Covid 19 is the new talk of town in the new world. When crisis hits and consumer confidence is low, cash flow and stock levels can become all-encompassing concerns. Ecommerce merchants are left with two options. The first is to keep plowing money into acquisition strategies in the hope that mud might still stick somewhere.
The second is to double down and find cost-effective ways to retain those customers that you already have relationships with. Across the globe, COVID-19 has undoubtedly left us in a state of crisis. Yet this particular dark cloud has a silver lining.
Despite social distancing and isolation, relationships are strengthening and communities are forming—from the gyms that are hosting free online workout classes, to the neighbors who are offering to go to the store for those who cannot get out and about.
This is a silver lining that exists for ecommerce merchants, too. In this article, we’ll look at how to keep your customer relationships strong until this particular storm has passed. Keep customers close
Although consumer confidence is dropping, there will always be those that continue to shop online. Your priority needs to be ensuring that they shop with you rather than somebody else.
Give your customers more reasons to continue spending at your store. If they have rewards available and ready to claim, be sure to remind them.
If they are close to the points threshold needed to unlock another reward or move up to another tier of your program, encourage them to take action to hit that threshold. You might also run member-only promotions such as double points events or time-based special offers on particular product lines
Consider what you can be doing to keep consumers feeling confident about purchasing online, and about purchasing from you. Create Relationships Many retailers have made the difficult decision to hit pause on acquisition channels such as pay-per-click (PPC) and Facebook advertising, having seen effectiveness drop below sustainable levels in recent days.
This piles on the pressure, but acquisition doesn’t have to halt entirely. Your existing customers who know and love your brand are your biggest asset at this time. They are the ones that can leave you reviews which will convert other customers.
They are also the ones that can spread the word about your brand, and introduce you to their friends and family.Incentivizing both reviews and referrals with loyalty points is the best chance to keep these behaviors going in the sure knowledge that they could help you make a better impression as traffic increases while consumers are confined and combating boredom.
And even if they don’t make a difference immediately, they absolutely will in the long-term as things start to return to normal.
You can also incentivize social media engagement, rewarding customers every time they mention your brand or use your brand hashtag on Instagram.
Get people talking about your brand as much as possible, even if it’s just mentioning that they’re wearing your super comfy sweatpants while they work remotely
. Make use of an Online Community
Recent research from LoyaltyLion shows that 68 percent of consumers are motivated to be loyal if they know that a brand shares the same values as them.
Take this opportunity to prove to your existing customer base that you align with and share their beliefs. This will help you form a strong community of customers with a sense of belonging.
Incorporating messaging around your brand values into onsite popups, welcome or post-purchase emails helps to remind customers what you stand for as a brand.
You can also build the things your customers believe in into your program rewards and the ways in which people can earn points.
Whether you pick temporary causes that bring customers together in the current climate, or continue to support the issues and concerns that your customers share with you longer-term, there is much you can do to show shoppers that you know them, and that you’re the kind of ethical ecommerce store they want to associate with you long into the future.
We’re in a period of uncertainty, but just as it is bringing out some of the best behaviors in people, so too can this be an opportunity for brands to prove to their existing customers that they care.
This is a time to own and nurture your relationships with your existing customers, and continue to create meaningful connections that will last a lifetime.