be you that's going to be the most important thing here but really don't overlook your About Us page. I know for new people that I want to work with, that's one of the first things I do, whether it's shopping for physical or digital goods or services. I look at their About Us page. I see if it resonates with me, I see if I can relate to that person. So make sure you put it in relatable terms too. When we can relate to others, when we can understand what they're talking about, where they're coming from, that creates a huge amount of trust, online especially. Another thing that really creates trust is having a Contact Us page that is very easy to find, with very clear ways to get a hold of that person or that business.

Carrie Saunders:

There have been times that I have hesitated to buying from a company, and I can think of one in particular. I did this summer or maybe late spring, and I really considered not purchasing from them because I couldn't find much on the About Us page like we just talked about, and I couldn't find anything really on the Contact Us page. I don't even think they had one. So I knew that if I had a problem with the product I was wanting to buy, it was going to be hard to contact them, and I ended up buying that product and I regretted it because it was hard to contact them. I did have trouble with it. My instinct was right, my gut was right and I couldn't get a hold of them, not even an email address. So even if you don't have phones or phone system at your business, you need to have a really easy way to be contacted, whether that's email or direct message on social media, text messages, etc. Make sure you make this super, super clear and easy. It is very vital and very key to building customer trust.

Carrie Saunders:

Some other ways we can build customer trust, too, is including a privacy policy. Now, I know this sounds super boring, but it's standard and it's really something you really have to have on every single website and you can have a standard. You know privacy policy that you're comfortable with and that your legal counsel has approved, but make sure you have a privacy policy. You also might want to have some security information how do you protect them and their information and, very especially, return policies. So, whether it's digital or physical goods, what is your return policy if that's not easy to find? Customers are going to hesitate to buy and they may not buy if they don't see that, and many times, digital goods don't have a return policy. But you still need to state that and make sure that's very clear and I would. If you don't have a return policy, I would make it very easy again to be contacted in case somebody has questions before they buy. That's going to help people be comfortable with buying. If you have a no return policy, because you sell, say, digital goods or maybe you have a limited number of days return policy, that as well is going to need a very easy way to contact you so that they can understand whether the product is right for them. So making sure that you are very up to date and keep them informed on privacy policies, security, information, return policies and ways to contact you are super vital. They sound like areas in your website that you could potentially ignore or just kind of gloss over, but they really, really, really are key.

Carrie Saunders:

That's it for this week's episode of the Ecommerce Made Easy Podcast. Be sure to visit our show notes at ecommercemadeeasypodcastcom forward, slash 32. Again, that is ecommercemadeeasypodcastcom forward, slash 32. There we will link to the other episode that we've already done on customer trust as well, as in the future we will add the new links as we fill out the series on customer trust and how to build that online. If you're watching us on YouTube, be sure to hit that subscribe button and, if you're listening on our podcast, be sure to follow us on your favorite podcast app so you don't miss out on any upcoming episodes. And, like always, we'd love to hear from you. If you have any feedback, please do email us at podcast at bcsinjineeringcom, or find us on social and send us a direct message. We'd be happy to chat with you. That's all I have for you this week. All right, we'll see you next week.

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