When the Internet became available to the mainstream in the mid-90s, information was available but there was not commerce taking place. One of the greatest reasons for this was that the Internet was not a trusted location.
Fast-forward to today, and there are still many people who have their qualms about making transactions online. Of course, today they are in the minority, but the point that trust has to be cultivated and built overtime remains.
Adoption Breeds Familiarity
As adoption of Internet usage grew, so did familiarity with how it works and an understanding of the technological pitfalls and advancements. ECommerce was a novel idea due to the convenience, so many people who were on that bleeding edge as consumers made the leap for sake of convenience. And while most helped out during the early wave of eCommerce, many watched to see what happened when sites like eBay were born. Mass adoption started to take place due to the trust of the technology.
Now Trust Is Up to the Individual Businesses
Today we live in a world where eCommerce is the norm. Banks often actually charge additional fees to utilize an in-person banker, since online banking is so readily available and the adoption is so widespread.
This all points to a great playing field for businesses looking to conduct eCommerce. However, what those businesses still need to understand is that the trust still has to be established. Now the trust is not for sake of the technology conducting transactions, but rather the trust behind the business and brand that consumers are purchasing from.
Social Plays a Leading Role
Many buyers online can shop from businesses they’ve never heard of before with a certain degree of trust in large part due to social media. Social media has democratized the web, allowing anyone to be an advocate or critic of any business. This is not to say that anything or everything posted about a particular business is accurate, but there’s enough of a footprint to see patterns of a business to be cautious.
All businesses are participating in social media, whether they know it or not, and whether they like it or not. While many business owners may say things to the contrary, a mention of their business on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere is proof that their business has gone social.
The way to build trust with their targeted audience is simply to listen and engage with them. This can only be done if there is a business presence set up via many popular social platforms.
These platforms can be used for consumers to get to know more about the brand, to understand the products and services, until they become fans of the product brand or business.
Trust as the Conclusion
This is exactly how trust is built in the real world. And here we can see it carried over, following the same rules and logistics as the real world, but online. Social is not as much about technology as it is about relationships that are simply brought together through a technological media.