E-commerce entrepreneurs are familiar with the importance of building a strong customer base. After all, without a customer base, there is no business. And with giants like Amazon in the market, it can be difficult to attract customers and keep them coming back. Nonetheless, there are some things you can do to make your company stand out. If you own, or aspire to own, an e-commerce business, here are seven ways to build your customer base:
- Keep fresh inventory
One of the first things to consider is changing your inventory regularly. It requires more managerial work, but it is sure to keep your existing customers interested. Also, people who are doing a web search for certain products are more likely to come across your company if you keep an ever-evolving inventory. For instance, if you sell wholesale clothing, you have four chances minimum (four seasons) per year to change your inventory. Since customers purchase clothing all year round, doing so can help build your customer base.
- Know your target audience
Another way to boost customers is to define your target market. Identifying a target market can be as general as “Men” or as specific as “Men in the American South between 25 and 35 who are tired of their razor blades breaking.” The important thing is that you know your target market and structure your products or services around their needs and preferences.
- Create a killer storefront
For an e-commerce company, your website is your store. That is, your homepage essentially serves the same purpose as the storefront of a brick and mortar business. It should show spectators an overview of what your company offers; it should be creative, appealing, clean and organized; and it should inspire spectators to “walk in” to your store and, ultimately, become customers.
- Engage social media
Social media can make or break an e-commerce business, so it’s important not to underestimate its influence on potential customers. Get on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites/apps to promote products and services, explain company policies and values, speak with existing or hopeful customers directly, and so on.
- Focus on customer experience
Customer experience is of utmost importance for any business. From the time a potential customer hears (or sees) the name of your company, to when they receive and use your product for the first time, it should be an exceptional experience that inspires them to rave about your company. If you base every decision and interaction around making your customers happy, you’ll be setting your business up for success.
- Let your reputation precede you
Closely related to customer experience is your reputation as a company. If you consistently provide exceptional service, products and support, you’re on the right track to building a solid reputation. Anytime you interact with a customer is an opportunity to help or harm your reputation, and regularly asking customers for feedback can help you gauge how well you’re doing. If you want to go the extra mile, look into reputation management.
- Offer deals
Everyone likes deals. Coupons, promos, and giveaways can go a long way in attracting and retaining customers for your business. Always have some kind of offer going on, and remember that “free” is a powerful word. One of the best ways to promote your brand is to conduct giveaways. For example, create one on Instagram where each user who promotes your business has a chance to win a number of your items.
It’s not easy, but you can build a strong customer base. Start by offering an evolving inventory, knowing your target audience, and crafting a great website. Also, make sure you use social media to your advantage, base your whole operation around customer experience, and always keep your company’s reputation in mind. Finally, offer coupons, promos, and giveaways the whole year round. Following tips like these will help your e-commerce business stand out among the rest.
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