Don’t lose your online store visitors – start a relationship!

Start a relationship with your online store visitors!It’s tough I know, but most of your web visitors won’t buy on the first visit.

They’ll check you out, flick through your products, perhaps compare prices, scroll through your blog and then they’ll be off again. Like ships in the night.

If you’re lucky, they might bookmark your site for a later date, but mostly they will disappear and get on with their busy lives. And bang goes all that time, cost and effort it took to drive them to your store in the first place. Grrrr.

But you can do something to improve your chances of a revisit. If you make it easy for interested visitors to stay in touch with you, they can get to know you a lot better and you can be there when they need you. With a simple but planned communication strategy, these strangers can become brand friends, and friends can become customers.

Be visibly sociable

One way to encourage visitors to stay in touch is to install ‘follow me’ buttons to your social media accounts (twitter, facebook and Pinterest etc) on your web pages. Social media is a great channel for offering followers useful information, special deals and even customer service assistance, thereby creating trust and a bond with your brand. Pretty much all of our themes include social media links, and these can be enabled in the “Design & assets -> Theme editor” section of your store’s Toolbox.

Email still rocks

Even better, add a simple sign up form on your website to collect email addresses from interested visitors. Some themes have this built-in, but if you use MailChimp or Campaign Monitor, you can use a “Web Hook” to add people who’ve ordered in your store to your mailing list.

Despite the rise of social media, email is still a reliable and cost effective way to keep potential customers informed, deepen your relationship with your subscribers and remind them what you offer.

But you must get their permission to begin emailing them and a sign up form on your website is the way to go. If they are not already a customer, they must have ‘opted-in’ to receive your communications as this is a requirement of the Spam Act.

Be prepared – plan your calendar

Once you start to collect subscribers, you’ll need to plan a calendar for your emails. This way you’ll know what you want to prepare, to whom, and when. The top reasons people will unsubscribe from your emails are;
1. too frequent emails, or
2. irrelevant content.
…so don’t be too zealous with your communications, and only email information or offers that make sense to the recipient.

Start by plotting out ‘shopping’ events that you want to promote like a new fashion season, Christmas and Mother’s day. Then fill in other regular communications like a regular newsletter. There will always be new opportunities so leave some breathing space in your calendar. That way you can send out announcements like a new product or special offer or tie in a promotion with some topical trend or news story.

One last word on email lists here. Don’t be tempted to buy or rent a list of email addresses. It’s inefficient, irritating to the recipients and contravenes the Spam Act. Grow your opt-in list over time with people ho have a genuine interest. Quality over quantity.

In another post soon I’ll provide be a tips sheet on creating killer emails to drive traffic to your online store. Don’t miss it!

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About Alison Hardy

Alison Hardy Alison is a freelance copywriter and content marketer. She specialises in dynamic online copy that helps small businesses reach and connect with the people that need them.

With a Southern Pommie accent and an unAustralian dislike for seafood, Alison came to Australia at the end of the last century. Despite these obvious disadvantages, she was offered a job in the ecommerce department of a local Internet company and has been working in digital communications ever since.

In the heady days of the first dot com boom, before she became a queen of copy, Alison helped produce websites. But project management wasn’t creative enough for this sassy lassie so she switched her attention to marketing and communications. Much more fun!

She spent the next 10 years in marketing roles, promoting businesses in the education, art, technology and online retail industries. This invariably involved writing persuasive copy online, offline and sometimes even in the line at the post office. Her talents helped her produce powerful copy for a wide range of purposes like websites, flyers, adverts, enewsletters, emails, social media and blog posts.

In 2012, she became one of the growing number of fearless people who take a leap of faith to work for themselves. Nowadays, you will find her in her slippers with a cat on her lap, wrestling sentences to create smart content to bring businesses to life.

A wordsmith, online champion, creative problem solver and a lover of strong tea, Alison has been working with us at Spiffy Stores for many years. She has helped us with marketing advice and writing content for our website, blog and knowledge base.

She’s pretty nice to work with, and thankfully has learnt to polish off a prawn or two so she can’t be all that bad. If you would like to hire her to write great copy for your website or marketing materials, visit for samples of work and her contact details.