The key ingredient of any e-commerce project is a client – if no one visits your web store, you can’t earn anything. You may think this won’t happen to your business with millions of customers online, but attracting new customers is a difficult and expensive process. Even when you attract clients, there’s no guarantee those clients will return or recommend your brand.
Without a strong base of return clients you won’t reach your desired goals and revenues. If this is your case, you’ll have some work to do to attract more loyal clients in your customer base.
Every customer visiting your website has a problem to solve. Run tests, analysis your site data and research customers’ preferences to try and provide them with the answers they seek. Another idea is to contact prospects at the point of contact with an online chat system or instant message.
Once a customer comes back a second time, turn them into a loyal promoter with recommended items. For example, offer additional accessories or similar products once they search or get to checkout. This encourages customers to buy more and but gives clients a better shopping experience.
One of the best ways to retain new customers is a strong and positive reputation. All the most successful e-shops sell a brand, not just their products. You want your clients to want your watch, not just any watch.
Often people are only willing to make a purchase after reading recommendations and positive product reviews. If your website and product pages do not showcase any testimonials, you seriously risk losing potential clients. Another great way to appear authentic and trustworthy is to feature your company Twitter feed showcasing real client comments. Lastly, featuring well-made product videos and company press also contribute to a more positive brand experience.
Testimonials are important, and any e-commerce vendor knows that nothing can damage a brand reputation as much as a bad purchase experience – faulty products, shipping issues, pricing errors and more. If you want to build positive and long-term relationships, customers must be sure that if they order a product, they will get it on time and in great condition, with an easy return or exchange policy.
Meet & Exceed Expectations
Online business is competitive, and when you start out it’s a battle for every client. You have to go above and beyond to leave a lasting impress. Whether you do that with multiple shipping options, with shorter than advertised delivery or with some other perk – people need to be impressed to return.
One idea is to provide users with a small free product or accessory along with their order or a coupon code for their next order. The more interesting your offer is and your incentive to return, the more likely it is that your customers will become your regulars.
Bonuses and loyalty programs are some of the most powerful ways to secure return clients. One popular tactic is to offer a product discount or sale in exchange for a client’s email. The client registers themselves on a list to receive the discount and you can use their information to target them and offer additional promotions in the future.
One step further, you could offer people a virtual VIP membership that allows them to put in a client code to collect points they can use towards products or discounts in the future.
A great way to convert new customers into potential buyers is to give them the opportunity to feel like winners. If you run a contest or a giveaway on your site you will get plenty of people visiting. The conversion rate for visitors to buyers will be low, but there is a great opportunity to collect testimonials and information beneficial to your brand. People will share more information if there is a the chance to get something free.
For example, if each participant needs to submit a photo of them with a product from your brand, or to share a Tweet to get a chance at winning a prize, you will see engagement spike and that helps build brand loyalty and helps secure return clients by associating your brand with fun and generosity.
Constant Vendor-Client Interaction
Proper customer feedback is one of the main ingredients in long-term relationships. An interactive comment area of your website, a blog, integrated Facebook or Twitter, a great customer support team and clear contact information are all key in provoking a two-way dialogue with clients. That dialogue will help you realize your brand’s strengths and weaknesses, and allow you to learn from mistakes and collect new ideas and suggestions for your e-commerce strategy.
Furthermore, you want to remain in contact with anyone who visited or shared their email with your brand. Let these subscribers know about special offerings with regular emails and newsletters. Even if prospects haven’t visited your web store for a long time, a short personal letter with interesting news or tips can encourage them to visit your website time after time.
Do you know any other useful ways to increase loyal customer base? I’d love to get your valuable thoughts and comments below.