Small Online Retailers Warned to Gain Consumer Trust or Lose Sales

Bristol, UK United Kingdom (PressExposure) April 10, 2009 -- Lucy Whittington, director of Inspired Business Marketing and expert contributor to Marketing Donut, the marketing advice website for small businesses, says taking steps to reassure potential customers will help smaller online retailers level the playing field with their larger competitors.

According to research from shopping network, sales made by smaller online retailers were down 21 per cent in the first two months of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008 as shoppers turned to established names online. Marketing experts believe the uncertain economic environment may be leading consumers to turn to bigger players for their purchases – even paying higher prices as they do so – as they fear smaller businesses may go under before their goods are delivered.

Whittington says small firms must tackle the issue of waning consumer confidence head on: “You have to show that you take quality seriously. It’s about risk reversal so your business, rather than the customer, is seen to bear the risk of any transaction.”

She advises: “Include money-back guarantees, remind people that if they pay by credit card they are protected, show you have internet security in place, sign up to a code of practice and promote your adherence to it, have lots of positive customer testimonials … do anything you can that’s appropriate for your business and will restore confidence among potential customers.”

Above all, she says: “Don’t be afraid to be small.” She advises small firms operating online to “get personal”.

“Have a page on your site about your business and document what you do that’s different. Make it clear that being a small retailer is an advantage for the customer – for example, that they can change their order quickly or can speak to you directly rather than deal with a call centre or only have email support. Point out your speciality and experience. Include pictures of the people working in your business, show your warehouse or shop if you have one. And don’t forget to include your address and telephone number.

“Do whatever you can to demonstrate to people that you’re real.”

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Contact: Mick Dickinson BHP Information Solutions Ltd Bristol, UK Tel:0044 (0)117 904 2224 Mob: 0044 (0)7816 680 266 []

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Small online retailers need to reassure customers they are safe place to buy from or risk losing sales to familiar big name brands, according to marketing experts.

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Press Release Submitted On: April 09, 2009 at 4:49 am
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