For your e-commerce business to succeed, you must build strong, long-term relationships with your customers. After all, most of your revenue will come from loyal repeat customers rather than entirely new customers, especially in the earliest days of your business.
Not sure where to start? Check out these six strategies to employ ASAP.
Know Your Audience
The first and arguably most important, thing to do is fully understand your audience. Your target audience is the group of people most likely to make a purchase from your e-commerce business. To understand your audience:
- Do heavy market research so you know your target audience’s demographic information, such as age or location
- Create a customer avatar so your marketers have a person to test their marketing materials toward
- Use your target audience information to tailor your marketing materials to that audience’s specific needs or desires
When you know your audience, your marketing materials, such as ecommerce email marketing agency newsletters or blog posts, will be much more effective. They’ll connect on an emotional level to your potential buyers. In the long term, it will help you build relationships with your customers that will bring them back to your brand again and again.
Start a Loyalty Program
Few things keep people from buying from companies as well as loyalty programs. If your e-commerce business doesn’t already have one, start one!
A loyalty program provides discounts, perks, or communication opportunities to current customers or brand members. For example, your loyalty program may allow site visitors to participate in your brand’s forums, enjoy free shipping, or benefit from other perks, such as special discounts during the holidays.
Loyalty programs reward people for sticking with companies through thick and thin. By starting a loyalty program, you’ll inspire your customers to build and maintain relationships with your company for years to come. It leads to long-term revenue increases, too, since it usually costs more to acquire new customers than it does to simply keep the customers you already have!
Email marketing, such as email newsletters, is an effective way of building relationships with your customers. You can hire a knowledgeable ecommerce email marketing agency to:
- Advertise special offers or discounts
- Remind customers about abandoned carts or incomplete purchases
- Announce new product availability or other important information
- Convince long-term customers to join your loyalty program
- And more
However, to make the most of email marketing, make sure to personalize each email you send out. Use email personalization or automation tools to:
- Use customers’ names in their emails
- Send emails to customers on their birthdays with special offers or discounts
- Recommend products to customers based on their prior purchases
The more personal you get with your emails, the more your customers will like them, and the stronger the emotional connection they’ll feel for your company. Hire an ecommerce email marketing agency that knows to do this to ensure success.
Top-Tier Customer Support
No e-commerce business can survive without excellent customer support services. With that in mind, be sure that your CS team is always ready to go and answers customer questions or complaints quickly and thoroughly.
You can best offer customer support through online chat or email services. However, if you have a good social media presence, you can also have your social media pages act as places for customers to ask questions and get quick fixes to their products or concerns. Polite, efficient customer support is a great way to win the hearts and minds of your target audience members.
Leverage Social Media
Social media in general is also effective for building strong relationships with your consumers. Use social media to:
- Post candid video content, like current customer testimonials, to encourage new people to sign up for your brand or make a purchase
- Answer customer service questions or complaints, as detailed above
- Announce special offers or marketing pushes, such as raffles, to drum up anticipation for new products or events
The more you interact on social media, the more chances you’ll have to make real emotional connections with your customers. Consider hiring a social media manager so your presence is consistent and friendly.
Build a Community
Lastly, try to build a community around your e-commerce business by combining a loyalty program and an online forum. When you build a community, you make it harder for your customers to jump ship with a competing company. They’ll forge friendships with other people who buy or benefit from your products, answer each other’s questions, and have a place to just digitally hang out. An online forum could be a great way to bootstrap a thriving online community entirely centered around your brand.
Bottom line: understanding your audience and then building a community out of those potential customers is key to helping your business build relationships with your target demographic. With the above strategies, you’ll be well on your way to cultivating a loyal customer base for years to come.
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