Keep the Customers Coming!

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If you are like most ecommerce website owners, you spend a lot of time in the hot pursuit of traffic. After all, the only way to get conversions is to bring people to your website. However, one key to business success is keeping customers coming back. Return traffic is one of the major factors that keeps Amazon and other businesses in the black. Your ecommerce website can be successful beyond your expectations if you can develop a core group of loyal customers.

However, finding this core and keeping them loyal is easier said than done. Here are a few ideas to keep your customers coming back.

  1. Build a brand. Customers are not just buying your products; they are buying into your business. Branding, logo design, and other elements are important in getting them to make this leap. Make sure your website feels and functions as a single entity, from the wording to the visuals to the way problems are handled.
  2. Create smooth transactions. People turn to ecommerce because it is so easy. If you don’t make it easy, they will go somewhere else. Make it easy to search, easy to narrow a search, and ensure that search results are attractive and easy to understand. Also, organize your site into categories that make it simple to find what customers need. Imagine if you walked into a brick and mortar store to find that products are haphazardly arranged with no method to the madness. You wouldn’t buy, and you can bet your customers won’t either.
  3. Remember your customers. Use cookies and other technology to recognize customers. This will enable you to suggest products that may interest them. You can also use customer memory features such as sign-in to make checkout a little faster. People enjoy feeling that you remember them, even if it is software doing it for you. Warning: this can get annoying if it is overdone, so experiment to find which balance works the best for you.
  4. Be easy to deal with. Be upfront about shipping rates and return policies, and then stick to them. Don’t be afraid to make a few exceptions in the customer’s favor, though. Most people will abide happily by your policies if they know them before they hand over money.
  5. Reduce lines. Wait, are there lines in ecommerce? Maybe there is not a queue of people standing around with carts, but there are other barriers that function as lines. These come in the form of random error messages, long loading times, mandatory sign-in, and other blocks to actual purchasing. These not only encourage shopping cart abandonment, they discourage customers from returning.
  6. Accept a variety of payment types. If customers have to use an unfamiliar or complicated payment method, they will probably never return. Make it easy by accepting online checks, major credit cards, and any other payment methods that are favored by your market. Research to find out how your customers prefer to pay and make sure that is an option.