Written by Shirly Kafri

Building Brand Trust Online: Key Factors for Success

Let’s face it, a strong online presence isn’t just nice to have these days, it’s how you do business. But in the crowded world of the internet, it’s not enough just to be there. You need people to trust you. Did you know that a whopping 95% of customers say they factor in trust when making buying decisions? (Salesforce, 2022)

So, how do you build that trust? Let’s dive into some of the top tips backed by experts and research:

Transparency and Authenticity

Today’s customers are savvy. They want brands to be upfront and honest. As Fernando Machado, Global CMO of Activision Blizzard, puts it, “Authenticity and transparency are vital for building brand trust. Brands must align their actions with their stated values and be open about their practices.”

This means talking openly about your company’s mission and why you do what you do. It also means being willing to own up to mistakes. Research backs this up big time – 94% of consumers are more likely to stick with brands that are completely transparent. (Emarsys)

How to put this into action:

  • Show, don’t just tell: Take customers behind the scenes with blog posts or social media.

  • Highlight your values: If sustainability is important to you, don’t just mention it; share how it guides your decisions.

  • Own it: If you make a mistake, own up to it transparently and explain how you’ll improve.

Strong Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Ever checked online reviews before buying something? You’re not alone! A massive 77% of us lean on those reviews when looking for businesses (BrightLocal, 2022). Think of these reviews as the digital version of your friend recommending a great restaurant.

“Customer reviews are the new word-of-mouth marketing, and brands that showcase authentic feedback will boost credibility and trust,” says Leslie Berland, Twitter’s CMO.
Companies that genuinely highlight what their customers love gain major trust points.

How to put this into action:

  • Make it easy: Have a clear way for customers to leave reviews, both on your site and elsewhere.

  • Engage: Respond professionally to all reviews, positive and negative.

  • Spotlight the good stuff: Share those glowing testimonials front and center!

Professional Website Design and User Experience

Your website is often the first impression someone has of your brand. Did you know that 48% of people judge a business’s credibility by its website design alone? (Blue Corona).
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Meta, emphasizes this, saying, “A company’s website is often the digital front door. A professional, seamless experience signals competence and trustworthiness.” 

How to put this into action:

  • Invest in good design: It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but a clean, modern layout goes a long way.

  • Easy navigation: If customers can’t find what they need, they’ll bounce.

  • Mobile matters: More and more people browse on their phones, so make sure your site works flawlessly on smaller screens.

Strong Social Media Presence

Social media isn’t just for posting funny memes (though who doesn’t love those?). It’s a chance to put a human face on your brand. According to Edelman (2022), a majority of consumers trust brands more when they engage on social media.

“Social media allows brands to create communities and connections,” said Jen Sey, Global Brand President at Levi’s. “Responsive, relatable brands build loyalty.”

How to put this into action:

  • Be where your people are: Don’t waste time on platforms where your customers don’t hang out.

  • Mix it up: Share valuable content, not just sales pitches.

  • Talk back: Respond to those comments and questions!

Secure Transactions and Data Privacy

This one’s a no-brainer. Customers need to know their info is safe with you. Google CEO Sundar Pichai drives this point home – “User privacy and data security must be top priorities. Robust policies and safeguards build crucial trust”. Shockingly, a Cisco study (2023) found that 90% of consumers would ditch a brand they felt wasn’t protecting their data!

How to put this into action:

  • Be professional: Use encryption and other security measures to protect customer data

  • Transparency: Clearly state your data privacy policy and practices, and only collect customer information you truly need

  • Make it easy: Make your checkout process seamless while highlighting security badges

Remember, trust takes time to build, but it can be lost in an instant. By focusing on these key areas, you’ll be well on your way to creating a brand that customers believe in and that translates to long-term success.