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Trust is key asset to success of online business

By James Irungu | October 21st 2020

The rising digital technology has made it possible for many products or services to be purchased online from countless companies and businesses globally.

In all this trust is coming out as a significant differentiator. Without it, businesses will not trade, and consumers will not buy.

For businesses to perform well online, establishing and maintaining digital trust is an increasingly critical part to be paid attention to, with a few clicks, consumers can determine if their service providers’ promises are credible, if their supply chains and work practices are ethical, or if their product information is accurate.

Companies that fail to provide full transparency see their consumers’ trust erode thus losing business.

According to Microsoft Advertising’s bi-annual Digital Trends report, it revealed that there is a 25 per cent difference between what consumers are aware of sharing online and what they believe brands share about them without their explicit consent, this has raised concerns about the trust customers to give brands when it comes to giving information so they can receive a service in return.

The report also demonstrated that consumers are more comfortable sharing minimal kinds of data compared to other critical information due to security concerns. Types of information that consumers can freely share include personal data such as date of birth and address and demographic categories due to the shipping and logistics of their purchased products, while data such as credit card information is a no go zone.  

The report is a wake-up call that consumers are looking for a convenient yet secure way of purchasing online without security threats. Also, when it comes to offline they need to understand and believe that the brands will address these concerns by delivering ordered products safely without tampering, neglect, or loss.

It extends to the handling of goods during delivery. Recently, there has been a rise in goods being tampered with, stolen, or foods eaten by half before they get to the customers.

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On the other hand, businesses are also banking and investing in the opportunities afforded by digital technologies and discovering new ways of customer engagement to address the concerns raised such as having a 24 hours’ customer service and confirmation if one is a robot.

Companies need to redouble their efforts to ensure data privacy and security of products. They need to maximize on achieving trust along the customer journey and across all channels. Above all, they need to place trust at the center of their customer strategies and regain customer confidence that is the prerequisite for success and a determiner of business improvement.

One of the ways that the brands can start to address this issues of trust is to invest heavily on online and offline security, having random tests of their online platforms be it website or App to make sure that it is safe and secure and doesn’t raise any doubts to the visiting consumers.

This information can be provided by analytics indicating if the potential clients finished the intended application process or not.

The other is understanding that delivering trust is not a matter of setting up a secure website or app and waiting for the clients, it is about creating a digital experience that exceeds customer expectations, allowing frictionless access to goods and services, and protecting customers’ right to privacy while using the data they share to create customized, valuable experiences. With this, the brand receives unexpected recommendations from other clients and business continues to grow.

Businesses need to put effort when it comes to handling clients from online to maintain them, this also raises the need of hiring trustworthy individuals that will handle the clients openly with care helping them with any concerns raised, the majority of brands are not aware of what happens between the client and the delivery process which end up hurting them in future.

Customers who experience friction with the brands tend to go elsewhere as well as spread negative words regarding the brand’s ability to handle security concerns, this in result keeps away new clients from buying resulting in a negative impact on the business.

The process of delivering digital trust is about more than security and technology advancement, it is a shift in leadership that places the customer experience at the center of digital transformation. Trust-focused organisations adopt design thinking processes to create digital products based on the customer journey and architect security.

With the digital era now, trust has become a requirement for the brands to invest in as fraud also continues to dominate online with many people being victims of online scams that come through stealing their data and finances. There has been a rise in cases recently targeting the banking sector as clients report missing finances after unknown and unauthorised withdrawals.  

This shows that businesses should continuously work to offer an improved user experience and strengthen internal security safeguards when it comes to online user experience.

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