Getting people to buy from your store once is easy. Getting them to come back again and again? Now that’s difficult. This is especially true in the world of e-commerce. With so many e-commerce businesses competing for consumers’ clicks, how do you convince customers to choose you?
If you’re struggling to retain customers in your e-commerce business or you’re an e-commerce newbie who wants to start off right, here’s what you need to do.
Build a Great Online Store
You don’t just need shoppers to click on your website. You need them to stick around. A high-quality website with attractive design and engaging content draws buyers in and improves your bounce rate. But if your website is unattractive, people will click away.
This is what’s needed for an effective e-commerce site:
- Easy navigation with no broken links
- Consistent design across pages
- Design and content tailored to a target audience
- SEO – Search engine optimization
Create an Effective Sales Funnel
Okay, now you have people hanging around on your store for more than a few seconds. But how do you convert that to sales?
Your site’s sales funnel is what guides shoppers from the moment they discover your store to the moment they make a purchase. An effective sales funnel is essential for capturing first-time customers. E-commerce sales funnels have four parts:
- Awareness: This is where people learn about you, whether through a web search, Facebook ad, Instagram promotion, or other marketing effort.
- Interest: With a strong first impression, awareness leads to interest. Email newsletters, social media interactions, and blog content are great ways to nudge interested shoppers toward a purchase.
- Purchase: Customers in this stage are convinced they need your product, but they’re not certain you’re the right business to buy from. How do you convince people to take the plunge? Whether you beat competitors on price, offer fast and free shipping, or build trust through the customer experience, the important thing is setting your e-commerce business apart.
- Repeat: Promotions, exclusive discounts, referral programs — there are lots of strategies for cultivating repeat shoppers, but none more important than the next steps on our list.
Keep Customers Engaged
Don’t be forgettable. To keep customers coming back, you need to keep them interested. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Email marketing: Email marketing is still one of the most cost-effective ways to engage consumers. Pique interest with promotions, discount codes, and links to valuable online content.
- Social media: Social media ads are another excellent way to get promotions and new products in front of customers’ eyes. Social media comments also offer a fun way to interact with customers.
- Inventory updates: Fresh inventory gives customers a reason to keep coming back and provides subject matter for your email and social marketing efforts. Finding new items to stock is easy if you’re selling clothing, but may be harder in other product categories. Be creative and stay on top of what consumers are searching for.
Give Outstanding Customer Support
Competing on price is a race to the bottom. Instead, make your e-commerce website stand out by excelling at customer support. If you do it right, you could retain nearly 90 percent of your customers, compared to only 33 percent for businesses with weak customer service.
E-commerce businesses with excellent customer support have these things in common:
- Thorough, well-written product descriptions
- Convenient purchasing and returns
- Trustworthy payment processing
- Knowledge bases and FAQs
- Live chat and phone support
Anyone can set up an e-commerce website. However, if you really want to succeed in this competitive marketplace, you need to go above and beyond to serve your customers. These measures might seem like more work to do and money to spend, but they’re the keys to long-term profitability in e-commerce.
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