Deciding to run your own ecommerce store is incredibly exciting. This industry is one that allows for people with all sorts of unique ideas to create businesses and sell products to people all over the world. Small business owners have never had this type of personal visibility and ability to sell, and it’s all thanks to the Internet and technology. However, by choosing to have your brand and company only available online, you are going to face some challenges.
While it is true that a large percentage of people, almost 70% of online adults in the US for example, shop online frequently, it is also true that shoppers enjoy face-to-face interactions with the companies they shop at. Plenty of consumers also like to try out and feel products that they might buy, something that is impossible to achieve if you are completely an ecommerce brand. However, there are ways to overcome these obstacles. Instead of deciding to open a brick and mortar store for your products, consider these tips on how to make your ecommerce site feel more personal.
Let your customers get to know you
One of the easiest ways to make your site more personal is by getting personal yourself. Instead of your site just being a place where consumers buy products or services, include a section on the people who make up your company. Don’t just list their names and faces, but allow them to explain who they are. Another way to accomplish this is through a blog, where you can have team members post articles about their lives as well as information relevant to the company. The more people are able to see who you are, they more likely they will feel a personal connection to your company.
Show off your products in videos
Videos have become a crucial part of digital marketing for all companies. Research from Marketing Sherpa revealed that people were 64% more likely to buy a product from an ecommerce site after watching a video. As for what type of videos to include on your site, the possibilities are endless. Depending on your industry and what products you sell, you can determine what type of videos to include. For example, you may want to include a video that shows how your product is created, or a video on how it is used. Product demonstration videos are very popular on the Internet and can really help potential customers see the usefulness of your particular product. If you are in the fashion industry, you may want to include videos of models wearing your clothing to give people a better idea of what the clothing will look like when worn, as opposed to just an image of the product.
Include customers’ names when possible
One way to have your ecommerce experience feel more personal for your customers is to include their names in certain places throughout your website and other places such as emails or landing pages. Amazon is a great example of a totally ecommerce site that makes a customer’s shopping experience as personalized as possible. If you are signed into your account, the top of the page will always have your name, and in addition there are always recommendations for you based on other items you have looked at or purchased. By including a person’s name, or curating some type of ‘recommendation list,’ you are making your website feel more like an in-person shopping experience.
Create shareable content
Let your customers do some of the work for you by creating highly shareable content that people will willingly share via social media. Videos are great examples of content that, when done correctly, can go viral and make a big impact. Blendtec is a company that had a very successful video marketing campaign, titled Will It Blend? In this series, the company took highly popular items like smartphones and put them inside their line of blenders to see if the products would blend. The result was a hit; people not only loved their videos, but also shared them a lot on their personal social media channels. If you do not want to make videos, having pages on your site with highly useful/shareable content can also work well. Visual content tends to be more shareable, so keep that in mind when determining what to create.
Think beyond your website
If you are an ecommerce brand that sells products, consider the entire buying process as an opportunity to make your brand more personal. For example, the packaging that you choose to ship your products in is a great opportunity to do something different. Whether you change the packaging itself, or include something like a personalized message thanking the customer, there are easy things you can do to set yourself apart.
Turn to social media
There is countless data on why companies of all types need to be using social media, but this especially applies to ecommerce sites looking to connect with their customers directly in place of having brick and mortar stores. Not only will social media help you in general with marketing and reaching out to your target audience, it can also give your company a much more personal feel. People love connecting with their favorite brands via social media; so don’t miss out on this potential connection. Not only should you have channels that are active in terms of content, be sure to also use it to chat with your customers. Whether you send a tweet out to someone thanking them for using your site, or you respond to a Facebook message from a customer asking a question about your products, be sure to have someone in charge of interacting with your customers in this manner.
One final tip for having your ecommerce store feel more personal is to be sure to have fun. Keep in mind that not everything you post on your website or social media pages has to be about business; in fact it shouldn’t be! Whether it’s posting fun images on holidays, or publishing a blog article on the party you had last week with your team members, be sure to keep your audience connected to other aspects of life- not just your business.