“Communication is at the heart of eCommerce and community.” -Meg Whitman
eCommerce giants today are well-aware of the fact that everything does not revolve around just getting leads or increasing sales. It’s more about getting to know the customers better and working towards making them successful.
The growth of your online business is no longer limited to just incorporating marketing tactics or growth hacks solely. In the eCommerce industry, a major chunk of your business success comes from establishing meaningful relationships with your customers and offering them true value for their investments in your business.
That’s where the need for having an online community for an eCommerce business arises.
Here’s a scenario:
Consumers today have a plethora of options to shop online from. Like almost all other eCommerce businesses, you too race towards cutting costs, offering discounts, and whatnot. This technique will surely get you some attention, but only for a short period. That’s definitely not your goal, is it?
Communities can be your best bet to attract more customers and grow your eCommerce business? How, you ask? Let’s find out.
The Role of Communities in eCommerce
Customers today expect brands to understand their needs, analyze their expectations, and build a more personal connection with them.
Research suggests that 46% of consumers today wish to see product comparisons from eCommerce sites, while 42% of consumers wish to see more user testimonials. The purpose of an online community is to help you spread awareness about your brand’s products and services and generate curiosity in the mind of the readers. You can ask your shoppers to write product-related reviews, give feedback, post questions before they make a purchase, share tips and tricks, and more on the community.
To ensure that the right information is reaching out to the community members, you must update your community content regularly. The full potential of your online community can be unlocked when it is successful in encouraging your shoppers to respond to the content that you’re providing and earning their trust.
4 Tips to Ace Your eCommerce Business With Online Communities
Today’s shoppers want to interact more with businesses that they make purchases from. Also, they’re always keen to know what makes you as a brand unique out of the many options available.
To keep your customers glued, and encourage them to keep buying from you, you should be able to connect with them on an open platform that motivates a two-way knowledge exchange. This is possible with the help of an online community for your eCommerce business.
Here are 4 ways you can use online communities to take your eCommerce business to the next level:
1. Analyze What Your Users Want: Online communities serve as a goldmine of information when it comes to decoding the expectations and demands of your users. You can get a clear view of their topics of discussion, ongoing conversations, favorite, and least favorite products through this open channel. You can make it a more personalized experience for your users by listening to their points of view and making product enhancements. Not only will this increase engagement, but the users will also know that their contribution is always appreciated.
2. Document Your Plan of Action: Once you’ve understood what your users want, the next step in the process is to ascertain how you will move forward to accomplish those requirements. For this, you will need to lay down a comprehensive plan of action. Also, it is essential to understand the mission and beliefs of your business and state them clearly so that the members are well-aware of the shared purpose of the community. To thrive in eCommerce, your customers should know what exactly makes you different and why they support you as a business. It’s your job to give them that clarity.
3. Share Real Customer Stories: Customers interact with you more when they feel that they’re being heard and that their efforts are appreciated. To boost engagement in your eCommerce business’s community, ask your users for their purchase stories. This motivates fellow community members to contribute and develop deeper relationships with the community members.
4. Encourage Customer Feedback: Shoppers tend to first scroll through product reviews, and then make the final purchase decision once satisfied. They trust peer experience more, so ensure that you ask your loyal buyers to always provide feedback, reviews, etc. Also, customer feedback is a great way to improve customer service and make product enhancements as per the user’s needs.
An eCommerce community is a step-up for traditional eCommerce because it aims at going beyond the transactional phase and building deeper customer relationships. Creating an online community that offers personalized, unmatched customer service, and customer experience to consumers who buy products from you requires you to offer real value to them in terms of their investment and preferences based on their engagement.
Doing so will help you capture customer data and get insights from users within the community to identify new market opportunities, maybe something like expanding into a new product line or service, and improve your market segmentation efforts. This data can also be used to identify who are your brand advocates so that you can leverage user-generated content and do word-of-mouth marketing to establish trust among new customers.
Wish to build a dynamic online community for your eCommerce business? Let’s talk about how!
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