Even though online companies like Amazon and Texture have digitized books and magazines and changed the way we read, there are still many people out there who enjoy earmarking a page in a magazine or book. There’s something about the tangible feel of holding a book in your hands or bending that page with the recipe that you must make for later.

In retail, regardless of industry vertical, there’s a fundamental requirement for entering into a relationship with a prospect or customer — and it’s trust.

online retail customersWe recently sat down with several online retail marketers who have shifted the way companies do business by focusing on the customer experience and building those relationships with new and existing customers. For many, trust is a big issue, especially for online retail where you don’t have a tangible product or store your customer can walk into to touch and feel the product. It’s important to represent yourself well and make a strong first impression and this usually starts with your website. According to Tony Haile of Chartbeat, 55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on your website. That’s not a lot of time to appear to be credible, believable and trustworthy on your first impression.

However, first impressions go beyond your website. These days the savvy consumer is very visual and really picks up on visual inconsistencies online, including online advertising. A poorly executed or inconsistent design experience, for example, gives consumers an immediate reaction of whether or not to trust a company whether it be an email or a click from paid search to a landing page or a social ad. The whole online customer journey should feel like it is coming from the same brand. The bottom line is if it doesn’t feel consistent, it degrades the underlying trust.

Beyond the visual aspect, believe it or not, consumers seek out your return policy on your website. The online retailer now needs to take on more of the responsibility if they truly want a customer’s business. There’s an underlying expectation these days that consumers won’t have to pay when shipping returns from online purchases. Or, if the store has a brick and mortar component, they expect to be able to return something to the store directly. Consumers want and expect you to take the burden off of them and make it easy for them to correct a bad decision or a misinformed purchase. Is your return policy easy to find on your website? Do you offer a pre-paid shipping label? These are things you may want to consider.

Will you be at ShopTalk? Stop by our booth #1131 to learn more.

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