This is a guest post from our partner JLB Florida.
As an eCommerce merchant, you make an investment to get shoppers to your store the first time, and convert them from website visitors into purchasers.
Whether these investments are direct, such as from an ad campaign, or indirect, such as by building up your search engine rankings, once you’ve captured a customer, you have an opportunity to continue to maximize the value that shopper brings to your business. Central to these efforts, is differentiating your organization from your competitors in the eyes of shoppers, and staying in touch with shoppers - keeping top of mind by sharing relevant communications.
Social Media Marketing
Making it easy for shoppers to like, follow, or otherwise engage with your brand on social media can provide you with lots of opportunities to stay in touch. While not all shoppers use all social media platforms, those that do can be extremely vested into these social networks. Whether it’s sharing photos of new products on Instagram, or sharing a hot promotion on Twitter, social media can help you to stay in front of your audience, and earn their repeat business.
Staying in touch with your eCommerce shoppers via email is certainly an industry standard. It’s a great way to let customers know about sales and new products. It’s also a great way to share news, such as how your business is giving back, and tips and thoughts that will be important to your shoppers, and resonate with them.
Using more advanced emailsystems, you can also leverage your eCommerce data to send more specific messages using segmentation and automation. This can include messages that target shoppers to replenish items based on previous orders, or that offer them products and discounts that are more likely to engage them based upon their shopping history.
Emails are a standard, but there are other channels for communicating. These can include sending SMS text messages or push notifications through web browsers like Google Chrome. For businesses with mobile apps, these can also include mobile push notifications. In some cases, this can even include leveraging data to send direct mail.
For example, if all of your efforts to earn another sale through digital marketing have gone unanswered by a portion of your previous customers, sending a postcard to try to win them back can be a great opportunity to get them back to the table.
While many campaigns can focus on promoting products and categories, many shoppers are more captivated by useful content than sheerly by sales pitches. By continuing to act as industry experts, you can make it more likely that you’ll be top of mind when a shopper is ready to make another purchase. Blog posts and articles can also help your search engine rankings, and can be more likely to be shared naturally by your shoppers.
Loyalty Programs / Rewards
Some might consider loyalty programs a form of gamification. Whether you look at airline miles, credit card points, or other major reward programs, consumers are given a proverbial carrot at the end of the stick to keep shopping in the same place. This can help keep shoppers coming back to your store. So can automated messages that a loyalty program sends out, such as gifting the consumer some free points for their birthday, or notifying them before points expire.
Product and merchant reviews can be the the gifts that keep on giving. By sending automated messages to shoppers to solicit reviews, you’re keeping your brand in front of them, and showing that you care about quality. If they do leave reviews, those can potentially help your other marketing efforts, such as SEO and PPC campaigns. Through the right platform, these reviews can also be shared via social media, helping to turn your shoppers into your cheerleaders.
There is no exact one-size-fits-all when it comes to engaging with customers. While many businesses will manage email marketing, blogging, and other activities in-house, it can often make more sense to collaborate with a digital agency that can assist with you meeting your long-term marketing goals. Such goals can include a mix of campaigns to drive first-time shoppers to your site, and to optimize your site to make it more likely that website visitors will make a purchase.