As an entrepreneur, you definitely want people to be continually support your online venture and become loyal customers. The problem with many online businesses is that they sometimes forget the most important aspect of their enterprise: the people and the relationships they have to cultivate. Just like in a traditional business setting, you don’t put up a lemonade stand on the side of the road, stock it with a pitcher of lemonade, leave it there and expect people to come.
One way to get more people of your online retail business is to make promotional offers that will serve as teasers, as a way to get people attracted to what you are selling, and for everyone to know that you really mean business. With that in mind, here are some promotional ideas that you can use to increase the number of your customers and keep them happy at the same time.
- Cross-Merchandising – Let’s say you’re selling a DVD of a popular Disney movie, like Land Before Time. You happened to also have a stock of plush toy dinosaurs that hasn’t sold well on their own. You can package the DVD with a toy dinosaur and sell both as one item, and offer them with a promotional discount. You can even do a buy one-take one promo to make it a sweeter deal. Of course, make sure that you do the proper mark-ups so that you end up with a good sale while keeping your customers happy.
- After-Sales Service – There’s nothing that says you are serious about your relationship with customers than after-sales service. Sure, it’s more challenging to do in an online retail business, but what matters is that you are there to attend to their needs when they need it. Whether it is about repairing or cleaning their product, or offering to replace it if defective, a prompt response is very much valued and can generate customer loyalty.
- Referral Discounts – You can offer your customers a good discount if they bring in at least ten other people to buy from you. They can send you referrals by email and you can send your promos to their friends. If all those ten friends order an item from you, you can give a special discount to the person who referred them. You can even tell these ten new customers that if they refer you to ten of their friends, you’ll also give them the same discount on their next purchase. In this way, you get to spread the word about your products and build your customer base exponentially.
- Free Customer Hotline – Being there when your customers need you matters. Being knowledgeable about the products you sell matters as well, because showing your customers what to do about using their product will give them the impression that your availability is effective and worth their time. By offering them solutions for possible problems with the product they bought, they get the assurance that your business can be trusted and is reliable. It can be something as simple as having an online chat link on your website or a toll-free phone number that they can call at certain hours of the day.
- Joint Promotions – Partner with other online retail businesses and offer their products as either a free gift or an item that can be bought at a good discount. This helps you build a wider network because you get to have customers from the other company crossing over, and vice-versa. Your partners can help boost your sales and popularity, and you can pool together a significant customer base that will patronize products that you sell together. Association works well in marketing and promotions, and being associated with more successful businesses builds reputation, which can translate to better sales and increased customer loyalty.