12 Things eCommerce Businesses Can Do to Earn Customers- Part I

Without a steady stream of customers, no business can expect to grow or remain competitive in their respective industry. And, no matter how innovative or ground-breaking the product or service is, one cannot expect to get too far without an impressive customer base.

You’ve done all the market research you possibly could and put a unique value proposition out there for your prospects, yet all you hear are crickets or see a hay roll cutting across your path. I think you get the general idea!

Despite having a great lineup of products and services, businesses of all sizes continue to fail miserably at luring customers by the numbers, though smaller ones tend to be a bit more than usual on the receiving end. And speaking of the latter, costly marketing and advertising isn’t always feasible.

A number of start ups have overcome the odds by employing certain workarounds or hacks to make it to the top, and they didn’t even start that big. You’re most likely overlooking a few taken-for-granted ways that have proven to be very effective in attracting more customers, and not all of them will necessarily burn a hole in our pocket.

Good to know:

60% consumers feel more confident about a business after viewing custom content on their website

During an end-of-year shopping season, one business spent almost 138% on year-over-year (YoY) Product Listing Ads and witnessed a 269% YoY increase in revenues

93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media

84% shoppers stated that word-of-mouth recommendations from their friends and family led to more trustworthiness when buying from a particular business

Here, in no particular order, are top eight things you can do to lure more consumers to your business:

1. FREE Stuff!

People love free stuff, there’s no question about it. Depending largely on your budgets and sales targets, you may not see this as a cost-effective option, but giving away free stuff does a number of positive things for your business;

It lets people know that you are there to offer something of value. Plus, you’ll instantly pop up on their radar. You’re also getting a chance to prove to them just how valuable your product/service really is, and how it can change their lives.

Here’s the thing: when you offer people something to try out in a risk-free way without having them spend any cash, you’re building a channel of trust and dependability. And, if they do like what you have to offer, they are willing to match your price and buy from you over and over again. Just make sure you get this right the first time around by offering them something that is truly unique and life-changing.  

By giving away free samples, you can gain hundreds to thousands of leads, particularly email subscribers. Why not host a product giveaway through social media and even give out small bonuses for sharing the contest? Speaking of social media, consider getting in touch with an influential blogger and ask him/her to run a review on your free giveaway. In fact, blogging is an excellent way to build a following and generate more traffic to your business pages. In addition, you’ll also see your online brand popping up more on organic search engine searches. Let people know you’re out there!

By the way, in case you’re wondering, we’ll be shortly discussing in more detail how you can leverage the power of social media to attract customers. Stay glued!

Also, a word of caution: your free stuff is not something people should expect to have for too long. Make sure you clearly advertise how long the offer lasts and what’s in it for the early birds.

2. Discounts and Special Deals: Miracle Workers

Much like free giveaways, discounts and special deals can really work wonders. These are very creative and cost-effective ways of inviting people to take your product for a test drive.

The fact is people see deals and discounts as major opportunities to get bargains and enjoy something for a lot less money. There’s hardly anybody who’d want to miss this chance, particularly if your product or service appeals to their needs and desires.

Discounts and deals will almost always compel people to buy more than they initially planned or intended. Your prospects understand that “special offers” like these may not come around every day and they will jump at the opportunity as soon as they see the words discount along with a percentage.

By offering discounts, you have found a rather powerful way to publicize and market your business. What you want to do is experiment a bit to find what keywords are a good fit for your Google Ads, which will also help you better understand who you should target. Make it regular practice to use those keywords on highly unique and relevant landing pages. When people see the discount sign on your Google Product Listing Ads, they will be eager to find out more.

While you’re at it, why not offer a small discount to first-time purchasers just to test the waters? You need to demonstrate tangible benefits and let them know what privileges they will enjoy by making the purchase right “now”.

3. Get Yourself Listed on Local Directories

Way back when there were no mobile phones, we had the Yellow Pages – large and thick books where you could find almost anyone alphabetically. In fact, they were so thick, folks used to try to tear them up in half as a show of strength!

Back on point: in the modern world, it would not be possible to list anyone and everyone in one BIG book. We’re taking several hundred million people. Luckily, the internet has brought with it a number of luxuries and conveniences, and one of them includes the ability to be listed on local directories for free.  

As one of the best SEO company Toronto created, you should get registered on one of these a local directories so that anyone from around the word can instantly find you on a map and check out your contact information. Getting registered is easy and free and some of the most popular local directories include Bing Places, Yahoo Local and Google Places. Is it mere coincidence that these directories are governed by major internet search giants? Not quite. Just like their search engines, these directories let people find you in a click or two. Just get yourself registered and claim your spot!

4. Never Underestimate the Power of Social Media

It shouldn’t come as a surprise how social media is changing the way business is done today. You will hardly come across any business today, big or small, that isn’t on social media.

Not sure which platform is the best to start with? While they all have their unique benefits and value proposition, Facebook is easily one of the most dominant channels when it comes to making your presence known worldwide.

Do you honestly know any individual today who isn’t on Facebook? This popular social media network happens to be one of the top places where prospects hang out. It makes absolutely perfect sense to have a Facebook company page.

The thing is social media sites like Facebook and Twitter make it really easy for existing customers and prospects to discuss what’s going on in your business. The moment you share photos and videos, they’re going to be shared and tweeted. Get into the habit – the more rapport you build with customers and prospects, the better you can engage them, which means word-of-mouth getting around fast and more people easily finding you.

Another way to better understand your ideal customers is via data, social listening and engagement through actual conversations. The data you acquire helps you better understand what kind of content performs best. Social listening tells you what your customers want from you in terms of products and services. Engagement establishes active dialog and allows customers to feel that they truly belong in your business and are a part of it, so to speak.

So in short, hang out where your ideal audience hangs out, listen actively, contribute and distribute content that’s highly focused and useful, and, create stories that are highly sharable.

Good to know:

83% say posts from friends directly influence their buying decisions

Facebook gets on average 8 billion daily video views from 500 million users

5. Live Chat to Engage New Audiences

Speaking of social media, Facebook isn’t the only reliable platform that can help you win future customers. Twitter is a very powerful medium to promote your brand though you need to maintain a very active presence; rather than being a passive user, fill in the information gap on Twitter with your very own brand of Twitter Chat.

Host a real-time chat on Twitter on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. The key goal here is to supply your consumers with a high dose of useful information on a topic you are well versed on. The more people know you as an authoritative figure, the more willing they will be to buy from you. However, this shouldn’t be just limited to getting knowledge from you only; invite influencers and industry experts to share their insights as well.

By the way, did you know:

92% consumers trust recommendations from other people over branded content?

77% say they are more than ready to buy from sponsors, as influencers can also be great brand evangelists?

6. Find a Partner

It pays to partner up with a business or businesses that offer complementary services. This gives you synergistic capabilities which you can use to expand your business and build a wider consumer base; if you are an SEO agency, you could team up with a website developer.  

Learn to nurture these relationships and you’ll see people flooding in to avail your services. If you focus on building real “human” relationships, you are likely to see a lot of heads turning as people go around telling their friends and contacts about you.

Here’s another way of looking at it: if one of the best principles of successful stock trading is timing, then one of the best principles of growing an online business is good partnership. You can earn customer loyalty by introducing them to quality brands they might be interested in. You can also gain better exposure by being active among other niche leaders.

That does it for now – we’ll be covering another six things businesses can do to lure more customers in a follow-up article. Stay tuned for more, and in the meantime, do not hesitate to contact our digital marketers to better understand any of the key elements we’ve discussed in this piece.