Online Retail: could it be love at first sight?

Here at Webloyalty, we believe that a retailer’s attempt to attract consumers is much like trying to get that first date. It involves a similar “chase”, a process of “engagement” and eventually, once that ‘date’ or encounter is secured, it’s all about working to build a loyal and long-lasting relationship.

Stand out from the crowd
With such a vast amount of players operating online today, it is more important than ever for online retailers to stand out and capture attention. In order to make that right match, it is essential to think about how consumers choose websites and similarly, how websites can acquire customers.

The power of search
Search engines such as Google remain the primary method for e-retail site selection. Google searching allows consumers to find offers that are of interest to them. Research shows that consumers will often use the first few results displayed to gain information and insight required in order to make a purchase decision. Furthermore, as traditional advertising is arguably losing credibility and power, word of mouth is becoming increasingly important. Therefore, securing positive online word of mouth can work wonders for your online reputation and sit nicely within the Google search results.

The time to engage
Once you attract your consumer, the time comes for engagement. Remember, consumers shopping online are said to have short attention spans and are easily distracted. Therefore it is much harder to engage with those shopping online than it is with shoppers in the physical world.

Attracting the right traffic

Let’s have a think about the two main types of browsers that exist:

  • The “butterfly consumer” – those who are genuinely interested in buying but flits from one site to another
  • The “accidental tourist” – those who are not planning on buying but may stumble across a site by accident

Also, let’s consider the need for “sticky” online environments. Environments that encourage browser engagement whilst also encourage conversion or a purchase. “Sticky” website tactics include freebies, vouchers, offers, news items, forums, polls and personalised advice for example.

Building a relationship
Here, at Webloyalty we understand there to be three essential steps required to ensure a suitable relationship with your consumer. These are:

  1. Understanding what barriers may stop a customer from buying from you
  2. Maximisation of these sales opportunities
  3. Ensuring that technicalities within the online ordering process work correctly

If these are followed, a retailer would potentially have built a solid foundation for a secure relationship with their consumer. Like any relationship, this will need continuous nurturing, commitment and hard work.