At the heart of your company lies your customers. You know it, and they know it. And in the world of e-commerce, it’s becoming increasingly popular to forge deeper connections with your consumer.
Not only does this drive greater customer loyalty, but it can also improve your profit margins, enable you to gain helpful insights into consumer preferences, and allow you to make more educated decisions regarding campaigns, product launches, and more.
While DTC companies become more digitally-oriented, many store owners are experiencing difficulties in retaining customer loyalty. Shifts from physical, in-store interactions to digital conversations through the online marketplace have caused many businesses to lose connection with their consumer base.
However, many companies are learning how to use this shortcoming to their advantage. Though online marketplaces inhibit real-life interactions, they offer various other outlets to communicate with buyers and nurture customer relationships.
For DTC e-commerce brands, one of the fastest routes to success is through fostering deep emotional connections between the company and the customer. Here’s how your brand can start forging better consumer relationships to enhance growth margins …
Emoting Your Company Is Harder for Others to Replicate
If there’s one thing that any DTC e-commerce strategy is built into, it’s the need for functional advantages. Most DTC companies operate solely with the priority of speed or convenience. But what most fail to realize is that both of those aspects can be easily replicated. There can always be a company with a faster or more convenient solution.
However, a direct emotional connection to your customer is something that cannot be replicated or replaced. As it’s far more unique and specific to your brand, forging an emotional connection with customers is invaluable.
As companies continue to move to the digital space, buyers are becoming more risk-averse. Their fickle tendencies are increasing, switching their loyalties from one company to the next at a faster rate.
However, companies who appeal emotionally to their buyers are achieving greater customer retention, as they’re able to provide their customers with a “safe space,” alleviating any purchasing fears they might be feeling.
With this reduced feeling of risk, customers are more likely to purchase the product immediately upon release and encourage others to do the same, thus increasing your trustworthiness and driving your profit margins.
Creating a Sense of Community Is Much Less Expensive
Building your DTC business strategy is undoubtedly a costly venture. It requires organizational shifts in the form of both time and money to maintain support throughout the process. But it also demands an outline of who you plan to become as a brand — an action that can be done without a massive sum of money.
In the end, customers want to feel closer to your business. Developing this sense of intimacy means sharing your strategy with your consumers, becoming a part of their community, and developing enduring collaborations.
Aside from purchasing products, there must be a larger, overarching goal in mind. Whatever that goal is, it must be authentic to your brand. Once you’ve made it clear, you can begin to gather a valuable community of consumers.
Customer Participation Offers Invaluable Marketing Content
A big way your company can forge deeper connections and drive emotive experiences with customers is by soliciting them to leave reviews, offer feedback, and take part in surveys, giveaways, and contests. This type of participation can be crucial to building relationships between your company and your consumer base — and the best way to start is through social media.
Whether it be leaving post-purchase reviews, participating in product design surveys, or commenting on lifestyle posts showcasing the product, pushing customers to take part in any digital form of collaboration can drive your business in an invaluable way. The more customers you get to participate, the greater the marketing tool you begin to wield.
Especially for DTC companies with few opportunities to connect in person with their customers, this type of digital participation can be particularly effective in building loyal online communities.
Emotional Connection Can Serve as a Launchpad
After establishing an emotional connection between yourself and your customers, the stage is set to create more unique and differentiated connections. Up to this point, most of your efforts have been directed at a targeted consumer base. But the connections you’ve established can help you forge other connections with new customers.
According to one analysis from Harvard Business Review, fully, emotionally-connected customers constituted just 22% of customers for a certain retailer. The remaining 78% belonged to newly satisfied customers who had not yet fostered deep connections with the company.
Initially, this might sound like an overwhelming statistic. However, with a viable growth strategy in place that supports emotional connection, the remaining 78% could be transformed into fully connected customers.
Though this analysis serves as an example, the potential is clear. By identifying the most valuable customer opportunities and using the tips we’ve outlined thus far, the process of forging emotional connections between company and customer becomes much simpler, bringing you one step closer to achieving improvements in operating margins and returns on capital.
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The key to forging deeper emotional connections with your customers isn’t just about launching a vague emotional campaign — it’s about creating a direct, personal, and lasting connection.
Any emotional connection spurs from a personal relationship. When it comes to your customers, make the effort to get to know them: their likes, dislikes, behaviors, and tendencies. Understanding them on a deeper level will help you connect with them on a deeper level, thus, enabling you to become a more successful brand as a whole.