small_51519638The saying “content is king” is fairly apt with the rise of inbound marketing. We can say the words, but what does it all mean? How useful are your website copy, your ecommerce blog, and even your marketing emails if they don’t inspire consumer trust? Since this is the case, perhaps you should consider trusting the king, and tailor your content accordingly.

Trust Wears the Crown

Several methods exist for inspiring trust with your content. Some of the following suggestions may go against everything you thought you knew about marketing, so be prepared to adjust your beliefs. When you start creating your ecommerce content with your customers in mind, the change will be so drastic that you won’t be able to deny it. What’s first on the list?


All of your content should be honest and open. When buyers see you’re willing to address the shortcomings of your products and services, they’ll appreciate your honesty. Now, just because the ultimate bottle opener you sell on your site doesn’t work for screw-top lids doesn’t mean you shouldn’t address the problem. If your product has limitations, use your content to share solutions for those shortcomings. Describe how your customers can open those bottles on which your ultimate bottle opener just won’t work.

Marketing is a two way street. If you're going to learn more about your customers, start by letting them learn more about you and why you're interested.

Don't Always Be Closing.

It's a common sales term. ABC - Always Be Closing. Always be trying to get the person you're talking to to buy what you have to sell. It's outdated. It's wrong. Arguably, it was never right to begin with - but consumers are now equipped with better technology and better resources to punish you for it.

What’s the point of an ecommerce site if not to sell, you ask? Instead of pushing the hard sell all the time, take a note from the point above and start teaching your customers. Post instructional videos to show how buyers can get the most out of your products. If something you sell requires a bit of instruction to use, maybe you can provide a series of blogs with detailed information. Maybe one of your products has several different possible uses, like those scarves that can be worn in twenty different ways. Wouldn’t buyers love to see how-to infographics or videos to learn how to make the most of their purchases?

Not everyone is ready to buy right now. Respect that. Own that process. Invest in your pre-transactional contacts.

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Discuss Competitors

What? Why would you want to address your competitors on your own ecommerce site? Well, for one thing, a comparison could show your customers the many ways your product is superior. You might also remind them that you’re honest enough to know when something else is better for their needs. Finally, and this point is completely in your favor, when people search for your competitors, you might just show up in search results. Everyone has competitors (if you don't than what you're doing isn't worth it). Don't be afraid of them.

build customer trust through content competitor example with progressive insurance

Request Reviews

Letting your buyers contribute content to your site is a great way to engage them while also showing new customers that your products are universally adored. Sharing honest reviews from consumers shows you have nothing to hide. It also gives you a chance to address any concerns in an open place where all can see how you work hard to resolve issues. What’s another way this can help you? When people search for reviews for your products, they’ll be directed right to your page instead of a third party site.

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Show Your Understanding

By creating your content to reach particular buyer personas, you show your customers that you understand their needs. Your content should be designed for your target market. That means older professionals may not want to see spoof videos and blogs filled with sarcasm. Younger, trendy customers will leave quickly if your content is too stuffy and stilted. If you’re not creating content for your buyers, they’ll know you don’t understand them.

Establish Yourself as an Expert

One of the most important ways to build trust with your ecommerce customers is to show knowledge in your field. You can’t sell wine in your online store if you can’t tell the difference between Shiraz and Syrah. To prove your knowledge, blogs and videos about different varietals would go a long way. You might also compile a learning set, where customers can purchase several different wines along with a video or ebook download that explains what they’re drinking. Next time they want wine, they’ll come right back to your site. Invest in getting to know the psychographic dimensions of your buyer personas.

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Address Their Pain Points

The most effective way to build trust with your ecommerce customers is to address their particular pain points and offer a solution. This particular task takes all the previous points and combines them into one huge “must do.” Your customers come to you to solve their problems, so it’s up to you to determine what those problems are and then go about offering the cure. To do so, you must be honest about your products, give them instruction on how to use your products to meet their needs, show how your product compares to similar products available, and prove they need your services because you’re the expert.

What other ways can you inspire trust in your customers? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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photo credit: xjyxjy via photopin cc

Originally published Oct 28, 2013 2:20:00 PM, updated January 18 2023