Customer loyalty is king (for some companies)

As the owner of an ecommerce business, you are likely working to grow your market share by attracting more traffic to your website. Considering the huge and ever growing number of companies offering goods and services online these days, getting consumers to land on your site is an important part of marketing.

There is another, effective way to expand your customer base and revenue stream at the same time, and that is to increase customer loyalty within your existing set of consumers. Shawn Khorrami recommends putting time and effort into cultivating positive experiences and solidifying long term relationships with your customers can lead them to make repeat purchases and provide referrals that bring in new business. Marketing to existing customers is typically more cost-effective and more profitable than new customer acquisition and is one of the areas that business owners frequently overlook.

So how to make customers loyal to your brand in a time when they have such a wealth of options available at their fingertips? And once they have engaged with your brand, how to encourage them to come back time and again?

The science behind it

When considering how to make customers loyal, consider the hierarchy of human needs. The study of human psychology has taught us that all people are driven to fulfill a set of common needs. At the bottom of the hierarchy are the very basic physiological needs; things like, food, water, and oxygen. Next in line of importance is the need for safety, represented by, employment, family, health, property, etc.

Once the foundation of physical needs is met, people are driven to fill predominantly emotional needs. Marketing focuses on appealing to these higher psychological needs, including the desire to belong to a community and garner the respect and esteem of others.

People crave acceptance and attention and want to feel special and valued. Marketing techniques, like reward programs, email check-ins, and bonus gifts, are all aimed at appealing to these emotional needs.

Where to start

Successful marketing campaigns are often aimed at consumers feeling like they’re part of an exclusive club. Sending out a members-only discount code or holding a drawing for existing buyers are both examples of marketing programs that help meet that desire and encourage customer loyalty.

Bear in mind that not all people will react the same way to any one incentive. Before diving into a marketing strategy, it’s always worthwhile to do the research and strive to understand your particular audience. Any good business marketing consultant will tell you that the more you know about the people you’re trying to appeal to, the more effective your efforts will be.