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Trust & Online Purchase Decision making: How to build trust at each stage of Customer Journey?

Trust and Decision Making

Have you ever tried grabbing a cute baby of your relative when you meet for a get-together or something?

You must have at some point in time, coz babies are seductive.

In most cases, they do not prefer coming to you at the first glance.

Well, We are born to engage and engage with others, and that is essentially what trust is.

So What do you do next?

You stay near them, do things to grab their attention, try to make them comfortable and other tactics to gain her trust.

Meanwhile using all your tactics, you try to grab the baby again just to check if your tactic has worked.


Let’s think about this, from the baby’s point of view.

While at this point the baby has made up his/her mind to come to you, he/she does look into their mother’s eye to get a green signal to go ahead.

The baby took enough time to analyse the risk he/she was about to take. After being approved by an emotional trigger they finally make a decision.

The shadow of a doubt (Perceived Risk) depends on every decision you trust.

We as Humans simply choose between trust (which exposes us to the potential for abuse when dealing with exploiters) or distrust (which means we miss all the benefits when others happen to be honest) need to do it. 

What happens next?


Just Maybe then they gain your trust and make a decision to come to you. 

The baby is now in your arms, he/she tries to vibe with you emotionally. Only if he/she is delivered what they expected, they choose to be in Your Arms. Else they go back to their Mother.

In a scenario where the baby is your brand/ business, and the person trying to hold him is the Online Consumer.

How can customers believe you if your actions contradict your words, or if your efforts appear forced? Consumers will be able to see if you aren’t being genuine.

On Contrary, if your brand/business is authentic and genuine, Trust fosters loyalty with satisfaction as an intermediary.

Did you relate to the situation? I just wanted to grab your attention that even a newborn who has not been given proper education and information, subconsciously walks through the path of trust and emotions to make a decision.

Similarly, a Purchase decision involves more than just trust & emotion, it involves time and money too. 

And if you note, these are the four things humans are very particular about in life.

So When you are branding and Marketing you definitely cannot ignore these factors.

Trust has the power to make or break social Connections

Similarly, in Marketing psychology, Trust has the power to make or break a brand/business.

Trust & Consumer Decision making

For sensible companies, earning consumers’ trust online has always been a major concern, but in today’s more saturated marketplace, trust has become an even more valuable asset. 

It’s critical that the customer journey promotes the brand’s strategic storey of trust and responsibility, in order to help customers navigate easily towards making an Online Purchase Decision.

Consumers want vendors to behave appropriately when it comes to keeping their promises to them, and this is what trust is all about. 

Consumers choose to transact online when they have confidence in the seller.

An online Purchase decision is a consumer’s process of recognising a problem, gathering information about a certain product or brand, and weighing alternatives before making an online purchase decision.  

While Stability in purchasing, willingness to repurchase, and in accordance with the wishes are all indicators of purchase decision.

Before making a purchase decision, consumers require trust from vendors, which is demonstrated by honesty, compassion, and competency. 

Trust has a favourable impact on consumer buying decisions when combined with its origins. 

In the Context of consumer trust and online purchasing, trust issues arise in online purchase decision making occur since consumers are unable to personally check the goods.

Here are the implications of Trust for your brand/business:-

  • Brand image is a predictor of trust
  • The stronger the consumers’ trust, the better the seller’s brand image, which is expressed in brand excellence, brand strength, and brand distinctiveness.
  • Security has been a factor in establishing trust.
  • The higher the level of security supplied by the seller, as evidenced by guaranteed transaction security and data confidentiality, the higher the level of customer confidence.
  • Consumer trust in online shopping is favourably influenced by security
  • The three origins of trust, namely brand image, security, and perceived risk, have been shown to have a role in purchasing decisions as a mediating variable.
  • The stronger the customer trust, the smaller the perceived risk, which is reflected in the appropriateness of the product, the suitability of the information, and the maintenance of privacy.

Let’s analyze the Online Purchase decision-making process and how trust can be built at each stage of the Customer Journey.

Problem Recognition:- First, consumers realize that there is a problem that needs to be resolved. Brand awareness is critical at this level; a customer with a clear concept of where to find a solution will typically follow their instinct to the first brand that comes to mind. Brand awareness is critical at this level; a customer with a clear concept of where to find a solution will typically follow their instinct to the first brand that comes to mind. Brand awareness is critical at this level; a customer with a clear concept of where to find a solution will typically follow their instinct to the first brand that comes to mind.

Information Search:- In the information era, this stage has altered dramatically. Every company has the opportunity to be discovered online these days, and SEO has become one of the most important strategies to establish a good first impression.  In addition to being at the top of search results, the quality of the information that brands disclose about their products plays a greater role in decision making. More than ever, consumers want information that extends to supply chain transparency, the quality of the materials used, and the environmental impact of their products. More information is better when it comes to gaining consumer trust.

Alternative Evaluation:- Consumers then review the different products available and weigh features, prices, designs, and more. In addition to comprehensive product information, transparency is the key to building trust in the evaluation process. Transparency in the evaluation step has been used by brands like Progressive, which offers a pricing tool that reveals when a rival would be a better fit for a consumer’s needs.

Purchase:- The most important thing a brand can do at the time of purchase is to remove obstacles that disrupt or upset the process, such as unexpected costs and counterintuitive payments and shipping confirmations. Consumer trust is influenced by how businesses safeguard their customers’ financial information, as we’ve seen recently — data breaches have a negative impact on consumer confidence.

Post-Purchase:- The post-purchase phase includes rapid customer service and ongoing efforts to give consumers confidence in their purchases. The last stages of the decision-making process are great for reinforcing brand loyalty and ensuring that customers will return when a new need emerges.


Consumer trust plays an important role in making online purchasing decisions. Consumer confidence is improved by the leading variable. 

A seller who is able to build customer trust by addressing trust antecedents (brand image, security, and perceived risk) will see an increase in consumer purchase decisions.

If you want to learn more about Social Media influences Consumer Behaviour. Read this Article

Also, I would highly recommend you this article if you want to have good knowledge of Digital Marketing. Read this

Thank you For Reading!

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