Inbound Commerce is “the practice of attracting your ideal customers to your ecommerce site by building relationships with them.” It goes far beyond discounts and free shipping offers. Sure, discounts are enticing, but in the short term, you attract the “coupon clippers” of the Internet, not loyal repeat customers.
How can you move beyond these incentives and truly connect with your customers in a meaningful way based on their sincere interest in what you offer? By delighting your customers with valuable informative content.
Inbound ecommerce is perfect for products that fit the problem/solution model. I used it to promote The Natural Dentist, a company I started. However at the time we did not call it inbound marketing. We had products that were an excellent remedy for bleeding gums and used blogs and social media to let people know. It was a very successful strategy that yielded a loyal customer base that remains to this day. If your product really does work you can build a community of product advocates. But even if your product is more of a commodity inbound commerce will still work for you.
8 important steps to build a successful ecommerce site
This may seem like too much but who said it was going to be easy? If you follow these steps you will be on the way to building a strong foundation to your ecommerce campaign. Many of these topics deal with positioning, buyer personas, finding where they hang out on line and building a community. At the end of this article is a button for you to download a copy of our ebook 'The Inbound Ecommerce Playbook'. It has details and a good list of questions to ask yourself to help you through each topic.
The first step may seem simple but it is essential.
Figure out what why customers want your products or in more formal marketing terms what is your unique selling proposition? If you don't have a unique product its ok. Even commodities can succeed with the right strategy.
Next understand who you are talking to. Understanding your audience and knowing your buyer personas are key in telling the story of your business.
Everything from product descriptions to the social media networks you plan to use should be determined by who your buyer personas are. You also need to create engaging and tailor-made blog posts, content offers, and promotions based on your buyer personas’ pain points, needs and interests.
Where do your customers hang out on line?
If you want your buyers to see you, you have to be where your buyers are. So where do they live? Instagram or Facebook? Blogs or forums? How do they like to digest content? Video or text?
Knowing this helps you fashion your content to your audience and attract the right people to your products.
Attract the right people;
Sure, you can focus on attracting as many people as possible...or you can focus on attracting buyers who are actively looking for your product and solutions--the right people. On a regular basis, provide your buyer personas with thoughtful, new content that will interest them in keeping the conversation--and the conversions going.
Build a Loyal Community;
The key to cultivating a community around your ecommerce business is to focus on engagement. A passionate community is a powerful force. Build a brand that is digitally approachable. Interacting with buyers and engaging in conversation on a personal level will increase customer loyalty and trust.
This was a key element in our strategy at The Natural Dentist. We built a large following of loyal customers and always had very positive product reviews. We leveraged this as much as we could. It was the best way for a small company competing with big brands to get their message out, a legion of satisfied consumers.
There are other important factors to consider to make your inbound ecommerce campaign successful. Download our ebook 'The Inbound Ecommerce Playbook' now. It's free and full of questions to help you through these exercises. Click on the button below to download your copy now.