14/08/2014

By Phillip Smith, UK Country Manager, Trusted Shops


Recently Amazon made a $2 investment in India, paving the way for a new wave of businesses large and small to approach new territories and join the global ecommerce market.

Market places such as Amazon will help these businesses to do so, allowing them to test out their expansion overseas. As a result the race to build trust with their new consumers ahead of competitors will be a top priority for retailers. One important consideration for successful businesses in Europe ahead of this change, is understanding that the heritage and trust they have built in the UK will not be carried with them when expanding these outlets. It will be important that they consider the following steps first, before going full steam ahead in a new market.

Let’s look at four steps UK retailers can take to inspire cross-border trust and support sustainable growth:

Make a good first impression

Visitors don’t trust the unfamiliar, so ensure your website looks local. Tonality is also important -make sure that the company’s voice is not lost in translation by making the necessary language adaptations. You should also include relevant pictures and layout features that compliment cultural preferences and display icons/logos of local services that you use in their country; such as local payment providers, local couriers or even local brands that you may sell. This will help new customers relate to and bond with your brand before they take a decision whether to exit your site.

Get the pricing right

Being the cheapest doesn’t guarantee the most customers. Low prices from an unknown brand can set the alarm bells ringing and make customers suspicious. Take a holiday scenario, for example. When you visit a supermarket there’s lots of unrecognisable brands on the shelf at great prices, but we always end up grabbing the overpriced imports. This is because we recognise the brand and trust it. Make sure pricing is in line with local retailers and supports other trust building measures.

Don’t assume your heritage will be carried with you

Nobody wants to wait 50 years for heritage and trust to build naturally. European shoppers are less comfortable with shopping online and aren’t as trusting as UK consumers, so this is important. Invest in trust building tools such as customer review systems, trustmarks, and money- back guarantees. Doing this shows that you’ve gone the extra mile to give the customer a safe shopping experience. Recommendations and customer feedback also play an increasing role in the purchase decisions too, so collect genuine customer feedback and show potential customers that others trust you.

Be wary of local laws and regulations

Local laws don’t just differ from continent to continent, but from country to country. Make sure that your ecommerce site is in line with local law. It’s increasingly important that retailers are aware of consequences for non-compliance, such as penalties. This is the case in Germany, for example.