Standing out among thousands of stores is a challenge every eCommerce shop owner faces. It’s a daily struggle to distinguish yourself from competitors or even from the amount of noise that now exists in the online retail space. Sometimes it can seem like your paid ads are the only thing driving sales and this is a big red flag. It’s a major signal that you need to work to build loyalty to your brand.
Now. Wait. So, what even is brand loyalty?
At its core, brand loyalty is one’s likelihood to buy from the same brand instead of comparison shopping and purchasing from a competitor with “like” products.
There are effective ways to forge your own path to loyal repeat customers and I’ll share the ones that are especially effective with you here.
Don’t build your brand on sales, discounts and promotions.
This is an extremely easy trap to fall into. Conversions are easy when they’re discounted and on sale. It’s easy to get a high open rate on a “20% weekend” or “Free Shipping Sunday” — however, this is like building a drug-addicted base of shoppers. They get a hit of a discount and then wait until that discount comes back around. Instead of being loyal to your product, they are loyal to getting things on sale. Build brand advocates by letting your product speak for itself, not your discounts.
Enhance your product descriptions with some personality.
Low hanging fruit right here, folks. Your product descriptions are the biggest “taste” of your product that you can provide your shoppers with, sometimes more so than images. By getting creatively detailed with your product descriptions, you will stand out from your competitors–even if they’re selling the exact same thing.
When writing product descriptions, consider the aspects of your product that your shoppers are most likely to be concerned with. Then go into extreme detail in those areas. Answer your FAQs about those products in their descriptions!
This will build confidence in customers who know they can rely on your products.
Build a conversation around your products and foster a community around your brand.
Ensure that your brand is alive socially. Be writing content about your products and sharing it–live on the social platforms that work for your audience.
If you aren’t posting or creating content, why even have a Facebook page or Instagram account? Social isn’t about showing off big Like/Follow numbers anymore. It’s about authentic content that captures the attention of your audience and gives them something they want from your brand.
If all you do is repost product images to Facebook and cross your fingers hoping for a sale, consider creating a conversation about products that are coming soon or what your shoppers can expect from your catalog in the coming months.
There’s nothing better than gathering feedback and data about what you are selling or planning on releasing. By being proactive and asking for reviews, you are creating opportunities for two-way conversations with those who have bought from you. And that leads right into…
Engage with your community.
Just posting your content isn’t even enough anymore. Your brand needs to reach out and engage with those who are interacting with you online. Someone posts a picture on Instagram with your product? Give them a thumbs up.
Handwritten thank-you notes are an increasingly popular tactic that win brand advocates and build extreme loyalty. Look at Chewy! They do this for tons of their orders and repeatedly win over the hearts of pet lovers across the country.
Replying back to comments or feedback you get on your posts is equally as important. These are low effort, high value tasks that can impress potential customers and reassure current ones.
Engaging with the community you’ve worked (or paid!) so hard to build is a necessary step in building brand loyalty.
Now, the list of steps to take to build loyal shoppers could keep going on and on, but I’ll stop here with these major ones. What are you doing on your store today to foster loyal shoppers? Do you have a big tactic that’s working that I missed here? Share it with me and I’ll create a follow up article focusing on just that!