Red Hot Thoughts: Creating Trust

As an emotion, trust incorporates many factors including social, psychological, philosophical and emotional. It is important to understand that during the current economic climate three factors contribute to the state of trust. These include possibility of gain, possibility of loss and uncertainty. Currently, many consumers are reducing what is perceived as non-essential spending. However, a recent statement from Thomas Pugh, UK economist at Capital economics, suggested there would be a drop of only around 30% in consumer spending against last year. This still leaves plenty of opportunity for retailers who are already geared up to service consumers online as opposed to instore, and those who align themselves with consumers needs as opposed to wants.

Today, our Red Hot Thoughts come from Emily Greer, our Head of Insights, who provides some real practical advice on considerations ecommerce sites should be making to enhance the trust between themselves, their products and their consumers.

Communication is key

Emily starts by pulling on her experience of working with many leading ecommerce retailers.

“Retailers must aim to overcome the challenges associated with purchasing at this time. These can include lack of trust during these uncertain times. You may need to reposition how your brand and products are viewed to increase trust. Furthermore, ensure you annotate in your analytics software. This will allow you to review your activity including changes to delivery & returns offering, reduced product offering and market context such as start of UK lockdown, letting you to understand what is driving success.”

Great communication to your customers, even when things go wrong, will remove the feeling of uncertainty that many consumers feel when purchasing online.

Understanding needs

Right now, many brands must review their value proposition by basing their offering on needs rather than wants. The key areas of need still appear to be food and beverage, health and wellbeing, and entertainment. Many people are still trying to maintain a routine. With days now feeling much longer, brands need to find where they currently fit into people’s daily schedules. This should mean you may need to think more creatively about both your assets and content. This will allow many consumers to feel as though they have a need for the product.

Think about policy

Enhancing trust can be achieved by reviewing your current policy. Consider both your delivery and your return policies. With couriers most likely stretched to the limit, ensure you are not making promises you cannot keep. Some examples are increasing returns policy to 100 days, giving people more time and more piece of mind and thus leading to a sense of gain for consumers. Alternatively, consider lowering your free delivery thresholds. Whilst you may see increases in returns rate, this should be considered against the immediate need for cashflow, therefore removal of barriers could lead to survival in the short term.

Sensitivity is key. Review your evergreen content.

Ensuring sensitivity currently is paramount considering the effect Covid-19 has on most households. Look at your email communications and ensure they are sensitive and based on your target audiences. Furthermore, review your ongoing communications and ensure they appear relevant to the current situation.

In summary, enhance trust between your brand and consumer by reviewing your content, creative and policies to eliminate uncertainty. Ensure you continue to annotate your business changes in your analytics platform to ensure appropriate insight into impact changes to the business and market has on your business. And, overall, communicate.


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