If you are an independent online seller, you already know how tough it is for small to medium sized e-commerce businesses to compete with the web’s biggest retailers such as Amazon, Argos and Asos. While many agree that Amazon’s remarkably low prices is what has made them the default store of choice for many consumers, it’s certainly not savings alone that has seen shoppers flocking to the retail giant. It’s also down to the trust that customers have in the reputation that Amazon has built over the past twenty years.
Studies have shown that after low prices and free delivery (an offering which is becoming more common, even from smaller retailers), trust is the biggest issue on a consumer’s mind when deciding where to spend their hard earned cash, online. The fear of being ripped off by an anonymous online seller, receiving poor service and having no comeback, or entering credit card details on a poorly secured site all contribute to online consumers tendency to stick with large, well known brands online. Crazy stories from the early “wild west” days of eBay have certainly done damage to the platform’s long-term reputation, while imitation items being sold on Amazon Marketplace has encouraged cautious buyers to purchase their goods from Amazon directly.
Clearly, there is sound reason behind why many online shoppers choose to buy from retailers that they recognise and trust. But what can a business of your size do to gain a similar level of trust from online customers?
Thankfully, there is plenty you can do to demonstrate your good track record to customers and help alleviate any fears about buying from your business. If you sell via your own website, you can add Trust Pilot and SSL certification badges. You can include customer testimonials and leverage social proof by embedding tweets from happy customers. You can display a customer service phone number on every page, so that customers know that they will be able to get assistance should something go wrong. You can be super up-front about pricing so customers feel confident that they know how much money they are being charged.
But what if you don’t get most of your sales via your own website? Many of you if you primarily sell via online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon Marketplace, Etsy and Airbnb. What if you have a strong eBay feedback rating, but are just getting started on Amazon, or visa versa – how do you take the reputation you already have, and use it to make sure that customers on every platform understand that you can be trusted? This is where eRated can help.
eRated allows you to showcase your track record of selling online, regardless of what platform those transactions were done on. This means that you are able to take your reputation (which may have taken years to build) from one online marketplace to another. eRated will pull in your ratings from eBay and Etsy, for example, to create an “eRated score” – which you can proudly display to Amazon customers.
eRated is a TechStars-funded company which began in 2013 to help sellers get the most out of their online reputation. Until now, seller reviews and reputations were confined to one marketplace, like having a passport that only works in one country. eRated breaks down barriers to entry for new and existing marketplace users.
eRated report that their users who already have a marketplace reputation enjoy a 20% increases in sales after using the service to demonstrate reliability to potential customers. For new users, the boost can be as high as 200%. It’s not unrealistic to suspect that the value of those transactions will be higher, either.
With over 1,000 marketplaces now up and running on the ‘net, and over 100 millionsellers on those marketplaces, it’s more crucial than ever to differentiate your business from your competition. Trust is a key area in which to do so.
Take control of your business’ online reputation. Earn trust from your potential customers. Sign up to eRated now.