One of the best things about running a sustainable, ethical ecommerce business? You have lots of engaging, positive messages to communicate and connect with your customers!
While most brands are only focused on getting conversions over the line and growing that profit margin, you've got something authentic to communicate – because you're on a real mission.
The outcome of better, more genuine communication? Deeper relationships. Improved loyalty. Brand advocates. More repeat orders. Great reviews. We could go on, but we're sure you've got the idea...
How Can Online Retailers Build Genuine Customer Connections?
Direct messaging is a good tactic but it can be incredibly draining and unsustainable. Building deep connections with your customers is more about how you communicate the story and mission of your brand - consistently, across multiple touch points. Do this at every available opportunity and your audience will start to understand, recognise, appreciate and support your ambition by building real connections with the people behind the brand. You know the saying "vote with your wallet".
When it comes to building deeper relationships with conscious consumers, there are a number of fantastic ecommerce apps that can help you achieve better results and a more streamlined workflow.
Here's our run down of a few which have gained the MindfulCommerce seal of approval.
We all know that data tells a powerful story. Harness yours to its fullest potential by telling the tale of your brand's environmental impact to your customers - with GreenStory. By combining sustainable supply-chain analysis with information-packed graphics, Green Story helps brands to illustrate their impact in a clear, transparent and aesthetically awesome manner.
One of the best aspects of GreenStory's function is that the impact visuals created are baked right into your customer experience. Using GreenStory is a great way of adding a compelling additional layer of storytelling to the shopping experience. Educating your shoppers about the impact of their choices is super powerful - it'll make them think more critically about other retailers and the choices that they might make. Informed purchasing decisions for the win.
When it comes to communication, things aren't necessarily a straightforward, two-way street in ecommerce. This is about the influence your current customers have on new and potential customers who are interested in your products. Your customers can become your brand ambassadors and the impression they give will help shoppers to make better buying decisions.
This is where a partner like Okendo comes in. Okendo offers a best-in-class solution for collecting customer reviews, social proof and user-generated content. Let curious potential shoppers connect to your brand by seeing your products from the lens of other similarly-minded customers. Okendo's Attributes feature means you can request "customer-focused" information within reviews, as well as feedback on the products themselves.
For example, you could ask customers leaving a review to select the main reason they selected the product in question ("Uses recycled materials," "Reducing my use of single-use plastic" etc) to help strengthen the message of the greener, more sustainable nature of your inventory - giving shoppers confirmation in your values and ethics.
This is just one of the many incredible features Okendo offers up to ecommerce brands.
The way that your online store is merchandised tells a story! Klevu's powerful AI capabilities make it easy to ensure that your online store is perfectly personalised in terms of product discovery and therefore reducing overconsumption and increasing customer satisfaction.
Using a powerful product discovery platform like Klevu gives you incredible insight into the way your customers search, trending customer interests and purchase intent. Use on-site-search data to connect with customers by personalising your promotions and consider sourcing products shoppers are searching for which you don't currently stock.
See what's popular and what's falling out of favour, and communicate to your customers using their own phrasing and terminology.
On a truly individual basis, your catalogue and search results pages will be merchandised to perfection, reflecting the interests and past behaviour of every shopper. This red carpet treatment helps every customer feel recognised, welcomed and appreciated, greatly enhancing their desire to continue to support your brand.
Cause marketing is a great way for any ecommerce brand to show what they care about and connect with customers who share similar values. Let your customers know what you care about by donating to non-profits and giving back as part of your wider marketing strategy but also, give your customers the power to choose which charity to support with you!
ShoppingGives makes it easy to integrate donations into your checkout process. You'll have the ability to quickly switch between supported causes - meaning you can be proactive in your response if you feel a cause that your audience feels strongly about needs some extra help or attention.
Not only does donating on the behalf of paying customers help your customers to feel good, you'll also gain respect and loyalty, when shoppers know that their purchase is going to trigger an act of altruism from the brand they buy from.
Putting donations front and centre - integrating the experience and messaging across your store, helps you tell an especially compelling story to your customers.
Finally, remember that the opportunity to start building a relationship begins long before anyone actually lands on your store. By working with a solution like GoodCarts, you have the opportunity to make the very best first impression, by getting your brand in front of a perfectly targeted audience of conscious consumers.
GoodCarts connects brands to one another and share customers. This creates a network of brands who have a sustainability and mission-led focus - perfect for seamless cross-promotion. After a customer makes a purchase with one online retailer, they're automatically offered a discount with another, similarly-positioned brand.
This is a great organic way of spreading the word about your brand in a manner that places your ethics and values at the heart of the conversation. Increase your chances of building up a strong connection with customers who already care about shopping with brands that are trying to make a difference.
Ready to Enhance Customer Connection for Your Ecommerce Brand?
With so much choice out there - and with ecommerce enabling such instant and easy competitor analysis - as online retailers, we must do everything we can to differentiate and stand out.
Customer experience and the way that we tell our story has a huge role to play here, and its importance really can't be overstated.
By working with some of the partners that we've listed above, you can start to really refine the experience your customers receive, and create a lasting impression.
Brands like yours, trying to make a positive difference and change the way that we shop and consume, are doing amazing work. Make sure your work and values are communicated - effectively and efficiently - so that you can grow your business and reach more people.
Make a bigger, better impact and build a following of supportive customers, who feel truly connected and ready to help you make a difference.
Explore all of the apps listed in this article and many more who can help you on your journey on the MindfulCommerce Directory.