For a moment, think about the most popular product in your store.
Why is that the most popular?
Is it because you’ve found a way to produce this product for cheaper than all your competitors?
Or is it because you’re the de facto brand people think about when looking for that product?
Now, if you chose the first answer – you’re doing well.
You’ve found a product you can source cheaply and your customers love it.
The only issue is….what happens when your competitors discover a way to produce the same product for less – at a price you just couldn’t compete with?
You’re either going to lose sales or profit, or both.
That’s where the second option comes in.
If you can be the first thought that comes to mind for shoppers when looking for new products, you’ve achieved brand loyalty.
If a consumer thinks “I’ll check X first before they do any supplementary research – you’ve created a brand that’s able to stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds.
This is true power.
In this post, we’re going to look at what e-commerce brand loyalty is and how you can use it in your own e-commerce store to increase profits.
Let’s dive in.
What is E-Commerce brand loyalty?
In it’s simplest terms, you’ve achieved brand loyalty when a customer chooses to continue to shop with you as opposed to your competitors.
The world of e-commerce is competitive and continues to be so. In order to achieve brand loyalty, you need to do more than just have a store, have products and sell, you need to create more.
It boils down to working out why a customer decides to shop with you in the first place and putting systems and processes in order to encourage them to continue shopping with you in the future.
There’s no ‘one-trick’ method of achieving brand loyalty. It all falls down to having the right product, on the right store, with the right customer service.
But follow the steps in this blog post and you should be able to achieve it sooner than you think.
For the purpose of this article, we’re going to tear down the sock retailer, Bombas.
In terms of operations, prices, website design, there’s a lot you can do to encourage brand loyalty. But did you know that it’s often the simpler acts that compel consumers to come back to you instead of your competitors?
One of those acts is gratitude.
You might not realize it, but showing your customers that you appreciate their custom, as well as themselves, will go a long way to building brand loyalty.
There are a number of ways you could do this.
You could send a thank you email when someone makes a purchase (instead of a confirmation email).
This way you change the narrative to move away from purely a transaction to the beginning of a relationship.
You can use this email to inject some of your own brand’s personality, too.
Bombas show their gratitude to their customers through their “Laundry Back Guarantee” scheme.
It works in a simple way. If you’ve bought a sock and it disappears in the wash – you’ll get a new pair completely free.
This scheme is effective for a number of reasons.
First, every person who owns socks and does their own washing understands the frustration when you lose your socks.
Here, Bombas are letting their customers know they understand them and are happy to help them in any way they can.
Second, it increases brand loyalty because you have a guarantee that if something goes wrong, all you need to do is get in touch with their happiness team and they’ll get it sorted for you.
For many brands – transparency is important.
However, for most of those brands, transparency only becomes important when a mistake has been made.
It’s good practice for any e-commerce store to have systems in place that allow you to own up for your mistakes and fix them.
People reward honesty and if you’re able to take account for your own errors, you’ll find your brand loyalty increases.
However, rather than taking a reactive stance towards transparency, why not take a proactive stance.
In this way, you will be transparent about all aspects of your business regardless of whether something goes well or not.
Bombas try to be transparent in everything they do, across
They understand that for their customers, knowing how their socks are made is important. They also try to improve the materials used and the way their socks are manufactured.
Bombas has a specific page on their website called Sock Tech this page shows customers how their socks are made and what materials are used.
For consumers who care about this stuff more than just the design of the sock – this page is invaluable in creating brand loyalty.
Secondly, Bombas is a company known to give back to their community.
However, they don’t just say they’ll give back, they actually do and they’re happy to scream and shout about it too.
In the image above, you’ll see that from sales of Bombas socks, they were able to donate 5,000,000 pairs to those in need.
The only way they were able to donate these socks is from the purchases of people just like you.
Acts of kindness like this go a long way to building brand loyalty as who wouldn’t want to be part of a movement that donates to those in need?
Own your own style
When you think about the term “brand” the first thing that probably comes to mind is the type of imagery and wording you use across your website, emails, social media, etc.
This is super important to building brand loyalty.
You need people to remember you.
If I was to ask 10000 people what the Apple logo looked like, I’m certain almost everyone would know.
How do you hope to build brand loyalty if your logo on your website is different from the logo on your social channels?
If you don’t have a consistent brand across all your assets, you’re never going to earn that loyal following you crave.
Bombas do a great job of creating consistent brand styles and using it across all their channels.
Their purple-colored logo and font are used across their website and social media.
They also have adopted a friendly, approachable form of copy.
Their use of copy invites people to read their website.
In fact, you’d probably never think of a sock website as being an interesting read, but if you go through the content on the Bombas site, you’ll find that it’s actually engaging to read and makes you want to learn more about them, their brand and their story – exactly what you’d want if you were trying to evoke more brand loyalty.
Customer service is often what sets the plain e-commerce stores apart from those who want to create life-long brands.
You’ll be familiar with the frustration of having an issue with a product, trying to contact customer support but not hearing back for weeks.
And it makes sense, you’ve spent your money and put your trust in a company, you expect them to be available, or at least reply quickly when you have an issue.
Having stellar customer service is one way to give your brand a competitive edge.
Bombas has a help section on their website.
You’re able to search articles from a range of different categories to see if they’ve already covered your issue.
This is beneficial because it means that most queries can be self-solved.
The likelihood is, if one customer has an issue, others will too.
So creating these sorts of help documents puts your business on the right path.
What’s more, if a particular customer is unable to find what they need in the help documents, they can use the help form on the bottom right-hand side of the page.
To reiterate that Bombas are in the business of providing quality products, they include their Happiness Guaranteed information on almost every page.
This goes a long way to building trust with your current and potential customers.
If you’ve ever dreamt of having customers talk about you when you haven’t asked them to, or customers coming to buy from you again and again, you need brand loyalty.
If you’re able to understand the type of customer you’d like to attract, as well as their values, you can position yourself as a brand they not only want to shop with but need to shop with.
What methods do you use to instill brand loyalty in your e-commerce store?