With Amazon’s ever-increasing share price and decreasing retail numbers, many people within the eCommerce industry might be shocked to hear that consumer faith in eCommerce is not as rosy as investor faith. Almost half of people distrust eCommerce so much that they don’t shop online. This could be explained by the fact that 79% of people don’t feel that their online data is private or secure enough.
There are many reasons why this might be. In the UK, the government is able to collect your private online data. In the US, the government can also do this, but internet service providers can do this to an extent as well. Add to all that the lax and complex privacy policies of Silicon Valley giants such as Facebook and Google and it’s no wonder that people feel intimidated and scared about their information online.
Whether any of this is the fault of small eCommerce businesses is beside the point. The point is that this is how people feel and it’s now the job of eCommerce business owners to regain this trust. After all, their livelihoods literally depend on it.
Trustworthy Brands Need Trustworthy Websites
Building trust is as much about making people feel safe as it is about actually making them safe. This means building a brand which comes across as trustworthy, alongside building a website which deserves that trust. The two go hand in hand. Without a secure website, your brand comes across as superficial, rather than dependable. Without a friendly image, people will feel cold and uneasy about your website, even if it is secure.
In terms of branding, social media is a great place to start. By engaging directly with their followers through relevant comments or direct replies aligned with facebook rules, big businesses can come across as a lot more human than they would otherwise. There is a catch, though. Consumers are often also wary of businesses trying too hard on social media.
In 2014, consumer frustration towards businesses overreaching themselves in a desperate desire to be liked reached fever pitch when “Brands Saying Bae” became an internet phenomenon. The Twitter account dedicates every post to mercilessly putting businesses into their place for their cringeworthy attempts at relatability. Put simply, businesses have absolutely no place using words like “dank”, “bae”, “fam”, “lit”, “dab”, or anything else they don’t really understand.
Making Door Handles Go Viral
People have long raved about the positives of having a great blog — and for good reason. Whereas social media is about being punchy and in the moment, a blog can give you space to express your personality and your knowledge of your industry in a natural and likeable way.
An informative blog post is a brilliant way to drive genuinely interested web users to your site. If you’re able to answer a query (such as “How do I install a new door handle?”), as well as entertain them, then you may just have a customer on your hands. Infographics can also be good for SEO, but their main purpose should be to show how fun and fascinating your industry can be.
To take door handles as an example again, many customers might not consider them to be the most exciting aspect of home design. However, a great door handle-loving infographic can change all that. If done right, your infographic about the greatest fictional door handles of all time could well go viral.
HTTPS & Privacy Policies
When a website is handling sensitive information, a HTTPS connection keeps its customers safer from cyber-criminals than a HTTP one. eCommerce websites deal in sensitive information all the time — credit card details, email addresses, home addresses — so customers are right to demand a HTTPS connection. If they don’t get it, they may go elsewhere.
As far back as 2011, tech journalists were claiming that people should only trust eCommerce websites which use HTTPS domains. So in 2017, it’s more important than ever that eCommerce websites make the switch to HTTPS, if they haven’t already.
eCommerce sites do not offer free services and products; they offer paid ones. In return, customers don’t expect to be bombarded with adverts and they want you to respect their privacy. If you do so — and if you also secure your site with a HTTPS connection and create a popular brand online — then you just might be able to gain the respect and trust of the sceptical modern consumer.
Image from http://diginomica.com/2015/07/08/impediments-to-winning-the-trust-of-enterprise-buyers/