We’ve all heard the idiom “the customer is always right.” However, this popular saying has less to do with the actual accuracy of shoppers and more to do with customer service. Even when the customer is dead wrong, a smart storekeeper knows that it’s in the best interest of themselves and the store to treat the customer with respect.
The same thing is true when it comes to online shoppers. While you might not get the same face-to-face interactions with consumers as you would in a brick and mortar, customers still expect (and deserve) an amicable experience. Especially as ecommerce begins to overtake physical stores.
Not to mention that online vendors are in hot competition as industry grows with both small-time digital merchants and enterprise giants. In fact, online sales are expected to reach $523 billion in the U.S. in 2020. The message is clear: making yourself and your business stand out from the crowd is essential for your success in such a crowded marketplace.
Below are a few tips for establishing a loyal customer base for your ecommerce site.
Sell Quality Products
This one should be obvious, but hosting higher quality items, even if they are more expensive, is a great way to keep customers happy. Sure, you might be able to get more customers in the short term by selling products made from cheaper materials, but do you think those same buyers will come back for more? Not likely.
Selling better merchandise will separate you from imitators, build a strong customer base and ensure that shoppers will spread the good word about your offerings.
Build a Website That Is Easy on the Eyes
Prospective customers are much more likely to buy from your site if it is attractive and simple to use. Just as selling high quality products is important, so to is building a high quality website. Do your best to cut down on clutter and avoid grainy images, as these will only distract from your most important offerings. Remember to include an ‘about us’ page, a contact page and search bar. These should be readily accessible to anyone visiting your site, whether they are a return user or first-time customer. The best ecommerce site builders will offer various templates to make your job easier.
In today’s world, it is absolutely vital that businesses establish a social media presence to engage with customer. Research shows that the majority of consumers value a brand’s Facebook page more than its website. There are a few reasons for this: Social pages update more often than webpages, they are regularly seen in feeds during normal browsing and they offer a way for customers to communicate with their favorite ecommerce sites.
So, start a Facebook page, a Twitter account or an Instagram profile today.
Host Promotions & Contests
Once you’ve created your social media strategy, consider sharing exclusive promotions or contests with your followers. Not only does this make shoppers feel special and appreciated, it also gives you an opportunity to find new customers.
For example, you could ask your fans to tag five friends for a chance to win special prizes, encourage followers to post images of themselves using or wearing your products, or have them join you in a virtual scavenger hunt for 50 percent off select items. What other ideas can you imagine?
Use Email Marketing (Sparingly)
Obviously social media marketing has its perks, but nothing is quiet as successful as email marketing. Believe it or not, email marketing has an impressive ROI — $38 for every $1 spent. And more than 44 percent of email recipients made a least one purchase as a consequence of targeted email marketing. That’s huge!
Push your customers to join your mailing list for updates on upcoming sales, new product releases and more. That being said, you can have too much of a good thing. Sending too many emails could annoy your subscribers, so use email marketing sparingly.
As you can see, building a robust customer base is all about finding shoppers where they are and giving them what they want. Experiment with the above techniques to find out what works best for your brand and your shoppers.