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7 tricks of the trade that will keep customers coming back

Many ecommerce businesses we talk to ask us how to keep customers coming back in the most effective ways possible. They correctly understand that pushing out mass discount offers isn't a sustainable answer. So here are 7 ways you can deploy to keep customers coming back.

1. Communicate

Consumers can be frivolous; often forgetting a brand as soon as they have left its website. Ensuring you stay in touch with your past customers is the best way to stay at the forefront of their minds and make sure they think of you next time they need what you offer. Direct mail and email are great ways to do this. Offer a weekly or monthly newsletter, with information on new products and special offers for existing customers and different ones for prospects who have never bought. We're amazed at how little time and effort goes into email marketing by many small e-commerce businesses out there and how few send physical notes or thank you postcards to their best, existing customers. It's all about keeping your brand front of mind and making the customer feel appreciated by you.

Example: NoshOn.It

The online recipe catalog is known for its insanely well-designed newsletters supplemented with helpful visual content -- just what the aspiring foodie needs to salivate! By regularly informing their subscribers with quality and eye-catching content,  NoshOn.It established themselves  as a go to resource in online cooking.

NoshOnIt Newsletter
NoshOnIt Newsletter

2. Flatter them

Ever heard the expression “flattery will get you everywhere”? Well when it comes to selling to consumers, it really will. Flattering your audience is a great way to put them in a good mood and inject a bit of positivity. And it’s been well reported that consumers’ moods drives decisions. Essentially, the better their mood, the more likely they are to purchase from you – especially if you’re the one who turned their bad day into a good one.

3. Make them feel like they’ll miss out

No one likes to feel like they’re missing out, and consumers are no exception. Using phrases such as ‘Limited Time Only’ and ‘Summer Special’ are ideal for adding urgency to a sales pitch. Limiting the time they will be able to receive something is the best way to entice consumers in, so adding dates and times to promotions highlights just how time sensitive they are.

Example: Amazon Deal of the Day

Amazon has daily deals covering a wide variety of items, from kitchenware to ebooks. Looking at the various tabs, they also have specific deals for certain holiday seasons, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This technique entices call to action as consumers feel urged to seize these temporary deals.

Amazon Deal of the Day
Amazon Deal of the Day

4. Use language consumers love

The use of positive language is not a new concept, but as more emphasis is placed on content, it’s become even more prominent in recent years. Words such as ‘love’, ‘new, ‘discover’ and ‘premium’ are buzz words that get consumers thinking positively about your brand. Tried and tested to boost response and conversion rates, these simple additions can really make a big difference to your sales.

Example: J. Peterman Company

The J. Peterman Company really knows how to educate viewers on their brand and ethos using smart language, especially when it comes to product description. Their writing skills set the tone when you go shopping on their website! It makes the brand stand out in a pretty entertaining way while many retailers lazily reproduce the standard manufacturer product description. From a SEO perspective, unique product page description is also most helpful.

J. Peterman Company smart product description 1
J. Peterman Company smart product description 1
J. Peterman Company smart product description 2
J. Peterman Company smart product description 2

5. Get personal

Used similarly to the above, using personal language, such as ‘you’ and your’ – or even making use of personalised mailshots to add in forenames can make a big difference to your sales. Shown to increase interaction and click-throughs, talking to your customer is one of the oldest, yet most underused tricks in the book.

6. Get the platform right

There’s no point putting time and effort into communicating with your customers if they aren’t going to see it. Social media platforms are great, with each bringing their own individuality to the mix. However looking at what content gets the best response and where will allow you to focus on what makes the biggest impact do you can do more of it.

Example: Hello!Lucky

Hello Lucky made sure all of their channels from the header to the patterned background have a slick cute and funky design. The main slider of their website landing page is filled with excellent product photos, just like the rest of their  instagram and pinterest accounts. They also offer DIY projects ideas and free printables as an incentive for their readers.

Hello lucky great content platforms
Hello lucky great content platforms

7. Don’t keep your customers a secret

A huge 61% of customers read online reviews before deciding whether to make a purchase. So if you’ve had the same loyal customers for years, or if you’re continually receiving positive feedback, then don’t keep it to yourself. For ecommerce websites in particular, it’s so important to shout about your successes and highlight how many customers are satisfied with your product or offering in order to gain trust from new customers.

Example: Modcloth

Modcloth’s user communities contribute lots of useful content to the site. Instead of just using models to expose their products, customers send photos of themselves wearing them. These pictures are then shared on Modcloth style gallery section. It’s a great use of the community to widely promote the brand. It also implies to potential buyers that this site has lots of satisfied customers, as it is a social proof  of excellent reviews.

Modcloth social proof
Modcloth social proof