Inspiring Loyalty Takes More Than Being Pretty

A new University of Melbourne survey found that Internet shoppers are more trusting of attractive websites but that doesn’t necessarily make them loyal.

Internet shoppers are beginning to trust websites that are more physically attractive but they are becoming less loyal and will shop from a variety of sources, a new study from the University of Melbourne has found.

Source: Smart Company

The goal then for any online business should be to look at ways of engaging with your audience and encouraging a long term relationship. This should be the goal of all businesses – bricks and mortar and online – however with the endless competition online it is vital in this market to stay alive.

This loyalty can be encouraged through loyalty programs, newsletters, blogs, Facebook and other social media outlets. I’ve seen many successful online businesses and the two things they have in common is they reward their most loyal shoppers and they actively engage in the conversation.

Two online businesses that do this well are About A Boy and Strawberrynet.com. They have completely different business models but they both understand that they need to engage and reward their customers to encourage repeat business.

About A Boy is an online etailer that sells gorgeous clothes for boys. Owner Katie actively communicates with her loyal customers and offers pre-orders and specials to her subscribers on Facebook and her mailing list before putting them on her site for everyone. She also actively engages with her customers and creates a conversation that makes you feel special. This personalised service encourages customers to return to About A Boy again and again.

I’ve talked about Strawberrynet before. Run out of Hong Kong, Strawberrynet doesn’t offer much in the way of personalisation but boy do they reward you for repeat purchases. Each purchase receives a discount which incrementally increases until your 20th order when you receive a lifetime 10% discount. It’s been highly successful and like About A Boy encourages customers to return on a regular basis.

If you run an online business what can you to to encourage loyalty and repeat purchases from your customer?

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