3 Ways to Turn Customers into Brand Advocates

by ShopperTrak on 07-22-15

Despite the social media backlash and some discounted items that failed to impress, Amazon Prime Day numbers are in and all signs point to the day becoming an annual event. Global order growth was up 266% from a year ago and Amazon moved more units – 34.4 million items – on Prime Day than Black Friday 2014. Perhaps more importantly, Amazon compelled more new members to try Prime worldwide than any single day in Amazon history, and in turn, added to their growing base of loyal, return customers.

Given all of this, according to ShopperTrak’s Market Intelligence, there is still no evidence that shopper visits to brick-and-mortar stores were significantly affected. And, in exploring the Amazon Prime Day effort, a recent Forbes article made a key point stating that, “the next phase of major disruption in retail is here, driven by endless touch points, the convenience of physical stores, social commerce, and a personalized brand experience,” and within this new paradigm, brick-and-mortar stores are key.

In this increasingly competitive environment, where the threat future Annual Prime Days and other copycat promotions loom, it is vital that physical retailers proactively work to create loyal customers and brand advocates. Here are three ways to do so:

1. Develop a Unique Brand

Creating a unique brand when other products in the market do similar things is vital to a company’s success. The king of this field is Apple, and their customers speak with great passion and child-like excitement in regards to their products.

By generating a powerful and hip brand, Apple has diffused a unique culture within their customers. In turn, their consumers become brand advocates and sell their friends on the products based simply on the brand alone. 2. Create Incentives for Customers to Convert Friends Referring friends and earning perks is a technique used by companies as big as Uber and as small as local gyms. Why it works is simple: sacrificing a small perk to acquire a new customer is an objective win. And while this is a longstanding strategy, it has a lot of room for creativity – offer a form of credit to a customer for every new customer they bring in or give loyal brand advocates early access to newer products. Just be careful of “abuse tactics” for any sort of new program. 3. Respond to Complaints in a Timely and Effective Manner At some point, a customer will run into a problem with a product or service. And while organizations are unable to control when this complaint will occur or what it will be about, they are in full control of the response. All consumer-facing organizations aim to avoid negative customer reviews, especially those shared with mass social networks; however, if that’s the case, it’s even worse to leave said comments unacknowledged. Having quality, timely support streamline the feedback process will leave customers satisfied and spreading a positive word-of-mouth review.

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