The most persuasive form of marketing that exists is the power of customer testimonials. People are more likely to buy or sign up for a service if they have heard about it from friends or family than from any other source. Many traditional businesses may not even think of word-of-mouth marketing as a viable option, but the concept can be applied to electronic marketing, especially e-commerce. You just have to know how to do it properly and use word of mouth marketing for e-commerce in the right scenarios.
Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful and cost-effective advertising strategies available. And this is true both for offline and especially for online businesses. Increasingly, businesses are finding that word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective form of advertising with 83% of consumers saying that they trust recommendations from friends. Moreover, word-of-mouth has been shown to improve marketing effectiveness by up to 54%.
- How does word-of-mouth marketing work?
- Provide a great experience for your customers to turn them into brand evangelists
- Make it easy to leave a review (and make it worth their while)
- Reward your word-of-mouth advocates
- Create content that excites and entertains
- Collaborate with influencers
- Give back to your community
- The importance of word-of-mouth marketing
How does word-of-mouth marketing work?
Have you ever walked into a store and simply bought nothing, just walked out? Or maybe heard about a great product or service and wanted to learn more about it before deciding whether to buy it? Word-of-mouth marketing is all about getting word-of-mouth from customers who have trusted you with their business. It’s about gaining credibility and trust through actions (such as testimonials), without telling customers about a product or service they’re not interested in or can’t afford.
Most importantly, word-of-mouth marketing is not limited to customers who buy expensive goods or services – well-known companies like Starbucks, Apple, Nike and countless others have gathered immense profits through word-of-mouth marketing among those who would never have bought their products or services otherwise.
That sounds promising, but how do you do word-of-mouth marketing for an online store? Here are 7 easy steps for how to do word-of-mouth marketing in your eCommerce business.
Let’s dive in!
Provide a great experience for your customers to turn them into brand evangelists
Running an e-commerce store requires a long-term relationship with your customers. It’s not enough to only provide good products. You also need to nurture their purchase journey to get them excited and then kept coming back for more. When your customers leave your site and return again, make it a great experience for them. When you provide free shipping and other incentives, your customers will feel compelled to return again and again.
Timely customer service is equally important as being feature-rich on your site because you want your customer to return to you because of a great experience they got when first using you. Large retailers can leverage these principles to create engaging experiences that encourage repeat purchases.
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Make it easy to leave a review (and make it worth their while)
Reviews are the most effective way to create a buzz around your brand as they improve your overall brand image. When a potential customer comes to your website and sees multiple 5-star reviews, they instantly trust your brand. However, it’s not simple to collect positive reviews from your customers since most of them don’t see value in leaving a review or totally forget about it after they make a purchase. To simplify this process, you can make it easy for your customers to leave a review with just a few clicks. For instance, you can send review request emails to your shoppers and give them an incentive for leaving a review.
Most e-commerce businesses started to automate the review request process through various plugins and email services. Why not give it a try?
Reward your word-of-mouth advocates
Your loyal customers are the best brand advocates and it is important to give them an incentive. They are the true evangelists of your brand and deserve to get special recognition and rewards that exceed their efforts.
Getting people to refer your business is one of the easiest ways for new customers to find you. It’s a win-win situation since not only do you get more customers for free but also those referrals will be much more likely to stick around and become repeat customers.
Good old word-of-mouth referrals are one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to grow your business. Referral marketing works because people trust personal recommendations by their peers over random sales pitches or advertising copy. According to Nielsen report, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family more than advertising.
You can create a referral program that gives an incentive to your customers for referring their friends. There are numerous apps on the Shopify app store that provide a referral program. There is definitely one app that can help you engage your customers and drive more referrals to your store.
Create content that excites and entertains
As we all know, content is king. While marketing is all about getting your company into the minds of your customers, creating entertaining content that drives them to share it with the world can be difficult if you don’t know what your audience enjoys. It’s all about engagement these days. You need to create engaging content if you want your brand to get noticed so people spread the word about it. On social media, companies are using memes, funny images, gifs, and infographics more than ever before as part of their strategy to get people engaged and grow brand awareness.
A well-branded presence on social media has the effect of:
- Personalizing your product/service to the customers
- Engaging customers in conversations,
- Building customer loyalty (which drives conversions)
- Avoiding the negative effects that come with low-quality, lackluster e-commerce marketing campaigns.
A great example of a brand that gained a large number of followers thanks to its effective social media content is BarkBox. It is sunny to say, but most of their followers nowadays are not even dog owners. They follow the brand because it posts engaging content that everyone loves. Who doesn’t like puppies, right? BarBox doesn’t miss out on the latest trends and even started to post content on TikTok which received a lot of engagement.
Collaborate with influencers
Influencer marketing is more powerful than ever. With social media platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, influencer marketing has become an integral part of many businesses. In today’s competitive business environment business owners rely on the help of their local celebrities, athletes and musicians to market their products and services. The artists, athletes and musicians that these high-level influencers represent reflect the culture they inhabit.
Gymshark is a great example that received a lot of brand recognition through partnerships with influencers. The company often collaborates with athletes and fitness gurus that become their brand ambassadors. A part of Gymshark’s success comes from collaborations with influencers that truly believe in the brand and promote it to their followers base. Influencers emphasize that Gymshark’s activewear is not only comfortable but also makes a person feel good and confident while wearing it.
If your brand is small and still growing, you don’t have to invest a lot of money into partnerships with influencers. In fact, micro-influencers are way more effective in spreading the word about your brand because they have a specific niche of followers. Your customers can be your brand ambassadors if you provide them with appealing incentives and build a lifelong relationship.
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Give back to your community
Give something back to your community and help out other local business owners. This will result in newfound friends, new referrals, and new leads for your business. Even by doing the smallest acts of kindness, you will be rewarded with positive word-of-mouth. Many brands understood that by giving back to the community or helping those in need build a positive brand image. For instance, Airbnb partnered up with their community to offer housing in emergencies, from natural disasters to COVID-19. When Airbnb first announced a new nonprofit it was a hit and generated a lot of positive word-of-mouth for the company.
You don’t have to invest or donate large sums to create positive word-of-mouth. People appreciate even the smallest things that you can do. Also, customers are now more conscious of the brands they pick and choose brands that align with their values. To achieve this, you can create a loyalty program in which your loyal customers can choose to donate their points for a charity. For instance, Careem is a popular vehicle for hire company that offers to donate loyalty points to feed, educate and help refugee children.
The importance of word-of-mouth marketing
Word of mouth has the highest potential for influencing a person’s buying behavior than other forms of marketing. This makes word-of-mouth marketing one of the most important factors in pushing your business to success. It’s easy to see the value in word-of-mouth marketing, but only a few know how to create it. But with these simple steps mentioned in the article, you will be able to generate more traffic and sales on your store through word-of-mouth marketing.
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What is word-of-mouth marketing?
Word-of-mouth marketing (WOM) is a strategy that promotes a product through informal social encounters. For instance, through social media posts, blogs,
What is user-generated content?
User-generated content is any kind of content shared by users on web sites such as social media and wikis, such as images, videos, text, and audio.