E-Commerce has been a fiercely competitive space for many years now, with retailers fighting for market share through unique user experiences, an omnichannel offering and broad partner integrations, to name a few. But since the Covid-19 pandemic hit and with increasing online spending, businesses need to focus more heavily on their online reputation according to Global E-commerce platform, Kooomo, which states that a bad website or lack of online presence can seriously damage the trust consumers build with a brand.
Research from the Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility found that 75% of consumers admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on its website. Furthermore, if people love a brand’s story, 55% are more likely to return to its services, 44% will share the story, and 15% will buy the product immediately.
“With these statistics in mind, organisations must therefore ensure their online presence is both credible and professional to ensure a positive brand reputation,” says Ciaran Bollard, CEO of Kooomo. “There is a reason why many consumers opt for niche brands and not wholesalers like Amazon, even if the site is more expensive. This is because of brand equity and experience. It is a brand’s identity and the story behind this that consumers are typically drawn to, so, if you have a story to tell about your brand, make sure to do this on your website.”
User generated content and reviews are also key for maintaining reputation. 93% of customers find user-generated content to be helpful when making a purchasing decision, 71% of consumers feel more comfortable buying a product after researching user reviews and 70% of consumers trust online peer reviews and recommendations more than professional content and copy. Customers can be encouraged to review products in a multitude of ways as well as integrating a plugin such as TrustPilot, Feedaty, or ReviewBuddy.
Another key element to consider when thinking about reputation is security. Ciaran adds; “Now more than ever, consumers are overtly aware of the possible security risks when entering the digital landscape. Retailers must, therefore, ensure they handle the personal data required for creating that personalised experience appropriately, abiding by data protection regulations such as GDPR to ensure extra layers of security. Organisations must also ensure they are transparent with how and why they are using consumers’ data. Trust between a consumer and retailer is a critical brand differentiator and will inevitably lead to greater customer retention.”
Ciaran concludes, “By aligning a site with a brand’s values and representing its USP accurately, customers are able to fully understand the heritage of the brand, which builds upon their loyalty and establishes trust. As more and more businesses move online due to COVID-19, it will become extremely important for brands to differentiate their online presence and promote both their experience and reliability through their website.”