January 15, 2021

How to build a Customer Base in an ecommerce shop?

Today we live in a world where companies are fighting for a share of the customer´s wallet, which is resulting in customers being flooded by offers. I don’t know if you know this, but on average, you are exposed to approximately 5,000 ads per day.

YES, that’s correct: 5,000 ads per day! I wonder how many of these ads you can remember? If you are like me, maybe you can recall a max of 5 ads or even less. And of corse all these makes building a Customer Base in an ecommerce shop challenging.

Now, what this says to me is you had better be good at differentiating your online store from your competitors, otherwise your business might be lost among a flood of daily ads that the customer is exposed to.

You might be thinking now: how is this related to a Customer Base building topic?

The answer is very simple, if you want to build a Customer Base you need to attract customers to your online shop. In order to be attractive to customers, you need to stand out from the crowd.

I will write more about how you can achieve this in one of my next articles. But for now, just bear in mind differentiation is important in getting customers to your shop. So, what tactics can you use for growing a new customer base in online store?

How can you increase your eCommerce Customer Base in an ecommerce shop by more than 74%?

Growing your Customer Base is essential for business success. However, don’t forget it isn’t enough to bring a new customer but also to convert new customers into loyal customers.

The latter is crucial for every eCommerce shop. I also must say in my experience it is very important to invest in customer retention as it can contribute massively to the success of your online shop.

There are different ways you can grow your Customer Base. In this article, I will write about 4 approaches you can use in your eCommerce shop.

1. Discount for a new customer

Why is offering a discount a powerful tool to build a Customer Base? If you go and browse through different online stores, you might notice that a lot of them are offering some kind of incentive for the new customer.

Most customers see a discount as added value to the product/service you offer, hence by offering discounts you increase the chances of convincing them to make a purchase in your online shop.

If your competitors offer a discount and you don’t this might also increase the competition’s ability to outperform you. In my experience, we saw an substantial uplift in the new customer conversion rate after introducing a first order discount. The latter translated into a 24% sales increase

Also, there is a bit of psychology involved in offering a discount on the first purchase.

As a new customer who has never bought anything in the shop before, we want to give them an additional reason to make this first step, as well as decrease the risk related to buying something from an unknown source.

So, once you have convinced them to buy in your shop, you will have customer data in your CRM system and you can start building a relationship with that customer.

2. Money back guarantee

A money-back guarantee is especially powerful for the shops that offer services. The reason you might have already spotted this initiative in online shops is because it reduces the risk for new buyers.

When you usually offer a service or a product that has a higher price, it means potential customers are concerned about spending a decent amount of money on something they don’t know if they will like or be satisfied with.

The money back guarantee will definitely increase the willingness of a customer to purchase in your shop. I can tell you this is very powerful tool in order to convince customers in making a first purchase in your online shop.

In my experience, we saw an increase in conversion rate due to this with very little downside (people abusing the scheme). This means our return rate was the same as it was before we introduced the money back guarantee.

I would often hear from shop owners that they are afraid of introducing this into the shop because they think customers’ returns would increase.

However, I haven’t seen any negative consequence from this. Also, even if there is a negative impact, you can always remove it from the online shop ;). Again once you convince potential buyer to purchase you get their email and you can start your relationship.

3. Free Trial period

Most of you probably know the 30 day free trial Netflix model or Amazon prime. However, you can find different lengths of trial periods with some companies offering 7 or 14 days for example.

The best approach is to test different lengths to see what works best for your business. The reason this works well is because once again, it reduces the risk for customers.

Most customers love to try something before they buy it. The main reason is in reducing the risk a customer might associate with buying the product in your shop. As you probably noticed yourself when subscribing for free trial you need to give your email. The latter enables companies to start communicate with consumer.

5. Newsletter

A newsletter can also be an initiative to grow the customer base. If none of the above explained initiatives convince the prospects to buy something from your shop, the last chance to collect an email before prospect bounces from the site can be to ask them to subscribe to the newsletter.

Asking your potential customers to subscribe to your newsletter can enable you to build a relationship with them.

Owning the customer’s emails or phone numbers is a great way to start communication with your potential buyers.

You can find out more about their preferences, which will allow you to tailor your offers based on the customers´ interests. Personalized offers in the online shop will boost your sales.

Make sure the option to subscribe to the newsletter is visible to the customers. Once a customer subscribes to it, you should start communicating right away.

I will write more about the importance of a newsletter in one of my next blog posts.

However, now I would just like to reiterate once more that once you have customers’ emails it is time to start communicating with them.

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  1. John April 1, 2021 at 8:17 am - Reply

    Awesome Article, Maya! What’s your opinion on 1 month free trial?

  2. Maya April 2, 2021 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    Hi John,

    Great question :). I think it can be very powerful tactic. However, longer trial period makes more sense if your software is a little bit complex and maybe your potential customers need 30 days of free trial as this allows them to really have enough time to use and try your product. On the other hand if your product is easier – then 15 days might be enough for customers to try it and see if they like it. Hope this helps and let me know if any other questions 🙂

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