For ecommerce businesses—whether you have 10 or 10,000 customers—increasing your customer base is essential to growing your brand.
But customer acquisition isn’t always as straightforward as it may seem.
So how do online stores find new customers? First, it’s all about finding relevant people to get through the (virtual) door. After that, it’s all about building a relationship that proves the value of your product and brand.
What is customer acquisition?
Customer acquisition is finding people who want to buy what your brand sells.
When you do it right, customer acquisition is a value-over-volume game. Effective strategies will lead you to people who will become loyal customers and advocates for your brand.
Consider your target customer: people with a specific problem or need that your product or service addresses.
Once you have an idea about what your target customers look like, the next step is to get your brand in front of those customers.
This introduction—usually a paid advertisement or something similar—serves as a customer’s first interaction with your brand. And sometimes, the introduction immediately leads to a purchase. Usually, though, it’s just the beginning of your brand’s relationship with the customer.
After a customer first learns about your brand, customer acquisition becomes about building a relationship with that potential customer. Your goal in this process? Make your brand visible and valuable, especially at the critical moment when the customer decides they’re interested in making a purchase.
3 tips to get customers for your ecommerce business
Of course, all businesses want more customers. But don’t look at customer acquisition as a short-term game—it’s more important to create a scalable, repeatable process to find and convert customers. That way, the more potential customers you find, the more you can convert.
For this to truly work, it’s important to make sure that you’re not looking for the wrong person to become a customer.
Marketing budgets are finite. You can spend just as much money on trying to reach people who aren’t part of your target market as the people who would be lifelong advocates for your brand.
Growing a loyal base of customers starts with narrowing down your search to people who are likely to love your products and brand. Here are three tips to find those loyal customers so you can set your business up for long-term success.
1. Identify your most prolific customers
A business can never spend too much time talking to and trying to understand their customers. To make customer research have the most impact, don’t just interview any customer—talk to the people who can’t get enough of your products.
It’s not that you shouldn’t talk to dissatisfied customers—you should. But for the purposes of refining your customer acquisition strategy, your loyal customers will be a source of information.
That’s because these people are indicative of your target market. These VIP customers—who open every email, visit new product pages, and make repeated purchases—can help you define your ideal customer.
Once you know what motivates your VIP customers, you can better gauge what messaging will resonate and even what channels they frequent to get your brand in front of them.
2. Engage with customers in key channels
It’s not enough to know about your customers—you need to meet them where they already are. The best way to do that is to find key channels to use in your marketing efforts.
Here are the top ecommerce channels to explore for your customer acquisition strategy.
Email marketing: Sending newsletters, nurture campaigns, and more
Website/Organic search: Optimizing your website for search, starting a blog
Social media: Posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tik Tok
Paid advertising: Running ads on Google Ads, Facebook Ads
Customers: Creating refer-a-friend programs, promoting user-generated content
Influencers: Sponsoring content to access an influencer’s audience
Third-party sellers: Selling through Amazon FBA, wholesalers, etc.
These channels all have a range of pros and cons, but the most important question you can ask is: Which channels attract the right customers for my brand?
The first three channels listed—email, your website, and social media—offer more flexibility, because you don’t have to work with a third party who could limit your interaction with customers—like a paid advertising platform, influencers, or even third-party sellers.
Because you fully own the first three channels, you’re in control of the full customer experience, which can lead to higher customer loyalty. The cost of acquisition is also lower, because there’s no third party to pay for customer attention.
Of course, paid advertising is crucial in customer acquisition, so don’t write it off just because it’s expensive. Rather, make sure you’re making the most of your budget by using paid advertising to generate email subscribers and social media followers.
Then, you can continue to reach out to your potential customers for free. Plus, there won’t be any third-party barriers, leaving you fully in control of the customer experience.
3. Build personalized relationships to convert subscribers to customers
Even once a potential customer has followed your social media or subscribed to your email list, they will likely hesitate before purchasing—for anywhere between one week and several months.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking these people will never buy—they’re just looking for the right reason to become a customer.
And this consideration stage is the perfect time to give people a reason to buy! One way to nurture a potential customer is by building a relationship that provides value to them, even before they’ve purchased.
If you’ve captured a potential customer’s email from your online store, you can send them tailored campaigns that speak to their unique interests.
For example, Les Raffineurs sends abandoned cart emails to subscribers who haven’t purchased. To make the email more relevant to customers, they include images of the products the customer was looking at.
Related content: Want to know how Les Raffineurs increased the open rate of this email by 30% and drove an additional €500k in 90 days on their PrestaShop store? Find out here.
The highly personalized strategy of this abandoned cart email—which can be applied to other email series like welcome series, browse abandonment, and more—helps Les Raffineurs provide value for the customer, making a purchase more likely.
Customer acquisition is a long game, not an overnight process. Building brand awareness and personalized marketing campaigns takes time, but winning the customer is always worth it.
As a refresher, here are three tips to find customers:
Identify your most prolific customers
Engage with customers in key channels
Build personalized relationships to convert subscribers to customers
Follow these tips while you’re building your customer base and you’re sure to increase customer engagement.
Plus, want to make sure your customer acquisition efforts lead to actual purchases? Add the Klaviyo plugin to your PrestaShop store to send personalized, relevant campaigns to inspire new customers to purchase.