min read

Capitalizing on the Relationship-Centric Era in Ecommerce

Businesses today are in a relationship-centric era, meaning companies that interact with customers in a meaningful way have a corner on the market.

Businesses today are in a relationship-centric era, meaning companies that interact with customers in a meaningful way have a corner on the market. Customers value companies that work to build trust and relationships with them. We moved away from the product-centric era of the early 2000s when consumers were sold to. Now, consumers are in control. Brands have always been fighting for mindshare, but in today’s relationship-centric era, space is even more limited and valuable.

Happy woman checks out at a store


Whether you like it or not, we have graduated to a relationship-centric era, with informed consumers who cannot just be sold to or wowed with new tech. Consumers today want to know how much you care about them and value their business. It is the relationship that a company fosters that now can persuade a consumer from one company to another. This is inherent to human behavior as a whole, as we gravitate towards relationships where we find belonging. One key reason we are seeing this shift in consumer behavior is that people's minds are oversaturated with messaging. With the majority of adults having social media and using the internet every day, everyone is exposed to many different ads and brand messaging. Having a relationship with a company is a breath of fresh air for your customers.


If you do not adapt to the ways of relationship-centric business, your company will eventually die out. We can access multiple stores that can perform the same tasks with a simple Google search, so if your top 3 competitors have adapted to this new era of consumerism, then they will beat you every time. This is because the relationship-based business model is heavily reliant on social proof. If you have a poor relationship with one customer, they can tell the world with online reviews, affecting your future business. Most people rely on reviews and social proof when finding new companies and brands to trust. So, lean into relationship-centric practices, and watch your reputation shine.

Three people look and point at computer screen.


So how do you adapt and gain authentic mindshare in your customers’ world? People value the thought and time you put into something, which especially applies to your messaging. The sincerity shows. When it comes to messaging, some things to prioritize are your timing, method, and the message itself.

When it comes to timing, if you hit the sweet spot, your work can make a difference. Drip campaigns like IgnitePOST’s handwritten letter services are strategically timed to send messages to customers when they are most likely to leave a review or join a loyalty program. If your timing is off, you can sound too "salesy" or disingenuous.

In your method, you can focus on asking customers to leave a review or referral. You can also promote loyalty programs or send a thank you note. All of these methods can be left as a simple message, or you can include a gift or reward to make the customer more likely to take the intended Call to Action. The most important part is now your messaging. You could nail your timing and method, but your messaging is what drives the whole effort home. With bad messaging, your efforts will sound forced, needy, or selfish. But with the right messaging, you could build trust, customer loyalty, and social proof.

As always, it is better to adapt to the times than to stay stuck in the past. And with the transition to relationship-centric business methods, there are many benefits for your company to experience. By building relationships with your customers, you are likely to build a loyal customer base, leading to referrals and reviews with the right messaging. With referrals comes increased revenue and new loyal customers. With reviews comes social proof and a trustworthy reputation, leading to new customers and increases in revenue. Adapting to the times is a win-win situation.



IgnitePOST Team
Verified writer

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