Within today’s e-commerce landscape, customers are presented with a vast range of choices. An abundance of online stores offering the same product or service can make it a challenge for e-commerce businesses to maintain customer loyalty.
E-commerce businesses must, therefore, find unique customer incentives to differentiate themselves from their competition. We all know that customers love a discount but creating exclusive benefits to attract new business, and repeat customers can become an obstacle.
This article covers various customer incentives to help your e-commerce business provide additional value to your audience.
What makes a good customer incentive?
Before you begin your quest for customer loyalty, it’s essential to ask yourself what a good customer incentive should provide. The benefits your business should provide will depend entirely on your audience. There are multiple aspects that e-commerce businesses should set out to achieve with their customers. For businesses to offer a valuable customer incentive, it’s vital to consider the following:
- Who is your target customer?
- What are their problems? Do they want to save money, discover new ideas, be rewarded?
- How does your product solve the customer’s problem?
- Why should a customer buy from your online store?
- What does your business offer that your competitors don’t?
- What tangible benefits does your business offer?
- Why is this of value to your customer?
When planning ideas for customer benefits, asking yourself the questions above will ensure that your incentives genuinely provide value to your customer.
What are some valuable customer incentives?
Every e-commerce business has a unique value proposition. As a result, it’s important to recognise that not all the following customer incentives will apply to every business. Here are a variety of ways in which your e-commerce business can add value to your customers:
Consumers are relying on e-commerce more than ever before as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Most customers now want their orders as soon as possible, and the expectation of a variety of shipping options has become standard. Whether it’s free shipping or expedited shipping, offering fast and inexpensive delivery options are much appreciated by today’s consumers.
Offering a free gift with purchases is an excellent way to make customers feel valued and appreciated. Receiving something for free feeds into the consumer psychology to ‘get a deal’. Including free product samples is also an excellent way for customers to experience other items within your range and could lead to further purchases down the line.
Consumers dislike the idea of being ‘locked in’ to a purchase. The knowledge that they are guaranteed their money back if they don’t like the product takes away their purchase risk. Money-back guarantees also show a business’ confidence in a product and can make consumers feel more at ease when browsing through your online store.
Including options to customise your products provides options to your customers and allows them to feel like they are receiving a ‘one of a kind’ product. The ability to put their stamp on a product means that it becomes a purchase they would not receive elsewhere.
Discounts are the most obvious benefit that comes to mind when thinking of customer incentives. All consumers love to save money and know they have secured a good deal. It could be a one-off discount on their first purchase or a bulk discount when a certain number of items are bought. It could even be a discount on their next purchase but with a time limit in place. Consumers hate the feeling of missing out, so imposing a deadline can encourage them to make another purchase sooner rather than later.
Consumers are becoming more socially conscious, whether buying goods made of recyclable materials or favouring sustainable packaging. Making consumers aware that a portion of their order will go towards a meaningful charity, encourages consumers to feel good about their purchases, knowing they are helping a good cause.
Tutorials and guides are particularly beneficial for cosmetic and food and drinks companies. Including looks and recipes on your website can show consumers how to put the products to use and help provide ideas and inspiration.
Customer loyalty programme
As customers love to feel rewarded, a loyalty programme can encourage them to make repeat purchases if they know they will receive something in return. It could be a discount after a certain number of orders or even a free product.
Free gift wrapping
An option for free gift wrapping is a particularly useful customer incentive during the coronavirus pandemic. With many unable to see family and friends, the ability to send fully wrapped gifts is the perfect gesture. A company doing this at no extra charge, provides ultimate convenience to the customer, making them more likely to return in the future.
Online chat support
Many online stores are faceless businesses and can make it difficult for customers to get in contact if they have a query. An instant online chat support option can reassure customers, knowing that they can instantly be put through to someone if they have a problem.
Customer value can mean different things to different people. From saving money to discovering new ideas to feeling secure, there are many ways for e-commerce businesses to provide customer incentives.
If your e-commerce business could benefit from more efficient storage and shipping, it could be time to outsource your order fulfilment. Pointbid is a third-party logistics (3PL) provider with over 50 years of experience in eCommerce fulfilment. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you, please give us a call on 0121 326 7368.