How To Build Trust In Your Community?

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81% of online shoppers feel concerned about shopping with a website they’re unfamiliar with — so trust is a huge part of running an ecommerce store, both to attract new customers and retain a loyal community.

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shopify dropshipping store set up

But how do you effectively demonstrate why you should be chosen over another brand? After all, trust is changing as people look towards recommendations and peer reviews.

Nevertheless, building trust in your ecommerce community starts by making a good first impression — and continues by delivering on your promise. In this article we explore the following actionable ways you can buck the trend of declining consumer trust:

  • Establishing a brand story and connecting with people
  • Improving user experience using an online store builder
  • Boosting confidence with trust signals

Read on as we explore these topics and outline the tools that’ll make you a pro at community building for an ecommerce market.

Establish your brand story and connect on a personal level

People are social creatures by nature and this is reflected in their shopping habits.

Marketing to your community is about far more than flashy seasonal sales and product promotion. Of course, converting leads into sales is the end goal for any ecommerce model, but numerous other services and merchants do what you do, they don’t know why you do it.

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While you might be tempted to optimise your site for algorithms alone, your community is the beating heart of the business. As such, you need to address their needs and desires.

The human brain is hardwired to respond to a narrative, so consumers are far more likely to shop with you if they already buy into the stories you tell.

But how do you flex your creative muscles and craft a compelling business story? Based on Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle theory, here is a simple why, how, what structure for you to follow:

  • Why: Outline the core beliefs of your business and why you do what you do.
  • How: Answer how you fulfil the core beliefs of your business.
  • What: Show what your business is doing to create a solution for why.

Maybe you care about the environment — or perhaps fair trade solutions are high on your priority list? Either way, your narrative and motivation are what sells your business to the community at large.

Improve user experience using an online store builder

While the semantics of your brand story is vital for crafting a community, your site has to operate on a functional level for users to feel comfortable and secure through the final stages of the marketing funnel.

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People are notoriously flighty online — and deciding whether or not to commit provides an exit where they can leave the ecommerce highway. But even though you cannot convert all your site’s traffic into loyal community members, you can improve your chances by developing a sleek, fast and reliable website.

Nowadays you don’t have to be a coding wizard to build a professional website, instead, store builders like Shopify, WooCommerce and Big Cartel are making it so the average Joe can create a successful online business, so long as they have a killer idea and an eye-catching template.

Store builders allow you to start selling online and showcase your story with simple drag and drop templates/features. However, no two builders are the same and you need to identify one that fulfils your business requirements, along with the needs of your wider community.

Reading a Big Cartel review, for example, it’s clear a trustworthy store builder has to:

  • Provide strong customer management: Ensure your builder facilitates customer complaints and stores information in a secure but easily retrievable location.
  • Integrate a smooth checkout process: Make sure you can add a range of recognised payment methods and ensure this is an easy process on all platforms (including mobile and desktop). 
  • Have an easy to navigate dashboard: If you find your website easy to design then this will be clear to the user, who likely finds it easy to navigate around your pages.
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Found a builder that ticks all these boxes? Great. Making your ecommerce experience more accessible for all users is one of the most important factors for determining community trust. If your site is hard to navigate or difficult for someone to use then it’s likely to reflect badly on your brand, no matter how compelling your story might be.

After building your store, you should consider how you can improve your customer experience even further with additional tools. How easy is it for your visitors to receive help if they experience a problem with a product? Implementing Crisp’s knowledge base tool, you can create a one-stop-shop for any queries your customers may have — after all,  transparency is a great indicator of trustworthiness. By building an easily-located knowledge base containing an encyclopaedia of solutions, your customers are guaranteed to place more faith in your brand.

Be aware of trust signals and protect users data

Shopping online has become commonplace and year on year ecommerce is growing exponentially as a result.

But that’s not to say the web is a completely danger-free method of ordering goods and services. Some people blindly trust the sites they visit; others are more cautious and need a few more assurances.

Much of our faith stems from using a handful of renowned marketplaces like Amazon or eBay. Unfortunately — or fortunately depending on how you view security — small stores that don’t monopolise the market have to work much harder to justify their trustworthiness.

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Enter trust signals — a form of digital signposting that reassures the user they’re placing sensitive information with a reputable and reliable brand.

This is our own Service Offered by the Blog Author.

shopify dropshipping store set up

You should highlight trust signals on your website, particularly in and around the checkout process. Here are a few examples of what to include:

  • Payment security credentials: Make it clear you use trusted third-party gateways like PayPal to keep user information safe.
  • Testimonials and reviews: Be proud of your product/services and display positive customer reviews to reassure others they’re investing in quality.
  • Clear terms and conditions: Clearly outline terms and conditions. If you’re hiding them users will question the need for secrecy.

Equally, you can produce signals which have the opposite effect, for example, typos and spelling mistakes make your site look unprofessional and by extension less trustworthy to the user.

Ecommerce is about nurturing trust in a community just as much as it is about generating new customers. From crafting engaging brand stories to functional solutions like improving UX and highlighting trust signals, the more clarity you provide the more trust you conjure in your community.