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5 Ways to Improve Customer Trust on Ecommerce Sites

By Heidi Zak, Co-Founder of ThirdLove. Originally published on Quora.

Creating loyal customers is no easy task. You may have the best product on the market, but you still have to get people to try it — and love it.

Many companies fail to find these loyal customers because they don’t follow through on the promises they make. They focus solely on acquiring a customer, without doing anything else to make that person happy.

That’s such a mistake. Once a customer has initially converted, that person has the highest potential out of anyone to become a loyal, long-term buyer. But it’s what you give them besides your product or service that determines whether or not they come back.

Here’s how to make sure they do:

1. Make It Easy For Customers

You have to prove that your product or service is incredible if you want to build a base of loyal customers. But to prove that, you need them to take a chance on your product in the first place.

So, make it easy for them.

The best brands make it very easy to buy one thing. They have what’s called a “hero product.” For example, Allbirds started out with one very basic sneaker. It came in a handful of colors, and customers simply chose a color and proceeded to checkout.

It’s really important not to overwhelm people with choice when starting a new company, because that causes confusion. People don’t know what to buy. Instead of taking a chance on you, they revert to what they know.

2. Focus On Simplicity

Simplicity isn’t just a good strategy for getting people to buy your initial offerings, it’s also a smart tactic to use when advertising to them.

Keep your ads simple. Use the same messaging over and over in slightly different ways. People don’t respond to an ad the very first time they see it or hear it. It takes repetition to build interest.

So, use the same tagline over and over. Figure out how to say what differentiates you in just a few sentences, and keep driving that home. Don’t get bored with those core differentiators, because the repetition will pay off down the road.

3. Find A Niche

Early on at ThirdLove, we realized that our core demographic listened to certain podcasts. So, we got into that space and created a buzz, reaching our customers through influencers in a community that they trusted.

At that time, podcasts weren’t a widely recognized channel for advertising. But our core demographic was listening to them, and it ended up being the perfect niche for us. We were able to reach our customers in a really unique way, speaking directly to them through the podcast hosts.

But remember, you have to be ready to do more than just buy ads. You have to establish a sense of trust to go along with the buzz you create.

4. Establish Trust

A couple years ago, we were working with one of these podcast agencies and advertising on a show. Actress Heather McDonald, the voice of the podcast, was recording an ad for our bras. But during the recording, the owner of the agency was sexually harassing her — and it was all caught on tape.

She ended up quitting, and the story started to blow up online. We walked into work the next day and discovered that ThirdLove was caught up in the middle of this controversy. So, naturally, we pulled our advertising from the agency. But we also went on Twitter to support this woman and voice our opinion about what had happened.

This is a perfect example of why, and how, you can develop trust as a brand. If you are putting yourself in a certain community, you have to take a certain amount of responsibility. You have to show you care about your customers and that community. Loyalty and trust go both ways.

5. Build A Strong Customer Service Team

Customers don’t return to a company that breaks promises. Show your customers you really mean what you say in your ads. The best way to do that?

Build a customer service team that can truly take care of your customers.

Unhappy customers can still become loyal ones if you address their needs. Find them the right size. Make exchanges easy. Communicate quickly and professionally. People just want to see you keep promises.

Remember, getting someone to buy from you once doesn’t mean they’ll be long-term customers. Immediate up-selling, poor customer service, and broken promises will keep that customer from coming back, no matter how good your product. So, keep these strategies in mind while you’re trying to build that base of loyal customers — and always keep your word.

By Heidi Zak, Co-Founder of ThirdLove. Originally published on Quora.
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