In business, there are 3 main ways to grow your business. The first way to grow your business is to increase the number of new customers you bring in. The second way is to increase the dollar amount a customer spends, and the third way is to increase the number of repeat customers.
Most e-commerce businesses usually focus solely on increasing the number of new customers to grow their business. This means that the business focuses on the amount of traffic the e-commerce website has, and works to increase the number of visitors to the website through e-commerce SEO or advertising. This method is great for e-commerce websites that have just launched their site, but if your website has a consistent number of customers everyday, a referral strategy is a great way to further increase your customer base.
There are many ways to increase the number targeted traffic to your e-commerce store, such as advertising your business using brochures, direct mail campaigns, magazine advertisements, post cards or other special promotions. These are all great methods of growing your business, but there are many other great ways to increase the number of new customers to your business. This is where referrals come in. By increasing the rate your current customers refer others, you’ll be able to acquire many more high-quality customers.
Why do I want referrals?
Referrals are great because referrals are usually made to potential customers by their friends and family. Referrals happen because your customer is satisfied with the ‘product’ you offer. Whether it be fast shipping, free shipping or that your e-commerce store is easy to navigate, your customer is happy enough to tell others. When a word-of-mouth referral occurs, the prospect sees your online store as providing higher value than other competing e-commerce stores.
In the following tips, I’ll share some great ideas to increase referrals:
- Ask for referrals from repeat customers: If you’ve been in a business relationship with your customer over a few transactions, the customer likes you enough not to look for other vendors. Their repeat business usually means that they are satisfied with what your offering and speed of delivery. When you see that you have a repeat customer, thank them and to tell their friends about your e-commerce store.
- Ask for referrals when your customer is happy with you : Did your customer think that your product or service was outstanding? Was it more than they were expecting? Were they happy with the transaction? Did they email you to tell you about the great experience they had with your online store? This is a perfect time to ask for referrals. A simple, “Thank you for your patronage, please let anyone who you think would benefit from our (product/service) know about us” works well.
- Increase your chances of getting a referral by asking when you have your customer’s attention: In the world today, we’re all inundated with our own personal responsibilities and getting the attention of another is difficult. To increase the likeliness of being remembered, we need to ask for a referral when you have the customer’s attention. This will significantly increase your chances of being remembered when your customer finds him/her self in a conversation regarding the products your e-commerce site sells. When do you have the customer’s attention? Try getting into their consciousness when they receive and open their order. Try taping a thank you postcard on the product and asking your customer to let their friends know about your website.
- Ask by using special promotions : Do you have a special promotion coming up? Leverage promotions when asking for a referral. How about creating a promotion where your customer can receive a gift or store credit with every referral they make?
- Follow up with your customers : You’re in business because you strongly believe in your product/service. This is especially true if you are branding your company as a higher end product/service. A week or two after the transaction, call or email your customer and ask them how the product is working out for them. If it was a service, you can thank your customer for choosing your business. After making sure everything is okay, you can ask your customer to mention your website to people that may benefit from your product or service.
Follow these 5 simple tips for referrals and start enjoying the increase in high-quality customers from your current clients. All these steps are very simple, yet very effective in creating more business. Take time, educate your staff about referrals today.
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