Buyer Confidence in Philippines E-commerce

Despite the continuous growth of the e-commerce industry in the Philippines, many buyers still consider online shopping riskier than shopping offline and thus, have more confidence purchasing items from a store or a mall. Buying from an e-commerce website is fundamentally different in feel and experience, and several factors have to be considered before a buyer decides to make an actual purchase. These include the merchant’s reputation, the website’s technology and security feature, item price and policies on refunds, exchanges, or damages. Among the primary concerns aired by buyers are data security and merchant reliability.

Security of personal information
The first question a buyer always asks during online transactions is if his personal information will be kept private and secure. With the rampant cases of identity theft and duplication of credit card information these days, it is understandable where this fear comes from.

But thanks to technology, various software solutions have been developed to prevent these problems associated with online purchasing security. SSL encryption services such as VeriSign ensures the safe and secure transfer of information from one page to another. Site scanning solutions protect a shopper’s information from hackers; while privacy certification lets buyers know that the merchant practices responsible privacy regulations.

For sellers, make sure that this security measure is implemented prior to launching any e-commerce campaign. It may be a bit costly, but it would definitely give your clients peace of mind, and allows you to establish a reputation as a legitimate and responsible seller.

Merchant Reliability
People care about brand and reputation. This is especially true in the case of e-commerce transactions where consumers do not have the same security that company kiosks or mall stores provide. Often, buyers would wonder if e-commerce merchants offer good and reliable service, and if they would truly honor the terms and conditions of their sale.

This is also the same reason why buyers prefer personal transactions, such as over-the-counter payments, pick-up or cash on delivery. Buyers feel more secure when transacting with a seller face-to-face.

How do you prove you’re a reliable merchant? Aside from having security and safety features, offering several suites of services and options to your customers makes your customers feel that you care about their business. Provide as many payment options to your clients as possible, including offline payment methods such as COD. For courier transactions, make sure that you offer insurance during shipping. Reward customers with membership programs, like member discounts or freebies for loyal buyers. This allows you to gain buyer confidence and build a wider customer base.

Displaying an authenticated seal or badge in your website indicating the number of successful transactions you’ve sold or sent to sellers helps in establishing your business’ legitimacy and gives you a solid entrepreneurial track record.

Lastly, take customer service to heart. Whether it’s a simple inquiry from a customer or a complaint, you would want to make your customers feel that they are valued and that they’re on top of your priorities.

Despite its incredible development in the recent year, there’s still much room for growth and improvement for the e-commerce industry here in the Philippines.  By securing online consumer confidence, it’s not impossible for e-commerce to reach its full potential and for e-sellers to reap its tremendous benefits.

For more information on how to get your business selling online just email me at jonathan@9dotstrategies.com.  We have a number of solutions that will help improve your businesses profitability.

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