Building an eCommerce Website that Earns Loyal Customers

People Standing in LineIf you're running an eCommerce business, your long term success relies on building brand loyalty and a solid customer base. These are the people who will keep coming back to you for their needs and will also recommend you to friends and family members. Establishing this sense of brand loyalty can be difficult early on, however, and sometimes there are no second chances when it comes to creating repeat business.

Here are seven tips that will help you generate return customers and build an identity for your brand that these customers can get behind.

1. Offer Customers Something Unique

Your eCommerce website may sell similar products as your colleagues and competitors, but there's got to be something unique that distinguishes you from them. Sometimes the unique thing that you offer is the brand itself, which means your reputation and your site's reputation. Offer an eCommerce web solution that competitiors just can't match.

What is it that you can provide customers with that no one else can? By thinking of your eCommerce site in terms of personality and identity, you define the attitude of your brand and give your business a presence. This is how you'll find the most important kind of uniqueness: a brand expressing an idea that customers can get behind.

2. Keep Things Simple and Straightforward

Your brand will have some sort of message behind it that communicates its values and other elements that set it apart. This message needs to be simple and yet grabbing at the same time. Once again, thinking of what makes your brand unique will help you refine this message and craft it so that you can reach out to your ideal customers. Which actually ties into the next tip.

3. Know Who Your Target Customers Are and How to Reach Them

When you launch an eCommerce business, there's often a target demographic you're looking for. This target demographic may be based on a number of factors, but by knowing who your ideal customers are, you can tailor your brand to them. This can help define the aesthetics of your logo and website design, the approach of your social media strategy, and other ways that you present your ecommerce business to the world.

This is just part of the interesting cyclical way that building a brand and brand loyalty works:

  • You consider your consumers and what unique service you can offer them that appeals to their wants
  • You craft a message that speaks to these consumers
  • As you get feedback and buzz from these customers and grow your business, you can adjust the message as needed as you learn what your customers feel about your brand
This is an organic approach to branding and creating brand experience in a community.

4. Anticipate the Needs of Your Customers

If you know who your ideal customers are and have a good idea of what they're looking for, you'll probably be able to anticipate their needs and questions as well. Always strive to meet these needs ahead of time. On product pages, provide the information that you sense your consumers would want to know. As you encounter new customer concerns and cater to them, make adjustments to your eCommerce website to meet these new/evolving needs.

5. Reward Your Customers to Build a Relationship

The first impression is an important one, and a great opportunity to create repeat business. Be sure to consider how to reward a consumer for shopping on your eCommerce website. This could be as simple as free shipping or a discount on their next purchase, but be sure to consider a personal touch as well. If your customer leaves feedback or a testimonial, reach out and thank them yourself.

Make your customer feel like a person rather than just another person who purchased something. In addition, give your brand an identity by showing that there's a living, breathing human behind the online store.

6. Give Your Customers a Reason to Return

Your eCommerce website should always be looking for ways to generate repeat business and grow. Consider how you can use sales, special promos, new products, and contests to keep your consumers coming back (and bringing their friends and family with them).

This is where product newsletters and savvy use of social media can be great help. By using these resources to update past customers about promos and other events, you invite them to keep up with the regular happenings of your eCommerce site.

7. Always Go Above and Beyond

Instead of merely having a satisfied customer, figure out how your eCommerce business can go above and beyond. This doesn't mean more discounts and freebies, however. Consider how your brand can speak to their needs at a deeper level. Make each visit to your site more than just a simple business transaction; make your brand feel like something more than just a business.

By: Dana Nevins

BEDSLIDE - Client Testimonial

"The best thing out of everything was that our sales went up. The new site had a better design, the checkout process was better, and ultimately achieved all of our goals. That site has been up for a year and a half and we’re very happy with it, it’s still awesome." - Jake Plappert