Relationship Marketing and Ecommerce

When we talk about relationship marketing we have to also include words like: Trust, Brand, Needs, Reliability and Expertise. All of these qualities are encompassed in the success of an ecommerce business. Your ultimate goal is retention, the ability to retain a customer and gain repeat business.

The Viral Effect

There is another benefit to this type of marketing, it is what is called the Viral Effect. The viral effect is actually people talking to other people about your business. Now, this can be good or bad depending on how you build relationships with customers and potential customers. Realize that viral marketing is free and can be quite valuable to your business over time. It’s a multiplication factor, one person tells two and two people tell four, and so on from there. You can also use incentives to stimulate this type of marketing. One example of this is referrals, if your customer is given the incentive such as a ten dollar gift card if they refer three people to your business. Something of this nature, the compounding of a strategy like this can generate hundreds, if not thousands of new customers in the future.

Building a List

Technology has made it cost-effective and efficient to build lists. Since the world of ecommerce revolves around the internet and a website you have the opportunity to build lists. The general practice of list building consists of an autoresponder, an incentive offer and a sequence of messages. The process goes like this – A visitor comes to your website, you present them with an offer like a free booklet or other information that helps them, this is in exchange for their email and name. This information goes into your autoreponder list. Now, depending on you objective and business model a sequence of automated messages will be delivered to them and this is the beginning steps of building a relationship with your list.

Why Is Relationship Marketing So Vital?

There are basically two reasons this type of marketing is advantageous especially for ecommerce businesses. The first is the cost of getting new customers. It cost to advertise and get your product in front of potential customers, if you build a relationship you can retain that customer, sell to them without the added upfront overhead. The second advantage to building a relationship with a potential customer is trust. It is much easier for a customer to buy from you when they trust you, and the reverse is true, it is much easier to sell to a customer when they trust you.