Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Trust Building for Small Retailers - Web Hints


One of the biggest problems of blogging, I've come to realise, is what happens when you go away somewhere and you simply can't. Oh the guilt! Ridiculous I know but there it is, there was a small element of that while I was away, only a very small one, you understand as I was far too busy walking the mountains in the incredible sunshine and being entertained in the evenings by an amazing bunch of people from NY, Switzerland (surprise......because that's where I was) France, Austria and just about everywhere else you can think of.

Now I'm back and really wondering why I bothered to take a camera with me. Clear blue skys, stunning mountains, snow covered trees and beautiful chalets everywhere culminated in just a couple of pics. I'm now missing all those pictures I should have taken. Oh well........

Anyway, today I wanted to write about one of the ways that smaller retailers can build trust for their websites.

For some reason, and this is something I don't understand, there is a large group of small online retailers (huge, actually) who think that just having a reasonably good home page will be enough to make people want to buy from them. Well listen to me. It may, but the likelyhood, with the amount of dishonest onliners out there and the incredibly fast growth of online retail in general, particularly from those who really know what they're doing, is that it won't.

If you are a household name, such a John Lewis, House of Fraser, The White Company etc then of course you don't need big signs that say 'you can buy from us, we're trustworthy'. But if you're a small retailer, then you do.

One way, and one of the best, is to sign up to ISIS, IMRG's small retailer scheme. The benefit for you is that you get to display their well recognised and trusted logo on your site. ISIS accredited merchants now account for approximately two-thirds of all UK online shopping.

What you have to do is supply all your details, have your site reviewed by ISIS, recognise that it will be monitored and that your Business, VAT and Data Protection registrations will be checked by IMRG and pay, in fact, an incredibly small fee for the trust that you gain. If you're interested in joining ISIS click here to read more, then use the promotional code PHDISIS to get fifteen month's membership for the price of twelve.

Incidentally if you sign up to http://www.vente-privee.com/ and go to their members home page (by the way if you don't know them they are the best place for 'closed designer sales') the ISIS accreditation is one of the first things you'll see. As one of France's top ten online retailers and growing at an unbelieveable pace here - if it's good enough for them, it surely has to be good enough for you!

Yesterday in London was horrific, one swim, one great meeting (with IMRG, incidentally and more about that later) and culminating with meeting a longtime friend and colleague for an early supper at the Wolsley. Only problem was I was waiting for her at the Westbury and she was waiting for me at the Wolsley, not having received my text, because she was early. So I was the one who had to run in the pouring rain down Bond Street and then, thankfully, Burlington Arcade. Looking ever so faintly ridiculous. Oh well! We had a gret time.