Got that million-dollar business idea, created a stunning e-commerce website, installed security measures to ward off cyber-attacks, and ran promotional campaigns? Many entrepreneurs do that but still end up shuttering down their e-commerce businesses in under four months.
It is now a well-established fact that 90% of e-commerce businesses fail to survive through the initial 120 days and the reason for this high failure rate is the lack of customer loyalty. Therefore, e-commerce website owners must adopt innovative strategies to provide better value to their customers and earn their loyalty.
Once you earn this invaluable asset, you can easily generate more business from your existing customer base. We shall now discuss eight such strategies that can help you earn customer loyalty regardless of how new or established an e-commerce website is.
#1. Build Credibility
Every year, millions of dollars are lost due to e-commerce frauds such as phishing, chargebacks, fake sales, identity thefts, card skimming, and so on. Chargebacks account for up to 80% of all e-commerce frauds, but the most notorious form of cybercrime is data theft. This is a common problem with small and midsized e-commerce websites and is carried out through packet sniffing, brute force, server-side attacks, and so on.
Therefore, smaller e-commerce businesses need to prove their credibility, which becomes a lot easier with a third-party trust seal. The Organization Validated wildcard ssl certificate is one such trust indicator that businesses can make use of.
When it comes from a reliable Certificate Authority (CA), it confirms that the CA has performed a thorough verification of the applicant’s business and its legal existence. The wildcard ssl certificate is the best bet for ecommerce website owners in more than one way.
It not only secures your chosen primary domain but also extends premium encryption to the underlying first-level subdomains. Wait, that’s not it! An unlimited number of first-level subdomains under the chosen main domain.
This translates into the added advantage of unhindered expansion plans. You can add as many first-level subdomains as you wish without worrying about their security. A clear winner, it also helps you save costs and comes well within your budget.
Moreover, the digital certificate remains publicly available for customers to check and confirm. They may do so by clicking on the green padlock in the URL bar and then on the ‘Certificate’ option. Also, the wildcard ssl certificate encrypted communication between the browser and the primary domain and all its first-level subdomains, which prevents data theft to a large extent.
#2. Segment Your Customers
Every customer is unique, and so are their needs. Therefore, it is important to classify them based on certain common criteria. That could be demographics, customer behaviour, social data, or some other parameters.
For example, if your e-commerce store sells fitness products, you’d want to promote products based on interest, such as cycling, squash, tennis, and so on. Likewise, a fashion retailer would have to segment users based on gender, age group, and preferred style. This sort of classification helps reach out to the right audience with the right products.
#3. Plan An Excellent Customer Journey
From the moment a prospect interacts with your business to the point when the person makes a purchase, a lot can happen. The customer might abandon the cart, add more products, or make a purchase and leave. Throughout, businesses can do a lot to prevent the customer from leaving without making a purchase and push other products which might be of use to the customer.
Put yourself in the customers’ shoes and try to understand their perspectives. Would you feel comfortable sharing your PII with sites that are vulnerable to cyber-attacks? As an informed customer, you would always look for the padlock sign in the address bar before parting with your credit card or debit card details. That padlock sign is an indication of an SSL certificate that has been duly installed on the website. This ensures that the in-transit communication between the web browser and the client-server is thoroughly encrypted.
As discussed in the previous pointers, responsible ecommerce business owners must install a wildcard certificate on their website. If you are worried about your budget bearing the brunt of it, you couldn’t be more wrong! You can acquire cheap wildcard ssl certificates from reliable SSL providers in the market.
However, this requires businesses to properly plan the customer’s journey by creating buyer personas and planning stage-wise touchpoints. The most effective way of doing this is by mapping goal-specific customer journeys for each buyer persona. When your customers have a positive customer experience throughout the journey, they are likely to do more business in the future.
#4. Personalized Product Recommendation
When a customer walks into a brick-and-mortar store, the storekeeper often recommends products other than what the customer wants. It could be alternative products, related accessories, or something else that the customer might be interested in.
You can do this online through your e-commerce website by leveraging the machine learning algorithms through easy-to-implement applications. Most product personalization tools let you configure recommendations based on customer behaviour and interests. You can use them in accordance with your business model and sales strategy.
#5. Make Your Customers Feel Special
Your customers matter the most for your business, so don’t forget to find occasions to make them feel special. So, make it a point to celebrate small occasions like your customer’s birthday or the day of their first purchase from your website.
You might want to send in a bouquet or a discount coupon on such occasions to make them feel even more special. These small gestures make an e-commerce website more human and provide an avenue to connect with customers personally.
#6. Provide Quality Customer Service
Businesses no longer compete on price but on the level of customer satisfaction provided by their customer support teams. After all, the consumer market now comprises millennials and Gen X — generations willing to pay more for a superior user experience. 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better consumer experience. So, make sure to use an effective CRM and manage queries efficiently.
#7. Create Brand Awareness
You don’t have to be a Gucci or Armani to allocate a decent budget for brand awareness. Businesses of all sizes (including startups) must build their brand through a strong content strategy and social media presence. So, even if you’ve just launched your e-commerce store, don’t hesitate to invest in running brand awareness campaigns by partnering with social media influencers. Remember that the more people read and listen to your brand’s name, the more comfortable they would be to do business with you.
#8. Focus on Organic Traffic
While running paid promotions, most business owners tend to undermine the power of organic traffic through website optimization. Although SEO is no longer as easy as it used to be a decade ago, it continues to garner the trust of potential buyers.
To get there, it is important to optimize the website for the right keywords and phrases based on the user’s intent. For example, an e-commerce website that sells fashion apparel should optimize for ‘best party wear black dress’ and not ‘how to design a black dress’.
We have discussed eight innovative techniques to boost customer loyalty and increase sales in no time. If you have not adopted any of the above strategies yet, maybe it is time to give it a shot.
The most important ones are installing the right kind of SSL certificate, planning a spectacular customer journey and providing exceptional customer service. Businesses that get this right can convert customers with minimal promotional efforts.