Selling face-to-face is an art—but selling online is a whole different animal. Building consumer confidence online isn’t as simple as a wink, a smile and a nod—or is it?
Your customer’s first impression might be as easy as that, but guiding the customer through the purchasing process is much, much more difficult. You have to inspire credibility early on and keep it. The barrage of online stimuli makes closing the deal online more difficult than ever before. Creating trust, confidence and loyalty for your brand relies on several factors. Below you’ll find some of the most important ones.
01: Differentiate Your Business from the Competition
Research is a part of every marketing campaign, but once the research is done, what do you do with the information? Your value proposition and brand message must include what makes your business unique. What does your product or store do differently than other stores on the market? Use that information to craft a compelling message.
02: Highlight Benefits First, Features Second
You know exactly what your product does—but have you translated your features into benefits? The first thing every customer asks before they make a purchase is “What can you and your product do for me?” For example, if you’re selling software that cuts administrative work in half for businesses, that should be the first thing communicated to the customer. Your customer may not understand that unique permission settings for every business user eliminates administrative confusion, but they will understand what “save time” means.
03: Test Your Site’s Functionality Often
Pretend you’re a customer and use your storefront from start to finish. Does everything work right? Are there any parts of the sales process where you could imagine a customer getting tripped up? How many different pages does the customer have to fill out before the sale is completed? Think about common online shopping pitfalls from the point of view of a customer. Then, tailor your storefront so you can avoid those pitfalls and make the shopping experience as convenient as possible.
04: Maximize Your Sales Channels
Leveraging affiliate and affinity partnerships are great ways to open up new sales channels. If you aren’t a reseller or distributor for other brands, consider selling your products through well-known online outlets like Amazon. Aligning your brand with other brands that consumers already trust is a great way to build credibility for your business, increase sales and collect more revenue.
05: Build Trust, Credibility and Brand Loyalty
How long is your attention span when you surf online? If you’re like us, you won’t last very long, and neither will your audience. Posts between Knowing your audience is the first step to communicating effectively. When you know whom you’re selling to, the language and message of your brand comes naturally. Simply put: customers trust a brand with the same interests and goals as them.
To counteract the prevalence of online fraud and identity theft in the media, inspire trust by wearing a badge. Displaying a brand of PCI compliance or other security software (like McAfee or TRUSTe) is a simple way to offer your customers the peace of mind that comes with the secure transmission of their personal data.