For e-commerce businesses, attracting and converting new customers is paramount for growth—but retaining them is as important.
If you’re an established business, then you know that the first sale is just the beginning. You get one chance to impress your customers and make them want to come back for more. If they’re not happy, you don’t get a second chance. While there are a lot of things you need to do to get and keep customers, there are 4 specific things you must do.
We at Digital Oasis pretty much know that the most important aspect of customer retention lies in the quality of relationships between business owners and their customers.
The goal here is to show your customers that you are invested in building real bonds with them every step of the way.
Let’s look at some of the most effective strategies for getting new customers for your business and keeping them coming back.
1) Maximize your distribution channels
Do you distribute your products via multiple online channels? There’s a good chance that the answer is “yes.” In today’s ever-changing eCommerce landscape, high-volume, off-site distribution has become a core part of the competitive landscape.
Many businesses that are interested in entering the e-commerce market start with Amazon. However, the retail titan is just that—a giant. Competition is fiercer than ever with an astounding 1.5 million active sellers on the site right now (with Amazon itself advertising low-priced “Amazon’s pick” goods at the top of search results).
While making the most of your Amazon presence is crucial, your company also has to diversify its channels to increase product awareness.
It combines robust eCommerce SEO and reputation management tools with a lot of effort to create a cohesive story around brand identity. An efficient and comprehensive distribution strategy will allow you to capture more market share and build your brand’s reputation. But it can also be tricky to maintain: You need to keep your listings updated across several lower-level marketplaces such as Walmart Marketplace and Etsy. And then there are your Amazon listings, which are pretty much on their own planet.
The bottom line is this: if you want to make sure that your products get discovered in the blink of an eye (and sell like hotcakes), you’ll need to stay on top of your high-volume, off-site channels and make sure your customers see the same quality of service across all platforms. It can be pretty exhausting, but with the right strategy, you’ll reap some pretty attractive rewards.
2) Optimize for mobile users
I’m sure you’ve heard about mobile commerce statistics and how smartphones are quickly becoming the number one way people shop online. But let’s be honest, most data reported is kind of meaningless for e-Commerce businesses. So what does it really mean for your business?
For e-commerce businesses focused on mobile conversions, this means that paying attention to mobile optimization has become a priority.
Mobile phones have become an indispensable part of the modern lifestyle, and mobile usage continues to grow. According to the Pew Research Center, 28% of online adults own a smartphone. This means more people are going online using their phones than their desktop PC. Smartphone users check their phones every 12 minutes, on average. The demand for mobile-friendly sites is only going to increase in 2018 as millennials ages 18-29 — 45% of whom only browse on phones — become larger sources of e-commerce traffic.
So, give them what they want.
By making your mobile site more appealing to mobile users, whether it be via integrated chat assistance, a simplified online purchase process, or a simple mobile-friendly layout.
You should also make sure that your online storefronts and mobile applications for third-party vendors are just as user-friendly as the desktop ones.
3) Treat customers like people — not metrics
Make an effort to get to know and understand that person through engagement, dialogue, and relationship building.
Don’t hide behind your computer screen.
Take the time to communicate, connect and relate on a personal level with every person who reaches out to you in some way. We are all people at our core, despite the latest tech buzzwords and web trends.
It’s a concept that gets lost in translation in the world of marketing automation, SEO, and social media.
So, how do you make these valuable connections?
It’s all about customer engagement. And that’s why social media has changed the way we talk to potential consumers or customers, making customer engagement critical for organizations getting started on social media.
The saying “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” has never been truer. In the rapidly changing world of social media, customers want to feel like they’re working with a person and not some faceless brand that doesn’t understand their wants and needs.
You may also create chat rooms, Zoom conversations, or live Instagram or Facebook feeds to offer your consumers a chance to ask questions and put a face to the name of your business. The objective is to get involved and demonstrate to your clients that you are really interested in forming lasting relationships with them.
4) Customers want to learn something — so teach them
People are online to learn, whether it’s about a topic they’re passionate about or trying to solve a problem. While your customers definitely want to get their hands on your products, they also want you to educate and inform them
You have the opportunity to provide this information, and when you do, you can convert those potentially lost customers into paying customers.
In fact, according to a Salesforce survey, 73% of millennials expect brands to provide them with more value than they actually purchase. That means you need to give them something that’s worth their time — and if it saves them hours of research, even better!
Your platforms need to address the following issues:
- Why should a customer choose your business to purchase the item or service you are providing?
- What distinguishes you from your competitors?
- What special services do you provide that clients ought to be aware of and desire?
If you’re not offering real value to your website visitors, then you’re losing sales. Customers want to learn something, so teach them. You’ve heard it a thousand times before: “Your success depends on your customers” (B2Bs) and “Your opportunity for a sale depends on the first seven seconds of the customer experience” (B2Cs).
Aim to always be two steps ahead
In the unpredictably changing environment of today, it is insufficient to stick with your outdated e-commerce techniques. The world is changing; in order to attract new clients and keep old ones coming back, you must also change.
Online shoppers now have a wider range of alternatives than ever before. Why should they thus visit you? A smooth, cross-platform buying experience is what you provide, right? Does your audience feel appreciated and engaged by your customer service?
If not, you may want to reconsider your approach and improve your e-commerce performance.
Don’t know where to start?
Book a no-obligation call with our strategist now!