- Service and advice. We sometimes take this for granted by companies, but we really shouldn't. Not all companies will openly give objective advice. Many will give advice to keep you at their store and buy their products. But there is something to be said for a company that gives you advice that benefits you and meets your needs rather than their own bottom line and profit. That perspective builds trust - and ultimately, an emotional relationship.
- Shipping and time to receive product - this is key. Amazon is successful because they have fast delivery. From when you order to when you receive it is about 2-3 days. And it is free for Amazon Prime members. Now we have all grown to expect shipping to be free or low-cost as well as fast. Hearing a package taking a week to be delivered seems too long now. People want to go online and buy what they want when they want it and get it even faster.
- Having a storefront. There are some items that need to be purchased in person, especially high-cost items (and yes, high-cost is based on perspective). We want to see how that China pattern looks in the light and in person. Or the nuances of flatware. Or a car and how experience how it rides. Apple has a storefront so you can experience their computers. Believe it or not, this builds trust. If you, Mr. Company/Vendor, aren't afraid for a prospect to look at, touch, and experience your products that tells me that you trust me to touch and try (under supervision, of course) before I buy. In fact, you so strongly believe that this approach - me experiencing your products first-hand - will help sell them that you provide a place for this to happen.
- Cost. When all else is equal, people will make their purchase decision based on cost. So what does "all else is equal" mean? Services, advice, trust, relationship. They all factor into the decision. Why would I choose a vendor over Amazon, who has a great return policy, lots of stock, and great delivery options? The other vendor offers the same delivery turnaround, it's something I won't be returning, and that other vendor gave me great advice a while back. In the end, I have a better relationship with that other vendor. Money isn't everything.
Some other examples:
Why do I choose something like Virgin America versus another airline that may cost less? It's not just the points. I trust the experience will be pleasant - or at least tolerable - for the flight. There will be no hidden fees. And food I can eat.
For a computer, people choose Macs and iPads because they don't want to fret with connections and want an operating system that is easy to use. They are more expensive, but there is another driver for their decision.
- Quality of product for the price. Great quality product for the price builds trust in a brand. If you feel ripped off - well, you won't purchase again, now will you? If you purchase meat that spoils quicky, you won't go back to the store. If you purchase a phone that breaks frequently, you'll get a different phone.
- Easy. We tend to forget this one. We all like to do business with a company that is easy to do business with. What does that mean? (I wrote a blog post defining this.) Well, companies that don't give you a hard time when you want to return something. Or a company is upfront and honest about what is included in the price of the product (batteries, support, etc.). Be easy to do business with - that's a huge turn-on for most customers.
- How you feel when you interact with the store. We decide to go to some stores and not others based on how we feel when we are there. Do we feel helped? Important and valued? Like we are learning something new? Purchasing something precious?