How do you reach consumers; not just get in front of them, but truly interact and engage with them in a meaningful way?
This was the question that was being answered at the recent Newegg Summit, a cross-border e-commerce event for UK companies wanting to sell into the US and beyond.
As part of the day, Trustpilot was invited to take part in a panel, looking at the ways in which businesses can reach their consumers. My colleague, Dave Roberston, spoke about the role of reviews in achieving this, stressing the value of using them to better appeal to local markets.
I would like to look at some of the key points that were discussed.
Building trust is essential, no matter where your customer is
As I looked at in my previous blog, trust is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses at the moment. Research has shown that 43% of consumers don’t trust businesses, which is the lowest level it’s been. You have a clear shift from traditional ways of interaction, which was often consumers walking into a shop and dealing with a retailer face-to-face. E-commerce, and the increase in cross-border selling, has taken away this personal touch point which was often essential in building trust. The challenge for retailers is therefore how to re-create this intimacy and live feedback online.
This is where reviews can play an important role. Although many people think of reviews being left and then that’s the end of it, the best businesses are the ones who look past the stars and really engage with what the reviewer is saying - good and bad. Building trust means listening, responding and learning to these reviews from day one and throughout the customer journey.
How to speak your language in their language
One of the areas that the panel touched on was the importance of localisation, especially when businesses were looking to expand into new regions. Research has shown that 57% will not do business with a company that does not use their language on site. This level of lost business is the difference between succeeding or failing in a new market, so must be addressed from the first day. It’s not just language either, with the need for cultural differences to also be factored into everything from the advertising to the customer support.
It’s not just localisation brands need to consider, it’s hyper-localisation. As I mentioned earlier, the days of being able to set up a shop, then engage face-to-face with consumers, is a luxury far beyond many e-commerce brands. This form of engagement was the perfect way to truly listen to and engage with consumers, in real-time, with no chance to hide from criticism or turn a blind eye to what the customer was saying. It’s this level of engagement that needs to be re-created online if brands are to truly earn trust in new markets.
Reviews offer an effective solution to these issues, as they allow for brands to start collecting and displaying local feedback from the start. This feedback helps provide crucial insights, first hand from local consumers, which can then inform the wider strategy the brand takes in that market. Additionally, stars offer a cross-border sign of trust, which can help quickly establish a brand’s reputation in a new market. Brands who take the time to read every review and then learn from them, actively showcasing this journey to consumers, will be the ones who earn the most trust.
What’s the most important thing to remember?
Brands need to listen to consumers from day one and throughout every step of the journey they take with them. This is not a nice-to-have, or something which can be deployed down the line. It’s essential if a brand wants to not only succeed domestically, but throughout the world as well.
Alan is Vice President of Consumer Marketing at Trustpilot, a leading independent review platform - free and open to all. With more than 70 million reviews of over 300,000 companies, Trustpilot gives people a place to share and discover reviews of businesses, while giving every business the tools to turn consumer feedback into business results...