Don’t Just Tell Me, Show Me

Trust is central to the success of a consumer packaged service. If the consumer cannot hold the product they are about to purchase in their hand, they need to be reassured—by the appearance, structure and logic of your website—that the product is what you claim it is.

And when you’re a consumer packaged service, your website serves as much more than just your storefront. It’s also the attendant who greets your customers, shows off and talks to them knowledgeably about what sets your product apart from competitors’, and most importantly, guides them seamlessly and efficiently through their purchase. Implementing a carefully considered user experience and user interface demonstrates that you are attuned to the needs of your customer and helps foster trust. There are a number of ways you can establish that trust:

1) Show that you understand the user’s needs/apprehensions

Most men know very little about beauty products. Nevertheless, it was a $19 billion industry in 2016, with online sales of men’s shaving products alone making up $732 million of that market. This presents a massive opportunity for those who can capitalize on it.

Dollar Shave Club, (which we previously wrote about here and here) understands their consumers may not be savvy when it comes to beauty products, so they keep things as simple as possible with color-coded products to create obvious distinctions between offerings.

Taking a look at the product page of their website, Dollar Shave Club employs a very deliberate product hierarchy:


Let’s consider this order. You might think that since Dollar Shave Club is most known for their shaving products that they would lead with their shaving products. But understanding that their audience may not necessarily know exactly what beauty products they need/want, Dollar Shave Club instead chooses to lead with a starter set—an easy one-click solution that covers all beauty product needs for the customer. It also has the added benefit of introducing customers to the full breadth of product offerings that may not be immediately evident, considering their limiting company name. Next is trial kits. If a user is uncertain about committing to purchasing a starter set, Dollar Shave Club offers them the option to purchase for a lower price in a smaller size.

This well-thought-out hierarchy allows Dollar Shave Club to cross-sell their other beauty products while still meeting user needs.

2) Employ a content strategy that demonstrates your category knowledge

In the case of consumer packaged services that require members to trust your judgment to curate the products they will be receiving, building consumer confidence is even more critical. Consumers are looking to establish a relationship with your brand vs. making a one-time purchase. One example of this is Krave, a company dedicated to developing “snacks that show off the tasty side of health and are delivered directly to you.”

The health food category is a particularly tricky one to navigate. Everyone has a different definition of what healthy is, and it seems like what’s good for you shifts from day to day. To make their claim believable, Krave has a robust blog with article titles that demonstrate knowledge of health, wellness and food/flavor:

Health: “11 Steps to a Healthier Heart”; “Looking After your Immune System”; “Four Tips to Stay Healthy While Traveling”
Wellness: “Are You Embracing Hygge?”; “What Does it Mean to Be Healthy?”; “Quick and Easy Yoga Posts to Relax at Work”
Food/Flavor: “Top Flavor Trends of 2017;” “The Benfits of Quinoa and How to Cook It”; “Sweet Potato Smoothie Bowl Recipe”

3) Develop UI and Design Details that Create a Delightful User Experience

Your ability to deliver an online experience that aligns with your brand’s values is the first step in building trust that can result in an eventual purchase. Following conversion, an enjoyable user experience can keep your customers coming back to explore new offerings and continue actively engaging with your brand.

Make your website a shrine to everything your brand represents, down to the smallest details. One way to do this is through branded microinteractions—moments of delight resulting from simple user interactions. This creates a positively reinforced feedback loop that encourages users to continue repeating a specific action.

One example of this is the loading icon on the Blue Apron site (whom we also previously wrote about.)

Employing custom loading icons not only reinforces your brand, but can also distract users from slow load times. While a minor detail, it’s elements like these that ultimately make an experience memorable for users.

Another interesting design element on the Blue Apron site is a sliding graphic that shows the ingredients you receive, and the final cooked product. This both serves the purpose of adding a fun flair to the website, while helping users who aren’t as confident in their cooking skills overcome their doubts.

Strategically employing branded microinteractions and unique graphic elements makes your site more enjoyable to visit, and can help turn one-time customers into brand loyalists.

As always, when it comes to building consumer trust, perception is reality. If your site promises prompt delivery, but pages load slowly, users will be less inclined to believe that claim. And while this isn’t logical (page load time has no bearing on product delivery), consumers don’t think logically. Every part of their online experience affects how they perceive your brand. If your website can demonstrate that you have a clear understanding of your audience, are able to provide content of value and an engaging experience, they’ll believe that the service you offer is worth their while.