E-commerce : how to reassure your customers?


By Margot Bonhomme, Marketing Manager @Botfuel - October 20, 2020

E-commerce has many advantages for Internet users. However, it struggles to meet a basic need: trust. As a real decision-making factor, it is much harder to make it emerge online. Unlike an in-store experience, the Internet user does not have human contact. It is this lack of human contact that can represent a barrier to purchasing. In this post-lockdown period, at a time when many brands are accelerating their digitalization, it is important to be able to generate this feeling.

Visitors are afraid of fraud, of not being delivered, of buying a defective product... It is therefore your responsibility to reassure them so that they feel comfortable shopping with you. Here are some best practices to gain the trust of Internet users.

The first impression is always the right one

On average, e-commerce sites have an average bounce rate of 30%. This means that 3 out of 10 people arriving on your website leave immediately. In order not to lose them again, you need to provide clear information from the landing page, which is, for 70% of your visitors, the home page. It must convince quickly and give a good impression.

The home page helps guide the user through their shopping journey. It is why you should have easy-to-understand and easy-to-use navigation tabs on all devices. The design and graphic charter are also important. Indeed, users are more and more used to e-commerce sites. Therefore, they recognize a professional design of an online store from an amateur one. It has been proven that a visitor with a strong purchase intention is more critical of the design and conception of a site, even if they are looking for a specific product.

Also, you shouldn’t forget the remaining 30% of your visitors who can arrive on your site through other pages or sources, such as Facebook or Instagram. In order not to lose them, it is important to welcome them in a personalized way based on their original journey. A virtual assistant will initiate this personalized conversation with each of them, and therefore leave them with a good first impression.

Provide essential information

Once the visitor leaves the home page, they usually do so to access the product pages. These pages are important since it is the only place where the potential customer assesses the value of the product. You must be able to provide all the information you can without having to leave the page. If not so, he will seek the info elsewhere. Provide a visually realistic customer experience as detailed as possible and conversational (if the visitor needs advice or opinions). Make sure you have all the consumers need to make their purchasing decision, as diverse product photos or a video - as the ready-to-wear brand ASOS does - that converts even better and has fewer product returns, a structured description, your return policy, a size guide, relevant customer reviews…

Lack of consumer confidence also stems from a lack of advice. By developing a virtual seller, that will interact with visitors and guide them through their search, you are providing an answer to this problem. Also, by connecting it to your product feed, it will offer them the product that corresponds to their needs.

Take care of storytelling

Online, consumers can forget that behind the brand, hide men and women who participate in offering them this product or service. To create this feeling nothing better than creating a story around the brand and its creation. More and more consumers are interested in the mission and purpose of the company to see if it shares some of the values ​​they consider important, such as the impact on the environment. If they want to know more about you, they'll want to check out the About page. You can also make their lives easier by setting up a conversational marketing campaign welcoming them with a welcome message explaining the concept of your brand or the story of its founders. This creates a climate of trust and humanizes the company and the product.

Besides, visitors want increasingly rich and useful content. Advertising is therefore to be banned. 82% of Internet users say they have already left a web page because of an advertisement. Instead, focus on an FAQ based on your observations and frequent visitors' requests. Offer free informative content. Many brands created blogs, published inspiring books to create a real brand universe, took advantage of their expertise to offer advice and tutorials. The most successful and well-known example of Brand Content is of course Michelin, which for more than 100 years has published its guide. There are other great examples :

  • HubSpot and Google are today the reference in B2B content thanks to their blog
  • Red Bull is the reference for sports brand content through its major annual events. : cycling, snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding, swimming, air racing… there is an event for everyone.
  • Evian, with its series of campaigns on babies, has succeeded in creating a brand content video.

Humanize the shopping experience

One of the great advantages of physical stores over e-commerce is human contact. Being able to exchange opinions and get information directly from a seller has something very reassuring for a customer. Indeed, the lack of trust online generally results from a lack of information and advice. When Internet users land on your online store, they ask themselves many questions. How will they be delivered products? What should I do if I have the wrong size? Where are the products made? How do I return a product if it does not suit me? ... In traditional commerce, the customer can ask directly the seller. Online, the situation is different. Internet users aren’t able to. It is therefore important to build a more authentic and human relationship. Having a Shopping Assistant makes it possible. It provides customers the answers they are looking for. It accompanies them, as in a store, in their purchasing journey. And as Ryan Holmes, founder of Hootsuite so aptly put it, “building a successful brand isn't just about ROI, it's also about building authentic relationships with customers.”

Create social proof with customer reviews

This authentic relationship can also be found on your social networks as well as with reviews. Online consumers value objective reviews of existing customers. An IFOP study shows that 88% of Internet users search and consult opinions left by other customers before buying. Consumers want to detect any inconsistency. They are looking for any explicit warning or experience feedback that would contradict the e-commerce site discourse. Be careful not to fall for the opposite effect and remove all negative comments. This will hurt the human aspect of your brand. Reviews are an essential lever to gain the trust of your customers online. Put-the-forward with conversational campaigns and reassure your prospects.

Make payment quick and clear

We can agree that Internet users - you and I included - don't like to discover hidden charges during payment. You must therefore be transparent, in particular on your prices and costs (delivery costs, administration costs, return policy, etc.), as well as any special conditions that may apply to your site, to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Confidence is a matter of perception. Each company must therefore invest different resources in its discourse and strategy, to build its trust capital. Each storytelling is unique, but certain rules can apply to all: transparency, personalization, and humanization of the relationship, and a shopping experience based on social proof.

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