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The Basics of Customer Acquisition

Posted on the 29 June 2012 by Onlinere @onretailblog

Customer Acquisition Illustration

As online retailers, we all know that customer acquisition is part and parcel of running a successful retailing website. Without customers we don’t stand a chance, right? But are we doing it correctly and profitably? It is important to get the basics of customer acquisition correct to enable us to acquire the right customers the right way and therefore at the best possible cost for our business.

First of all, get it right; find your target audience and decide on the right proposition in order to acquire potential new customers to your brand. Different marketing and media channels suit different audiences (Your potential new customers) so it’s necessary to plan and research the best possible way of engagement relevant to your target audience before you start out. It’s no use attempting to acquire customers through social media if your target audience are not particularly computer savvy. You get the idea.

When planning an acquisition campaign be realistic about what you offer and don’t promise anything you can’t fulfil. It’s important to plan before you start any new campaign – work out the costs involved, the possible outcomes and any issues that may arise. You need to be prepared to handle anything that may or may not crop up along the process and be ready to inform the customer of any issues. It’s also very important to be transparent as a brand – your potential customer needs to feel like they understand and know you from the get go, with no hidden surprises lurking elsewhere! A good relationship with existing customers can lead to positive feedback that you’re able to acknowledge and show off on your website – a valuable bonus read for potential new customers.

Sell benefits not features. Features are all well and good to the customer, but they aren’t interesting enough to entice them into a purchase. It helps to remember consumers are becoming savvier when it comes to shopping around, they’ve probably seen numerous products offering the same features from a handful of your competitors. Therefore you need your product offering to stand out from the rest; try to create a desire for the product/service, to persuade them that purchasing from you will be the best decision for them. For example, a feature of some of our bouquets at Bunches.co.uk is pre-arrangement before delivery to the recipient. The benefit of this for the recipient is no arranging of their flowers upon receiving them and therefore saving time and allowing enjoyment of the blooms straight away. By selling your potential new customers the benefits of the product they’ll experience will ultimately stand you out from the crowd and will more than likely convince the consumer into a purchase. This is not proven however, but can certainly make an influence on purchase decisions.

Your communication with the customer is key. In a recent study shown by 1to1media.com, 50% of consumers said their leading reasons for brand disconnect was irrelevant communications. While as much as this statistic is more relevant to retaining your customers, it is still an important key learning to remember when engaging with your potential new customers. You need to ensure the proposition of your acquisition campaign is relevant, clear and enticing. Start as you mean to go on and you face a good chance of retaining the customers you set out to acquire.

Finally, one of the most important aspects of a business when it comes to customer acquisition is Customer Service. Without this, all of the hard work you put into your marketing campaign may as well be forgotten. Customer Service is important for retaining customers, but we forget that it also plays a key role in acquiring them too. New customers to your brand rely on customer services to provide a friendly and easy transaction – first impressions count, impress your new customer and they’re very likely to repeat purchase in the future.

Remember, acquiring new customers can be a costly venture but one that we ultimately cannot shy away from. Get it right and you will reap the benefits.

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