Quora Series | Part 2 | Attract Customers to Your Online Store: Long-Term Customer Acquisition Strategies
A bit of recap on the title of this blog. A few months ago, we asked the Quora community the following question:
“As an e-commerce business owner, what are your top 3 problem areas?”
(Link to this Quora question is provided at the end of the blog)
Out of the five answers we’ve received, four of them had customer acquisition as one of the top concerns.
Kaushal D., owner of two e-commerce businesses in India wrote:
“I’ve been running my e-commerce business for a while now and I’ve faced a few challenges along the way. The top three problems I’ve faced are:
1. Attracting customers to my online store and increasing sales.”
The other two of Kaushal’s concerns include smooth order fulfillment and keeping up with competition, which we will address as separate blogs in the Quora series.
First, let’s look at three core strategies of customer acquisition that will set your website up for good.
Customer Acquisition Core Strategy 1: Who is Your Target Audience?
If you dig a little deeper, you will realize that the real problem isn’t customer acquisition or low traffic. It’s ‘low-quality’ traffic. People who do not fall in your target audience bracket are only going to leave without making a purchase. While they may increase footfall to your online store, they will also dampen conversion rates. Google does not seem to like this kind of interaction with a site and deems it of less value. This is going to hurt your rankings, thus further reducing your online store’s chances of customer acquisition. So you need to have a clear idea of who you want to be visiting your site.
The first thing to do is create personas for your target audience.
Identify age group, location, gender, interests, average income, and other stats related to your business that you need in your target audience. Be as specific as you can be. Here’s an example:
30 – 60 year olds, both male and female, earn about $100K a year, successful in their profession, live in affluent neighborhoods. They are family-oriented, like to host gatherings like barbeques, etc. in their home with family and friends. They take at least one vacation in a year.
Why do you need this? This will inform your marketing.
Think about this. The quickest and easiest way to get people to your online store is through marketing. Be it social media, search, or email marketing, you have to go where your customers are. But if you do not know who your customers are, you are only going to be throwing stones (more appropriately, cash) in the dark. That’s the worst thing you could do.
Once you know who your customers are, you will have a better knowledge of where to find them. For example, while a 30-something D2C customer could be best reached on social media, a 50-something B2B customer would be more likely to be at tradeshows than on social media. This way, you can direct your marketing budget and efforts more effectively.
Customer Acquisition Core Strategy 2: Provide Appropriate Customer Experience
Another reason why you need to know your target audience is to implement the right UX strategies on your website. The more aligned the user experience is to your target audience, the more value users are going to get from it. This could mean more time spent on the site, more site interactions, purchases, subscriptions, revisits, referral traffic, etc. The more value they get, the more Google will reward your site. And this will automatically pull your site up in the search rankings and keep it at a position of authority consistently without you having to keep putting in much effort.
So how do you go about this?
1. Website Aesthetics
Consider their preferences, style, and visual expectations. Use colors, fonts, and imagery that resonate with them. A well-designed website creates a positive first impression, increases engagement, and encourages users to explore further.
2. User-friendly Site Navigation
Organize your website’s structure and menus in a way that makes it easy for users to find what they’re looking for. Clear labels, logical categorization, and prominent search functionality that supports non-product queries too help users locate products or information quickly. Intuitive navigation reduces frustration, improves user satisfaction, and increases the likelihood of conversion.
3. Conversion-optimized Product Pages & Checkout
Highlight key product features, benefits, and pricing information clearly. Use high-quality images and videos to showcase products from different angles. Include customer reviews and ratings for credibility. Simplify the purchase process by providing a seamless add-to-cart and checkout experience. Have a multi-currency setup if your customers are located across the globe. Be clear about shipping costs and delivery timelines to build trust.
4. Assistive Elements
Incorporate assistive elements such as live chat support, chatbots, and personalized recommendations. These features provide real-time assistance, answer customer queries, and guide them through their purchase journey. Implementing helpful tools like size guides, product comparison tables, and interactive product demos can enhance the overall user experience and boost customer confidence in making a purchase.
Customer Acquisition Core Strategy 3: Invest in SEO
If there is one thing that search engines love, it is value addition. The two points above will help you a lot in that department. But to get that value delivered to the right people, you need to be able to reach them. This is where SEO comes in.
There is little else that would give your business cost-effective long-term gains than SEO. Good SEO will put you on the search engine map and continuous but little efforts will get your website to rank higher. A higher rank paired with value addition is one of the best organic customer acquisition methods that you can implement. Following are some preliminary SEO steps that need to help you get started:
1. Keyword Research
Conduct thorough keyword research to identify relevant search terms that your target audience uses. Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahref, SEMRush, etc. to discover high-volume and low-competition keywords that align with your products. Incorporate these keywords naturally throughout your website, including in page titles, headings, product descriptions, and metadata. This is also known as on-page optimization.
2. Schema Markup
Schema markup is a way to provide search engines with extra information about your website’s content. It helps search engines understand and display your content more effectively in search results. By adding schema markup to your website, you can provide structured data about your products, services, reviews, and more. This enhances the visibility and relevance of your website in search engine results, making it easier for users to find the information they’re looking for.
3. Technical SEO
Ensure that your website has clean and crawlable code, fast page load speeds, mobile responsiveness, and proper URL structures. Create an XML sitemap and submit it to search engines to help them understand and index your website’s content more efficiently.
4. Off-Page Optimization
Improve your website’s presence and authority beyond your website. This involves building a strong online reputation through various external factors such as link building, social media engagement, and online mentions. Engage with your target audience on social media platforms, collaborate with influencers and industry experts, and actively participate in relevant online communities. The goal is to generate positive buzz, increase brand awareness, and earn high-quality backlinks from reputable sources. Off-page optimization helps to boost your website’s credibility, visibility, and search engine rankings, ultimately driving more organic traffic to your site.
To summarize, a target audience avatar, an aligned customer experience, and good SEO practices comprise the foundation of any customer acquisition method. These organic strategies cost less money and translate into long-term gains.
Once you have these core strategies going, you can begin to build on top of them. For example, when you need to capture seasonal traffic, it’s crucial to employ inorganic methods for quick traffic turnaround. Now let’s take a look at some of these methods.
More Customer Acquisition Methods
1. Run Google Ads Campaigns
Utilize targeted advertising on Google to reach potential customers who are actively searching for products or services related to your business. Customize your ads based on keywords, demographics, and geographic locations to maximize relevance and visibility.
2. Conduct Social Media Marketing Campaigns
Leverage the power of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to connect with your target audience. Create engaging content, run targeted ads, and interact with your followers to build brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and generate leads.
3. Create an Email Newsletter
Build a strong email marketing strategy by capturing visitor emails and sending regular newsletters. Provide valuable content, exclusive offers, and personalized recommendations to nurture customer relationships, drive repeat business, and encourage referrals.
4. Offer Promotions, Discounts, and Other Incentives
Attract new customers and incentivize repeat purchases by offering promotions, discounts, and exclusive deals. Consider free shipping, bundle offers, loyalty programs, or limited-time discounts to create a sense of urgency and encourage conversions.
5. Start a Referral Program
Encourage your existing customers to refer your products or services to their friends and family through a referral program. Offer rewards, discounts, or special perks to both the referrer and the referred customer, creating a win-win situation and increasing word-of-mouth marketing.
6. Use Influencer Marketing
Collaborate with influencers in your industry who have a significant following and influence. Partner with them to promote your products or services through sponsored content, reviews, or endorsements, leveraging their credibility and reach to expand your brand visibility.
Effective customer acquisition strategies for combating low e-commerce store traffic require a deep understanding of your target audience, a seamless customer experience, and strategic SEO practices. By creating a target audience avatar and aligning your website’s aesthetics, navigation, and product pages to their preferences, you can provide a personalized experience that resonates with your customers. Additionally, investing in SEO techniques like keyword research, schema markup, technical optimization, and off-page optimization can improve your website’s visibility and organic traffic.
Furthermore, implementing additional customer acquisition methods such as running Google Ads campaigns, conducting social media marketing, creating email newsletters, offering promotions, and leveraging influencer marketing can further enhance your reach and drive more qualified traffic to your online store. By combining these strategies and continuously evaluating their performance, you can strengthen your customer acquisition efforts and achieve long-term growth for your e-commerce business.
How Codaemon Can Help With Customer Acquisition
Being a full-service e-commerce solutions provider, we have expertise in all of the customer acquisition strategies mentioned above. But what you get extra with us is honest consultation.
The strategies mentioned above need to be tweaked according to your business-specific needs and goals. Our team of experts will work closely with you to understand your unique requirements and tailor the customer acquisition strategies accordingly. We will conduct a comprehensive analysis of your target audience, competition, and market landscape to develop a customized approach that maximizes your ROI.
Link to the Quora Question: As an e-commerce business owner, what are your top 3 problem areas?
Read Part 1 of the Series: QUORA SERIES | PART 1 | HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST PRODUCT TO SELL ONLINE