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The global ecommerce market has been growing every year. There was a rise in online shopping during the pandemic as customers could not shop from retail stores. According to eMarketer, in 2021 the ecommerce sales are expected to account for 18.1% of retail sales worldwide and is expected to reach 20.0% by 2022. The ecommerce market is expanding and there are many opportunities for businesses, whether big or small, to benefit from this.
As customers are increasingly opting for online shopping, they expect to have the best experience with the brands they purchase from. It is important for ecommerce businesses to focus on customer needs and interests. Customers have a lot of options now and will only purchase from brands that offer a great customer experience. Hence, businesses need to focus on building valuable customer relationships to secure the loyalty and business from their customers. In this article, we will look at how ecommerce businesses can successfully build customer relationships online.
How to Build Customer Relationships?
Provide great customer service
The first step to build relationships with customers is to provide great customer service. Answering customer’s queries on time or resolving their issues is important to gain their trust. A satisfied customer will want to purchase again from your brand. Make it easy for customers to reach out to you. Having a FAQs page that answers customer questions can enhance their experience.
Many businesses use live chat or chatbots on their website which make it easy for customers to ask any questions and receive immediate reply. Ensure that you use platforms that enable you to provide your customers with speedy responses to any of their queries, complaints, and feedback.
Communicate on social media
All ecommerce businesses need to be active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Social media platforms are useful online marketing tools that can help increase brand awareness, promote your products, share content, and interact with your audience. Through social media platforms you can keep your audiences engaged by sharing content about your products or industry news. This can enable you to start a conversation with your audiences and encourage them to share their opinions.
Your followers will comment on your posts to share their thoughts or feedback. Many times, customers ask questions about your products or share any complaints and issues they have. Reply to their comments and communicate with them directly. This shows your customers that they are valuable to your business. It promotes trust among customers and assures them of quality customer service.
Other followers who are reading the comments can also see that you are trying to resolve your customer’s issues. They will be encouraged to try out your products. This is a great way to build valuable relationships with your customers online. It will help your customers trust your products and purchase from you again.
Stay in touch through emails
Build your email list so that you can communicate with your customers through emails. Investing in a CRM system will be useful as you can store your growing list of contacts and manage them easily. You can then create automated emails that will be sent to customers based on certain actions. For example, you can send emails to customers asking for their feedback after they make a purchase.
Emails can be used to send customers any new updates about your products or any content to educate them. Send relevant content that helps customers solve their problems. This encourages them to engage with your emails. Being in touch with customers after they have made a purchase is a good practice. Asking for their feedback makes customers feel like their opinions are valuable to your business. Or even sending useful content reminding them about your business or products is a great way to offer valuable information. Customers appreciate that you are in touch with them after they made a purchase.
This is a good way to keep communicating with them and foster long-term relationships.
Following up with your customers, especially after they make a purchase is important. As discussed above, to make it easy for you to follow-up with your customers you can use automated emails that are sent in a timely manner. This ensures that no customer is missed out and they receive the messages on time. Following up every step of the way can make the buying process much more seamless for your customers.
Customers like to receive updates about the order they placed. Even after the purchase you can follow-up with them to ensure that they received the product in good condition and had a great experience with your brand. This is a good way to collect valuable customer insights and use them to enhance the experience of your future customers.
Customer loyalty programs are a great way to build strong relationships with your customers. These loyalty programs can help retain old customers and entice new ones to your brand. You can give various offers or discounts to new visitors that can be availed by signing up for receiving emails from you. For existing customers, you can offer extra benefits as they purchase more from you.
You can celebrate a customer’s birthday by giving them special offers that make them feel valuable. Customers like to receive these benefits from the brand they are purchasing from. Loyalty programs encourage customers to keep purchasing from your brand. If you give them great offers and benefits, you automatically have an advantage over your competitors.
Leverage user-generated content
User generated content is the content created by users for other users. This type of content includes the thoughts or opinions your customers have about your products. Keep an eye out for such content and give your customers more opportunities to talk about your brand. For example, your customer may try out your product by posting a picture on Instagram along with their opinion on it. This is user generated content that you can share on your own platform for other followers to see.
You can also ask your customers for reviews and testimonials which you can post on your website. User-generated content builds credibility for your brand. Whenever customers want to purchase a product, they are curious to see what other people are talking about it. By sharing your customer’s thoughts on your social media or website, you make your customers feel valued. Customers appreciate when they have a platform to share their experience about a product. This is another way to keep your customers around for a long time.
Today customer have many choices. If you want the loyalty of your customers, you need to meet their expectations. The way customers purchase has changed over the years. Now customers expect an exceptional customer service and a great experience from your business. Consider all the points mentioned above and see if you are meeting your customer’s expectations. Prioritising your customer’s needs and interests is the first step to build long-term customer relationships.