Ecommerce has quickly become one of the most lucrative and prospective industries for aspiring business owners around the world. But as ability to sell products to a global consumer base makes it easier to drive sales, the challenge of creating customer loyalty increases.
One of the recent online shopping statistics shows just how enormous the ecommerce world is as each business tries to acquire a portion of the 2.48 trillion-dollar cake. And to build a world-renowned brand from the comfort of your home is one of those modern-day perks that wannabe entrepreneurs are quickly trying to capitalize.
But yet again, you’d be mistaken to think the road to ecommerce success is not laden with obstacles and pitfalls.
At the center of long-term ecommerce success lies in your ability to generate repeat business through smarter customer retention strategies. After all, that’s how you inspire customers to come back to your site by creating emotional relationships customers have established with your brand.
And as you already know, acquiring a new customer costs a lot more than nurturing an existing one. I It’s smart to focus on keeping your current customers happy and satisfied so it’s easier to find new ones.
To give you better insights on how to do this, here are the six most-effective ways to build customer loyalty and propel your ecommerce business forward:
1. Never Compromise on Product Quality
First and foremost, there’s no compromise when it comes to product quality.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a drop-shipper or if you’re manufacturing and selling the products–today’s modern customers expect nothing but stellar quality for the money they’re dishing out.
In fact, a huge survey by Zendesk concluded that as much as 88% of online shoppers consider product quality to be the foundation of brand loyalty.
For you, this not only means that you need to be clear and transparent about your products and features. Instead, you need to deliver the specified item in the condition it was advertised every single time.
Fail to do this and you will lose shoppers forever. Even worse, the news of the subpar quality of your products will spread like wildfire across through industry word of mouth, alienating potential customers in the process.
Increase your product quality through the help of analysis tools like Product Pulse. Not only can you get product-specific insights, but Product Pulse allows you to find issues with your items that are mentioned regularly throughout your reviews content.
If your customers tell you there’s something wrong, make sure you listen. Use their insights from reviews to get a better understanding of where you can improve.
2. Welcome Every Customer With a Friendly Message
There’s nothing like a friendly greeting and a small discount to put a smile on the face of your shoppers. And to get people coming back for more, it’s smart to consider a personalized marketing strategy to speak directly to your individual customers.
Welcome emails and popups are excellent at achieving this and much more, but only if you offer something of true value to the customer. This is your opportunity reel in new customers with deals and discounts.
But this also gives you the chance to surprise repeat customers with tailored promotions and special loyalty bonuses. Remember that shoppers love being a part of a tribe and a customer loyalty group where they know the brand cares about them,
You need to have a special incentive for every type of shopper–new, old, loyal and the customers that only drop by once a year. Incentivize people to keep coming back and to become your brand advocates by getting them to subscribe to your email list.
Here you make the promise of future discounts and special deals that will allow them to save money. That said, keep in mind that the key to email marketing success lies in personalization.
Be sure to tailor your email copy to the customer rather than sending out template messages nobody will want to read.
3. Monitor the Online Chatter & Act Accordingly
One of the most important elements–if not the most important–of long-term success in the competitive ecommerce landscape is knowledge.
Knowledge equals power, and for a number of reasons. First off, knowing everything about your target demographic as well as your competitors gives you the edge to make cost-effective decisions.
Secondly, monitoring online chatter in real time gives you the power to tailor your approach on the go and capitalize on the latest trends. This is why successful brands in the ecommerce industry use in-depth social media monitoring tools to track brand mentions, engagement and all other statistics vital to their long-term success.
You can use this information to create detailed reports about your shop’s standing in the industry. Then tailor your offering to the exact requirements of your demographic.
Nothin' wrong with that 😉 #embraceit
— Trulia (@trulia) June 5, 2018
Today’s social monitoring doesn’t even need the ability to mention or tag a brand. Instead, businesses are finding opportunities to engage playfully just by monitoring the use of their company name.
Imagine how your customer loyalty rates will skyrocket if you knew exactly what people were talking about, giving you the tools to surpass your competitors in the process.
4. Emphasize User-generated Content
Another tried-and-tested method that builds customer loyalty is user-generated content. People trust other people. In other words, they are much more open to buying from brands that have passed social proof than those trying to push hard sales or ads.
The truth is that nobody will ever believe the stories you’re telling if there isn’t a substantial number of satisfied customers to back them up. With that in mind, it’s time you started prioritizing user-generated content in order to boost transparency and trust.
Create a solution to all of the essential customer needs and be sure to post user-generated images, stories and product reviews to improve the reputation and credibility of your brand.
This will help inspire customers on the fence to make the decision to buy your product. Complement these content types with an engaging tone of voice and strive to maintain regular communication with your audience.
Customer loyalty starts with a brand who wants to and is willing to show off their awesome shoppers.
5. Make It Easy for People to Communicate With You
Brand-consumer communication is one of the pillars of good ecommerce nowadays. As modern customers’ expectations grow, many want their favorite brands to be easily reachable at all times.
Some customers might not be in a hurry, and wouldn’t mind waiting a few hours for you to respond to their emails. Other customers want to get in touch with you right now via chat (website and social media). This means that you need to be online and ready to respond in a matter of seconds.
Additionally, shoppers have questions about your products. And for the most part, unanswered questions lead to more cart abandonment.
Make sure your reviews provider offers questions and answers software that not only takes up minimal space on your product pages, but also quickly shows shoppers answers to common questions.
But also don’t forget about the customers that want to talk to a customer service agent in real time. This has companies increasingly integrating comprehensive chat systems into their processes.
Creating such an omni-channel communication strategy might be a bit taxing on your customer service department, but it will nonetheless prove instrumental in building a customer loyalty relationship between you and your shoppers.
6. Be the Brand People Know & Love
Finally, keep in mind that good branding always wins the day. The ecommerce industry is a saturated playing field.
In fact, this market accommodates to as many as 24 million stores around the world. So for the growth-oriented businesses, double your branding efforts to separate from the competition.
How else will people remember if you don’t have a unique visual identity and a memorable brand persona? Always try to make a compelling and trustworthy connection with your customers to win their trust.
At the same time, invest in quality visuals, content and storytelling. Then you’ll give customers something to hold on to and become your loyal brand followers. Do this to become an inextricable part of their lifestyle.
In the modern Ecommerce world, success is built on the foundation of recurring business. Instead of spending a fortune trying to replace the customers that leave you, focus on maximizing customer lifetime value through these solutions.
Throughout the process, you should have no problem future-proofing your ecommerce brand for years to come.