In this podcast episode, we delve into the significance of social proof in ecommerce. Our featured guest on the show is Daan Vaneker, founder & CEO of trustprofile.com
Topics discussed in this episode:
- How trust-building impacts small online businesses.
- The fundamentals of trust-building for online businesses.
- The importance of showcasing the human side of a business.
- How negative reviews can be advantageous for a business.
- The proper method for collecting and showcasing reviews.
- The influence of product reviews on decision-making.
Links & Resources
Shopify App: https://www.trustprofile.com/topic/integrations/shopify-integration/
Shopify App Store: https://apps.shopify.com/trustprofile
About Our Podcast Guest: Daan Vaneker
Daan Vaneker, Founder & CEO at TrustProfile. He is a finance pro and entrepreneur, excels in marketing, strategy, and software development. Devoted family man with two sons and a loving wife. Founder of Trustprofile, enhancing webshop trust through customer reviews and badges. Prior to this, he was with WebwinkelKeur, dedicated to ensuring trust in online shopping. As a Financial Interim Manager at Economen Netwerk, he established a network of independent financial specialists. Daan holds a degree in Business Economics from Saxion HS, graduating in 2007, and is multilingual.
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Claus Lauter: Hello and welcome to another episode of the e commerce coffee break podcast. Today, we're going to talk about social proof and why it's so crucial for e commerce. Did you know that 75 percent of all consumers look at your reviews before they buy a product? At least I do. And out of the 75, 25 percent use.
This reviews as a basis to buy something. So that's the power of social proof. And I want to dive a little bit deeper on it. And with me on the show, I have Daan Vaneker. He's the founder and CEO of Trust Profile, a platform aimed at enhancing the trustworthiness of web shops through customer reviews and trust pages.
He is a finance professional and passionate entrepreneur, excellent in marketing strategy, finance, and software development. And he graduated in business economics and is proficient in Dutch, English, and Brazilian Portuguese. So let's welcome him to the show. Hi, Dan. How are you today?
Daan Vaneker: Hi, Claus. Very nice to be here.
Claus Lauter: Great to have you on the show. Let's talk about building trust. No, that's not the easiest thing specifically for web stores, online businesses that have just started. And there's different ways to do that. Give me an overview. Why trust building is so important.
Daan Vaneker: That's a good idea to start at the basics.
Like the internet is sometimes a world west. There happens quite a lot of stuff even more people are even afraid of what might happen. I recently went to a conference about scams and you get shocked about stuff that's going on. So what happens as a result of that, even though there are a lot of good shops, but as a result of that, many customers go to the famous brands or go to the big platforms.
So they go to Amazon just because they know, then it's okay. So as a small shop , to get your own position in the market, trust is key if they come to your website, they need to see that it is okay. And if they Google your name afterwards, because they will not only look on your site, they will also Google your name.
then they need to see, need to be confirmed that everything is okay. talking about building trusts, really tiny thing, like the address that is on your website. If afterwards they enter your name in Google, that same address should appear in Google places that builds trust, like it needs to be consistent.
So these little details actually make a difference.
Claus Lauter: Yeah, I think there's a synergy effect and it's nice that you pointed that out. It starts with your address. I see so many stores that try to hide somehow between or behind their website and do not really create clarity of who they are and where they are and who's behind that business.
Now you mentioned obviously having customers. Giving a review for a product or for a service or something like that. That's the most important thing. And also you mentioned Amazon, which they got in trouble a while ago for not being trustworthy at all. So you should do it better than them. Tell me, how do you get started with building up this kind of trust profile on your business?
Daan Vaneker: To get started is actually quite easy. You just go to trustprofile. com and see what we already have about your website. What we do is we collect data from the internet about trust seals, about malware about, is there no warning about your site from the police, all those kinds of things.
Then you can log into your profile and then you can adjust it, correct the data. Sometimes it's not fully correct. Of course you can adjust some things like your address. But the easiest thing you can do, and that's also the easiest thing you can also do at your own site is to present yourself. Like the easiest thing in trusts is to show the human behind the webshop because there are so many sites.
It's so not personal at all. The easiest thing you can do is just show yourself, show your story. Why did you start this business? Put a picture of yourself or your team, and you can also do that at Trust Profile. So that's like an easy adjustment. It takes you a couple of minutes to upload a picture, upload a personal story.
Why do you do this business? What's your passion with your products that already builds a lot of, trust. So I think that's a good starting point is check your address data, make sure it's there, and then, make sure your personal story is there. A good introduction text about your shop, some product categories.
I don't know why, but many shops don't have a good about us page. And that's one of the main things in building trust. Like an address is really important. The phone number is important, but also show yourself. People like to do business with people. Absolutely. Just going one step back to the address.
My son. He's, 10 years old he really sees a lot of goods online. He wants to purchase all the time. And then he comes to me like that. This is really cheap. I want to buy this. And of course I'm in the trust business. So the first thing I do is check things about trustworthiness off the website.
But also maybe even before that I check where's the site from. I'm from the Netherlands. And I don't want goods to be shipped from the United States to the Netherlands or from China to the Netherlands or from Spain. I want him to order at a Dutch webshop. So the address is not only to prove your trustworthy, it's also to show like, Hey, I'm from your country.
You're okay to order here. But back to your question, how do you start building trust?, Start with claiming your profile, make your, show yourself, make it look beautiful, and then the best thing is reviews. So a quick boost is first to invite some existing customers also some existing customers.
What do you think about my service? You can do that for our system. And then once you've got that first booth, you boost, then you can like, connect automatically so that new customers will always, get new, invites. I know this is cut, so I'll just put my phone on mute right now.
Claus Lauter: Talking about reviews reviews. When you start, you don't have any, and you said you should reach out to customers you already have. And sometimes you have reviews on other platforms that might be Google, that might be Facebook, whatever platform you have them.
How do you make sure that you basically collect and bring everything that you have already? On trust, somewhere on the interwebs back to your store, through your product detail page there, what matters
Daan Vaneker: the most? Actually, that's one of the unique things of our system, is that we combine, trust data.
So not only data that we have, but we also show if you have reviews on Google places, if you have reviews on Facebook, Trustpilot, Kio many platforms, many review platforms, we combine that data into one profile and then give one overall ranking. For the complete picture and this you can integrate back into your website, like in a sidebar.
So that's always the first impression is that trust profile that comes there with your complete overview of reviews. And if they click on it, they can also see what the source of that rating is. And I think that is really important that you always, if you aggregate data, it's really important to show what the source of that data is.
So people can see where does it come from so actually that's one of the things that makes our system unique is that we bring together, practically all the reviews you have on the internet. Of course, not every platform is in there. I think about 25 right now. So if you have another platform, which we don't have, you can request it.
And based upon the amount of times, a platform has requested, we can add it. Now
Claus Lauter: reviews, building trust comes on different levels and with different stages within the funnel. You might do an email marketing campaign, use it there. You have it on your homepage, have it on a product detail page, which then it basically focus more on the product than on the company.
How would you use this different levels of content to get most out of it?
Daan Vaneker: I think you already said it in the question, you have different levels. So what I was talking about just now is primarily shop reviews. When you first enter the website, there's like a sidebar that will show your overall rating.
But even product reviews are even more important. When you invite people, for a system, after they gave a shop review, they will be shown a picture of the product that they purchased, and then they can review that product. Also with a description, of course. Then that data is uploaded back to your website and then at the products starts will be shown, of course, but also the detailed descriptions of the reviews and those are really important.
Like it gives you content. To your product page, which is pretty amazing for Google, but also the viewers will see that other people bought it that will give trust, but also they might see like somebody was not that happy because actually the size was a little bit different than she expected, which could help new customers to make the right choices.
So it's not only about sales. It's also about informing people well to make the right choices. And product reviews are really good in Google. So those product reviews, if you advertise in Google shopping, those stars appear. Next to the advertisement. And that's a huge difference because it triggers to click on something that has stars instead of the ones that doesn't.
So yeah, it's a great marketing tool next to showing that you're trustworthy next to showing how people like the products. And so they make wise decisions on what to buy and what not to buy. Let's talk about
Claus Lauter: the negative impact that you can create with trust or with testimonials and reviews. Sometimes I see stores that only have five star reviews and that's questionable.
What's your take on
Daan Vaneker: that? must be very grateful for every one star review you get, because it builds credibility for the overall picture. It is a chance to explain. So when somebody goes to a review page, they usually check out first the negative reviews. And if there are none, then probably they will doubt all of your reviews.
So then they will first check out your negative reviews. If there is one, if the response is like. So that's the web shop owner. No, you're not right. And this is not the case. And then you will feel like, I don't know how this will go. But if the web shop owner responds politely and says like, I understand the problem, this is what happened.
And we'll see how we can fix it. Then you will feel like, okay, a problem happens, which is like human everywhere you work, problems happen, but they fix it in the correct way. So I see negative reviews as an opportunity. While all positive reviews is not that trustworthy. And also there are a lot of fake reviews around.
You need to make sure that your customers will feel that these reviews are real and they can only be real if they are real people smell it. They smell if reviews are not real because the text in the reviews is always similar. It has been placed at the same dates. It just doesn't feel real and a good mixture with good replies using an external platform.
Like reviews hosted on your own website. That's like killing because you can choose whichever you publish on, which you don't publish. And that doesn't feel really trustworthy and an external platform like us, but like many other external review platforms have algorithms to counter fake reviews. They do moderations when they think something is a fake review.
That's really important. We delete loads of them on daily basis. Unfortunately, you don't want to be concerned with these fake reviews, but it's going on all the time. People like to take a shortcut. They like to cheat. They like to build their trust faster than is actually reality. And we need to counter that.
Claus Lauter: Good point. You got me on that one. I'm looking for the bad reviews first. I'm one of these. I'm always looking for two and three star ones because I want to know what can go wrong or what's wrong with the product. Now, you mentioned fake reviews and that's something that marketers do, which is not a good read.
They're trying to build up a, or trying to find a fast way to build up reviews. Let's talk about the right way to build up reviews. How do you outreach to a customer? What's the perfect way to get them to leave a review?
Daan Vaneker: course, there are many ways, the easiest way, which everybody already has is like, they can find you in Google places and write a review.
But what happens if you only have that is that people that have like really want to express their opinion, they will go there and write a review. That means probably your cousin, your nephew, they really want to express how happy they are with you. But most of all, it is people that had the negative experience.
So if you just have an option on the internet to write a review, then most probably a lot of complainers will go there, but the vast majority of happy customers that are just happy, they will not do the effort to actually go somewhere and write a review. You need to make it really easy to them. So what we do is after every order we send out an email invites, which is really short texts.
I know many people get a lot of advice, they're a little bit annoyed with it, but we'd like to make it as small as possible with directly, you can click on the stars and then afterwards, you just need to write the description and that's it. So you need to make it as easy as possible because people, if you, if a lot of effort is needed to write a review, then only people that had really explicit experience.
We'll actually write a review and you want that vast majority of your average customer to write a review because it's not only what they write is important, but also the amount of reviews also make a big difference. If you have nine reviews or you have 941, that makes a big difference.
Claus Lauter: Would you use discount codes or, , coupons or anything to motivate them to leave a review or would you just go for a plain, ask
Daan Vaneker: for a review?
Depends on the country, I think. I'm from the Netherlands. That's our origin. In the Netherlands, we are Betwinkelkeur and we founded in 2010. And amongst those years, things changed. About five years ago, I would advise people to give out a promotional code to get a lot of reviews but the law in the European Union, so I don't know how the law is in Argentina or in the United States, but the law in the European Union states that if you reward someone for giving a review then you should, it should be clear to the viewer that it is a promotional review.
And that decreases the value of the review directly. So we just say, don't do that. Just make it as easy as possible and invite everybody, but don't give promotions, to give a review, but that's for European Union. I know other countries will not have this law and then it's okay to give a promotion code or like a discount at your next review, but I think it's really important.
You give that to everyone that wrote a review. If it's positive, negative. If you start pushing only for positive reviews, people will start distrusting you just by asking that the trust in your company will decrease. So be careful with it. It's an easy way to gain more reviews, but be really careful.
Claus Lauter: Okay. That makes perfect sense. Let's talk about internalization, multi language, multi localization stores, obviously on a page or on with the trust elements that you have, you want to make sure that your visitor has it in their language. How do you deal with that?
Daan Vaneker: I talked about it in the last minute our origin is in the Netherlands.
So Dutch is our main language in our original company. And then we wanted to go abroad. So extended from there. So we extended to Germany with German to Belgium, adding France to Spain, adding Spanish, United States, adding English we tried to build a global reach, but for now it's eight languages, which is Spanish, Italian, French, German, English, Croatian, and Bulgarian.
Bulgarian is really cool because it's even a different alphabet. So it's really cool to see our software in Bulgarian because it looks completely different. It's amazing. ANd if you use like our free service, just the profile of trust, you can only use one language. And then if you go to the paid subscriptions, it's possible to use eight languages.
The profile will appear in eight languages. The integrations at your webshop will appear in eight languages, depending on the,, or the lang tag or the browser language the review invites, of course. So the review invites will also appear in the right language for the right customer.
Claus Lauter: Tell me a bit about the onboarding process with com. How does it work? Is there any kind of homework that I need to do before I can get started with you guys? Or how does it work?
Daan Vaneker: The first step is to look for your own website on our website on Trustprofile. There you will see what is already there and you can claim it and improve the data.
That is a free process,, because we think it's important that everybody's able to build an overview of their trustworthiness. TrustProfile. It's completely free. It will stay free, but there is a catch. Of course, if they will start using our review system, start sending out invites, that's our paid subscriptions and the multi language feature is our paid subscription, but just claim a profile, make it more beautiful, that's free.
And it will already give you a back link. So what do you have to lose? And then the best thing is to integrate it directly with your store. Shopify, it is the app store of Shopify, you can just activate it and connect it to trust profile. And then it's possible to have a sidebar appear on your website so that your visitors directly see like, okay, this is how they look on trust profile without leaving your website.
So if you click on it, there's a pop up with the profile. It's not that they're going to a new page. And I think that's really important. You don't want visitors to leave your page. And also if you activate the review system, the orders will be automatically sent to trust profile, where we can send out a review
Claus Lauter: invite.
Okay. No, that sounds very straightforward. Before we come to the end of the coffee break today, is there anything that you want to share with all the listeners that we haven't
Daan Vaneker: touched on? Because I've been an entrepreneur since 2008, I think I've done many businesses, small businesses.
And I love doing that. And I met so many entrepreneurs. And what I really like about entrepreneurs is you have an idea, you try for it, you go for it and you grasp it. And then there's one hurdle and it breaks you down and then you climb up again and you go again. I really love that. And that's also what Trust Profile is for.
Like in small, medium sized businesses, they need to trust. So actually my passion with this platform is to enable small, medium sized businesses to get their place on the internet, to be able to show yourself like, Hey, I'm okay. Of course, we also show if you're not okay, because otherwise there would be no value in the products.
So we also show warnings of, yeah, the police, Trend Micro, Google Safe Browsing. If you did a lot of fake reviews, we will also show that. So it's not only about positive, but it was built to enable small, medium sized businesses to show that, Hey, I'm okay. You don't need to go to Amazon. You can also go to my business.
I Hate to say it, but I think I failed about five times building a business. And now since 2017, I'm in this business and I'm loving it. So I don't feel this time. I'm pretty sure of that. but this process of building businesses, going for it, aiming for it. That's amazing.
And I love that.
Claus Lauter: Yeah. I think a lot of listeners can relate to that as a lot of small and medium enterprises, all the printers, side hustlers listening to the show, and they're going through the stages of becoming an entrepreneur. And as you said, you run into a wall and you tear it down and you continue to your, towards your goal.
So entrepreneurship definitely is a rollercoaster but everything that helps building up trust. And I think that's a very important pillar of being an entrepreneur helps there. And I think trustprofile. com, if you're an e commerce, if you're selling a service or product. Yeah. Is integral part of that and will help you to build up the reputation and the trust you need to grow your business.
Cool. Where can people find out more
Daan Vaneker: about you guys? That's trustprofile. com. Everything is there. And of course you can also check LinkedIn, find me there. Always you can send an email, connect to us, Shopify app store. We try to be all
Claus Lauter: over the place. Okay. I will put the links in the show notes.
Then you just want click away then. Thanks so much for giving us an overview of about the best ways to build up trust with you for your business, not only on your store for your business overall. And a lot of people will check out your website. I went to your homepage and had a look and I'll see what the results will be for myself.
Thanks so much for your time today. Thanks a lot.
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