It is the dream of Ecommerce entrepreneurs to achieve a strong brand loyalty; a business where people come to again and again, to engage and convert.
Brand loyalty is a lot more than having what your customers need; it is about them actively willing to take their business to you. Think about that regular customer who always enters a diner to order the special. As he sits, the waiter is already putting together his favourite meal and greeting him by name. This is a unique service he probably won’t get elsewhere. The diner knows they have him locked down; now, that is loyalty.
As an online entrepreneur, you will surely want to generate the same effect for all your customers, but you are probably wondering how it can happen. Don’t fret, this kind of loyalty is also possible for online brands. It only requires a different set of rules.
Use the following tips to build customer loyalty for your ecommerce brand.
1. Make it as simple and easy for the customer
There is a famous quote by Marshall McLuhan, “The medium is the message”.
The media doesn’t just give the message, they shape it. It is not just a case of transferring the real-life experience to the online space, but also, adapting it to the user experience of that medium.
Online shoppers are impatient and many of them will ditch your site if it is too complicated to understand. But it doesn’t stop there, according to a report, 44% say they will tell their friend about the bad experience. Ensure the user experience (UX) is simplified and fast. Shoppers want things to be easy and quick- likewise the UX.
Another study revealed that the average netizen has an attention span of 8 seconds making it shorter than that of a Goldfish. This means if your website doesn’t deliver in that time, you will lose them to your competitors. Check your web speed regularly if you want to build customer loyalty.
2. Personalise your message
The theme song of the 90s show, Cheers¸ starts like this, “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.” It is a good feeling to be recognised anywhere, and the same concept can be applied in your ecommerce strategy.
As reported by Business 2 community, 75% of shoppers are more likely to purchase an item from a retailer that knows them by name, provides recommendations based on previous purchases, or knows their buying preferences.
Hence, a marketing to like CRM is necessary for customer follow-up. With one, you can easily create fields to personalise your customers by their name, even include information such as their birthday, and other special interests. This is easy and it makes all the difference to your customer. When you send them personalised emails, customers tend to feel appreciated, they know that they are special. You can even go a step further by using PURLs; “personalised URLs” where you can point customers to landing pages specifically made for them.
3. Adopt a style that is unique to you
One of the most effective ways of building an iconic brand is by being consistent with your imagery and other associated visual identity elements. If your customers can look at a combination of colours or typography and recognise your business without seeing the name, you are on the way to branding excellence.
Perhaps one common example is the Cadbury purple. The UK confectionery giant is known to have patented its trademark purple, which is what differentiates it from competitors. It is easier to be loyal when the brand in question is simple to identify. Other brands like Apple and Nike have cult followings because the elements of their brand identity have been imprinted in the minds of users forever.
Is your business easy to recognise? If you exist solely online, one of the first things to do is ensure that your domain name is not too long or impossible to remember. You want a name that customers can easily type into their address bar from the top of their heads.
4. Be interesting on social media
If your brand is silent on social media, chances are your engagement rates are low. Social media gives you an opportunity to develop a sense of community that customers crave but don’t get on other online spaces. The steps to growing a strong social media community are platy. Once you establish a veritable hold on users, you can start becoming an inspiration in their life.
Look beyond trying to sell them products or services all the time. In fact, if your account becomes too sales oriented, people will leave. Master the art of treading that line between regular fun engagement and sales. Some entrepreneurs still believe that social media is not for every business. But they couldn’t be more wrong.
According to Dennis Mark, marketing analyst at Infintech Designs, no business is too professional or ‘serious’ for social media. “We have clients from all sectors of the industry, including dentistry. The secret is to understand their customers’ persona and develop a message that appeals to them,” he says.
5. Contact your loyal fans for feedback and referrals
Even after your brand has built a loyal following, it is not over. Sustaining this ‘community’ means being proactive and continuously developing ways to grow the following. To achieve this, contact your most loyal set of customers and request feedback and referrals.
You can place a ratings icon below your products. This helps you identify those items that are favourites or the least popular, and create strategies to maximise or improve them. Product ratings icons also increase customers trust and domain authority; two important elements for brand loyalty.
It will surprise you to see how many satisfied customers are willing to refer their friends and family to your site.
When you work on your site UX, customer personalization, branding elements and social experience, chances are you will observe a growth in the number of repeat visitors and loyal customers to your website.