Successful ecommerce sites support strong, clear personalized communication with customers. This is key to building a base of loyal customers. We’ve laid out seven important elements for every ecommerce site to establish a relationship with your customers.

Collect Emails

You can’t establish a good relationship with your customers if you can’t contact them. Your site should have some way to collect emails. This could be during checkout, an easy-to-find signup form for promotional emails, or the option to create an account and personalize a profile.

Loyalty and Reward Programs

Loyalty and rewards programs help strengthen your customer relationships by encouraging first time buyers to come back and existing customers to spend more. They also help collect information about your customers and create the perfect opportunity to gain customer feedback. It is important to focus on customer loyalty since existing customers are 60-70% more likely to convert and they spend three times more than new customers.

Offers and Promotions

Actions speak louder than words. Show customers you value their business by providing offers. Onsite offers help increase conversion and average order value. Offer customers free shipping or weekly deals to keep them engaged with your brand and provide a reason to come back to your site. Consider free shipping after a certain price point, since 93% of shoppers take action to qualify for free shipping.

Encouraging visitors to create an account can provide the detailed information required to provide a high-value, personalized shopping experience. Frank & Oak ask their customers to complete a questionnaire upon sign-up, requesting everything from shoe size, favorite colors, to the type of setting they work in and how they like to spend their weekends.

photo - The hunt club site screen shot

Each customer who provides this information is assigned a personal style advisor who is available to provide individualized assistance. Personal information carries over to Frank & Oak’s Hunt Club program, where customers are sent five items each month free of charge. Customers only pay for what they keep, receive 4% back on every order and receive regular free gifts.

Post-Purchase Follow-Ups

The post-purchase email is a vital part of online customer service. In fact, 86% of consumers believe it’s important to have a positive experience after purchase. This email reassures customers their order was successful and gives you the opportunity to provide product recommendations, offer an incentive on their next purchase and ask for valuable feedback.

FAQ Section 

Customers routinely have questions while shopping, so offer an FAQ section they can easily access to find information. Inquiries around shipping information, return policies and product guarantees are common. Continue to update your FAQ content as questions are requested via contact forms, phone calls, emails and online chat.

Clear Contact Information

Company contact information should be easy to find and readily available on every website page. This is an essential part of your page since 66% of people will review a return policy before purchasing. Never make it difficult for your customers to contact you and allow them to select their preferred method of communication: phone, email, online chat.

photo - wolverine site information

Useful Content

Take a “rich content” approach to your website and give customers a reason to return. Engage customers with a how-to section or blog, including detailed information about your products and brand. This valuable content also contributes to SEO. The Burton Girls website is a blog, providing information around products and industry news, with savvy promotional ties to their e-commerce website.

photo - burton girls screenshot of the site.

In order to create loyal customers, your site must clearly communicate information and offer them with a reason to return. By providing a personalized shopping experience, you will establish a strong relationship with your customers and have them coming back for more.