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It’s now easier than ever to create an online store of your own. With the birth of website builder platforms like WooCommerce, Shopify, Elementor or Weebly, building an online store has simply become a piece of cake, hasn't it?
Or so you thought. Soon however you find out that while you may have done your best to build a store and launch a product, there is simply no one to buy it. Sounds familiar?
Well, it's actually more common than you think. Getting your first customers is probably one of the biggest and foremost struggles that business owners have to go through.
The good news is, though, by seeking out ways to solve this problem, you're significantly upping your chances at succeeding. So to help you in your undertaking, we've piled a list of our 10 trusted methods that will help get you started with getting customers to shop with you.
1. Discounts, Sales, and Offers
People love online shopping. It's quick, handy and offers a variety of options to choose from. Even more so considering that offers and discounts can often make the desired products quite affordable.
So even though discounts aren't sustainable long-term-wise, it can go a long way in helping you attract new customers or getting them to make a repeat purchase.
Example: if you're just starting out, consider organizing a pre-release sale campaign and create some excitement about your upcoming store.
Red Rooster Coffee Roaster are a great example of this:
By adding scarcity to the offer in limiting the number of orders to 30, Red Rooster made their offer seem more exclusive, hence driving more traffic to the product. The clever thing about the campaign here is they didn’t offer a large discount on their new product because doing so would devalue it in the prospects' mind. Hence, only a small discount applied.
Takeaway: use discounts, sales and offers to attract new customers. However, keep in mind that cutting too much price risks trivializing your product, so make sure you use them wisely.
2. Accurate and Authentic Product Information
This will help you gain your audience's trust and in this way create a strong long-term relationship with them.
As a simple example, Amazon offered its Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch for $217. Imagine if after the purchase you found out that the product's actual price was much lower or that it didn't correspond to the product's description. Would you still be willing to buy from them again?
Takeaway: stay honest to your customers. Even though fluffing your product up a bit may seem innocuous enough, honesty will turn more fruitful in the long term perspective, as it contributes to your relationships with customers.
3. Store Aesthetics and Navigability
A user-friendly interface is a must-have in attracting consumers to your platform. The look of your store should reflect your brand's identity while also remaining easy to navigate, otherwise people might just get lost in the convoluted design of your shop.
Additionally, consider adding graphics and colored templates. However, make sure the files are not too heavy or it may increase the loading time of the website.
4. Customer Care and Service
The importance of good-quality customer service cannot be overstated. Not only will it build a robust business-consumer relationship but also significantly grow your brand trust, leading to more purchases as a result.
Example: Amazon offers a variety of options for support, such as returns and refunds, shipping rates and so on. As a result, consumers know they are secure in their purchases and can seek help when they need it.
5. How to’s and Product Guides
A consumer-friendly guide that lets the audience know how to use a product is a great way to gain customer trust in the product, making the process of purchasing much easier.
For example, Amazon displays all the features and functions on the side of the product (Instant Pot Pressure Cooker) to let users know about the features and functions, as illustrated by the image below.
6. Loading Speed
Never underestimate the importance of a fast website. Your site can have stellar visuals but it will be to no use if the customers have to wait for ages before they actually get to see it.
You can use a variety of tools to monitor your loading time (e.g. Google Analytics), but make sure it stays less than six seconds - the optimal loading time before the user starts losing interest.
7. Sponsorships and Influencers
If you want more audience to see your product or service, consider using influencer marketing. It works as a form of partnership in which you sponsor the influencer to represent your products to their followers on social media.
As an example, the image below shows an advertisement by Zara, in which they offer influencers to partner with them, which works as an effective way to broaden their audience reach.
8. Social Media Posts that Resonate with the End-Customer
In an era where everyone is on social media, you can leverage such availability of channels to display what your brand has to offer. Just pick the platform that suits your business and make sure you participate authentically.
Social media presence will also help you create a strong brand story that can be easily shared with others.
9. Referral Marketing
One of the most valuable methods to gain customers is through referral marketing. It works in such a way that you reward your users when they refer your online store to their friends. You can do it in a very simple method where the online store is run by a referral marketing software that automatically draws customers to your store. Most of the time, code is generated, which has to be used by the person who is referred by his friend. This is a secure and efficient method of customer acquisition, especially if you are busy running your online store and have a lot on your plate.
Example: in a simple, yet effective campaign, Overtone offers their customers $10 for each referred friend. As a result, this motivates the customers to share the brand to their close ones, leading to organic social networking of the brand.
10. Increase Transparency
Honesty and transparency are essential to running a successful business. Your operation team should satisfy the customers in a way that they'll be able to know when the product or service will be right at their doorstep. Whether you own an online retail store or an online delivery service, your customers should know all about what is being provided to them.
While this may seem like a lot to take in, it's actually much easier once you get started with your marketing campaign.
Do your testing and research, try out as many strategies as you can and eventually some of them will pay off, bringing you your long-awaited and much-deserved customers and conversions.