BUILDING CONSUMER TRUST ONLINE: YOU CAN’T SELL WITHOUT IT
So, you’ve developed a strong brand and offer a great product. But do you have your consumer’s trust?
When it comes to key purchase-making decisions, building consumer trust online is second in importance only to price and affordability, meaning you could have a top-notch brand and product but may still struggle to convert prospects to paying customers if you don’t have their trust.
In today’s market, there’s an immense need for brand trust.
70% of surveyed consumers said trusting a brand is more important now than in the past.
But why is that? Today’s consumers are savvier and have become almost immune to B2C messaging. And with multiple options available to them, they want to ensure their money is spent effectively, so they seek other avenues to collect more trustworthy information before they buy.
Building confidence with your consumers is critical to your long-term success. For five truths about how to gain and maintain trust, keep reading.
5 Truths About Building Consumer Trust Online
- Trust Is Gained
Customers have become more diligent about doing their own product research, seeking out reviews or being influenced by word-of-mouth before purchasing a product. Influencer marketing plays a significant role in swaying customers, having built credibility in their follower base by consistently delivering quality content over time.While trust in influencers has waned slightly as some monetized content may come across as inauthentic, a 2019 study in Adweek reported that 49.3% of respondents made a purchase decision based on an influencer’s recommendation and their power still holds strong.
- Trust Can Come From Social Proof
Consumers don’t just look at the ads, features, and benefits before they buy. They also look to social proof that reinforces those messages, and an average of 66% of surveyed consumers said the presence of social proof increased their likelihood to purchase.
Reviews, likes, star ratings, online mentions and testimonials are all examples of social proof, and they help develop trust because the validation comes from real consumers — not from the brand.
Using a trusted symbol like the Parent Tested, Parent Approved Seal of Approval has built-in assurance through social proof. With the approval from a reputable organization attached to your product, you instantly demonstrate that your product has earned the confidence of other consumers and will increase your prospect’s likelihood to purchase.
- Trust Should Be MaintainedOnce you’ve made your first sale to a new consumer, it’s critical to keep the trust that helped make that decision. This means delivering on what your product or service claims to offer. Do your best not to overpromise before a sale is made. Follow up with your consumer to see how they like the product’s performance and respond to any concerns that may arise. If you keep your customers happy, they’ll likely become lifelong customers and may even spread the word through their networks.
- Trust Can Be Lost
While you push to build your brand and create a strong product, don’t overlook opportunities that could lose consumers’ trust. Trust can be squandered in several ways: customers may be let down by your product or service, have a bad experience either in-store or online or experience a poor interaction with your customer service (or lack thereof). Once trust is lost, it’s almost impossible to rebuild so audit your operations to protect yourself against an unfortunate opportunity for someone to be let down. The good news is that once you catch these issues, they can be reasonably straightforward to correct.
- Trust Is Transparency
Listening to your customers plays a large part in developing trust. What are their wants, ideas, concerns or opinions? While the saying, “The customer is always right” may now be somewhat outdated, it still holds some truth. If you hear the same issue come up repeatedly, it’s time to listen and take action. Then, tell your audience what changes you’re making — and why. By doing this, you show your customers that you value their insights and are willing to change for the better — a quality that will foster an affinity for your brand.
Now that you’re caught up on building customer trust online, take a moment to reflect: what steps are you taking to improve trust with your customers?
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, Edelman Trust Barometer 2020 Special Report: Brand Trust in 2020. Edelman, 2020.
 Suciu, Peter. “Can We Trust Social Media Influencers?” Forbes, 2020.
 Trustpilot. “The Psychology behind Trust Signals: Why and How Social Proof Influences Consumers.” Trustpilot Business Blog, 2020.