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Gaining Trust for your Online Business in 2021

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by Startacus Admin


Jon Higham, MD of UK-registered online pharmacy Medicine Direct, explains what strategies brands can use to enhance consumer trust online

Nobody could have foreseen the unique and testing times that the world faced last year. As 2021 begins, these times look set to continue.

people-office-group-teamWith most physical stores being forced to close, the e-commerce world has become imperative for countless consumers who have never shopped online before.

Here, Jon Higham, managing director of UK-registered online pharmacy Medicine Direct, explains what strategies brands can use to enhance consumer trust online - particularly if you’re a less established brand in a competitive niche.

Creating trust as an online business is important in any industry, but for a pharmaceutical company like ours, it is particularly vital. Our business has seen an enormous spike in sales in the past 12 months, due to patients not being able to visit their local doctor. People who would have never considered ordering medication online before now had no choice but to.

Of course, not all online businesses are selling something as specified as medicine, but the principles of building trust online applies across the board, no matter what your industry. Here are some of the fundamentals.

Appeal to first-timers

pexels-photo-919436 Pleasing your existing customers is extremely important, but so is enticing new ones. From your homepage content to your product descriptions, your website should include plenty of information about all of your USPs.

Building trust in the online pharmacy business – still a relatively new industry – was particularly vital. Those who order medication from us need reassurance that their medicine is approved and safe. They also need evidence that it is being prescribed by legitimate medical professionals. This is why we detail all of our credentials across all pages, with the appropriate logos and certifications.

Emphasising things like the quality of your products and the speediness of your service can go a long way towards creating a trusting relationship with your customer base.

Add personal touches

Adding personal touches wherever possible also helps to build a genuine relationship with your customers. We have added a photograph and professional profile for every doctor, pharmacist and prescriber who works with us. Each profile details their professional experience and qualifications, reassuring the customers that, no matter who prescribes their medicine, they are a fully-qualified medical professional.

pexels-photo-3727464This helps to recreate the doctor-patient relationship that has existed for hundreds of years in local communities all over the world. This ‘local GP’ feeling is still very important to many people, so we have found that doing what we can to emulate this relationship means a lot to our consumers.

Invite feedback

Not only will constructive feedback from your customers help you to improve your service, but it will also show them that you care about their experience with you. We actively encourage our customers to provide feedback on all aspects of our company, from website usability to customer service.

Building this connection will encourage previous customers to return straight to your company instead of shopping around for an alternative.

Asking for feedback is a clear signal that you intend to listen to their suggestions and do all you can to make their next experience even better than the previous one. Your company is on a journey with its customers, so asking how you can help each other out is a real gesture of comradeship. It proves that you do not see them as mere order numbers, but human beings who are on a journey with you.

Keep things simple

pexels-photo-230544In the same vein of the customer journey, do not over-complicate the user experience.

Fancy graphics and videos can be excellent additions to any website, but do they actually serve a real purpose, or do they just detract from what really matters? Does making your site look flash and interactive in fact suggest that you might be hiding something further down the online process?

We regularly review our platforms to see what we can streamline or expand on to make the customer’s journey as smooth and simple as possible. For instance, we sell many medicines that cannot be bought without a prescription, so there are certain processes a customer must complete before they can purchase their medication. Therefore, we have a responsibility to make this process as easy as it can be for our customers, many of whom have never bought medicine online before and may be put off by the idea of online consultations.

Too many companies suffer from high numbers of abandoned orders due to an over-complicated checkout process. Alongside your customers’ feedback, you should be reviewing your website yourself to see what can be made easier.

Be social

pexels-photo-607812.Having a social media presence is one of the most talked about aspects of building trust online. From creating discussion, to news, to competitions, a social media presence is vital.

Dedicated customer service teams are just as important. Even if you are only a small company, having someone to answer the phone during business hours is essential for making your customers feel cared about. Not everyone wants to communicate via email, many consumers still feel most reassured when they can speak to another human voice.

Make sure your customers know that, no matter what your business hours are, you are always available to help them during those hours. Don’t let the emails pile up, reply to messages and comments on social media, and ensure your customers know your phone number if they need to call.





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Published on: 6th January 2021

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