With more than 1.6 billion people worldwide shopping online,1 the competition for Internet sales is growing ever more fierce. To be successful, you need to gear everything you do towards the customer. As Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said: “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.”
 
While great online service may sound like a no-brainer, not everyone is doing it—and that creates a competitive advantage for those who do. Making the customer experience your North Star will guide your brand in the right direction as e-commerce continues to evolve, propelling your business ahead of your competitors.  
 
Below we’ve provided a few ways to boost shopper loyalty—and keep your customers coming back. For the full story, download our eBook, Customer Obsession 101: 8 Ways to Keep Your Customers Coming Back, available here.

Establish your identity

As the bestselling author Simon Sinek put it, “People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Having a unique identity will help you stand out across a landscape driven by price and product. 

The personality of your brand counts, so take the time to discover your unique value proposition—and then share it with clarity and finesse. In fact, 63% of global consumers prefer to spend money with companies that reflects their own values and beliefs, and will avoid companies that don’t.2 
 
So hone in on your brand’s competitive advantage—and shine it like a beacon. And remember that whatever makes your brand unique is the key to winning the hearts and minds of your customers.

Build trust

As you establish your e-commerce site, trust can be an issue. In fact, nearly 1 in 5 shoppers abandon at least one checkout experience per quarter because of concerns that the site won’t protect their payment information.3 

One way to build trust is to display well-known security brands such as Norton on your site. Another is to include explanations next to each form field as to why you’re requesting personal information such as gender, birth dates, and phone numbers—or to simply make these fields optional. Most importantly, avoid data vulnerabilities by implementing a payment option that can protect you from fraud and security issues. 

In addition to security, consider boosting consumer confidence through online reviews. Interestingly, 85% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.4 Give customers a place on your site where they can leave testimonials and reviews. And know that even bad reviews establish trust. Negative reviews only stop 40% of consumers from wanting to use a business, as negative reviews help assure some consumers that the reviews are real.  

Communicate thoughtfully

Consumers are increasingly tuned in to the transparency and believability of brand messaging. After fake news and data scandals largely shook Americans’ trust in online media, digital trust has become a global epidemic, with brands working extra hard to earn and keep their customers’ trust.5

Issues customers are concerned with range from working conditions, sustainability efforts, pricing promises, and transparency surrounding data collection. Consumers are more likely to stay loyal to brands that profess integrity, make them feel included in big decisions, and indicate that their requests and pain points matter.

73% of consumers consider transparency more important than price,6 and 40% say they would switch from their preferred brand to one that offered more transparency.7  This doesn’t mean that companies need to be forthcoming about every piece of information—think quality, not quantity. Letting consumers in on the points that matter most to them, like where their data will end up and why prices have increased, is key to maintaining their loyalty.

Download the full e-book Customer Obsession 101: 8 Ways to Keep Your Customers Coming Back to learn more great tips on building an audience-first strategy.

 

1Statista Ecommerce worldwide – stats and statistics. 2018.
2Accenture, "From Me to We: The Rise of the Purpose-Led Brand”, 2018.
3Baymard Institute, Checkout Optimization Research Report, 2017. 
4BrightLocal, Local Consumer Review Survey, 2018.
5BrightLocal, Local Consumer Review Survey, 2018.
6eConsultancy, Trust, Transparency and Brand Safety Report, April 2018 
7Label Insights, Transparency Study, 2018

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