Ecommerce: Building consumer trust online

COVID’s effect has made brand trust and loyalty more important than ever. According to Reviews.io, 82% of Australians read a review before they buy, while only 33% of consumers trust information that comes directly from a brand.   

In the last entry in our ecommerce series, we look at how you can build trust and loyalty with online consumers as part of your marketing strategy. As businesses pivot and change to meet new trading conditions, it may be the best time for you to capture that long-elusive customer trust but putting a focus on customer. 

Joining us as our guest expert this time is Reviews.io’s COO Tom Goodwin alongside our two MessageMedia regulars marketing manager Rachael Hooper and ecommerce consultant Damien Brennan. They’ve got some price tips and tricks around reducing attrition and building customer trust. Read our round-up of the tips and tricks you can learn from this webinar or listen to it in full detail below. 

 INDEX: 

  • Who are customers buying from  
  • Customer success stories in loyalty 
  • How to best engage a customer to leave a review 
  • Building a great CX to lead to a review 
  • When and how you should ask for a review 
  • What you should do with bad reviews 
  • How to get started building loyalty now 

Who are customers buying from  

Thanks to COVID, Reviews.io CCO Tom Goodwin has noticed a ‘new buyer’ emerging who is more concerned about choosing local, available brands who can provide great customer service and the ‘new essentials’. The new essentials are products that can enhance consumer’s stay-at-home lifestyle such as creative arts, home wear, fitness, toys and office supplies.  

At Home SMS Loyalty and Trust Webinar for ecommerce

There has also been soaring growth for high repeat purchase goods in FMCG and fashion, although those in the travel and hospitality sector aren’t faring as well. Some of the most exciting pivots are wholesale brands becoming direct-to-consumer brands. 

Loyalty success stories 

Customer: The Plant People 

The Plant People is a relatively new brand in Australia, which allows you to order plants online and get them delivered to your home. Not only have they made the customer journey in buying a plant fun, but they’ve also made it easier than ever for customers to access social proof through Reviews.io.

The Plant People gif 2

Customer: Dose & Co? 

A New Zealand brand, who is seeing huge growth from a reviews collection perspective. They are getting massive engagement by integrating their reviews directly onto the website. 

Customer: Muscle Republic 

Attract customer loyalty by building long term relationships. The brand advertised presales to Damien, an interested party, through their social channels. The sales went really well, but a lot of people missed out including Damien. Instead of losing those customers, they offered customers who missed out pre-orders that would match the earlier sale prices.  

“That was a great way to build brand loyalty or customer loyalty [with me] because now I look at them as if they’ve done me a real solid favour in allowing me to purchase what I wanted.” 

Damien Brennan, MessageMedia 

How to best engage with customers to leave a review 

It’s important to share the customer’s voice with other customers. But how do you get customers to leave a review in the first place?

“Look at what’s the happiest point in [your customer’s journey] and request the review at that happiest point.” 

Tom Goodwin, Reviews.io 

Using Damien’s Muscle Republic example above, his happiest point was the moment he received the follow-up email letting him know he could make a pre-order and still receive a discounted rate. In addition, it could also be the point at which Damien receives his product. 

Urban Organics SMS Alert to build trust and loyalty

<<GET THE TEMPLATE: Hey there! We’re so glad that you’ve received our product. What do you think? We’d appreciate if you left us a review at [insert URL] Only takes two seconds >>

You should also consider ‘getting some urgency around getting those reviews.’ With SMS marketing, messages are opened 90% of the time within two minutes of receipt. With email, it can be much longer. That’s why it’s important to pick your channel wisely. 

Building a great customer experience to lead to reviews 

As much as we can guess what will work for customers, we need to deliver first, listen to feedback and adjust accordingly. Make data-driven decisions by putting the customer at the centre.

We are at a point in society where consumer’s expectations have never been higher. They expect everything to be as easy as a 1-click purchase. Thanks Amazon!  

For example, if you are using SMS to send offers, you must make sure that any link you use on a purchase journey has the shortest possible lead conversion.  When you start adding in second or third steps after they click, you’re just increasing the likelihood of drop-offs.  

 With an abundance of ecommerce platforms to choose from, it’s now easier than ever to create great customer journeys right off the bat. Personalise the experience for customers, no matter if it’s on-site, through text messages, or when sending up a follow-up email. Your customer is your number one salesperson.  

Influencer Socials Building trust and loyalty

Reviews.io has a great feature that allows you to identify who your brand ambassadors are, by connecting your Instagram account directly to the Reviews.io dashboard. It then analyses your followers to see who your influencers are, who’s shopped with you before, and who has left a review. Cultivate that relationship further by getting to know them, sending them free gifts and targeting selected offers to them. 

When and how should I ask for a review  

Tom suggests not using a blanket rule in terms of frequency and method, but instead testing out different methods, designs and picking different points in the journey to reach out to customers. Once you’ve gone through a few trials, you’ll be able to figure out the best point to collect a review, and what will drive the highest conversions. 

If you use Reviews.io, it has a feature built into that will help you avoid asking too many times. Reviews.io allows you to request one review every three months, so use this wisely!    

What should you do with a bad review 

Don’t delete it. Resist the temptation! While Reviews.io has moderation and profanity filters built-in, it’s the business’ discretion in determining what they want seen. Deleting however can detract from your brand’s authenticity. 

“Are you going to trust a brand when all you see are 5-star reviews?” 

Tom Goodwin, Reviews.io 

Secondly, you should always reply to it. Prospective customers will always look at whether the company acknowledges bad reviews. Turn it into a positive by addressing what the problem is and offer a solution. The prospective consumer may start to think, ‘Hey, the brand is actually listening!’  

Listening to consumers build trust and loyalty

When you see a brand engaged in feedback, it helps build consumer trust that the brand is empowering their team to use it to shape the business going forward. This is far better than deciding not to display the review, or worse, ignoring it.  

Why you should get started building loyalty with Reviews.io 

Reviews.io makes it as easy as possible to integrate its application into any of the current existing ecommerce platforms. Alternatively, you can customise an integration yourself through their API.  

You can also access their integration partners like Neto, as well as loyalty partners like Loyalty Lion, and Smile.io, as well as deals with their partner network which includes MessageMedia and many other communication providers.   

REVIEWS.IO
Reviews.io is a Google licenced product and reviews provider that can help your business leverage the power of authentic customer feedback.
Tom Goodwin is Chief Operating Officer at Reviews.io 

MESSAGEMEDIA
As Australia’s premium SMS provider for over 20 years, we have been helping +50,000 customers across the globe engage through the power of messaging.
Damien Brennan is an ecommerce specialist, and Rachael Hooper is Product Marketing Manager with MessageMedia.  


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