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Expert view:
How to snare busy consumers and build trust.

By Andrew Mabbutt

6 February 2017

It’s well known that online fashion and clothing retailers are up against it; the buying process for the sector is traditionally a tactile and immersive experience. So, for new and lesser known brands operating online, building that level of trust to encourage consumers to place an order with no option of checking the quality first is no easy feat. 
 
So, how can a new company build that level of trust with browsers to turn them into customers? Muddy Puddles is an example of a premium childrenswear brand specialising in waterproof outerwear and durable footwear whose primary target market is busy mums with limited time and hectic schedules. The team at Muddy Puddles paid great attention to their target market, and through research understood that word of mouth was central to parents’ buying. In order to make a purchase, visitors to the site must have bought into the brand and believe in the quality. Without being able to touch and assess the products in advance, the site relied upon reviews. 
 
Real customer reviews were a way to harness that recommendation process and word of mouth online, and on a larger scale. By showing reviews left by other customers, new prospects could benefit from their experiences and feel reassured by genuine feedback.
 
Not only did the inclusion of reviews bolster trust in the brand, it also paid off in other ways; Muddy Puddles earned a 4.8 star rating, which trebled its click through rate from 2.7 per cent to 9.2 per cent. This shows how powerful a good star rating can be, especially when displayed online, as it conveys in a quick glance that a site is worth that valuable click. 
 
Not only did the inclusion of reviews lead to a boost in traffic and sales, it also led to reduced costs; the company was able to reduce its Pay-Per-Click advertising thanks to the organic traffic that was already coming to the site.
 
Building trust is an essential component of online retail success and can be difficult to achieve through a screen. While online shopping is a popular pastime, it becomes trickier with higher value items and premium brands. Reviews help to speed up that success, broadcast the triumphs, and encourage new business to take a chance on a new brand; delivering real results all the way from increased traffic to decreased ad spends.
 
Andrew Mabbutt
CEO at reviews and customer analytics company www.feefo.com


 
 
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