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    How To Build Brand Trust From Cart to Checkout

    8 minute read
    How To Build Brand Trust From Cart to Checkout

    If customers don’t trust the way you do business, they won’t buy from your brand.

    It’s part of the human condition. Given our reliance on groups for safety and support, we’re naturally conditioned to prioritize trust. Individuals who can’t be trusted put the entire group at risk. 

    While the stakes aren’t quite so high when it comes to online and in-store shopping, the principle remains the same: If customers don’t trust your brand to keep its word about pricing, product quality, or return policies, they’re far less likely to spend. 

    According to Deloitte Digital and Twilio survey data, 68% of consumers spent more money on their most trusted brands.

    This makes building brand trust a top priority. If brands and retailers can create and maintain trust, they can see more consistent sales and higher overall revenues. 

    Of course, this begs the question: How do companies cultivate (and keep) this crucial consumer characteristic? 

    What Is Brand Trust?

    Before digging into the details of trust building, you need a working definition. 

    In person-to-person relationships, trust is a measure of belief in behavior: How likely are individuals to do what they say they’re going to do?

    Trust in business is similar — it’s an ongoing assessment of consumer belief in a brand’s ability to deliver on its promises. 

    Belief is inherently subjective and is largely a matter of how customers perceive your brand. Different buyers will have different priorities when it comes to trust, meaning there’s no catch-all solution for creating consumer trust.

    There are, however, components that are commonly associated with trust, such as ubiquity, reliability, and value. 

    Are Brand Trust and Brand Loyalty the Same?

    Brand trust and brand loyalty are similar but not identical. 

    Brand trust is consumer confidence that your business will live up to its promises. Brand loyalty, meanwhile, is the willingness of customers to regularly make additional purchases.

    As a result, trust comes first and is a major component in creating loyalty. Each interaction brands have with customers is an opportunity to build trust. 

    Consider a potential purchaser who reaches out to your brand for details about a specific product. You send an automatic reply indicating they can expect a more detailed response in the next two business days. Get this response over to them on time (or earlier, if possible), and you build trust. Miss the mark, and customers are less likely to believe the next promise you make.

    Over time, trust-based interactions add up. Get enough of them right, and consumers are more likely to make a purchase. Keep proving that your business is trustworthy, and buyers are more willing to come back and buy again.

    How Do You Calculate Brand Trust?

    Because brand trust is built on both facts and feelings, calculating this metric requires both quantitative and qualitative data. 

    Sales are a great source of quantitative data. If sales numbers are steadily rising, trust is typically on the way up. But conversions alone don’t tell the whole story — one-off events such as sales or customers buying items in bulk can skew sales numbers.

    Meanwhile, when it comes to qualitative data, customer opinions are a good place to start. Here, product reviews and customer surveys can help businesses pinpoint both general trends and specific trust issues. 

    It’s also worth measuring customer engagement with metrics, such as Net Promoter Scores (NPS) or data analysis of interactions across various touchpoints, such as social media pages, websites, and mobile applications.

    What Steps Can You Take To Build Brand Trust and Loyalty?

    When learning how to build brand trust, businesses need to prioritize what matters to customers. For example, while transparency in financial processes and fair dealings with supply chain providers are a great way to build intra-industry reputation, they have a limited impact on consumer trust.

    According to the Salsify “2024 Consumer Research” report, three components are critical to help cultivate brand trust: reputation, product content, and pricing. 

    These purchase priorities help inform important steps to help your brand build loyalty.

    Step 1: Own Your Narrative

    Reputation topped the list of trust indicators, with 24% of shoppers saying a positive reputation makes them more likely to trust a brand.

    As a result, companies must own their narrative. This means creating consistent and engaging content across web and social media sites, in addition to actively responding when customers leave less-than-favorable reviews or reach out for service.

    Step 2: Create Better Product Content

    Product content can also foster trust, with 11% of buyers saying that high-quality product images and descriptions are an important factor. 

    For brands, this means taking the time to build top-shelf digital shelves that include detailed descriptions, multiple photos, and clear data about pricing, shipping, and possible delays.  

    Step 3: Find Your Price Point

    One in 10 customers point to competitive pricing and good value for money as drivers of trust. But “competitive” doesn’t mean “cheap” — it means that brands can justify the price they charge based on the quality and availability of the items they sell.

    Age informs the impact of trust, with 42% of Generation Z buyers saying they’ve abandoned a sale due to a lack of brand trust. Generation X is next at 32%, followed by millennials at 29% and baby boomers at 23%.

    This means that knowing your audience is imperative. While the types of actions that create trust are consistent across generations, the importance of that trust is variable.

    Trust, But Verify

    Customers want to trust brands. They prefer shopping partners who meet expectations and make consumers feel comfortable.

    Trust is tough to build and easy to lose. Even a few small slip-ups can erase trust gained over hundreds of interactions. 

    Consistency is the answer. From building better narratives to creating better content and delivering value to buyers, brands that put trust first are better positioned to cultivate loyalty and boost sales conversions over time.

    Featured images -  Consumer Research 20244

    2024 Salsify Consumer Research Report

    Download our consumer report to learn how to build brand trust by learning more about what your customers want.


    Written by: Doug Bonderud

    Doug Bonderud (he/him) is an award-winning writer with expertise in ecommerce, customer experience, and the human condition. His ability to create readable, relatable articles is second to none.

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    2024 Salsify Consumer Research Report Download our consumer report to learn how to build brand trust by learning more about what your customers want. DOWNLOAD NOW