I’m an avid online shopper and feel very comfortable about paying online. But when I encounter new eCommerce players, I still use different evaluation criteria in order to have them qualify as potential shopping destinations.
I don’t know about you, but I do not want to place my money in the hands of an anonymous company. It’s surprising how often I encounter an online store with no or insufficient information about the people behind it. Just a company address. But I need to feel comfortable before I start shopping from a lesser known, untested brand.
That’s where transparency comes in. If you want to strike a chord with your potential customers, open up and be personal. Let them know who you are and what you stand for.
These are a few examples of what you could communicate with the objective of lowering the threshold of trusting a brand yet to have built up credibility in the marketplace…
- Who are the founders of the company?
- What’s their story?
- Why did they pursue this business?
- Who else works there?
- What is the brand’s point-of-view and value proposition?
- How is the logistics handled (be specific)?
- How are the products packaged (be specific)?
Brand Case: LensOn
They demonstrate empathy for their customers by preemptively responding to any questions or worries they might have. It’s all clearly laid out. What the LensOn concept is about. Why the lenses are so much cheaper than at a local optician. Whether a recipe is needed. The quality assurance of the products. Generous 90-day return policy. The solidity of the company. A ‘customer satisfaction guarantee’. etc.
The founders, owners and board of directors are all presented by name. And the members of the customer service team are presented by name and photo. It feels good to know a bit about the people behind an eCommerce brand.
To further solidify LensOn’s credibility, they have hired an optician that educates and informs about the latest in the area of contact lenses in a section called ‘The Optician’s Corner’ – available on the website as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
In addition, LensOn writes a personal and enjoyable Lens Blog that explores the world of eyes and lenses; writing about unusual eye conditions, providing tests on how to check potential color blindness etc. Thereby conveying their passion for the business they are in. All blog contributors are presented by name and picture, including the founders of the company.
Another personal favorite is a behind the scenes photo slide show dubbed ‘Just another day at LensOn’, giving a brief tour of LensOn’s facilities. Another good way of making an eCommerce site feel more tangible, giving people a sense of comfort.
I could go on about how well LensOn has conceptualized a range of different value-adding services in a clear, pedagogical way.
And, most importantly, the core service is simple and it works.
If you are about to create a new eCommerce brand or are currently managing an existing one, strive to demonstrate empathy by preempting any potential areas of discomfort customers in your category may experience. Otherwise, they might just pass you by and resort to already established brands in the marketplace.