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Attracting Customers to Your E-commerce Site

A Quick guide to e-commerce audience building.


In a Web dominated by a handful of online merchants, it is more important than ever to put your online store above the competition.

There is plenty of room for independent and corporate merchants alike to get their products out there and in front of a world of potential customers. The secret to setting yourself apart can be found in not just what you are selling, but how you service the sale before, during, and after the transaction.

In this article, we will go over a few tips to help you build a loyal customer base filled with active participants willing to aid in sharing the word about new deals and promotions.

Social Media Strategy: Interact Directly with Your Community

A solid social media strategy for an e-commerce site involves two different plans of attack.

First, you will want to find a way to communicate with your community on a one-on-one basis. This does not mean personally firing off an email to each and every person to drop a dime on your products or services. It might mean paying a bit more attention to your social media feeds and taking the time to respond to any direct messages or comments that come across your feeds.

This is a relatively easy task to pull off if you use the right tools. HootSuite is a popular choice for many businesses that want an easy way to find comments and messages from multiple social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) in one place. It only takes a few seconds to make a lasting impression.

Think about it this way: Would you rather give your business to a company that you have had a conversation with, or one that you have only heard about through advertising or passing word-of-mouth? Chances are, the average consumer will go with the company that has established a relationship beyond passive advertising.

Social Media Strategy: Be Informative

The second social media plan of attack you might want to consider involves making your posts more useful to your customers than simply pitching your products. In fact, some of the best strategic posts out there do not even mention the brand's products at all. They are useful, sharable, and they generate conversation.

Conversation establishes relevance, and relevance is exactly what you need to keep your site on your customer's minds.

If you run a bakery, or sell kitchen supplies, you should consider sharing tips that are useful around the home. Your customers will likely appreciate receiving this advice in their news feeds a lot more than just another pitch explaining why they need to pick up a cupcake gift basket.

A good rule of thumb involves an 80/20 content strategy. 80% of your posts should be useful beyond simply pushing your site and/or brand. The other 20% of your posts can be shameless plugs targeted at bringing your existing customers back to buy more product. By doing this, you reduce the amount of perceived spam you put out there while keeping your site on the forefront of your customer's minds.

Site Strategy: Keep it Clean

Clutter is a great way to confuse a potential customer. Studies have shown that when given too many options, a person is more likely to walk away from a deal than take advantage of it.

Meanwhile, by making choices easy to find and add to their shopping cart, you are making the whole experience a lot easier on them and as such increases your odds of making a sale.

Just imagine walking up to a table with fifty bottles of jam and being asked to choose one to try. You will spend more time looking at each jar, and you may regret any decision you make as you do not have a firm grasp on exactly what is available after only a brief moment looking at the selections.

A table with two choices, grape and strawberry, is far easier to navigate and make a choice from. You know within a few seconds exactly what you want, how to get it, and what you are passing on. The same scenario plays out in e-commerce every day. Your site should be clean and easy to navigate without bombarding your customers with every product you have all at once.

Think about your site as an experience for your customers. What do you expect from a web site you enjoy visiting?

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