Building Online Brand Trust

In the digital shopping arena that is becoming increasingly more relevant, building online trust is critical. No one would argue with this sentiment, but figuring out how to foster trust in this nebulous arena is less clear. Fortunately, the precepts of successful marketing apply fairly evenly across the board and translate nicely to online marketing – especially with the application of savvy tweaks and nuanced adjustments that are in keeping with the medium and that experienced digital marketing specialists have on tap.

The Psychology of Sales

The popular psychology of sales shares the common stumbling blocks to commerce, which include potential customers’ lack of funds, lack of need, and/or lack of desire for the product or service at hand coupled – with the fact that said customers may be in no rush and/or may have no trust in whatever product or service is offered. All of these obstacles are arguably surmountable. Without trust, however, it’s nearly impossible for authentic relationships to germinate and flourish – including online sales relationships. Generating trust is vital to sales, so let’s take a closer look at how you can get there.

A Note on COVID-19

The global COVID-19 pandemic, in which we find ourselves, translates to a heightened focus on trust. In fact, Endelman – a global insight and analytics consultancy – has released its 2020 Trust Barometer (its twentieth annual), and it has plenty to teach us about brand trust.

  • 81% of consumers relay that being able to trust a brand to do the right thing is a deciding factor in their purchase decisions.

  • 78% of consumers believe that brands have a responsibility to protect their employees and the community from the virus’s spread.

  • 85% of consumers are looking to brands to help educate the public about the virus and about best practices when it comes to protection.

This data allows a bird’s eye view into the purchasing public’s opinion regarding brand integrity, and it’s illuminating.

Number 1: Don’t Hinder Your Own Progress

Consumers have traditionally been leery when it comes to placing complete trust in online venues – after all, it can feel like an utter leap of faith. With something as dramatic as the onset of the Coronavirus and the “new normal”, it pays to be proactive. Brands that dove headlong into paid ads featuring spring break antics, Mardi Gras mayhem, and full-tilt karaoke (to name a few) as COVID-19 made its inexorable march toward our shores were dramatically out of step.

While you can’t predict unprecedented moments in time, you can stay abreast of what’s happening all around you – and make erring on the side of caution your touchstone. Fun and games have their place, but that place is not in response to a global pandemic. If your content, tone, or marketing efforts feel risky, it’s time to rethink the matter.

Number 2: Don’t Look the Other Way

Mistakes happen, and this has, perhaps, never been more true. A global setback like COVID-19 will do that. If you took a casual attitude early on or committed to a stance on the virus that hasn’t played well over time, it’s not too late to apologize for your miscalculation. The stress of this global emergency is real, and no one expects you and your employees to be perfect right out of the gate. What consumers do expect, however, is for you to be proactive on the issues and to share your commitment to moving forward as safely as possible – with an eye toward making the necessary concessions and changes.

Lockdowns, social distancing, and job furloughs – to name a few – have made providing definitive shipping and arrival dates exceedingly difficult, have made the provision of services far more complicated (and tentative), and have made the landscape of business far more ambiguous. Your customers and potential customers aren’t looking for perfection but are, instead, looking for a commitment to doing your best in relation to the difficult times in which we find ourselves and to owning and self-correcting any mistakes you make along the way.

Number 3: Be Truthful and Trustworthy Every Time

COVID-19 highlights the fact that we live in an unpredictable world and that businesses must be nimble on their feet. In fact, small and large businesses alike are being buffeted by one financial hit after another, which can make it difficult – if not impossible – to remain on-brand if your brand isn’t built on trust. Your online messaging during a pandemic should mirror your overall brand message – you put your employees and your customers’ safety first and your profits second (to the extent that this is possible).

Edelman’s 2020 trust barometer shares that 71% of consumers worldwide consider it a brand trust deal-breaker when businesses put profits above all else. Yes, it’s impossible to remain in business for long without turning a profit, but extraordinary times like these call for extraordinary actions that rise to the occasion. Your online message and tone should faithfully reflect your commitment to promoting a safe and satisfying customer experience – whatever your business may be.

Customer service is the driving force behind brand trust, and this doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Excellent customer service during COVID-19 might look very different than it did before the pandemic. Further, the landscape of excellent customer service is almost certain to continue transforming as time marches forward. Customer service refers to those services that are required right now, and if you don’t keep up with reliable and trustworthy responses, you can expect your brand trust to suffer accordingly.

A Seasoned Digital Marketing Strategist Can Help You Bolster Brand Trust

Brand trust has never mattered more, and businesses have never been less certain about how to seamlessly address this issue across all platforms, including ever-more-relevant online commerce. The skillful digital marketing specialists at The Web Guys understand your quandary and have the insight, focus, and intention necessary to help you address it with the kind of integrity that strengthens brand trust. We’re standing strong with you, so please contact us or give us a call at (317) 805-4933 to learn more about us today.