The internet has opened us up to so many opportunities, not least of all the ability to open up and run a business from the comfort of our laptops. However, over the last few years, e-commerce has sky-rocketed, and there are now as many as 7.9 million e-commerce businesses online across the globe.
Now, of course, these won’t all be your direct competitors, but this should give you some idea of the importance of getting a sophisticated strategy in place to help you attract the right customers.
That said, we appreciate that this can feel a little overwhelming, especially in the early stages of your business when you already have so much to focus on. That’s why we’ve put together this guide.
Below, we’re going to share with you seven ways that you can build your brand, online presence, and customer relationships to help attract more customers to your online business.
Let’s get started.
1. Create a single online identity
Wherever possible, you want to become a single-name business and ensure that you’re using the same name and handle across your website, domain, and social media platforms. This helps to strengthen your brand identity and reduces the risk of any confusion.
That said if your name is too long or it is already taken, be sure to create no more than two names. Again, you don’t want things to get confusing and stop customers from finding you.
Once you’ve got this covered, if you haven’t already, you should get yourself set up on popular social media platforms. Choose the platforms that are going to be most effective for reaching your target audience. For example, are they more likely to be on Facebook and Twitter? Or perhaps Instagram and Tik Tok?
2. Get active on social media
Social media can be a hugely powerful tool for connecting with your customer base and for building your brand – so you need to make the most of these platforms. This is particularly true because you can use these for free!
Try to post on social media every day and reply to customer comments or queries as much as you can. You should also use this to share useful content such as blog posts, information about your business, advice, and more.
Social media scheduling tools can make it easier for you to stay active online throughout the day without having to actually sit and generate posts all day long.
3. Make it easier for people to find you
This one is really important. With so many websites on the internet, you need to do everything in your power to help customers find and choose your business over others. This means you need to get a good search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy in place.
Be sure to create all your content with SEO in mind, which includes everything from product descriptions to social media posts.
Do some research and find out what keywords you should be targeting and also dedicate some time to building your local SEO. This can help customers in the area to find you quickly and can be particularly useful if you have a brick-and-mortar store as well as your online business.
4. Make sure you’re sharing great content
Content is king in today’s digital world, and this can be a key driver of traffic to your website. There are lots of different forms of content that you might wish to share. Some examples could be:
- Blog posts (how-to guides, listicles, etc.)
- White papers
- Images (photos, infographics, memes, etc.)
- Social media posts
- Product descriptions
- Reviews and testimonials
Creating and regularly sharing these types of content is great for SEO, for interacting with customers, and for driving traffic to your website. It can also help to position your business as a trustworthy and knowledgeable source within your industry.
5. Incentivise people to make a purchase
One way to encourage people to shop with you and to subsequently keep shopping with you is to incisive them, whether that’s offering them a discount for signing up to your newsletter or offering free shipping services on their first purchase.
If you’re offering these kinds of deals and incentives, you should shout about these on your social media, advertising, and other content to get the word out there. If people have a great experience with you the first time around, they’re more likely to use your company again in the future.
6. Encourage reviews and feedback
Today’s consumers are smart and savvy when it comes to parting with their cash online. As such, many will do their research before deciding whether to make a purchase or sign up for a particular online business. They won’t just rush in and buy the first thing they see.
Because of this, review sites have become increasingly important tools to both businesses and consumers alike.
By encouraging customers to leave reviews and feedback, either on dedicated review sites, your own website, or your social media, you can encourage more people to shop with you. And again, you could always incentivise them to leave feedback to increase the number of reviews you get.
In order to ensure you’re getting only good reviews, you need to make sure you’re not only offering great products or services but that your customer service is second to none.
We’ll look at this in more detail in the final section.
7. Create the best possible customer experience
Last but certainly not least, you need to make sure you’re offering a great customer experience. This is what keeps existing customers coming back but also encourages them to leave great reviews, share your content online, and recommend you to their friends.
In order to offer the best possible customer experience, you should:
- Make sure you have an attractive website that is easy to navigate and makes buying from you quick and easy
- Share great content that adds real value to their lives
- Reply to customer comments and queries on social media
- Resolve any issues as quickly as possible. This can be done through chatbots, FAQ pages, helpful guides, and, of course, being available throughout the day to take calls or answer emails
- Personalise your services where possible. For example, offering tailored discounts or product recommendations
Now, this list is by no means exhaustive, and you need to think about every aspect of your business with the customer at the forefront. After all, without them, your business can’t succeed.
Ultimately, customer care and experience are so important for keeping your existing customers coming back whilst attracting new ones.