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The pandemic has forced companies to rethink their approach to community. More than ever, brands have had to depend on committed and engaged community members to help get them through trying times.
Many think that community is a vanity metric. However, it is clear that customer communities have lots of power and can bring long-term value for ecommerce businesses – no matter your size or industry.
To help you make a case for building your own ecommerce communities, this blog will highlight key stats around how they can bring you and your customers value.
These statistics illustrate how customer communities create a positive ROI and the goals that motivate organizations to invest in communities.
We have found that a community gives ecommerce brands value in four distinct ways: cost-effective acquisition, greater conversion, open and honest feedback loop, and high customer lifetime value and brand loyalty.
Community allows you to achieve sustainable acquisition without breaking the bank. It is easy to draw in new customers if you have a community of Insiders who advocate for your brand and spread the word.
This is ideal. Organic WOM helps you save money as you’re bringing in new customers without investment in costly acquisition channels.
Community also enables a greater conversion rate. When you have an authentic and thriving community, with members that get others involved, it is easier to establish trust. Insiders create UGC for the brands they love. This social proof increases trust which makes new customers convert quicker.
A community creates trust and this ensures that converting unengaged browsers into loyal customers is easier than it used to be.
One of the great things about community is the conversation. When you have a diverse range of customers in your community that engages with your brand you will receive more open and honest feedback. You can use this feedback to inform future products and improve your existing services.
An open feedback loop is the result of a well-cultivated community. The feedback loop also benefits customers because it makes them feel like they are a part of the brand’s onward journey.
A community gives you long term consistency. If your customer base is full of Drifters and Lurkers with no emotional link to the brand you will struggle to achieve long-term success. Whereas an engaged community of Supporters and Insiders will spend more, spread the word and recruit new members. Find out more about the Community Personas we’ve mentioned by downloading the Community Matters report.
When you can point to customers in your community who have been with you for years it is clear that community isn’t a vanity metric. Engaged customers who are constantly interacting with the community contribute to a high customer lifetime value and reliable brand loyalty.
Our research has shown that customers want three things from a community: financial perks, experiential perks, and brand alignment.
Financial perks have always been a simple and reliable way to get people to join your community. Our research revealed:
But it’s not all about the money. Customers also hope their online shopping experience will be improved by joining a community
Finally, customers are also looking to gain an emotional connection with a brand. Not every shopping experience has to be a soulless, empty exchange. When you are part of a brand’s community you will be able to follow their journey and connect with other like-minded community members.
Engaged community members use loyalty programs too. Our research showed:
Implementing your own loyalty program is a great way to maintain a strong connection with community members and attract new users too.
Customer communities can benefit your brand across the board. Your ROI will improve, you will be able to rely on customers to spread the word about your brand and you’ll be able to improve your products.
Customers want three things from an ecommerce community: financial perks, experiential perks, and brand alignment. These elements are easy to deliver through a loyalty program that is fully incorporated with your brand.
Download the Community Matters report to learn how to build a loyalty program that drives value with every new community member.