Creating an eCommerce Community: A How-To Guide
Getting your brand established and building an audience are big steps for your business. Gaining loyal, repeat customers is something to be proud of for any size business. Once you have a consistent audience, building a community is a great next step to help add more value to their lives and your business.
What Is An eCommerce Community?
eCommerce communities are networks of like-minded users with common interests who come together on the internet. They often discuss their favorite brands or products, and share tips and information.
Why Are eCommerce Communities Important?
The best reason to create an eCommerce community is because it helps build a closer relationship with your audience, which in turn builds brand loyalty. Building a community allows you to be a part of the conversation and see what your audience is saying about you. While you can’t control the conversation, you can get insight and use that to improve. Communities also build a more stable way for your audience to communicate and hear from you, rather than simply relying on social media. Once your community is active, it also helps you build referrals.
How To Create An eCommerce Community:
The first thing you need to consider is what value your community will provide your audience. “Value” is a broad term here- it refers to anything that will keep people coming back. This can be useful information, advice, entertainment, or a discussion topic that interests them. Adding value to your community encourages people to come back because they don’t want to miss out on what is happening.
Connecting members of your audience is another motivating reason to create a community. Creating a space where people can discuss resources, challenges, products, and tips helps you build social proof and hear what your audience truly thinks about your brand and products. Communicating with others who have similar interests will make them want to stay involved in the community and build relationships with other audience members. Since they will be bonding in your community over something they have in common, it also helps build loyalty to you.
Where To Create eCommerce Communities:
eCommerce communities are often found in subreddits, forums, and Facebook groups. However, if you are just starting out, you can start building communities on platforms you already have. Social media is a great place to start! If you have a platform that you are active on, pose a question and ask for audience feedback. This can be a fun question (favorite coffee order, weekend plans, tag a friend you want to do this activity with) or a beneficial question (what new product would you like to see, what is your favorite use for a certain product). Audience members will “like” and respond to comments that they agree with, and start conversations revolving around your prompt. Make sure to respond to some of the comments yourself! Allowing comments on blog posts or adding a discussion forum to your website are also great ways to encourage community conversations.
Building a community around your eCommerce store takes some effort, but it is a fun way to build brand loyalty and add value for your customers. Communities should be respectful and fun, so take the lead and start building your community!