One of the biggest challenges faced by online sellers is sales conversion. With so much effort put in to build an online store, it needs to be worthwhile for your online business to take off.
Here are some crucial and practical tips to retain and grow your customer base.
Develop A Unique Core Differentiator (UCD)
There’s tonnes of other people selling products that are similar to yours. Unless you make your own products, you need a UCD – Unique Core Differentiator.
What makes your product or services DIFFERENT than others?
Because in all honesty, if whatever you’re selling is no different than what others are offering out there, then why would people want to buy from you?
Sure, if you have a good shipping strategy, that will help but what’s the core value of your company and the products or services that you offer.
The market is competitive and unless your product pricing is irresistible or you’re in a niche market, you will need to give consumers a very good reason to buy your products or use your services.
Offer value, great customer service, unique bundles, something that makes your business stand out from the rest of your competitors.
Give Free Samples
If you’re selling any food, health care or consumables, one of the best ways to engage new customers and to encourage them to try your products is to give out free samples.
This is usually done in events, road shows, conventions and places with high traffic like shopping malls and public places.
People are usually hesitant when it comes to new products but once they try out a free sample, they’re more open to making a purchase.
If you’re selling consumable health care products, prepare lots of small samplers as this is also a great way to help get the word out about your products and company when you sponsor them at huge events.
If you’re marketing is done right, people get to :
– try your products
– discover your brand
– discover your product benefits
– receive an offer they can’t refuse to encourage them to make their first purchase
Once they make their first purchase, give them an offer to share with more friends and reward them for their loyalty.
While different businesses are selling different products, always have in mind to create a good shopping experience for your customers each step of the way.
Create A Referral Program
Give your customers a good experience and create a referral program that is easy and smooth enough for them to share with others.
Uber does a good job of spreading the word around with their simple referral program which is a win-win for all parties.
Word of mouth and referral from friends and people you trust tend to spread faster. So think about making your referral easy for customers to share out.
Uber prompts their customers with a unique discount code the moment they complete their ride as referrals from friends REALLY take off well.
Tip : Consider giving a referral code to your customer in the order confirmation email with the same code included in the package to encourage them to share with friends.
Partner With Other Businesses
Partnering with other businesses whose products complement yours will create a win-win for both parties.
For instance, if you’re selling health food, it would make sense to partner with health related businesses selling fitness gear, sports clothing, gyms, yoga classes, restaurants, cafes as it flows along the same lines of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Did I mention salad bars too?
If you’re selling clothing or fashion related products, partner with businesses that consumers will buy from like those selling cosmetics, designer accessories, shoes, skin care, etc.
It’s another way of introducing and giving your product range more exposure to places that are frequented by consumers.
Tip : Package your product in a way that will attract attention and pique curiosity.
Reward Your Customers Well
Every customer counts. No matter how small the purchase order that was made, give them a good shopping experience and reward them.
This could come in the form of :
– a hand written thank you card to show genuine care and gratitude
– free gift sample of one of your products or SURPRISE them
– discount voucher which they could use for their next purchase
– all of the above?
I’m not asking you to bake them a cake (you could if you want) but think of ways to delight and wow them. Your customers will be happily sharing the experience with their family and friends. In fact, encourage them to post on social media if they’re over the moon about it and reward them for referring your business to others.
Understand Your Best And Worst Customers’ Needs
Feedback is always important because it’s a good reality check for any business.
So don’t fret if you get any customer complains. It’s better to receive some feedback than none at all.
These 2 groups of customers are at the end of each spectrum.
The best customers are those that are pleased with your products and service but they are also the ones who make specific requests. These could come in the form of specific product requirements, bundles, customization, etc.
The benefits : They could be showing you what similar customers like them are looking for so that you can offer a business solution catered for similar customers like them.
The worse customers are those that literally complain about every single thing. Yes, they can be a nightmare to deal with. But…
Some of the main reasons that customers complain is because of :
– not enough information about the product or instructions on how to use the product
– don’t know where their stuff is if no shipping estimate duration time provided
– item arrive not as described on your site
– item arrive damaged, broken or wrong item!
– not enough information about shipping, returns and refund policy
The benefits : You can choose to turn things around and see it from a different perspective on how to improve your products, sales funnel process flow and customer experience because they could be showing you something about your business that needs improving.
Offer Useful And Practical Advice To Consumers
Most businesses bypass this because it takes time and effort to create relevant and helpful content. But if you’re going to do business online, you need to see things from a long term perspective of adding value to customers and improving your site’s SEO.
You can easily find questions related to your product or services on popular forums like Quora, Reddit, etc. These sites are not for you to sell your stuff there least you get banned.
Use the search box and look for specific terms related to your business to offer useful and practical advice to people who have questions. The idea is to participate in the discussions by giving valuable advice, tips and encouragement.
You can add a link back to your site for folks who want to know more about you or information on the write up that will help them.
To do this, you need to have a blog on your own site where you blog about the benefits, value, tips, advice, how-to’s about topics related to your product. Share these on social media as well.
Help Is Available
If you’re at your wits end and really need help to evaluate your current business process or need advice on how to improve your business, let us know.
Help is available. Contact us and let us know what you are struggling with or if you have better suggestions, comments and feedback on how we can help you sell more. We’ll definitely get back to you.
If you don’t have a store yet but you’re unsure on how to start one, check out these practical ecommerce tips for first time sellers.
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