So I was thinking about how and why people buy from one internet store versus another!
Price is very important but trust is key!
We all want to buy from people we trust.
Who wants to buy from an untrustworthy person, shop or business?
The dodgy bloke at the door or the pop-up street trader with the suitcase that's looking out for the police around the corner!
And we feel embarrassed, angry and hurt if we get mugged!
Oh, and by the way, we don't buy from businesses, companies, organisations, internet companies (ebay, Amazon etc.). We buy from people! Other human beings!
Some organisations are just so big you can't get to the person! Some organisations intentionally hide the human because they want to deceive you. Untrustworthy humans hide behind what looks 'trustworthy' and they con you!
In the non-internet world, human sales staff are trained to build trust between themselves and their prospective buyer.
Part of the trust equation includes looking appropriate. Image is key, first impressions are key. That's the answer!
A car salesperson might look smart and casual, an ice cream salesperson needs to look clean and a butcher needs to have an apron! Ever bought an ice cream from a person with blood on his apron or seen a butcher in suit?
Nope...image is just a part of the trust equation.
Saying the right things helps. Saying the right thing is key! The guy looks honest, the girl seems straight! Their look fits the part AND they are saying the right things. Con-men and women trade on both aspects!
Actually...there are dozens of other factors!
So how do we translate the normal everyday real person trust-factors into internet selling on our website?
The world is awash with scam companies, telephone cold calling and pressure selling.
So how do you know we'll deliver? How do you know our outdoor and garden lights products are high quality? How do you know we're not just a rip off company?
Frankly, we struggle to understand all the issues and then positively manage all the factors. Even this Blog maybe a spoof to draw you in! (It's not by the way!)
Sure, we can ask past buyers to give a testimonial. That'll do it. But will it? Everyone's situation is subtly different.
We can't afford to have an independent review capability. They cost £thousands!
The review companies make millions out of big companies but we don't fit that category! Sure, the likes of ebay and Amazon and other big sites have feedback mechanisms and then you get 90% good and 10% poor! Woah...now what?
Imagine we have great customer testimonials. How do you know they are true?
What if our internet descriptions have lots of mistakes? What if we can't describe things with good English and it looks as if a foreign person has created or stands behind our site!?
What if we have so many marketing statements it just becomes unbelievable?
What if we get the balance just about right? Will that convince you more than anything else to buy from us?
So how can you test we are OK? It's difficult. And we know that because we use the internet to buy stuff as well!
I recently bought something off the internet from a heavily advertised site, well marketed and professionally put together. I felt totally let down. They didn't answer my calls when I had a problem, they didn't respond to my emails until really hard pushed. Had they just run away with my money? I was embarrassed and angry. I'd been done! In the end they came back...but wow heart sinking moments occurred!
So I thought I'd do some research.
Interestingly, there seems to be little I could easily find in the public domain that explores what truly creates trust. That little silver bullet that we could use to give you a 'cast iron, copper bottomed, silver lined guarantee'!
I bet some Universities have had Professors and research teams dig so deep they've got lost in academic drifts!
Then there's the standard Citizens Advice test-type stuff.
Is your internet connection secure when you make a payment, (https and all that), do they provide contact information in line with internet selling regulations, do they have Terms and Conditions that are easy to understand and do they have Trusted Reviews and...and...and...and...
Yep, all that stuff exists but do I still trust them?
Don't worry though as big brands are totally solid aren't they?. They're totally trustworthy aren't they?
Mmmmm....how about Sony letting private information go public because they didn't protect your internet identity! How about horsemeat in beefburgers...Tesco's (and maybe others to be fair) and their suppliers!
More recently (October 2015) Volkswagen misleading their regulator and Talk-Talk not protecting consumers with solid internet security.
Sorry to mention some big brands, but there are dozens of others ranging from insurance companies, through the banks, the finance industry and other examples that go straight to the heart of Government's!
So how do you know your internet seller is solid or do you go with the crowd?
What crowd? Any fraudulent internet company can easily manufacturer a crowd of positive supporters! It's simple.
So the website provides a really good level of information but still do you trust the company or just ride on the shoulders of the crowd?
How much 'due-diligence research' do you really do!
How about mixing a 'gut reaction' with a a dollop of sensible research, look at the competition, get the cheapest price add a sprinkling of 'I think I won't be let down' and make sure it's all stirred with a big marketing spoon!. Sure, go for it! You now trust the seller! Eeerrr...no!
Guess What? We don't have the answers but it's in the mathematics!
If you are into maths (math if you are US bound) then I found a paper that seems to examine, through research, SOME of the tensions between trust and trustworthiness in mathematical formulas! They do say everything can be reduced to mathematics!
If you need some bedtime reading and an alternative to a herbal sleep remedy then refer to the study in Chinese 'ebay' internet buying (http://kuafu.umd.edu/~ginger/research/CJLZ-buyerprotection-2014-07-20-1.pdf)
As for us. Our website 12vgardenlights.com. Our high quality outdoor and garden lights products from Techmar!
Well, as we don't have all the answers then we won't pretend we can convince you. Simplz!
Read what we have, think about what you want and if you want call or email me, have a chat, ask your questions and see if it gives some comfort and builds some trust between us.
I'd be delighted to help!
We're not a big company, we can't afford big-brand review mechanisms but I try and give the service that I'd like to be given!
Finally, and just in case you are wondering! We have an internationally based and accredited shopping and payment facility with all the security and electronic trading regulations sitting between you and us! And we don't hold your credit card details!