There are nearly 3 million E-commerce companies in the world today, and many major online players overlap over each other’s business in different marketplaces. But one thing that differentiates them is their respective community which they built with so much effort and patience.
These communities help them achieve their marketing goals, sales, and customer support activities. The community members become uncredited contributors who unknowingly helped the companies improve their products, design, and services. Customers engage with blogs and content shared by these e-commerce companies and later share their opinion as well. Thus, they provide input for the overall marketing program. Most often, these contents helped them receive web traffic from community members.
Stay focused to know how they achieved success as mentioned above and how even your e-commerce company can have its very own community.
Below are a few basic fundamental points that you need to follow to build a strong e-commerce community:
- Know What Your Expectations Are: Your expectations are directly proportional to your goals. Better the goal better would be the result. Hence, you need to know who are you trying to serve, what is the impact your product going to make, how is your product different from others. But apart from these questions, you need also to include questions like where are your customers hanging out, which platform is best to reach your customer, and what are you expecting the customers to do on your community page.
- Define Your Target Audience: Before you even allow everyone to become community members, first create a clear picture of your perfect audience. Who are your customers? What’s their demography? How old are they? Where do they live and what draws their attention? A community of well-defined customer persona can help you design your campaigns and content for posting on the community page. You don’t need an Indian community member for a business that operates in the U.S. unless your company outsources some part of your business to India.
- Find the Right Social Media: Those who are online, they must be on some social media sites. If they are on social media sites, they must be receiving, engaging or sharing with content. As a company, you must track them down and get them to join your community only if their profile and interests, and your customer persona, match.
- Share User-Focused Content: Make sure the content that you share is designed around customer’s needs. Community members get bored if companies talk about their products and keep boasting about their services themselves. You need to keep asking what changes in the product or services the customers want to see. How can you help to resolve their issues? What they are going to get in reward if they share feedback or testimonials with other customers.
- Share Behind-the-Scenes: Create and share stories around brand achievements, product designs, customer stories, work culture. These contents keep customers and community members engaged. Those who are not yet your community members would be interested in following and knowing more about you. Such contents increase curiosity among the customers, and at the same time, generates a level of trust towards your brand.
- Reach Out to Influencers: Customers mostly do not trust new and upcoming e-commerce companies in terms of ordering and using their products. In such a case, influencers can play an important role in marketing products on your behalf. They do unboxing of products and share live videos of using products with their audience. It helps you to earn the trust of the yet-to-be customers. Once you have earned their trust, they start following your community page for more information. And here you can start your game of impressing them with personalized and creative content.
- Create Viral Contents: Viral videos and images are a trend today, and many companies hire good content writers and editors to create viral content for them. Such content could be time-bound but can prove expensive to the company. Hence, a company could focus on creating timeless content that could last for an entire year, thus reducing the cost of marketing. Hashtags are no more a thing to miss out on. Use most trending hashtags to draw attention and increase visibility. You can also create your own creative hashtags using situational based keywords that have the potential of getting viral.
- Invite Customers to Special Events: Sometimes, it is required for an online company to organize or invite customers to special events to build a community. The e-commerce companies need to keep an eye on such events such as concerts and competitions relevant to their products. Such platforms can help customers to become part of the company’s community.
- Keep the Motivation Going: You cannot stop when you did all of the above steps to build a community. A strong community is that which keeps generating the same or more output over a longer time. For that, you need to keep driving your marketing strategies and amplify your efforts further. You need to keep reminding the community members why you exist. You must keep them motivated.
Hope once you follow the above steps, you will be able to achieve what other e-commerce companies were able to accomplish through their communities. And you might even find yourself competing for neck-to-neck with the e-commerce giants