In the era of hackers, fraud, and online theft, customers are taking more precautions than ever with their money – and if you sell digital goods, this means you are likely faced with adjusting your methods to create (or reclaim) customer confidence in your brand and products.
The benefits of digital products still remain, like instantly consumable formats, the convenience factor, global accessibility, as well as lower overhead costs. But digital product creators are now (more than ever) competing for one thing in particular – something that is the foundation of business-to-consumer relationships: trust.
Trust inspires action, and it can make or break the crucial decision-making stage of the sales funnel process. At this point, customers are already aware of your product, and now they’re researching and making judgements as to whether or not your product suits their needs. We’ve learned that when trust is established, customers are far more likely to take action, or return to your product when their need arises in the future.
Transparency means honesty
More than an emerging trend, transparency has now become a vital component of digital business. The internet is full of invasive ads, clickbait, and scams that people have to navigate day in and day out, so transparency is a proverbial breath of fresh air – and it’s essential when selling digital products and services in order to curb customer distrust.
A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity. Dalai Lama XIV
Here are some ways you can implement this concept to inspire customer confidence:
- Make your contact information readily available. Being forthcoming with your contact information automatically creates a sense of accountability, and therefore security for your customers. If something doesn’t go as planned, they know they will be able to get in touch with you without too much hassle.
- Go behind the scenes. People are going to be curious about the quality of your product, as well as where the price is coming from. If you show them how your digital products are created, they can easily see the time, work, and expertise involved, which helps them justify the cost. Protect your trade secrets, but don’t be shy about sharing the gritty details of product creation, as well as the obstacles you’ve had to overcome along the way. More than ever, people enjoy seeing the process, not just the finished product. You might even consider blogging (or vlogging on YouTube) about it!
- Show face. People want to know who they are giving their money to, so make yourself known! Speaking directly to your customers in a welcome video or including your photo and detailed backstory on your about page makes you more approachable, more known, and ultimately more trustworthy.
Keeping it simple
When people visit your store, they want to know as quickly as possible what your products will do for them – and if they have a hard time processing the information they see, they may lose interest altogether. Keeping your language simple and easy to understand makes your site enjoyable to browse (as opposed to cumbersome) and shows the customer that you have nothing to hide. Remember, you are the one asking for their money!
Avoid overly complicated information written in highly technical language, unless the product description calls for it. Make your value proposition simple and straight-forward, and include a clear and transparent refund policy and end user license agreement (if applicable) easily available on your site. There’s nothing wrong with using friendly and casual language – as recent trends show: gone are the days of legalistic trickery!
Also consider simplifying the decision-making and purchase process by removing any unnecessary steps. The easier it is to view, select, and complete the purchase of your product, the more you can curb cart abandonment and give customers a pleasurable user experience that will inspire positive feelings about your brand.
Accuracy is non-negotiable
Possibly the most crucial factor in fostering customer confidence is the way you advertise your products. This includes your product demos, description, and any promises or guarantees you offer; the more your product sells itself by way of its features and quality, the better – and the last thing you want is to be accused of false advertising!
Create a product demo that accurately reflects your product, including things like audio or visual samples, as applicable. Be careful not to showcase anything that is not included with purchase, and try to give adequate snippets, screenshots, or other types of previews in portions that make sense for the type of product, accurately reflecting the product’s subsections. For example, a sample chapter or table of contents of an eBook, screenshots of different features of a plugin or software program, or previews of different sections of a stock photo bundle.
The importance of social proof
We live in a time when customers can easily find out just about everything about you and your brand within seconds – and when it comes to purchase decisions, community consensus is highly influential. People are much more likely to buy products that are positively reviewed by their peers, so implementing an honest review system on your website can do wonders.
When you say it, it’s marketing. When your customer says it, it’s social proof.Andy Crestodina, Orbit Media Studios
Testimonials from trusted sources like industry authority figures are also highly effective, especially for digital products (due to their intangible nature). Go for people who have key things in common with your target audience and your customers will have an easy time relating to (and envisioning themselves having) the experience.
It doesn’t stop there; social media is a huge part of social proof – it is 2018, after all! Where do people go first to find out about a new product or business? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the list goes on. If you take the time to grow and nurture your social media profiles, you are solidifying the legitimacy (and trustworthiness) of your brand, the quality of your product(s), and your general brand awareness.
No matter which way you slice it, people judge all kinds of things based on social media presence, because it’s now one of the quickest ways to get a sense of community approval.
Great support gives back
Friendly, reliable, and responsive support is magical: when you go above and beyond, you create a loyal base of customers that support you in turn. At the end of the day, people want to know that there’s a person on the other end of the line, and you can ease their minds by showing them that you’re there – and you’re listening. It’s only natural for people to feel more secure when you’re willing and ready to answer their questions, and rectify any problems that may occur. If they don’t think you’re paying attention, they are likely to take their business to someone who will.
Don’t be afraid to encourage feedback and engage with customers on social media – Facebook and Twitter are great places to address their concerns in a transparent way that shows you’re responsive and up-to-date with the times! Social media platforms are also efficient for educating all of your customers at once about your products, and an educated customer is always more confident to make a purchase.
Quality over quantity
People have more product options available to them than ever before, so if you want to get their attention, you need to look the part! Professional websites, stylish marketing materials, clean and accurate web copy, and attractive newsletters make a big difference in how you’re seen by customers. You want them to believe in the value of what you’re offering? Make your presence as polished as your product.
A final note on security
With database breaches occurring on a regular basis, it’s easy for people to feel skeptical about disclosing sensitive information. Having an SSL certificate and using industry-standard secure payment methods can make all the difference for them, and protect you as well. Look after their personal data and information like you would your own – with the utmost care.
Ensure your checkout displays elements of security, too. Use payment gateway logos and trust badges / seals as visual trust cues. Some users rely on this when making a purchase – don’t lose customers at the final, most crucial part of the purchase process: the actual purchase!
Customer confidence is your top priority
Without customers, you don’t have a business, so prioritizing factors that are proven to affect their confidence to buy is vital to your success as a digital product seller. Try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes when assessing all aspects of your business, especially when it comes to the way you present yourself, your products, and your store to the world.
Building trust in your brand can take time, and it certainly isn’t easy. But if you focus on doing right by your customers and maintaining positive relationships – just like with friendships – honesty and reliability can go a long way!
What strategies have you used to inspire customer confidence for your digital products? We want to hear your thoughts!