How to build relationships when selling online

3 minute read

Many small businesses, especially e-commerce businesses, struggle to build and maintain long term successful relationships. With online shopping growing by 15 per cent annually,1 entrepreneurs are eager to stand out and provide a strong digital customer experience. It’s well known today that having loyal customers and strong relationships will increase your brand’s positive word-of-mouth, but did you know that a five per cent increase in customer retention can boost a company’s profitability by 75 per cent? We have broken down the best ways to not only build positive relationships with your customers, but keep them long term.

Engage with your customers post-purchase

Did you know that 59 per cent of consumers say marketing email influences their purchase decisions?2 The key to getting customers to purchase again via email marketing is to send the right kind of emails post-purchase, without over-communicating. Once your customers order is complete, try setting up an automated post-purchase campaign and on-going semi-frequent promotional emails. This could include review requests, sales notice, promotions, discounts, and updates on new items in stock. Want to take it a step further? Try offering a valuable discount code for writing a review of your business. The more reviews your business has, the more credible it becomes, building confidence in future shoppers that are not familiar with your brand.

Keep a close eye on the open and click through rate of each email sent out. If you notice a certain subject line, or image getting strong click through, try using similar content to create your next email campaign.

Make sure your online store is friendly for all shoppers

There are different types of shoppers out there. Some are comfortable with online shopping and are quick to purchase, while some shoppers enjoy browsing and researching online before making a purchase in-store. Try adding suggested items underneath each product page to encourage easy shopping and to motivate a larger sale. Also be sure to include product details if you target shoppers that like to do extensive research online. Product details could include the SKU, material, sizing, reviews, and information on fit. Having a smooth flow from product browsing through to checkout will limit any friction for the customer, and increase your chance of both online and in-store purchases.

Add a “save for later” button on each product page to encourage shoppers to easily return to products they love, even if they are not yet ready to buy.

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Track your website for popular items

Many e-commerce platforms allow you to track what web pages and product pages are getting the most visits from shoppers. You can also integrate Google Analytics to gather more detailed insight. Do you notice a product page with many views, but not a lot of purchases? Try checking if the pricing is too high, product information is missing, or if there are any issues with the checkout process from that page. Are some of your products really popular? Add them to the homepage, and send an email blast highlighting images and details of the product.

If one of your product pages has low views, try adding it as a “recommended” product to a popular product’s page, lowering the price, or offering it as a “free gift with purchase” if a customer’s spends more than a certain amount.

Stay in constant contact on social media

A lot of small businesses are so busy staying on top of everyday activities that they forget to update their social media accounts. Post often, and engage as much as possible. Many customers go to social media for quick responses, product updates, and promotions. You can also use this as a PR tool to combat negativity. Answer questions and complaints promptly and professionally to instill trust in your customer base.

Try going live on Instagram or Facebook to showcase new products, offer an inside look at your business, or for promotional updates. Having the chance to go live with your business will make customers feel like they’re along for the ride and will feel more invested in your brand.

Surprise and delight with every purchase

Did you know that it’s eight times more affordable to keep an existing customer than to acquire a new one? Try offering a personal note or small gift with purchase on your larger orders. Not only will it give high-spending users a sample of other products, but they will be delighted to see you went the extra mile.

Test the impact of a redeemable offer or shareable discount code to add extra value and a concrete way of saying thank you.

We hope these tips will help you continue to grow your business. We know running a businesses can get complicated. We’re here to help keep it simple.

1 Be in the Know: Ecommerce Statistics You Should Know. May 2019.
2 18 Essential Email Marketing Statistics: 2019 Edition. August 2019.

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