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How to begin a customer relationship

Relationship. A word with many meanings.

What comes up to your mind when you think about the word relationship?

It can be associated with romance, business, or friendships. It takes many forms, and can, at times, encompass all the complexities of the human nature.

As an eCommerce professional, do you think deeply enough about the relationships you maintain with your shoppers?

Do you value them as prospective customers? Or do you blast them with endless sales-oriented emails?

Do you care, first and foremost, about the sale? Or do you care about providing superior customer service?

Do you care, first and foremost, about increasing how much your customers spend? Or do you plant trust through personalized product recommendations that will leave them happier with their new purchases?

One of the most important ingredients for a trustworthy dialogue, is – well – a dialogue. This means that the user experience of your store is not optimized for closing the sale, but rather for conversing back and forth with the shopper.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that it would be hard to make a purchase on your store. Rather, it means that when your eCommerce store is optimized for cultivating client relationships and having conversations, it contains a few additional distinctive ingredients.

The first piece is collecting emails early on.

Collecting shoppers’ emails early allows for a personalized conversation to take place. It enables smart retention and allows you to  nurture client relationships later on.

For instance, Bonobos provides new customers with a special offer via a static pop-up, while the rest of the site is greyed out behind the pop-up.

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When customers check out to buy an item, rather than asking for billing details, the first thing they ask for is an email address.

Theoretically, while this may lengthen the number of clicks until completion of the checkout, this allows for the start of a conversation, rather than optimizing the goal of completing a purchase. This feeling of connection can set your business apart from competitors, leading to better conversions and repeat customers.

By collecting an email address before proceeding to the rest of the checkout process, they are focused on initiating a conversation, rather than on completing the purchase right away.

A customer’s experience while completing their first purchase on your site is very important,  so begin the relationship right! Ask for permission to converse, and collect shoppers’ emails as soon as possible. Once you have the email, what do you do? Blast them with noisy, non-personalized emails? Or do you add value for each shopper through a personalized offering?

Find out more about nurturing customer relationships later on…