Online shopping has become the part and parcel of everybody’s life unless you have been living under the rock for the past few years or so. Competitors are just a click away and today’s customers have access to endless information about the brand, company and the products. That simply means, as a business owner you simply can’t expect unwavering loyalty from your customers anymore. Yes those good old days are gone.
If you are charging just one extra dollar, your business risks of losing customers as more and more customers are now searching the web to gather information about a product or service before making the final buying decision.
Loyalty is not just a behavior but it’s the key component of every business. We simply can’t take it for granted. So, as we have explained just like any other brick and mortar store, eCommerce entrepreneurs should start taking customer loyalty seriously.
Loyal customers spend more money than new customers do. It costs about 7 times more to acquire new customers so, as an ecommerce entrepreneur, it is essential to satisfy the needs of the customers and eventually convert them into loyal customers. When customer favors one brand over the other, they continue to believe it’s the best option for them and your role is to make sure that the brand they favor is yours.
Is customer loyalty the new marketing strategy?
Happy customers spend more money more often. There are great benefits of having loyal customers as they advertise your business and products for free (Word of Mouth). You don’t have to pay them to speak good about your brand and even if you do, it will not be as effective as a genuine word of mouth promotion. They also write positive reviews online and share their experience with people they meet. Loyal customers do contribute towards successful marketing and advertising of your eCommerce business.
Customer loyalty reflects the willingness of customers to buy your products and services time and again. Repeated buyers are your most loyal customers. It is the dream of every eCommerce entrepreneur to achieve brand loyalty and make people come back repeatedly. The revenue earned from repeat customers is relatively higher than those who do one-time-big-purchase.
Converting casual customers into loyal customer – A premium relationship that benefits both the brand and the customers
Step# 1: Know your customers
How would you feel if someone you met a long time back meets you again and remembers your name and the details about your last conversation? It’s a fantastic feeling. Similarly, knowing your customer is important to convert casual visitors into loyal customers. However, it is easy to say but harder to do.
The famous shopping portals like say Amazon saves the data of its users and uses that data to help them checkout easily. Quickpay option allows easy payment without having the customers to enter the credit card or debit card number. Amazon also recommends new products to customers based on their previous search. To build loyal customers, it is essential to know about the customers.
Send personalized emails
ECommerce entrepreneurs can implement triggered email programs that will send personalized emails to the customers on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. Customers will become loyal only if they feel valued.
Use Tools to Engage
Believe it or not, most people will forget the name of your brand even after making a purchase from your ecommerce website. So, it is your duty to reach out to them via email. Now, this idea may look good on paper but in reality, only 20% of the users read your emails. So, in order to connect to the rest of the 80% users, you can make use of tools like Stacktome, Google Remarking etc.
If you are looking to build a strong relationship with the customers, you can send them something they love. Do not choose the most obvious gifts. You can follow their social accounts and find out their areas of interest and things they admire. You can send them gifts they didn’t know they wanted. Pick a gift that is different from what other people are talking about.
Step #2: Engage your customers in your transparent business
Are you the owner of an eCommerce portal? Do you have exciting products to offer? Display it to your visitors and make them your customers. Portray your business in a better way so that customers will have the patience to listen to what you have to say. There is a huge competition and if your business is not transparent, you will lose the customers. Speak to your customers no matter what the situation is.
Do you have a new CEO, launch a new product, or open a branch in a new location? Send an announcement to your customers before the news gets to the media.
Step #3: Encourage your customers to speak
How would a customer choose the best brand or product? For example, let’s say a customer is looking to buy a washing machine. He or she would read blogs, articles, and reviews on various platforms, discuss it on social media, groups, and forums and choose the best product. Reviews play a major role for a customer to decide the brand and product to choose. Customer reviews are equally important to build loyal customers.
Encourage your loyal customers to make time to review your business and products. You can reach out to them through various channels and social media platforms to hear about the customer service.
Did you receive an amazing feedback or review from your customers? Did your customer share something great about your brand on social networking sites? You must appreciate their efforts and feature them in the special column of your blog posts. You can put them in the spotlight, appreciate their efforts, and grant them special offers and discounts on the next their order.
Customers will make your brand a priority when feedback is heard and recognized.
Step #4: Be the best and make your customers feel the best
Deliver the best service and it will help you to retain your loyal customers. There are many brands in the competitive market but quality wins. Once you win the hearts of your visitors through the quality of service and the brand, they will become your repeated customers. Follow the motto of your brand and live the brand.
Step #5: Be there when the customer needs you
Your customers are everywhere and you must be available to them when they need you the most. Social media channels and blogs are the best way to communicate with your customers. When a customer raises a complaint, make sure you guide them and connect them to the right person who can solve their issues. Do not provide instructions but give them accurate solutions that will make them feel better.
Customers vent out their frustrations or seek help and advice on a various social media platform. You need to understand their needs and provide the relevant solution. Great customer service is truly essential for business to be successful. Remember that it takes a lot of effort to receive a pat on your back and good reviews from your customers. Your relationship with the customers starts with trust so earn their trust by communicating with the customers. Ask feedback and listen to their concerns.
The success of small Ecommerce business is highly depended on customer satisfaction and building loyal customers help small ecommerce entrepreneurs to compete with big giants. Converting your casual customers into a loyal customer is hard but it is one of the most important things for your business. It is defined by the degree of repeated satisfaction. Loyal customers are strong assets of every Ecommerce business. Keeping the existing customers happy requires hard work and many Ecommerce businesses are already on improving their existing customer retention.