“I will definitely order again,” “Awesome service,” “Your product is amazing!”
Do any of these sound like your customers? As an ecommerce entrepreneur, it is important to build a loyal following. These people already trust your brand and are more likely to purchase again. The more raving fans you have, the more reviews you’ll get, and the more new customers will be enticed to buy. Loyal customers help you grow and keep profits high.
Here are seven ways to build brand loyalty for your ecommerce businesses:
- Identify your brand’s unique selling points
To make your marketing efforts more effective, you need to first establish what differentiates your business from the crowd. It could be that you are offering a hard-to-find product range or do services that other brands don’t. It could be your unmatched product quality, speedy shipping, low prices, or customer service that’s above-and-beyond.
Ideally, this should be identified in your initial business model. The next step is to communicate your value proposition to your target audience. It could be through a logo, slogan, or evoking visuals. However you do it, make it consistent. Your unique selling point should appear on your website, social media profile, and other marketing channels.
- Write blogs that satisfy readers and SEO
Survey shows that 70% of online users prefer learning about new products through custom content. This is why blogs and content marketing are essential. Blogs can actually generate 67% more leads for B2C companies and 88% more leads for B2B. However, blog posts won’t be that effective if you don’t use it properly.
You should optimize your blog content and make it search engine-friendly. It means you need to fill up your content with the necessary core keywords that online shoppers are likely to enter into the search box. More importantly, your blog should be relevant to your target audience. Think of topics that they genuinely want to read. Your top priority is still to promote engagement.
For example, the company Au Lit Fine Linens uses their blog “Between the Sheets” to engage with their audience. They publish articles that make shopping more convenient such as “Holiday Gift Guide For Him” or “What Sheets Will Keep Me Cool All Summer Long?”. These topics are relevant to the customer and at the same time perfect for SEO.
- Set up referral programs
You might have noticed giant retail companies and online stores offering referral programs more than ever before. This is because, according to several studies, friends and family are the most trusted source of product recommendations. Referral programs leverage consumers’ trust in the people closest to them. Simply offering an incentive to the referrer can increase your word-of-mouth advertising. Plus, there will be less resistance so conversions are more likely to happen.
Let’s take a look at the online footwear brand, GREATS. Referrers get $25 off when a friend or family member makes a purchase, which they will likely do because they also get $25 off on their first order. They have seen a lot of success with their referral program which also encourages a lot of repeat purchases.
- Reach out to influencers
In today’s digital age, influencer marketing has been on a roll. It’s becoming one of the top strategies for building brand awareness. Influencers can be bloggers, Youtubers, and other popular social media personas who have a certain ‘influence’ on their followers. Choose an influencer whose area of specialization is in line with your brand. If you’re selling shoes, you need a fashion influencer. If you’re selling beauty products, you need a beauty influencer.
Studies show that 94% of marketers find influencer marketing effective. More so, the ROI it can provide is up to 11x higher than traditional advertising. Influencer marketing not only promotes online discussion of your brand but also helps with customer retention. The beauty brand Sephora is known for using this strategy. They tap into social media influencers to test and review their products.
- Encourage newsletter signups to shoppers
To retain existing customers, it is important to maintain personal relationships. A newsletter campaign is one way to strengthen this connection. First, newsletters continuously remind current and potential customers that you exist. Secondly, because email is more intimate than other mediums, it conveys exclusivity so recipients feel valued and important.
The key to a successful newsletter campaign is to make your messages useful. Avoid becoming spam. You need to share content that recipients actually want to read. You can offer exclusive discounts or personalized recommendations. Or, use it to announce new products an upcoming event, or feature blog articles.
- One-on-one engagement through social media
Take advantage of social media and have genuine conversations with your audience. You can answer their questions, offer solutions, address complaints, or just engage in playful repartee. It is your chance to show the personality of your brand. Respond to the comments using a casual and human voice.
As an example, check out Frank Body’s Instagram profile. The beauty brand maintains a funny yet charming character which a user can immediately sense through their captions and response to comments. Their posts are a consistent mixture of sexy photos, product promotions, and quote snippets.
- Customer service as a marketing tool
Bad customer service can be turn away customers. According to a survey, about a third of Americans will switch brands after a poor customer service experience. About half say they will never do business with the company again. So to build a loyal following, make sure your customer service reps are nice and accommodating.
A lenient return policy can also work wonders. It puts shoppers at ease and makes them more confident to add multiple items to their cart. With Amazon, reps are encouraged to go above and beyond for customers. They allow returns within 30 days of delivery as the items are new and unopened.
What do these marketing strategies have in common? They all revolve around the customer. In order to attract customers, and keep them coming back, you need to meet and exceed their expectations. By prioritizing a customer-first mindset, you’ll learn that maintaining a loyal customer base would be much easier.