How to build an online following?
Have you ever visited an online store, but been appalled at the extremely user-unfriendly interface? Most consumers are scared to buy from not-so-recognized brands online because they are not sure whether the website or e-store that they are visiting is genuine or not. For this, before you go live, it is essential to build an online following for a business.
If you are starting out a business online, you would require some knowledge about web design and consumer preferences among others to attract more customers and make your business an absolute success. Therefore, to help you in this regard, here are some tips on how to build a following for your online storefront.
For an online store, your website is your playground. Therefore, to build an online following, you need to keep some things in mind. The beauty of a virtual store is that you can decorate it as you like, and it is way cheaper than owning a store in the physical world. You will, therefore, have to focus on developing the interface in the most user-friendly manner.
Make easy portals for your consumers to be able to identify their preferred products without much hassle. Try to style up your website in a professional yet easily accessible manner. For example, if you own a clothing line, then providing a virtual dress-up option would be an attractive feature for your website. This will help you compete and stand out in the online marketplace.
Easy payment options
Many consumers are afraid to try new online stores because they find the payment options to be too complex or feel that there are not enough online payment options. Keep in mind that you need to identify your consumer base and, upon research, figure out what payment options would they prefer.
For online payment methods, ensure that you give them enough options, especially the ones that are the most popular in your target market’s region.
For example, if you wish to cater to consumers mostly from India, then using Google Pay, PayTM, and BHIM UPI for receiving payment may be beneficial, along with keeping the option for Debit and Credit cards open as well. This will surely be beneficial for building an online following.
Use social media promotions
Making tie-ups with social media influencers will increase your brand recognition. It will open your store to more potential consumers while acting as an effective marketing tool. You should also create a social media page for your online business and make the link to your website easily visible on the same to build on your online following.
This will help your store name and website appear more prominently upon product searches as well as help increase your follower base.
Give loyalty benefits
Once your store is up and running, ensure that you provide your most loyal customers with adequate loyalty benefits. These may range from discount coupons, gift items, or any other product that you deem feasible.
Your customers should feel appreciated for their patronage and these acts would ensure that they are willing to continue buying from you. Having a strong and loyal customer base is the secret to any successful entrepreneurship. It will also help in building an online community.
Resolve all queries at the earliest
Since your store is online, most consumers would choose to interact with your executive officers virtually as well. To build a good online following, ensure that your staff is well trained and have enough knowledge about how to deal with consumers and their queries.
Your customers should be satisfied with the answers that they receive. All complaints should be heard at the earliest and try to incorporate any useful feedback.
Most importantly, ensure that you interact with your customers just like you would interact with them if they came through to your store and not like a robot. No one likes talking to a bot.
Ensure quality and timely delivery
To be able to garner a strong following and loyal online customer base for your store, ensure that you deliver your products well within time, and provide the highest grade of quality possible.
These actions will go a long way in showing your consumers that they can trust you and your brand. Furthermore, the most useful marketing tool is through the word of mouth from a happy customer.
Remember, that years of good service can build your brand but one negative review can ruin its reputation.
Provide product reviews
By providing product reviews you maintain transparency on your website as well as promote your service and quality. Furthermore, it makes your business look more trustworthy and reliable.
You can also attract customers to post more reviews by giving additional discounts to the most reviewing customer, or the most liked review, etc. This will surely increase your online following.
If you follow the above-mentioned tips, you can surely stand out from the crowd of online small businesses and become an online presence to reckon with.
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Frequently asked questions
1. Is it important to have an online presence for a business?
- Most businesses are going online because of the pandemic and also because customers are choosing the comfort of their couch over standing in long queues at the mall. So to keep trendy it is important to build an online presence for your business.
2. Is social media marketing cost-effective?
- Although social media promotions at first may seem expensive, in the long run, it has been recorded to be more cost-effective than other marketing strategies.
3. Can I use influencers to boost sales?
- Influencer marketing is a strategy to utilize the reach of social media through an influencer to promote one’s brand. It is indeed an effective policy since data analytics have shown an increase in traffic on a store’s website when its products were seen to be endorsed by popular influencers.
4. How to measure customer satisfaction online?
- You can ask your customers to provide a brief review of their experience interacting with you, either based on the product or the customer support. You can also ask your customers to rate on a scale of one to five their preferred level of satisfaction.
5. How should I optimize my website?
- You should ensure that your website is clear in its objective and user-friendly so that whoever is navigating through the website does not find it confusing at all. Make sure to add all your selling points on your website since this is your initial pitch to a potential customer.