Maintaining a strong community can help you maintain relationships with loyal fans, increase eCommerce revenue, and familiarize prospective customers with your brand. The focus should be on the audience’s interests, passions, beliefs, concerns, and motivations. Read more to other benefits of community building for an eCommerce brand.
What if you could achieve an ROI of 4530% using a single marketing strategy?
Seems outlandish but that’s the average ROI that online communities are generating for brands.
Community building can help you stay connected with your loyal fans, make prospective customers familiar with your brand, reduce support costs, and increase your ecommerce revenue.
For example, Sephora, a luxury beauty and skincare brand, has over 19 million followers on Facebook, and its online community, Beauty Insider community boasts more than 15 million members who actively talk about skincare, ask questions, and get recommendations.
Sephora wins at the community building game by letting their loyal customers do the marketing for their brand and you’d be surprised to know that these members make up 80% of the company’s annual sales.
Want such results for your ecommerce store? Let’s find out how community building can help you achieve that.
What is community building?
A few years ago, online communities meant just having a presence on Facebook and Twitter and interacting with your audience whenever an opportunity presented itself. But today, community building is more about putting your audience first than your brand.
The focus should be on the audience’s interests, passions, beliefs, concerns, and motivations.
For example, if your brand provides products for airmail shipping, instead of talking about your brand and the products you provide, you allay concerns that surround your field like how to pick the right courier service, how to package products, and so on.
Why is community building important for your ecommerce business?
Here are eight reasons why building a community is important for your ecommerce brand.
Helps improve customer service
Many people will share their good experiences with your brand in the online community but some of them will even point out the issues they face with your brand. Instead of ignoring such comments, honestly and humbly address these concerns. You can even ask your customer service team to get in contact with affected customers.
So, the next time someone comes to your online community to search for reviews, they know that your brand addresses both negative and positive experiences.
Builds loyalty and trust
When you interact with your customers on your online community, answer their questions honestly, and reply to tweets and comments, it shows your customers that you care for the community. This in turn builds loyalty and trust in your brand.
Here’s how Yellow Leaf Hammocks builds loyalty and trust by working directly with families to help them with weaving and have better financial health. They also feature the people they have helped through this cause in their online community.
Provides a platform to engage with your customers
Communities provide you with a platform where you can talk with your customers and have meaningful conversations around your niche. For example, if you’re a beauty brand, you could talk about how beauty products have changed over time, what are the most favored products amongst influencers, and so on.
One more added advantage is that with online communities, customers can even interact amongst themselves and you can have a steady stream of content flowing.
Gives your brand a personality
Your brand shouldn’t sound all robotic. When you interact with your customers in online communities, they will see or hear your tone through your posts, replies, or even questions which gives your brand its very own personality. Be it fun, quirky, sincere, or elegant, you can weave your personality and make your ecommerce brand stand out from the rest.
Helps know your target audience better
Many say we are living in the age of personalization. And they aren’t wrong.
A whopping 66% of consumers expect companies to understand their expectations and needs.
Communities present you with the unique opportunity to get to know your target audience better. You can find the content that is most talked about by your audience, their concerns, and issues with your niche, the offers they find the most appealing, and so on.
You can even launch polls and surveys in these communities to get more in-depth knowledge of your target audience.
Showcases your expertise in the industry
Let’s say you have an ecommerce store that is into clothing. You share different trending clothing styles in the community, how-to snippets on wearing the same clothing in 7 different ways, the color guide for clothing, and so on.
By demonstrating your knowledge, you showcase your expertise in the industry so that the next time someone wants to ask a question or needs expert recommendations, the first brand they’ll remember is yours.
Increases repeat purchases
What happens when you build trust and loyalty? Or when you improve customer service or showcase yourself as an expert in the industry? You increase the likelihood of repeat purchases. Having a community also means having loyal fans and purchasers that trust your company and won’t look for a new brand to buy their products and services from.
Gets you feedback to improve your products and customer experience
Your customers are the best people who can tell you what products they are loving, what they don’t like, what part of the checkout experience is the worst, or what they love the most about your online store.
It may feel scary to have your customers sharing the best and the worst on an online forum where everyone can see and participate in such conversations but it’s a great avenue that can help you take your products and customer experience from Level 1 to Level 7 faster than you could have without a community.
Your online community can become one of your most powerful marketing channels. Not only can it provide a platform to keep your customers engaged but it can also have a great impact on repeat purchases and driving conversions.
Not only are big brands making use of this powerful strategy but even small businesses are now trying to create communities of like-minded people who are enthusiastic and passionate about their niche.
So, what are you waiting for? Take your ecommerce brand to the next level by leveraging the power of community building.
Oliver Thyra is the head SaaS copywriter and content strategist at Your Marketing Digest. His intense passion for marketing and his engineering background in software engineering has made him a guy who understands how to sell software subscriptions with words. In his free time, Oliver enjoys quality time with his pets (he has got 4 golden retrievers!).