If you aim to increase customer loyalty in today’s time, you need to take the inside-out approach. After all, customers only respond to what they see, hear and feel about your product and service. This creates a distinct perception in their mind that they associate with your brand. Perceptions tend to stick, and a single bad experience can take years to undo.

For example, if you have been getting too many negative online reviews, your product’s perceived value may be impacted. This, in turn, can affect sales and revenues in the long run. Remember, people buy products for their perceived benefits. Thankfully, customer perception is something that can be changed, although it does take time and effort.

Here is a simple analogy: customer perception is to brands what personal reputation is to people

To turn your visitors into customers and customers into brand advocates, you need a clear plan of action. Key factors that contribute to positive brand perception:

  • High-quality products,
  • Loyalty rewards, and 
  • Excellent customer service

However, unless you are consistent, clear, and precise about the kind of brand perception you want to create, your marketing messages could be confusing to your customers.

This also means that effective communication is not a one-time event but an on-going process. Continuously talking to customers and listening to what they have to say is the only way to understand customer behavior truly. In turn, this helps brands optimize their product or service to meet their needs in the best possible manner. Unlike other business KPIs, customer perceptions cannot be predicted as they are based on feelings, opinions, and sentiments.

However, they are influenced by past experiences, social media mentions, and online reviews and can be measured. In the post-pandemic environment, customers are increasingly switching brands that do not fit their values. So, what should e-commerce stores be doing to improve their brand perceptions?

6 Steps to Improve Customer Perception of Your E-commerce Brand

Here are 6 proven strategies that you can use to improve customer perceptions about your brand:

1. Optimize your website:

81%-of-customers-are-not-comfortable-using-e-commerce-sites-that-were-unfamiliar

Customers base their perceptions on how your website looks and functions. For example, if your site has a trust/verified seal or security certificate from McAfee, Paypal, or VeriSign, they are likely to be more comfortable entering their credit card details at checkout. A study by BuySafe showed that 81% of customers are not comfortable using unfamiliar e-commerce sites. If your website does not look professional, customers may think it’s fake or worry that their data may be sold to third parties without a clear privacy policy.

To address these fears, ensure that your site is responsive and optimized for mobile devices. It should also have up-to-date contact information and address details in the ‘contact us’ section.

2. Clear terms and conditions:

It is common for shoppers to ignore the terms and conditions, privacy policy, cancellation policy, or disclaimer notices when shopping online. So, include detailed information about returns and exchanges, pricing, sales tax, etc., in the FAQs and page footers so that customers can access that easily. Being transparent about your terms of service builds trust and reassures them that you are serious about data privacy and legal compliance.

Conditions regarding payments and refunds deserve special attention as they can result in disputes and even create tax obligations on your part. These factors play a key role in influencing customer perceptions about your brand.

3. Track online reviews and comments:

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What customers say about you online can multiply your returns or trigger losses. For example, by responding to online reviews about exchanges and refunds, you could earn repeat business and get referrals, boosting customer loyalty and lifetime value. On the other hand, if you fail to respond, customers would be less likely to trust you.

This means review tracking and analysis play a key role in driving purchase intent and customer engagement. To achieve this, you need to collate review data in a single dashboard. This can make it easy for your team to tag and systematically respond to customer reviews. 

Remember: customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. Responding to online reviews can help you boost customer confidence.

4. Personalized service

Research has proved that customers value personalized service as much as product quality and price. 48% of customers spend more when their experience is personalized. This means that it is time to ditch the one size fits all approach. The use of segmentation can help you anticipate customer needs better. It can help you create unique experiences for different users based on age, income, etc. By leveraging customer data, you can create detailed customer profiles and tailor their experience across all touchpoints.  

Some other data points can be current and past searches, purchase history, cart contents, email click-through rate, etc.

5. Amplify user-generated content

Content marketing has been used to good effect for branding by e-commerce stores. More importantly, it is proven to be effective for reversing negative brand perceptions about a product. Content such as blogs and case-studies have increased product utilization and engagement in multiple industries. However, the latest research shows that customers perceive user-generated content as more authentic and trustworthy. 

A survey found that user-generated content is 35% more memorable than other media. So, you must partner with your best customers to create content and share it across all your channels.

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6. Create an online community

Customers can get a lot of value by sharing tips and ideas about products on online platforms. By creating an online user community, you can use your existing customers to develop relationships with new customers. This will open up opportunities to push product recommendations on trending topics. In turn, you can foster familiarity and engagement, increasing customer loyalty and retention.

Last Words

Good customer service can make a big difference in shaping customer perceptions about your brand. Your vision of 24X7 omnichannel customer support can turn into reality faster with a strategic partner like Helplama. Our team of customer support specialists can help you handle high volumes at a low cost. What’s more, our Zero-Risk Guarantee has you covered in case you are not satisfied for any reason. Contact us today for more information.