As several companies are betting on online shopping, the E-commerce market is becoming more competitive by the day. That’s the reason why selling abroad is more difficult as ever. But never fear! You can boost and even double your international e-commerce sales with one basic tip.
Most of it is related to the image your brand conveys, your branding means a lot in terms of conversion. Your brand needs to reflect trust and legitimacy to incite customers to buy from you.
Doubling your International E-Commerce Sales with one simple idea: Build trust with your audience.
Per a study by OC&C, Paypal and Google; Trust (including preferred payments and pricing) is worth approx. 40% of full potential, to international audiences. To put this in perspective, a brand that doesn’t localise for international e-commerce can only access 30% of potential. This means that building trust can more than double what you can achieve in international markets.Unfortunately, it is easier said than done.
The idea of a brand was created in Victorian England, in a response to unscrupulous shop keepers’antics. In the industrial revolution, the population of London expanded rapidly. This led to food being in short supply (and becoming very expensive). Some shop keepers decided that they would “weave some magic” to make their stock go further. Examples include using melted brown wax as a “chocolate” covering.
As people became aware of these tactics, brands emerged as a way for consumers to ensure quality. Many of these brands exist to today; including Coleman’s, Fairy and Rowntree’s. How then does an idea invented by men in top hats and pocket watches hundreds of years ago, have relevance in today’s e-commerce revolution?
Trust is even more import now than it was then. Not just because consumers fear receiving a low-quality product, but because consumers are handing over sensitive information. Before customers buy from your brand online, you must build the trust.
How to build trust in your brand online
There are several things that you can be doing to help get users to trust your brand. We cannot look at everything on your e-commerce site, as there will be specific things in your industry and your niche. However, here is a start.
Brand is one of the most important areas in building trust. Consumers in different geographies are purchasing from brands they are visually used to. Good examples of geographically localised branding are TaoBao and AliExpress. Both sites are owned by AliBaba (the world’s largest online retail group), but both are very differently branded. TaoBao is aimed at a predominantly Chinese audience, whereas AliExpress is aimed at an American one.
As a westerner, I would be far more likely to purchase from AliExpress. This is largely because I am far more familiar with this visual style. It is what I am used to, and I am comfortable with it. Simply, I trust it. Make sure your branding is what your customers are used to.
If customers can pay the way they are used to paying, they are more likely to feel comfortable paying. Even within Europe, payment preferences vary wildly. In the UK for example Visa and MasterCard are the most popular (with PayPal coming quite a long way behind in second place). In Germany ELV is top, while in the Netherlands it is Ideal. In Russia Qiwi, WebMoney and Yandex are more popular than PayPal. Whereas in France, PayPal is used by the highest percentage of people compared to other countries. When trying to build trust in a country for your online brand, look at how they like to pay.
Trust symbols (or e-commerce security logos) are incredibly useful, not just for international e-commerce, but also for domestic. According to a Baynard study, the most trusted symbols in the US are Norton, McAfee and TRUSTe. Make sure you have trust icons on your site, customers trust them.
If visitors can see other customers have purchased and liked your products, they will trust them more. This simple idea is easy to put in place and its benefits are well documented. Yet, so many sites don’t allow (or encourage) customers to review their products. 3 rd party validation – a sure way of building trust.
Be there, and be accessible
Make sure your customers can contact you. If customers feel as though you are there, and they can reach you, they feel more comfortable buying from you. Whether that is social media, online chat, email or phone. Make sure you are engaging with customers, and allowing customers to engage with you.
It is also about the little things
Building trust is all about knowing your market (wherever that market happens to be). Getting the details right is the difference between being successful or not. As with everything in e-commerce, it is about marginal gains. You may see, for example, that changing the address input lay out to match what customers in that geography are used to, brings you a marginal increase in sales. It’s the fine detail, but it builds trust. Aggregate gains from trust are massive, so focus on building trust with your customers.
Export to other countries is a key factor to growth your brand. As it’s opening you up to the world market. But he’s not easy to establish yourself. To make international e-commerce sales grow over and over, you really have to focus on your brand image. It means everything now! And you’ll soon be a reference on the international market!
And you, do you have any tips to boost international e-commerce sales? Tell us below or Tweet us!