Online merchants in the household goods industry face a few big challenges, like converting loyal Amazon shoppers or competing with preferred brick-and-mortar stores. How can a small eCommerce merchant compete with such fierce competition? Rest assured, it is possible to make your online store the first place consumers go to for household goods. For this to happen, your marketing strategy should focus on nurturing a powerful brand community.
Why Branded Communities Are Key to Online Success
The online universe offers a wide range of communities for your company to engage with, but your best advocates are individuals who are already loyal to your brand. For any business, devoted customers are the most profitable asset they have. In fact, one study published in Marketing Science found that online customer communities can increase sales by as much as 20 percent.
Not only are the members of your brand community purchasing household goods from your eCommerce store, but they have the potential to spread the word about your business. As many merchants know, word-of-mouth marketing is the most credible form of advertising there is.
How Your Branded Community Can Compete with Amazon
These days, online shoppers start on Amazon when they start to research a product, but most consumers view the eCommerce giant as a tool to find the best deal rather than a preferred brand. This is your opportunity to build something that Amazon can’t—a strong and tightknit community that is loyal to your company and trust you to provide quality household goods.
Building a Powerful Brand Community that Drives Sales
The trick to competing in a fierce marketplace? Establishing a following that inspires a sense of community and loyalty to your brand. If you’re selling household goods online, then the first step is to create an exceptional online shopping experience brick-and-mortar stores.
According to a study by Retail Dive, most consumers prefer to purchase household goods in the store, so they can physically experience the product before purchasing it. They also get to enjoy the purchase immediately, and should they change their mind about the acquisition, returns are fast, easy, and free.
If you want to build a loyal community around your brand, these shopping preferences need to be addressed. Consider using videos and multiple images that detail the product, offer free and fast shipping, and make returns hassle-free for your customers.
Inspiring Customers to Reorder Household Goods From a Brand They Trust
Household goods usually need to be reordered on a regular basis. eCommerce stores can set up automated email marketing campaigns to send timely reminders to customers when it’s time to place the next order. They will appreciate the prompt, and you will increase your chances of repeat sales.
Online subscriptions have been gaining in popularity for several years, and more and more consumers are embracing this model. Not only are they easy to set up, but they effectively eliminate the hassle of placing a new order for household staples each month.
The benefit of offering the subscription option is twofold. Customers love the convenience of a one-time setup and the rewarding experience when household essentials magically appear on their doorstep.
It also eliminates needless errands, giving the consumer more time to engage in other activities. Subscriptions often offer flat shipping rates and the option to bundle multiple products.
For the eCommerce store, subscriptions bring predictable revenue from recurring sales. Instead of being dependent on the whims of consumers and the ebb and flow of the changing seasons, online businesses can find a dependable asset in a competitive market.
In turn, that helps the business make good decisions, manage their inventory, and provide revenue to improve their service. In addition to building loyalty and advocacy for your brand, it’s also a solid way to create a solid customer base with measurable Client Lifetime Value (CLV).
Trusted brands like Target have used the subscription model for years to carve out new revenue streams in an increasingly noisy market. As traditional retail stores continue to struggle, like Macy’s, Sear’s and J.C. Penny, Target’s digital channels continue to rise, up to 22 percent, according to a report from USA Today. Plus, the struggles of brick-and-mortar retailers create space for tech-savvy digital marketers to further their success online.
Target provides easy ways to set up subscription services, even if the customer doesn’t sign up directly for that option. In their regular eCommerce shopping cart, they give consumers the option to select household items, like detergent and paper towels, to be restocked on a monthly basis.
Target’s marketing efforts have set the standards for more than a decade. They curate a collection of products that offer mass appeal, provide engaging content to their community, and always provide multiple ways for consumers to engage with their brand and purchase with confidence.
Forming a Marketing Strategy Around Your Brand Community
Improving the online shopping experience is only a small part of growing your brand community. To foster greater levels of engagement and customer loyalty, you must take a data-driven approach to your marketing strategy to inspire conversions and drive revenue.
Use Email to reward customer loyalty: Email personalization and segmentation are no longer optional for eCommerce marketers. Use your automated marketing platform to create customer segments of your most profitable customers and reward their loyalty with special offers. If you’re a Springbot customer, use RFM segments to capitalize on customers who keep coming back to your online store and ask them to leave customer reviews.
Leverage social proof: Once you have enough customer reviews, start using it to build your brand community by featuring them in your ad copy and sharing on social media. Just always ask for permission first. Choose reviews that address specific questions from your target market, like the quality of the product and how fast your shipping is.
Gather valuable insight into the competition: Competition in the eCommerce world can be tough. Luckily, the new Scorecard will help gauge how your store measures up compared to peers of similar sizes. Discover key metrics like site traffic and social engagement to help grow your brand community.
With a strong brand community, online businesses that sell household goods stand a better chance at competing with Amazon and other retailers. It can be difficult for eCommerce merchants, especially the brands just entering the competitive online space, to know how to foster engagement and inspire a sense of community around their brand.
Analyze your marketing data and use the metrics to inspire loyalty and community around your online store. Building a brand community may take time, but it is key to online success over the long term. With the right tools and knowledge, even the smallest eCommerce store can make waves and disrupt industry giants.