Trust is a feeling that has to be built day by day, with patience and commitment. From a relational point of view (and therefore not only from a business point of view), in order to be able to trust the other party, it is necessary to receive continuous and constant reassurances. In fact, it is not taken for granted that after being satisfied once, the level of satisfaction will remain unchanged over time. It is therefore even more complex to create a sense of trust when the relationship is not in person, face to face, but rather at a distance. In the almost three years of pandemic that we have experienced, incidentally, people have begun to feel an increasingly pressing need to recognise the identity of companies and their genuine willingness to offer products and services in an honest manner.
This concept, in short, is called ”digital trust” and is also applicable in reverse. It is, indeed, an approach that companies apply towards their online customers or towards employees who carry out ‘smart-working’, i.e. who work remotely.
What is digital trust and how do we build consumer trust
Digital trust means being able to give security and legal value to a transaction carried out digitally. It is evident, for example, that for certain types of transactions and online activities, consumers feel the need to be reassured so as not to run the risk of encountering scams and outright fraud. These fears are, after all, understandable, given how dangerous the internet can be.
So, what tools are available to companies to help users trust them completely? How do we make a person feel comfortable, for instance, in giving his or her data to an unknown online entity?
Elements that can help build digital trust include, among others:
- The use of a Certified E-Mail Address, which makes it possible to send e-mail messages with legal value equivalent to a registered letter with return receipt
- The use of Multi-Factor Authentication, which provides greater security by setting a password associated with specific and personal questions for users (or sending a verification code)
- The presence of biometric recognition, based on certain physical or even behavioural characteristics. A classic example is fingerprints, but the same applies to Face-ID on Apple or Samsung devices
- Registration via SPID (Public Digital Identity System) or other similar methods, which guarantee the integrity of the company and confirm the real digital identity of the individual
The more consumers feel protected by these (or other) digital trust measures on a site, the more willing they will be to spend their money (or just to establish a relationship with the company itself).
How to increase consumer trust online
We have seen what the main tools can be to increase the online trust of our current and potential customers. As already mentioned, this is only the first step on a path that is not merely the creation of a double password.
Once consumer trust has been won, it will be necessary to maintain it with targeted actions. This is not such a trivial concept: as reported in a recent survey on Digital4Biz, ’40 per cent of Italian respondents said they had lost trust in a company because of a breach of their data’. Think of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which revealed how Facebook had collected the personal data of millions of users without permission, and used it for political purposes.
A first step on the part of business sites requesting user data could, for instance, be a request to update access passwords frequently: this is a small gesture with which businesses can spontaneously come to the aid of customers who are most concerned that their data may not be safe. Another important action is the creation and sharing of clear and, above all, transparent guidelines on the management of users’ personal data, a subject that has become particularly topical with the entry into force in Europe in 2018 of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the new European regulation on privacy and data.
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One thought on “What is digital trust and why is it a key element for online businesses”
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