As a new business, one of the things you have to work really hard at is showing that you’re legitimate and trustworthy. With so many scams and dodgy sites online that can take customers money, people can be way with shopping with someone new (and rightfully so).
For this reason, lots of people tend to stick with what they know rather than try new places, so you have to put the work in to convince them that your business is reliable, real and not just an online scam!
Here are some of the ways you can go about achieving this.
Build Up Your Brand
There’s a reason why people pay more money for brands. When you buy from a brand, you’re not simply paying for a logo. You’re essentially selling a promise — a promise of excellent standards, high customer service, and reliability. As a new business, branding is one of the most important things to get right.
Have a designer create you a logo and graphics, and make sure these are consistent across everything you use. Social media, your website, receipts and anything that’s printed out. Work on your slogan or your promise as a brand, what is it that people can expect when they buy from you? You will also need to work out your unique selling point.
What makes you different from your competitors, and what kind of person are you hoping to sell to? Do you sell budget items or offer a payment plan that would be ideal for students, people on a budget or those who love living a frugal lifestyle?
Do you specialise in items or services for parents, for young people, for the elderly or a different group entirely? Knowing your target audience and what they want is important when you’re creating your brand.
People know and trust Paypal. Even if they’re unsure about the website itself, if it offers a Paypal option people are more likely to go for it. This is because it offers protection not only for them but for you as the seller too.
If something turns up and it’s broken, or the site has misled them into a purchase Paypal will put that right. From your point of view, if you get nightmare customers demanding refunds for no reason or try to scam you, Paypal will help you out with this.
There are plenty of easy widgets that can be integrated into any website so using this as a payment method is easy, and likely to secure you more customers.
Well Run Social Media Accounts
When a company has well run social media accounts, this can help to build up a lot of trust with potential customers. One of the first things they’re likely to do after checking your site is have a look at your social pages.
If they can see that you have a good following and that queries and questions are answered promptly, it can give them the boost they need to make that first order. As well as responding to customers, you should have a social media marketing strategy used to entice more followers into making orders. You could share discount codes, run competitions and share customers photos of your products. This shows others that people are genuinely buying and using the items that you sell.
You could send bloggers free items to review to get the ball rolling, and ask if you can share the photos from their blog posts. It all contributes to showing customers that you are who you say you are.
Get Third Party Reviews
Reviews are extremely valuable to all businesses, especially if you’re new to the game. They help to show that you are authentic, and as with social media, it shows that real people have purchased, used and enjoyed your product/ services.
They’re useful for every kind of business imaginable, from builders to shops to estate agents. According to these online review nurturing tips for realtors, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, so it shows just how important they are. You can’t offer any kind of incentive for reviews, but you can ask satisfied customers if they’d be happy to leave one, and explain it’s really important for your business.
Most people will be happy to leave a quick review on Reevoo, Trustpilot on a Facebook business page.
Along with a great website, a blog is an excellent thing to get on board with as a business. It helps to improve your website’s rank in search engines and helps you to build up a loyal following. It shows customers that you really know what you’re talking about, and helps you to promote your products too. If you own a clothes shop for example you could talk about fashion trends, linking to a couple of your items.
If you work as an interior designer you could talk about hacks and ideas for different rooms. Whatever it is you do, writing a blog on the subject will draw in readers and show that you’re not just a scam website that’s been set up in a hurry.
If you’re not much of a writer yourself, there are tons of freelancing sites out there where you can sign up and work with writers. If you set a brief, they can come up with interesting, engaging and unique content and it costs you next to nothing.
An app is another fantastic way to show you’re a legitimate business. A fake or scam site isn’t going to go through the hassle of having an app created too. Plus, an app allows you to get ahead of the competition. Many small and medium-sized businesses aren’t on board yet, and while in the recent future an app will be just as essential as a website, right now you have chance to get ahead. You get to have all of your information stored on customers phones so it’s accessible at the click of a button. Investing in the services of an app designer to create you a good quality, responsive app.
This post has been contributed by Ryan Gatt, it may contain affiliate links.