Building relationships with customers and creating a sense of community beyond the transactions that occur when a shopper makes a purchase is an important part of running an ecommerce store. Creating bonds with shoppers helps develop their loyalty to a store and leads to the promotion of products organically, through word of mouth and social media. These dedicated fans help attract new customers and increase the success of stores.

So what do store owners have to do move beyond basic buyer-seller relationships and create these deeper connections?

Do more on social media

Social media is an important marketing and conversion channel for ecommerce store owners, and those who use it simply for those purposes certainly realize positive results. However, a strictly promotional tone won't help develop the community that many are looking for. A sense of balance has to be in place where questions are asked and conversations are started, along with the standard promotional posts. Sharing interesting articles, photos and videos, especially those about a topic that somehow relates to a store's products or brands, are a good choice. Humor is also a good choice, as long as a store owner has an idea of what sort of things will and will not resonate with his or her target demographics.

Ecommerce stores often don't have the physical locations that brick-and-mortar retailers use as their base of operations.

Provide customer service independent from sales

Customer service, answering questions from shoppers, providing help with instructions or assembly and other such efforts are important for keeping visitors to a store happy and encouraging them to buy again in the future. These interactions can be viewed as transactions, even though they don't involve the sale of merchandise to a customer. Customer service calls aren't financial transactions, but conversational ones. A successful customer service and care strategy will encourage buyers to come back without any heavy-handed marketing tactics needed.

Ask for reviews and feedback

Getting honest responses from customers about product quality, ease of transaction and other concepts central to the idea of buying things online is important for continued development as an ecommerce store. Additionally, positive reviews are easy to make part of marketing and outreach efforts. Getting feedback from shoppers helps a business grow and succeed.

Bigcommerce is the leading ecommerce platform for growing and mid-market retailers.

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