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Tips for small businesses to get an edge online

May 18, 2012

Last year while looking at the challenges of small businesses going online the realization hit me that what they need to build first is is trust. With trust shoppers are more likely to take the chance on

the first order.

Then it becomes about repeat business and assuming the trust was reaffirmed during the buying experience it then becomes about like.

Do I like doing business with you?

Do I like the way you treat me?

Do I like the people behind the business?

All of this matters online because there are many other places a shopper can for the an equivalent product /or experience so the initial trust sets the foundation and then that is reinforced by being liked.

At the time I did a bit of a brain dump on how to build trust and I would love to hear from others if they agree, disagree or even better have suggestions that are more effective.

Below were my thoughts and suggestions.

On the Internet with an unlimited number of places to buy why should I choose you?
Face-to-face we all learn to make decision about who we Like
With a bit of time we decide who to Trust
On the phone we are learning to make the same decision
But on the web how do we make these decisions.  Do I like you, do I trust you

This is even more important for a small business
Big business have a brand and a budget so can buy Trust
e.g.    Coca Cola, Apple, Levi, Tescos
Before you go to their website you already have trust and maybe even  like for them

For Small Businesses
No history
No brand appeal
No automatic Trust
& definitely no Like

Neutral
You get to set expectations
Create Trust
A Reason to Like
Confidence to buy

So, what can you do.

Be Real
Your big advantage is that you are not a faceless company
Use It
Be the size you are

Be Relevant
Why did they come to your site?
Check statistics and see what they searched for
Put That First
If everyone is coming to your site to buy shoes why start with laces

Be Positive
What you say about others reflects on you
If you have nothing good to say – say nothing
No – Coming Soon
No – Under Construction

Be Personal
Tell them who you are and what is your passion
Chances you are doing what you are doing because you love it
Tell the story

Be Up To Date
Check your site regularly for out of date information
Old articles that have been superseded because of newer information
Show me you love your site (it shows me you will care for me too)

Be Open
Tell me what you do (not what you don’t do)
Tell me why you are great
Tell me why I should Trust you
Tell me why I should Like you

Share Story
Who are you
Why do you do what you do
How did you get here
Why is what you do relevant
Why is what you sell right for me
Why should I do something now

Share Successes
Get References
If possible pictures
Before/After
Make real

Make it Easy to Understand
You want them to pick you now (not check out another website)
Why make it hard for them
Simple Language

Make it Easy to Engage
Signpost it
Big and Obvious

Clear & Simple Call to Action
If you could pick 1 thing what do you want them to do?
Put this front and centr

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