How to Attract Customers to Your Online Store
The success of your online store depends on one key variable: customers.
If you’ve put in the time, effort and energy to create a product and launch a business, but are not communicating with the correct group of potential customers, your effort will have been a waste.
Putting the right steps in place and devising a customer acquisition strategy can be a challenging and time-consuming task, especially when you – as the business owner – are continually shifting between various roles and juggling multiple responsibilities.
To help you along in this process, we’ve shared five of the most important and relatively cost-effective methods for attracting new customers to an online shop.
How to Attract Customers Online
There are several strategies that you can employ to attract customers online for your online store. Below are just a few of the easiest to set up and most cost-effective tactics:
Collaborate with related brands
An excellent way for online stores to attract customers is to align with peer brands that are well-established in the respective industry. A surefire way to increase your online credibility, collaborating with related brands can bring in plenty of new leads and opportunities.
Collaborations can take many forms. As an eCommerce brand that’s just starting out, you could:
- Consider sponsoring a small blog or podcast
- Invest in influencer marketing
- Offer your writing services for a guest blog or welcome someone else to write or your website
- Approach key figures in your industry to review your product or appear in a social campaign
- Work with another brand on a webinar
- Approach a brand to run a social media take over
- If relevant, donate to, or offer assistance for, a non-profit organisation
As long as the brand connection is authentic, appeals to both audiences and is a logical and relevant brand connection, the collaboration is sure to bring you some form of exposure. This way, you’ll attract new customers that are already somewhat familiar with your offering and who believe you are a credible source.
A brand’s social media presence has become one of the strongest factors in influencing a consumer’s purchase intention. Brands looking to attract new customers to their online stores should focus quite heavily on their social media marketing strategies. Here are just a few of the top reasons:
- Most consumers will investigate a brand’s social channels before making the first contact
- Consumers will look for reviews of products before deciding to purchase a product
- Small financial investments in boosting posts and sponsoring advertisements will go a long way
- Facebook’s Shop feature is great for sell items directly through the social channel
- The photo-sharing platform Instagram offers huge opportunities for online stores to display and market their products, acquire and repurpose user-generated content and present an appealing brand identity to a vast potential audience
Social networks are also fantastic online spaces where brands can communicate and interact with their audience. Displaying open channels of communication, sharing good customer feedback and maintaining a sharing schedule will create a positive perception of your brand, converting a potential lead into a customer.
Invest in content marketing
Over the years, content marketing has grown in popularity to become a pillar in the modern day digital marketing mix. No longer a nice to have, content marketing is an essential element to include in a marketing strategy. If your online store is not actively pursuing this avenue, you’re missing out on valuable traffic.
A tried and tested method for growing an online presence, content marketing is the key factor for success in the face of search engines. Essentially, a numbers game, the more frequently you release quality content pieces, the more you’ll return in search results and be deemed the best source of information for curious minds. Although time-consuming to build, content marketing offers a stable and inexpensive method for brands to get in front of their potential customers.
From blog posts to case studies, long-form content articles and video, content marketing takes many forms and can easily be included in just about any marketing strategy. If executed correctly, creating and publishing content pieces on a regular basis will increase a brand’s visibility without a doubt.
Update your website regularly
As your website is your storefront it is imperative to offer a beautiful, easy-to-use and well-functioning shopping platform to your consumers. While less a tactic for attracting customers to your online store, maintaining and updating a website regularly will help retain users on your site and maintain a low bounce rate.
From a technical, functional perspective, updating your website regularly will keep your online store safe in the face of threats, vulnerabilities and hacking attempts. As well as keeping your website’s core software up to date, it’s worth considering an aesthetic refresh every few years. User Experience design is the art of curating an easy and pleasant experience with a website or application and is a key step in the website design process. As new web innovations release, more and more customers become familiar with certain elements. If your website’s aesthetic is not revisited on a regular basis, or if it is outdated or presents an unpleasant experience, your website may be turning people away.
From changes in algorithms to new UX trends, each passing year sees the introduction of some new feature or element that should be integrated into a website.
If you’re not a technical person who doesn’t have time to maintain a website or have the development acumen to employ new visual elements from time to time, you may want to consider teaming up with a company who is expertly skilled in this field.
If possible, join forces with a reputable and experienced team that can keep tabs on your website, advise you on the latest web trends, online marketing strategies and implement them on your behalf.
Be attentive to your customers
To this day, word of mouth is still of the best ways to market your business.
A happy customer is well on their way to becoming a brand advocate; one who will spread the word of your brand and how positively it has impacted their life. By referrals, positive word of mouth will help you attract new customers who already believe that your brand is credible and trustworthy.
Beyond supplying a great product, a beautiful online store and an easy and enjoyable purchase process, one of the best ways to foster positive word of mouth marketing is to pay attention to customer care.
Offering clear and open channels of communication is vital, and furthermore, having a swift response time is key. Leaving a consumer in the dark by not responding to their query can lead them to turn away from your brand entirely and spreading negative feedback of your online store – and customers are almost always more likely to share a negative rather than positive experience.
If you’re looking to attract customers for your online store, it’s important to respond to emails, messages, DMs and comments, and to communicate with your audience with care, in a way that makes them feel as if they’d want to be a part of your brand.
From investing in online ad spend, running a competition, offering discounts and deals, and many, many more, these are just a few of the ways in which can increase your online visibility and attract new customers.
If you’d like to focus on perfecting your product offering and building your brand, contact BuzzBrand where we’ll implement tailored customer acquisition strategies to help you grow your online store.