Do you want to encourage and motivate your customers to promote your online store?
In the competitive world of e-commerce, standing out and grabbing customer attention can be challenging. While paid advertising and other promotional strategies are undoubtedly effective, one of the most valuable and often overlooked assets for promoting your online shop is right at your fingertips – your existing customers.
Harnessing the power of your buyers can help not only drive organic traffic but also establish a sense of trust and authenticity.
🔎 In this article, we’ll cover:
Why Ask Buyers to Promote Your Online Store?
E-commerce competition is fierce and attention spans are fleeting. So the concept of having your own customers promote your online store might seem counterintuitive at first. After all, isn’t it your responsibility as an e-commerce business owner to handle the promotional efforts?
While that’s certainly true, harnessing the power of your existing partnerships and customer base to promote your brand and strengthen your online presence can be strategic and beneficial. Bloggers, entrepreneurs, small businesses – it doesn’t matter. Using real people to reach your target audience and prospective customers can be incredibly effective.
In an age of ad-blockers and banner blindness, consumers are becoming increasingly tuning out traditional advertisements. Research has found that, as of 2022, approximately 40% of internet users use ad-blockers. Instead, the majority (88% of consumers) value authentic recommendations from sources they trust.
Enter your customers. Their endorsements carry a sense of authenticity that paid Facebook ads, sponsored Google ads and Google search results, and other forms of PPC advertising can’t replicate. User-Generated Content (UGC) posts on social media platforms, including product reviews and testimonials, provide proof of real people benefiting from your offerings. This authentic marketing strategy can go a long way in building trust and credibility.
Asking and encouraging your customers to promote your online store can help amplify your reach, humanize your brand, and foster a community. Plus, it’s a particularly cost-effective marketing strategy.
Encourage People to Promote Your Online Store
Ready to get started? Below, I’ll share three methods you can use to get customers to help promote your online store.
1. Offer Discounts for Sharing Products on Social Media
One of the most popular cornerstones of UGC is encouraging customers to share their experiences by posting photos, videos, or reviews of your products on their social media accounts. This content serves as social proof and can effectively help promote your online store.
However, when it comes to sharing products on social media, convenience and rewards play a crucial role. The easiest way to encourage and convince users to share your products on social networks is by offering them something in return, such as a special coupon.
This not only increases your store’s visibility but also drives more traffic and potential sales. You’re tapping into the psychology of reciprocity, where customers feel compelled to give back after receiving a benefit.
The tool lets you offer customers discounts as rewards for sharing your products on social media. With just a few clicks, users can promote your online store while also enjoying exclusive discounts. It’s a win-win.
The plugin automatically detects when a user shares or likes one of your products on social media. Then it instantly adds the discount code to use during checkout.
To use it, go to Downloads » Extensions and select Install under EDD Social Discounts:
Next, configure the settings under Downloads » Settings » Extensions » Social Discounts:
You can select the Social Services to Enable, how to display it, and the discount code. For more detailed guidance, check out our Social Discounts setup documentation.
2. Create a Referral Program
Another way you can encourage and incentivize buyers to promote your online store is by creating a referral program. A well-designed referral program can turn your customers into enthusiastic brand advocates:
This could include incentives such as discounts, cashback, store credit, or free downloads for every new customer they refer. Not only can this motivate existing users to spread the word, but it can also bring in new potential customers who trust recommendations from friends and family.
There are a few variations of referral programs you could create. For instance, similar to influencer marketing tactics, you can establish a loyalty program that rewards customers for actions such as making a purchase, sharing to social networks, and leaving a review.
The EDD Reviews extension comes with built-in functionality to reward customers with a discount when they leave a review:
💡 Follow our guide to learn How to Start an Affiliate Program.
3. Run a Contest or Giveaway
People love the thrill of winning freebies. That’s why running a giveaway contest can be a great way to promote your online store:
When organizing these virtual events, request participants to share your store or products on their social media profiles as an entry requirement. This not only boosts engagement but also exposes your brand to a wider audience.
To make doing this super easy, you can use a plugin like RafflePress:
This powerful WordPresss plugin is an excellent solution for creating, optimizing, and managing viral giveaways and contests on your e-commerce website. There are so many different ways you can build and configure the giveaway to make it a fun, exciting, and engaging promotional strategy.
💡Check out this guide on How to Run a Giveaway in WordPress.
FAQs: Using Customers to Promote Your Store
Let’s wrap up with some frequently asked questions.
How can I ensure customer-generated content aligns with my branding?
While user-generated content is typically organic and authentic, you can still provide guidelines or suggestions for customers to follow when creating content. Consider establishing a unique hashtag for your brand that customers can use when sharing. Additionally, featuring selected user-generated content on your official platforms can help curate the messaging while maintaining the authentic nature of the content.
Are free customer promos more effective than paid ads?
While user-generated content is typically organic and authentic, you can still provide guidelines or suggestions for customers to follow when creating content. Consider establishing a unique hashtag for your brand that customers can use when sharing.
If you use referral or affiliate marketing, you can also provide specific images, links, and other elements for them to use.
How do I encourage customers to promote my online store for free?
The most effective way is to offer them something in return. This could be a free download, discount for future purchases, etc. You can also make it easy for them by placing the share buttons in a visible and convenient location on the page.
Use EDD to Promote Your Online Store
Asking customers to promote your online store is a strategic move that can yield a variety of benefits. The key is finding people who’ve experienced the high-quality value of your products firsthand. Then providing them with enough incentive to want to share those experiences.
Download Easy Digital Downloads and utilize tools like the EDD Social Discounts extension to streamline the sharing process and motivate your customers to become brand ambassadors:
Want even more ways to drive users to your e-commerce site? Check out How to Increase Website Traffic to Your Online Store.