Owning a retail brand, store, or company is a highly competitive market to be in. Retail products can be found all throughout the internet with a simple search and click of a button. Because of the access and ability in finding the same products at different prices, consumers typically search for the cheapest options first. How can your retail business compete with that!
Having a good reputation is the answer. What does this mean? As more and more products become available online that provide consumers with varying price points for the same items, it can be a difficult situation to be in as a retail business.
However, in response to this wave of accessibility, there is also a new wave of more people not receiving the quality items they thought to have purchased. And in some instances, a customer might not receive their items at all because they might have purchased from someone simply posing as a retail company.
Reputable online stores and brands are increasing in popularity, because a customer wants to avoid being left an undesirable product or even worse, just stolen from altogether. More and more consumers are now turning to social proof before purchasing from an online retail store to avoid businesses that provide low quality products or simply do not fulfil their orders.
What is Social Proof?
When you have found a product you would like to purchase from an online store, a customer might scroll down to see the reviews of this product from other people who have purchased and received it. A customer will trust others who have purchased and received a product, then written a review about the product, before buying this product themselves.
And with the behemoth that is social media, every online retailer probably has social media platforms like instagram or facebook. This gives past customers and potential customers a safe space to let the brand know what their feedback is on their online business and the products they are selling.
For example, if you have found an article of clothing that you absolutely love and want to purchase from an online store, but you have never purchased from them before, you would be wise to do a little extra research before pressing the buy now button. You might benefit from reading the comments under a post of the item you are thinking about purchasing from the retailers instagram page.
More often than not you will find a list of comments which also double as reviews of the product. Some might say their order was received quickly and efficiently but the material is nowhere near the quality that was stated in the product’s description online. You might also find an abundance of positive comments about the product you are interested in, but that shipping might take longer than normal.
Wagering these pros and cons based on the social proof of a brand or online business is a great way to manage expectations when purchasing products online. There is a trust built online with consumers, as they will often create the good or bad reputation of a business and point out the red flags that another person should avoid altogether.
Retail reputation management and credibility are crucial in this day in an age where there is so much more accessibility online than ever before. While a price point might look appealing, it is critical to do your research on the business before deciding to purchase something and potentially lose money in the end.
Alternatively, if you are an online retailer and always provide your customers with quality products and great service, you might want to think about how your business is perceived online if you want to increase sales in the future.