Commerce, Marketing

How to Build Customer Trust When Entering a New Market Internationally

Learn how to build awareness and raise trust among clients when expanding your ecommerce business to an international market.

Nicole Schmitz

January 18 2018 · 6 min read
   

When I think about my last purchase, it wasn’t a random decision. I knew what I was looking for and I knew I didn’t want to spend the time driving into the city, paying for parking, going from store-to-store to see if they carry the item, comparing prices and then waiting in line to pay.

Before I began searching for my product, I knew that I would buy it in the comfort of my apartment with my tablet through an online ecommerce store. But, from which one?

The ecommerce store that gained the highest level of my trust.

With ecommerce shopping, customers don’t get to hold the product, test the functionality and inspect it for defects. Instead, ecommerce merchants must convince the customer to place their trust in the product and also the company, specially foreign ones.

Download the "Ultimate Guide: How to Expand your Ecommerce Globally"

Customer trust plays a large role in the purchasing decision matrix. As you enter or expand into new markets, let’s discuss the importance of building a brand that develops customer trust!

The Advantages of Being a Trusted Brand

We can all think of brands in which we trust. They are brands in which we would purchase from again, that we would buy to give as special gifts and that we willingly recommend to friends and family. You want to be this type of successful business as you expand globally.

Benefits of being a trusted ecommerce brand:

  • Increase sales
  • Strengthen repeat customer numbers
  • Develop a culture of customer-centric referrals
  • Improve product and services
  • Maintain customer trust
  • Create customer champions to market for you!

Trust is always an important aspect to incorporate when strategizing on how to build a successful business. Often times, we assume that trust can be developed on its own. However, just like a friendship, it takes time, dedication and continuous engagement. The benefits of trust marketing is valued by customers worldwide.

Why Customer Trust Matters

Customer trust is directly related to increasing sales. As a general rule, all e-shoppers are savvy consumers who want to benefit from shopping online versus in brick-and-mortar stores. Shoppers choose to purchase from cross-border ecommerce stores because they tend to offer:

  • A larger variety of products
  • A range of competitive prices
  • Sales and promotions throughout the year
  • Clear return and refund policies

However, their eyes are peeled for signs of potential scams and for products that won’t meet their expectations. All online shoppers are searching to feel as though they can trust you. This leads to every step of the ecommerce shopping experience and decision making process to be accompanied by the consumer asking questions that begin with:

  • Can I trust…
  • Do I believe that…
  • Is it true…

5 Elements that Ecommerce Shoppers Want to Feel Secure About

Prospective consumers are concerned with receiving answers and feeling comfortable with the following five areas.

  • The ecommerce store is legitimate and has positive customer feedback
  • The product or service is of good quality
  • All personal and financial information will be protected
  • The order will be delivered on time
  • There is customer support to seek answers from

As the ecommerce merchant, you have the ability to design strategies and support mechanisms to help the customer find these answers easily, aiding them to trust in your reputation.

So, let’s explore how to be a leader in building trust with customers. Eight specific strategies have been prepared to jumpstart your brand trust development as you expand internationally!

8 Strategies to Build Customer Trust as a Cross-Border Ecommerce Merchant in a New Market

Offer your website in the native language of your customers

Speak to your audience and be understood: Have your website content translated by a native speaker who understands the culture, current aspects of cultural sensitivity and pop culture references or a professional marketing agency from the nation in which you plan to enter. Time and time again, translations through Google Translate and other online softwares have proven to not be enough to reach local markets.

Connect with consumers in their language

Be a brand they can relate to: Customers want to hear from you, they want to receive updates, be the first to know about promotions and be asked for their opinion. Achieve this by creating marketing strategies that are relevant to the consumer and speak to their interests and needs. Producing this content in their native language is the only way to reach 100% of the market.

Check more tips for international ecommerce marketing by accessing our article How to Use Geomarketing to Reach International Customers.

Offer 24/7 customer service support

Be proactive and available at all hours: Set the tone and be able to respond to your customers when they need you the most. When an email or chat message sits unanswered, customers may decide not to wait and purchase from a competitor. Manage all communication channels and keep in mind that consumers try to connect with businesses in many different ways.

We have a good selection of articles talking about customer services. Here are some that might interest you:

Exceed commitments

Stand out as you develop a positive reputation: Take initiative to be a company that over delivers. Customers are used to being let down and are weary until they have a positive experience. Use this to your advantage to pleasantly surprise the customer. Simple personalization touches, added rewards, a small free product, discount codes, upgraded delivery services - they all do the trick!

Encourage and utilize reviews

Acceptance, response and targeted improvements: Welcome ecommerce reviews from all customers regardless of the anticipated occasional negative feedback. Utilize the positive feedback to continue doing what is working best and constructively leverage negative feedback to improve product aspects and services.

Drive engagement

With the help of your loyal customers raise your profile: Create content that encourages engagement with social media and email marketing campaigns. Incentivise their contributions to develop product reviews with useful tips and comment on blog posts and videos. Don’t forget to reply to their comments! Creating a dialogue helps in developing a direct relationship and increases feelings of familiarity and trust.

Learn more on how to promote engagement by reading our article How Online Marketing Can Help Your Ecommerce.

Be relevant within the industry

Serve as a reference and provide customers with advice: As you develop content to engage customers with new products and services, be sure to also assert yourself as an industry expert, a market thought leader and as an authority within the field. Presenting content that creates brand relevance bridges promoting your product by also showcasing that you want your customers to find the best solutions for their needs.

Offer loyalty programs

Raise and maintain customer trust: Reward those who are loyal to your brand. Launching a loyalty marketing program has been proven to be one of the most cost-effective ways to increase revenue. Being loyal to a brand exudes a commitment of trust. Loyalty marketing increases the lifetime value of customers, helps to build even stronger relationships, develops brand supporters and protects you against reasonable price competition.

Combining all of these strategies will enable you to have a strong reputation that will empower new customers to trust your brand.

However, it is understandable that not all cross-border ecommerce merchants will have the time or the staffing resources to begin developing a positive reputation with such a robust trust marketing strategy. Starting with as many elements as possible will still help in building trust. When possible, continue on the path to incorporating them all to be a trust front-runner within your newest international market.

Conclusion

Building customer trust is a process. Ecommerce businesses that believe every customer matters and is valued are paving their road to successful sales. Don’t wait for trust to be developed, be proactive and engage in this market strategy.

Ultimate Guide: How to Expand your Ecommerce Globally