Your visitors have come to you for something and so, to promote repeat custom, you can offer an added extra to your customers. Reciprocity is the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit. You want sales, and your customers want your products and services.
Here’s a great example of how you can use reciprocity to boost sales.
‘50% off absolutely everything!’ – Boohoo
Are you already thinking of things you want to buy? That’s right. It works. Tantalising offers such as, ‘Free gift when you purchase (item)’ from Debenhams, gets the blood pumping, releases endorphins and makes us feel excited. It’s human nature, we like to feel special. And getting a bargain gives us a great sense of pride. Meanwhile, the business benefits from the sales, and the exposure that comes from a sale.
Free Gift With Purchase
Let’s look at an e.l.f. cosmetics company favourite, the free gift with purchase. Offering something alongside a purchase is not only a great way of helping visitors over the finish (purchase) line, but is a great way to showcase your other products.
Better yet, you don’t even have to advertise the free gift with purchase. Slipping a sample into the package along with the order is a great way to build customer loyalty and satisfaction, with the bonus of being an exciting surprise for your customers.
The ‘free gift with purchase’ practise boosts brand awareness, encourages purchases and repeat purchases. Creating a label for your customers helps you to connect with them and they are able to connect with each other – helping you to expand your reach. Add a note encouraging customers to try out the product and use a specific hashtag for social media. This will help you create a shared identity with your customers. Passionate followers of Beyonce are known as the ‘Beyhive’, creating a label for your loyal followers is something you can embrace!
A big ecommerce store, MISSGUIDED, have encouraged their followers to hashtag #babesofmissguided for the chance to be featured on the company’s instagram and potentially win £100. You can start small, offer them a feature in your monthly newsletter or across social media.
Give to Gain, Using Content
An effective way for ecommerce businesses to provide value to potential customers is content.
This type of reciprocity is less in your face, nethertheless, it still attracts the attention of potential customers, making them feel valued and are therefore more likely to complete a purchase.
More advanced methods of providing useful content is providing quizzes or questionnaires that then direct the customer to a product that fits their choices. A great example of this can be found with skin care companies that ask about skin type, diet etc, and then present the consumer with an appropriate product to match their preferences.
Back to basics; regularly updating your blog with useful content that appeals to your target market will help your company establish itself as a trusted source and ahead of the game with innovation in your industry.
A regular email that provides value to customers such as exclusive offers, product updates and industry news will also strengthen your position as a go-to for information. Giving to gain is a great way to think of these practices. You give useful content to your target audience and in return they maintain a relationship with the company through email, even becoming brand loyalists!
Write a guide and use titles that will appeal to your desired audience. For example, ‘Be Ready: How to Make the Most of this Summer’ or ‘Change the Way You Work Forever’ are eye catching titles that are sure to draw readers in. Capitalise on FOMO (fear of missing out) without coming across too salesy. Talk about what’s new and trending in your industry. Can your customers get involved? Is there any information your company can give to your customers that other people haven’t thought to mention? Link to a few products in your guide, you don’t necessarily have to have the product name in the title. Writing these guides and adding a few links to recommended products is a fantastic way to show your commitment to providing value for customers doesn’t bully them into purchasing.
They key take away from this blog post is the importance reciprocity; how giving value to your customers to encourage repeat sales – be it before or after they make a purchase.
If you are interested in finding out more about how you can boost your ecommerce sales, take a look at our 3 Easy Ways to Improve Ecommerce Sales blog post.