Whether you’re a new business or well established, having a strong community around your Ecommerce brand is the key to success. If you’ve got people who believe in what you do and feel at one with your vision, they can become powerful influencers to drive more traffic to your site. So, how to do build your cohort of dedicated followers? Here are the five top ways to create strong communities for your eCommerce brand.
1. Be Authentic
Have you heard the saying “Never make a promise you can’t keep”? If you say that you’re going to do something, then make sure that you do it. Keeping promises or honouring timescales don’t just build trust, it also reduces unnecessary stress levels and encourages customers to return.
2. Them And You
Try to avoid the ‘Them vs Us’ scenarios that many other businesses have. You’ve spent a long time creating your brand and identifying your target audience, so don’t forget that you need them as much as they need you. “Feedback can be both a blessing and a curse, as no one likes negative reviews. But ask yourself: can you use this feedback to make improvements? Are there areas within your business that are consistently receiving negative feedback? If so, then these are the areas that need to change,” says Thomas Welch, customer support agent.
If you want to be more inclusive so that your customers feel valued and part of your organization, then consider the following:
Forums – these can be a great way to allow your customers to post ‘real-time’ feedback about your business. If you do decide to go down this route, then consider monitoring it for any abusive language or behaviors – turf out the trolls!
Website Postings/News – this can be a ‘You said so we did’ sort of page. In other words, you’re demonstrating exactly how you’ve responded to the feedback from your customers. It also shows your customers that you listen to them and respond to their feedback.
3. Be Accessible
Is your website mobile, tablet, and computer friendly? You’d be surprised at how many websites still don’t easily convert to a mobile viewing size. Often, these sites also have pages that take ages to load and are difficult to navigate – something you want to avoid. If you’re not sure, then consult a webpage testing site such as usertesting.com, who can have someone view your web pages and give you feedback.
4. Value your Uniqueness
What’s your niche? Why do people choose your business over everyone elses? Unless you’re selling a never-before-seen or heard of service, the chances are that you have competitors. If you have competition, then you need to stand out from the crowd and exploit the thing that makes you special. “Invest time in really getting to know your customers and offer a unique service to them – think Podcasts, event vouchers etc,” adds Eduardo Evans, content marketing specialist.
5. Keep your friends close
Ensure that your customer service team are top notch and available. This doesn’t mean that you have someone on hand 24/7, but it does mean that you have a skilled and caring customer service team who respond to customer queries appropriately and within timescales. Remember, if a customer emails or phones you, it’s that initial response that could affect how they will see you – make your first impression a good one.
By utilizing these five techniques eCommerce brands can create strong communities. This list is not exhaustive, but the five options above can give you a great starting point. Once you’ve started to create and build your brand community, you’ll be able to look at new ways to keep it going or increase its size.