Online shoppers are looking for more than just a good deal. It’s no longer enough to lure customers back with sales and discounts.
Today’s customers are craving connection: 64% of customers say they want to feel connected to brands they give their money to. And customers don’t only feel brands should connect with their customers on a meaningful level—they also think today’s brands should help to connect people with each other.
So how can etailers make connections with their customers that keep them coming back time and time again?
Here are five things you can do to ensure your customers are getting the connected experience they’re looking for—and that will help them connect with your brand.
#1: Wear Your Brand’s Emotions On Its Sleeve
Tom Hanks once uttered the famous movie line, “There’s no crying in baseball!” And while that may be true in the world of sports, in online retail, your customers are looking for emotion with a capital “E.”
Sharing personal stories and values, inspiring customers to take action, and even creating social movements are just a few ways in which savvy brands are connecting with their online customers. Tom’s, Patagonia, Bombas, and Glossier are all great examples of companies who excel at emotional marketing.
A survey done by predictive intelligence agency Motista found that customers who have an emotional connection with a brand will likely recommend that brand at a rate of 71%, versus an average of 45%—and better yet—that they’ll have a lifetime value that’s three times higher than average.
#2: Provide Customer Service That Goes the Distance (and Beyond)
There’s a famous customer service story about a Rackspace agent who was helping a customer in a marathon troubleshooting session. While on the call, the agent overheard the customer remark that he was hungry. So, she ordered him a pizza and sent it to his office—performing an act of inspired customer service through an unexpected act of kindness.
And while great customer service doesn’t always have to come with a side of pie, taking a personal approach to customer needs shows that you’re a brand who genuinely cares about their experience.
The even-better news? Providing stellar customer experience doesn’t have to be complex or expensive. Ensuring your customer service agents are friendly, empathetic, and well-informed about your product or service go a long way in creating a top-rate customer experience.
#3: Stay Social on Social Media
The average person spends about 2.5 hours on social media every day, giving brands an unprecedented opportunity to reach their customers with real-time information, ideas, and inspiration. So it’s an ideal space for connecting with them as a group through regular posting or 1:1 through direct messaging.
Social media is so much more than a forum for sharing product-driven content: It’s a great place for taking polls, implementing customer-driven feedback, showing customers appreciation, solving issues, and/or adding your brand’s voice to issues your company believes in.
#4: Up Your Brand’s E.Q.
In order to truly connect with their customers, brands need to have higher E.Q., or emotional intelligence, than ever before. Not to be confused with wearing your brand’s emotion on its sleeve, having a high Brand E.Q. means seeing your product or service through the eyes of your customer.
What are the challenges your customers are facing? What are their primary concerns at the moment? Are they worried about their dwindling spending power due to inflation or their wellbeing due to public health concerns? Whatever it is, let them know your brand sees them and understands. In other words, show empathy. Having high Brand E.Q. leads to higher customer loyalty and a healthier bottom line.
#5: Sell Quality Products
Online shoppers have an almost unlimited number of stores to choose from when making a purchase. And one of the best ways you can make yours rise to the top of their favorites list is by committing to stocking your digital shelves with high-quality products customers can count on. Like high Brand E.Q., selling quality products builds customer trust and keeps them coming back, even when the price of the product is higher than other similar lesser-quality products out there.
Even though forming connections with your customers happens outside of your product or service, without a quality product, that relationship is quickly headed for a dead end.
Connecting with customers beyond the sale is crucial to creating brand loyalty and trust. And there are numerous ways to make those connections… and make them stick. Incorporating these 5 ideas into your overall sales and marketing plan is a great way to begin.
Spoke Custom’s wide assortment of high-quality, brand-relevant and customizable product options seamlessly expand your inventory, creating more opportunities to connect with your customers and keep your brand in front of them for years to come.
Ready to offer your customers a personalized experience?
Schedule a quick discovery call with our team to learn how print on demand can become an invaluable part of your online retail strategy.