Build trust for ecommerce during the holiday season

1. Communicate your stock and delivery times in a banner or message bar on your website.

You can use services like JustUno to implement similar banners and message bars about delivery times on your website. For example, Target included a banner at the top of their homepage with a countdown to Christmas and an order deadline to get guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve. 

2. Create a resource to answer common seasonal questions in detail.

Use a standalone page, or include it in your existing help center or FAQ page. For example, at the onset of COVID-19, Camelback used a Shipments may be delayed banner on their site to lead customers to an FAQ page that included information about order processing, resources for checking your order status, and a letter from the CEO about the company’s response to the pandemic.

3. Write transparent emails and social media updates that communicate logistics.

For example, last holiday season, Shutterfly included a message at the top of their marketing emails to let customers know the deadline for Christmas delivery with expedited shipping. You can use social media to update customers on shipment logistics. For example, MeUndies had multiple shipment delays and used Twitter to share how they were working to fix the issue.

4. Use product categories to offer guidance on gift-giving .

Best Buy included six standard gift categories on their homepage, like Gifts for Teens, Stocking Stuffers, and Gifts $50–$100. Target took gift inspiration a step further by creating categories based on the recipients’ interests. They had suggestions for at-home gourmets, green thumbs, and even unicorn believers. 

5. Use product recommendations to guide customers when products sell out.

Product recommendations help customers find the right items and guide customers when items are out-of-stock due to increased demand. For example, Lulus gives alternatives to out-of-stock sizes and colors by recommending similar looks. For customers who would rather purchase the original item when it comes back in stock, there is a link to sign up for the waitlist. Use a service like Limespot to power product recommendations.

6. Showcase your charitable and ethical efforts to build trust with shoppers who care about helping others.

For example, Lush participated in Giving Tuesday and created a page to showcase the organizations they planned to raise funds for by matching the sales of a promotional body lotion. Give customers the option to donate an extra amount on top of their purchase as an alternative to a donation or sales-matching fundraiser. When choosing which causes to support and how to support them, think about your mission as a company and your customers’ values.