How Customer Distrust Impacts the Shopping Experience

Woman in a cafe with credit card and laptop

We have all had this scenario play out before—you are shopping online and then switch over to Facebook, only to see an advertisement on the sidebar for the item you just looked at. If this type of targeted advertising has ever made you feel uneasy, you are in good company. A recent Periscope survey revealed that 62 percent of U.S. responders do not want their online and offline information to be connected to optimize the shopping experience—something that is necessary if an e-commerce retailer wants to create an omnichannel experience.

That means if you are an online retailer currently utilizing personal data to better target consumers and create brand loyalty, you may actually be doing the opposite of that. So how do you get consumers to trust you while still utilizing all of the tools available to you?

Be smart about how you use customer information

The Periscope survey revealed something rather interesting about the strange dichotomy online consumers have when it comes to their information. Although they do not like to give out their information, they do appreciate when it is used right.

According to the survey, 24 percent of the respondents in the U.S. said that they are put off making a purchase because of online recommendations. However, on the flip side, 61 percent said that they were happy to receive recommendations—on the condition that they are relevant.

When online retailers use customer information the correct way, customers respond positively. However, when you bombard customers with unrefined recommendations—like when customers see the item they just looked at on Facebook—the only thing it serves to do is remind customers that you have the information they did not want to give you, and they are not getting anything of value in return.

Invest in a robust recommendation system that gets to know the customer’s personal tastes. According to Periscope, 42 percent of online consumers felt the online channels they used “knew them well” while 66 percent of responders said the opposite about the brick-and-mortar stores they frequent. If applied wisely, consumer data can be used to create a more personalized shopping experience for online consumers than brick-and-mortar stores.

How to build trust with online customers

One way to gain your online customers’ trust is with a clean website design, easy-to-use interface and responsive cart system. Use SSL encryption and trusted payment methods such as PayPal and Google Checkout to provide a better sense of security.

Adding trust seals to your site can be an easy way to increase consumer confidence. According to a Baymard survey, 35.6 percent of consumers feel most secure by the Norton Security trust seal, while 22.9 percent said McAfee Secure and 13.2 percent said TRUSTe or BBB Accredited.

Since you are asking for their information, you should be comfortable sharing your own. Show your customers that there are real people behind your brand through an “About Us” section, your social media profiles and a company blog. Video also goes a long way towards putting online customers at ease.

Testimonials and reviews are another excellent way help to build customer trust. Here is another area where customer information can be put to smart use. Testimonials and reviews have a stronger effect when they come from people that customers identify with, such as the people they know on social media or even just people in their area or demographic.

Most importantly, your website should have a privacy policy that is transparent and easily accessible. When you are upfront and honest about how you use personal information your customers are less likely to be distrustful about sharing their information with you in the first place.

About Endicia

Endicia is a leading provider of internet-based postage services that make it easier and more affordable to ship parcels through the U.S. Postal Service®. We know that shipping can be complex and our goal is to simplify your shipping operations so you can focus on doing what you do best. Visit us at to learn more.

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