One of the challenges of online entrepreneurs is making sales. You have selected your niche, built your store, and launched it. Weeks later, no sale.
People who visit your site cannot see you. It is not like a brick-and-mortar store where they can just walk in, touch the items, talk to you, and buy the products they like. Almost all the time, the missing factor for online stores that are not making a sale is just one thing: credibility.
A simple word but with a big meaning.
Today, I will show you some tips to help you make your store become more credible. Without credibility, your site visitors will not trust you—they will not even give you their email address, much less give you their credit card number.
And because you have no sales, how can you leverage social proof? This is a big gap that you have to fill.
Let us get started in helping you learn the ways to earn customer trust for your dropshipping or e-commerce store.
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1. Earn customer trust: Create an About page to show who you are
The issue with most websites is that they are chockful of stock photos. Your site visitors know that these photos are of models. But, all brands do it, you say.
The main difference between you and them is that you are not a known brand.
Your store is not like Nike where a superstar like LeBron James gets to wear a pair of sneakers, and his followers come flocking to stores to buy the same pair.
In worse cases, most online stores do not show lifestyle photos. This especially happens to dropshippers who do not keep an inventory of their products. What they simply do is to copy and paste the product photos from their supplier, and leave it like that.
To be able to make a sale, your website needs to be human. The first thing you have to do is to put up an About Us page. Tell your story, and show your face.
If you take the time to study click on your website that has an About Us area, you will find out that the About Us page is one of the pages that receives the most clicks. I use the HotJar plug-in/app to do this. It records the areas on my website that people click.
An About Us page tells people who you are—that you are not a faceless corporation, that you are a human being just like them.
Here is an example of an About page from one of my websites. It shows a brief background of who I am and what I do.
2. Blog consistently to build a relationship
Most dropshippers and online store owners fail to realize the importance of a blog. Instead, they focus on advertising on Facebook and other social media channels. While ads are great, provided that you have to the budget to do it, you will not be able to build credibility if your store has no blog.
Whether you build your store in Shopify or AliDropship, your online store has an area where you can blog. The same thing goes if your store is built on WooCommerce.
You need to blog so you can provide helpful content to people. Put your author name and bio in the synopsis box if you want to. Blogs are great because:
- Your readers learn something new
- You build your persona as an expert
- You create content that people are looking for
- Your readers will become consumers of your content
As you can see, your blog posts will establish your persona as an authority in your niche. Without a blog, your fight to become credible in the eyes of your site visitor becomes an uphill battle.
Also, blogs are great to drive traffic to you store. It is going to take a while for your blog to get established, but it certainly is going to pay off. Once some of your blog posts start ranking on Google, you will get free traffic and you can reduce your ad spend.
People who find themselves on your website because of your blog are more likely to become leads than those who just clicked your ads. If you provide valuable content via your blog, then you can rest assured that these site visitors may become avid content readers and subscribers.
Once you have their email addresses, continue providing value so they keep coming back to your website. One day, these same people are going to be your customers.
3. Offer a return policy that no one can beat
Many store owners do not like this one bit. They think that a return and refund policy is ridiculous. I can understand their fear—that some customers are dishonest. While this is true, dishonest customers are so few that they will not even put a dent in your pocket.
Depending on the product you are selling, a 30-day refund guarantee works best. Some even offer a 60-day refund policy. The issue with most sellers who do not offer this is they do not trust their own product.
I’d like to point out that this is a common problem among dropshippers. They do not offer attractive refund policies because they are unsure about what they sell.
Why is a refund policy important? It is important because it tells people how much you believe in the quality of what you are selling. A long timeframe for issuing returns is an indication that the customer is not taking a huge risk.
Compare that with a zero refund policy, and the consumer will naturally think that you have the upper hand. Try to experiment—offer a 30-day refund policy with no questions asked, and you will make a sale.
30 days is long enough. Any consumer who sees this policy know that she is protected, and that she can do something within 30 days to get her money back. Just be clear that the customer will shoulder the shipping cost of returning the item to you or your supplier.
4. Use free security badges
Even if your website uses SSL, customers do not really look at their URL bar to find out if your website is secure. And with hacking happening left and right, it is a tad difficult to convince consumers to give their credit card numbers to a seller they do not know.
What you can do is to use trust badges. In Shopify, you can install plug-ins that will show consumers that your website is secure. An example of this is the McAfee trust badge. This one is free but the badge is limited to 500 visitors per month.
The badge will no longer show up if you have exceeded this visitor count. If you need more services, you are going to have to upgrade and pay a monthly fee.
Trust badges are costly. MacAfee can cost you more than $100 per month, and other trust badges range between $60 and $80. What I recommend is that you settle for the free version and build your relationship with people.
It does not make sense to pay for these badges as you are only paying for the name. You should instead encourage your customers to leave you a positive review. If you accumulate enough positive reviews, these reviews will become your trust badges, not the symbol or the logo of an anti-virus or security company.
5. Always be there to help
No solopreneur can watch over his store 24/7. This is not possible. But at least make it a point to respond to your customer in less than 24 hours.
Never ever use a chat robot. This is awful. If you are going to use a chat software, set the expectation that you are not online. Tell the site visitor that he can leave a message, and that you will respond to his inquiry as soon as you are available. Ask the customer to leave his email address in the chat box.
If anything, what I strongly recommend is Facebook Messenger. Why? This app is on your phone already. If a customer asks a question and you are not on your desk, you can still respond and set proper expectations.
I cannot overemphasize that you should never use chatbots. A customer how posts a query on a chat box must get a response within two minutes. If you fail to do this, you just lost credibility points right there.
Summary: Ways to Earn Customer Trust
Your first sale is going to be a challenge. And you are not alone. Do not give up. Instead, focus on creating value for your audience.
A customer finds it easier to part with his money if the store is credible enough. Sadly, there are many people in the online business industry who do not put the customers first.
While we are all in it for the money, money only exchanges hands if the two parties trust each other. The same principle applies to dropshipping or any e-commerce store. You have to focus on building credibility-not an easy thing to do, but doable if you put your heart in to it.
Watch: Types of Customer Loyalty Programs
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