5 Simple things I do to Earn the Trust of First-time Buyers
It is not a hidden truth that many people who shop online have been scammed at one time or the other.
According to Federal Trade Commission in the United States, Online shopping was the second-most common fraud category reported by consumers, elevated by a surge of reports in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Consumers reported losing more than $3.3 billion to fraud in 2020, up from $1.8 billion in 2019. Nearly $1.2 billion of losses reported last year were due to imposter scams, while online shopping accounted for about $246 million in reported losses from consumers.
What to note about this report:
- This is not a worldwide figure since not all countries are captured.
- This does not include those that were scammed but never reported.
But here we are with such a staggering figure and online shopping is still expanding. The challenge for honest online sellers is the ability to prove they are not scammers.
I do have an Instagram page where I sell fashion items since 2018. When business owners ask me how am able to convince potential buyers despite not having a physical office, I break it down into these 5 simple things – really simple things.
1) Respond to inquiry…in time.
For many customers, buying is an impulse act, and understanding this will help you in getting the potential customer to make the purchase as soon as possible before a change of mind comes into play.
Prospects online can change their minds for various reasons one of which is fear of being scammed which can come over them when they are having a second thought… while waiting for your reply.
I set my Instagram messages and other activities such as comments to show as notifications on my phone screen, that way I won’t miss any message and am able to respond in time.
Prospects are usually very happy about fast response, it gives them a certain level of confidence to continue chatting with me.
You can read more on how to set the notification in this comprehensive article by Social Media Examiner.
2) Respectful salutation
The keyword here is ‘respectful’.
It really does not matter if the prospect put salutation or just went straight to asking about the product, I salute. Actually, am really not bothered about getting greeted by a customer- I don’t really care.
Simple ‘Good afternoon ma’, ‘Thanks for reaching out to us’, ‘How may we be of service’ or statements in this line will sure help in putting the person at a certain level of ease.
Remember one of the best steps to make certain a sale goes through is putting the prospect’s mind at ease.
Read the above statement again and let it sink in.
3) Clarify my terms in a non-aggressive way even before dropping payment details
There will always be terms, conditions, and modes of running your business.
It is important to explain to prospects during the first contact what these are especially if you run the business on social media platforms where you may not have comprehensive terms and conditions policy write-up.
Taking myself as an example, I let them know even before payment detail is sent that items are on a preorder prepay basis and will take up to 3 weeks on average to arrive.
Once they know, they can decide to go ahead with the order or simply wrap up the conversation…maybe till another time when they can go along with my terms but at least no one will feel boxed to the wall or deceived into making a purchase because they feel full information was not provided.
Let them know and understand the process of buying from you and don’t give false promises if your terms are not palatable to them just because you want to make a sale.
Even for your sanity, you shouldn’t. It’s better to not make a sale than be tagged as a deceitful seller.
4) Ask clarifying questions regarding the product and purpose for buying.
I sell shoes, a lot of shoes are listed on the page. Different brands and types with some having slightly different size charts than the standard chart.
Usually, I’ll ask the prospect what size and once she responds, I’ll ask another way so we can both be sure.
Example: Prospect: “I want size 10”
Me: “Okay ma. Size US10 which is 41?”
Prospect: ‘No, I use size 43’
You see she had UK10 in mind.
I just saved myself from ordering the wrong shoe size, and losing money and credibility by simply asking clarifying questions.
I sell shoes denominated in US sizing, so I need the prospect to know the specific size 10 type I carry while we are chatting even though I clearly wrote the shoe’s description to reflect US size.
Going with them on a journey of clarifying size, color, shape, what the item is made of, and other details about the item in question puts the prospects at further ease and increase the level of trust.
They can also feel the level of patience and the length I go to make them feel comfortable ordering the item.
For other items like handbags, I go further to explain how big or small they are and the prospect can decide if they will fit their needs for buying because pictures sometimes do not do justice to the sizes of some items.
At this point, I already made the sale because what they ask next is bank details for payment.
5) I place a voice call across or sometimes a Whatsapp video call.
First I love to put a voice to the customer I’ve been chatting with and I want them to put a voice to mine
I need them to know am the human behind the keyboard and have nothing to hide.
Trust me, it creates a kind of rapport that breaks the last shred of fear (if any) the prospect might have. It’s such as fantastic experience. They usually begin to see me as a friend.
I have used these simple steps to turn most of my prospects into recurring buyers who not only trust me but also refer friends, family, and colleagues to my page.
Put in mind that you must deliver quality products or services wrapped within cozy and high-quality customer service for this relationship to last.
Interested in reading more about e-commerce? subscribe to the newsletter here