Fancy front pages, product reviews, testimonials, a privacy page, and secure payment gateways: We all know the nuts and bolts to building a reputable e-commerce business, but none of these will transform occasional visitors into loyal customers.
According to a Rare survey, 83% of consumers say loyalty is driven by trust. There are a lot of articles that will tell you the benefits of having a loyal customer — we won’t repeat those here — but in short, customer loyalty brings you repurchase, referral and reputation.
In our last article, we talked about customer retention for eCommerce stores. Retention is one sign that your customers trust you, but today we’re going to break down the building blocks of customer trust even further so that you can build brand loyalty that lasts.
Here are HiSumo’s top tips for building trust with your customers and creating a loyal following.
1. Product quality
For Gen Z customers, quality is king: 81% of U.S. Gen Z consumers said they are willing to switch from their favorite brand if they find a similar product at higher quality. (Interactions)
A quality product can take many forms depending on the category of product you are selling. For clothes, quality might refer to a fashionable or trendy style, or the quality of the materials and construction. For consumer electronics, it can be innovation or the technology which is used to make the product. And for home decoration, durability often defines a ‘quality’ product. Try to communicate with your customer on social media or read product reviews to figure out what ‘quality’ means for customers interested in your products.
2. Status updates
You cannot trust someone if you know that he is hiding something. That’s true for acquaintances, friends, and, yes, brands and businesses. That’s why you should keep your company as transparent possible. One of the easiest ways to do this is through shipment status updates.
Let your customer know when you dispatch the item or if there are problems with their shipment. You should also send them a delivery confirmation. It helps to set customer expectations. Uncertainty breeds distrust, so you can set yourself up for satisfaction and success through regular updates.
If you’re selling at high volume, it can be easy to lose track of shipments and notifications. HiSumo makes it easy to track shipments and notify customers so that you’ll never drop the ball on your status updates.
3. Provide FREE Shipping
Retailers can woo 91% of shoppers to spend more if they offer free shipping (Radial)
Maybe not every customer needs free shipping. However, research shows that 91% of customers will spend more with a free shipping offer, and that makes it worth your time and energy to provide some sort of free shipping model.
You can provide free shipping with or without a minimum order amount. In my opinion, I the better option is free shipping without any requirements. It helps to bring customers back to your store, even for smaller purchases. And the more they come back, the more they will purchase over time.
4. Solve problems quickly
83% of consumers who switched providers say if companies could provide better live or in-person support, it would have impacted their decision to switch providers (Accenture)
Remember the last time you had an issue with a shipment or product that you purchased, and it took half an hour to find the support email? And once you sent your email, you received an automated response one second later telling you to wait 48-72 hours for a reply.
Customers don’t care if you are a corporate company shipping 10,000 orders a day or a basement operation. They just want their problem solved as soon as possible, and they want to be treated like a human. The problem is as a eCommerce owner, we don’t usually have the time or resources to respond to customer inquiries 24/7. We walked through the solution to this in another article.
5. Hassle free refunds & returns
81% of consumers admit that it is frustrating dealing with a company that does not make it easy to do business with them (Accenture)
Unsatisfied buyers can still be converted into loyal customers — but once a customer has had a negative experience with your brand, you’ll need to go the extra mile to show that you are committed to a positive outcome. For the solution, a 24/7 support team can help or you may want to try returnly, a service that makes it easier for your customer to return the product for an exchange or refund.
Give these unsatisfied customers the VIP treatment — they’ll remember your brand (if nothing else for your attempts to right a wrong), and may even recommend your products to their friends.
As business owners, we should always focus on customer relationships the long run. These tips will not double your sales in the next week or next month — in fact, you may not see much change at the very beginning. The “slow start” is why so many people give up. But the secret you’re leveraging here is the power of compound. It’s steady growth that you can depend on for returns down the line.
Make changes now to build customer loyalty, and one day you will see stable sales and steady growth. Not everyone is patient enough to see that day — but by keeping your focus on the long term, you’ll be on your way to success.
I hope that you liked this article. Please leave us some comments and share with us your ways to build trust with your customers. If you’d like to receive more tips and advice from us, please subscribe to our newsletter. You can receive eCommerce growth hacks & tips in your inbox every week.