6 Tips for Customer Acquisition in the eCommerce Marketplace
As daunting as finding and converting new customers may seem in this day and age, it doesn’t have to be. But as marketing costs continue to rise, the avenues for acquisition become trickier to cover all at once. Ultimately, it can leave you wondering how to move forward in your quest to find interested parties and potential long-term leads
The act of acquiring customers is never easy and it’s an issue that will trouble companies, both new and old, for as long as they exist.
Still, as daunting as finding and converting new customers may seem in this day and age, it doesn’t have to be. But as marketing costs continue to rise, the avenues for acquisition become trickier to cover all at once. Ultimately, it can leave you wondering how to move forward in your quest to find interested parties and potential long-term leads.
Rest assured, however, because people that frequently find new customers often do a few things very well:
1. Keep it simple and creative
2. Make it personal and genuine
But you might be wondering: “How can I find some easy-to-execute customer acquisition strategies?”
If so, you’re in luck! IgnitePOST surveyed eight industry experts on their go-to solutions for acquiring new customers. Together, the group offered plenty of advice on user experiences, personalized emails and the importance of providing valuable content -- all of which we’ll go into detail below.
Best of all, these solutions are manageable, cost-effective and they’ll help you identify and acquire a loyal customer for life -- not just as a one-time purchase.
So without further ado, we’ll hand it over to the masters and let them explain their favorite techniques for success in an extremely muddied eCommerce Marketplace.
ASK FOR THEIR EMAIL, IT’S THAT SIMPLE
Right from the jump, Chase Clymer of Electric Eye stresses the importance of simplicity. Instead of overthinking a complex strategy or expensive route, the easiest case of customer acquisition is typically sitting just under your nose. No, seriously, if you haven’t done so yet, the very step is to connect -- even if it’s in a small way -- with the people you’d like to eventually convert.
Whether face-to-face or on the world wide web, the easiest place to start is with an email, he believes:
“Ask for the email, it's that simple. Often this is assumed online, but many brands are selling in-person as well -- either at a brick and mortar or events -- and not collecting any customer data at all. That's insane! Those people should be on your list and you should be growing that relationship over time just the same as your online business does.
In-person versus online should mimic each other, not be two individual experiences.”
Unsurprisingly, Dami Ladele of Dami Ladele Consulting echoes the email route too. Once you’ve received the contact point, it’s not the time to get complacent. Instead, get creative! The easiest way to convert a potential customer is to simply communicate with them as an individual, he advises -- so go get those addresses:
“Build an email list using sign-up forms. Send personalized emails to those who sign up promoting your products.”
So before creating a multi-level plan and strategy, remember to start at square one with something simple — sometimes, it really is that easy.
PERSONALIZE FOR EVERY CUSTOMER
But as most people can contend, that unique, individual feel -- basically, what we’re all about here at IgnitePOST -- can prove to be all the difference needed. Chances are, whatever your products or goals may be, many other companies are also competing for those same eyeballs. Today’s eCommerce market is crowded, so making a genuine effort to stand out from the pack is always a wise decision.
“My favorite tip for customer acquisition is email welcome sequences. Offer a small discount to sign up for the newsletter -- because who can resist -- which then gets them on your marketing list. From there, send a code for the promised discount, but set up a few emails to welcome the customer to the list, tell the story of your business and share about your latest product line or favorite products.
If they don't use the coupon code, send a reminder for that as well. A sequence like this gets them to feel a bit more emotionally invested in your business while also reminding them about your business every time you send an email.”
Getting prospective buyers to emotionally connect with your company, values, and products before pushing a purchase is an age-old technique, largely because, well, it still works. Providing something -- whether through personalized greeting, compelling information or a free service -- only helps to further convince a customer that you have a voice worth listening to.
In the end, many of our experts repeatedly told us that earning the trust of a newcomer, even if it takes a few extra steps and emails, is a smart cause to take up.
“When potential buyers reach out with questions about sizing, materials or the process of creating our gear, it’s important to make every response feel personal and genuine. While we have templates for return and refund requests, we don’t for general inquiries. Taking the time to explain -- even if it takes multiple responses -- has proven to be the right call every time.
For smaller, growing companies, you never know how a positive or negative experience can trigger a chain of events. And although you can’t always guarantee a purchase this way, leaving somebody with a lasting impression can only serve to benefit you in the long run.”
PROVIDE VALUABLE CONTENT FIRST
And although these approaches have focused on direct, individualized connections, that’s not the only way you can form a lasting bond. Luckily, we had Pawel Regiec of eStrategie.pl dive deeper into this concept for us as well:
“When it comes to customer acquisition in the eCommerce industry, we observe the best results when we apply the ‘value first principle’ combined with nurturing and educating prospects before we even ask them to buy.
So instead of sending cold traffic to a product or category page, we simply offer them valuable content for free. Valuable here means something that helps them solve their problems or at least makes the purchasing decision easier.
Then we nurture and educate them with even more valuable resources by either email sequences or retargeting. So we give value and then we give some more to build trust and authority. That’s the moment when we ask them to buy and as a result, we get a 2-3x higher conversion rate because we invested some time to build rapport with them first.”
Converting a top-of-the-funnel customer can often be unfairly viewed through a black or white lens. Did he make a purchase? Or did they go somewhere else? But that middle area in which education and content are shared in an attempt to inform and build a potential connection with somebody is just as important as well. No matter your product or service, every prospective customer can appreciate a personable and helpful response before being asked to pay up.
But Eric Hansen of Intuit Solutions believes that it goes beyond giving time and resources. In fact, the user experience, whether online or in-person, needs to be special -- especially if you’re hoping they’ll pick your brand over another.
“When it comes to eCommerce, there are a lot of steps you need to take to acquire a customer. With attention spans thinning and competition tightening, you must streamline your shopping paths to encourage customers to choose you as their go-to store with an omnichannel marketing approach.
In this day and age, user experience is everything. This doesn't mean ‘make the button red instead of green,’ but rather how a potential customer experiences your brand as they journey through today's complicated buying process.”
At the end of the day, a company needs to get somebody’s focus without feeling shifty or manipulative. Creating strong, genuine content is key, but repurposing and repacking that experience can help your efforts along too. Steven Hutt of eCommerce Fastlane let us know that the use of particular tools can be beneficial as you attempt to broadly appeal in a natural, desirable way.
“To build awareness and consideration for your eCommerce brand, you need to break through the noise and get your potential customer's attention. This can be achieved with many strategies and tactics but I recommend, at a minimum, that a Shopify brand creates content to entertain, inspire or inform around the market that their potential customers would enjoy. It could be in the form of a blog post, video or infographic.
But what has been working for the Shopify brands I work with is with a tool called Lately. I love it so much that I interviewed the founder to completely understand the power of the platform she has created. With the use of the Lately platform, 50 or more social posts are created for that piece of content you produced. Then you schedule out those posts through your social media accounts over a few weeks or months.
Each of the 50+ social posts is unique and drives discoverability for the content you have developed. This is a great way to share your message and drive demand on your store by cutting through the noise on social media.”
Finally, in a world dominated by one-day shipping powerhouses and non-stop guarantees, it can be tempting to try and keep up with the giants. According to Joe Rozsa of Launch Commerce, however, that’s not the right path forward. Being upfront and honest -- especially compared to the bigger companies -- should be alluring, he says.
“Transparency is key for customer acquisition. Nobody likes surprises, and customers are the same way. Be proactive and answer any possible objections that the customer may have, right from the product detail page. Don't hide the fact that your shipping times may be slower than Amazon Prime, but don't lie about it either.
“Be clear, honest and transparent on all aspects of your business, and let them know everything they need to know right away -- like offering flat rate shipping fee instead of some surprise calculated shipping cost on the final step of checkout.”
As exhibited by the wonderful experts that chimed in for this blog post, there’s no singular path to success -- and many more not even mentioned here.
For companies that are looking to leave a lasting impact in their field -- no matter the product or service -- one of the best routes toward acquiring customers is to exhibit a strong and personable user experience. From enjoyable brand journeys online and upfront shipping details to a willingness to educate without a paywall, potential customers desire unique communication before making a decision.
So, what we’re saying is this: Personalize that next email! Inform them of your story! Do whatever it takes to forge an emotional connection and excellent experience! That way, when they’re on the fence about a big choice, a customer will want to return to you time and time again.
IgnitePOST helps brands create magic moments for their customers. Our real pen and ink handwritten notes cut through the digital noise to surprise and delight customers exactly where they are in their shopping journeys.
Our intelligent software integrates with existing systems for easy set up and our robotics work at massive scale using ballpoint pens to give warmth to each note. This software-hardware combination generates perfectly timed and crafted moments that drive customers to action as our above industry average conversion rates show.
Interested in learning more or seeing how we can help you hit your goals? Contact us today: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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