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Improve Conversion Rates by Creating an Online Community

Ecommerce and more recently Mcommerce is evolving at such a rapid rate that some companies are struggling to keep up with their competitors and as a result have seen their online revenue slump. A lot of companies will turn to a redesign of their site but with new websites popping up left right and centre how can you make yours stand out from the crowd?

One solution that’s becoming more popular of late is to focus your new website’s design on your target audiences’s community and not solely the products you sell. Until recently this wasn’t popular because community focused websites commanded a much higher level of attention and input than you standard ecommerce sites. This meant that on face value they didn’t appear to be giving you as much of a return on your investment as a traditional site did. So why has there been a sudden uptake in this style of website?

Innocent's community focused website

Recent research has shown that 61% of people prefer to purchase from a website that has produced original content that’s related to an interest or hobby they might have. In other words if you bait customers to your site with original content that they find interesting they will eventually develop a connection to your brand. The content you put online will help you appear knowledgeable within your own industry which in itself will help build trust between you and you target audience/community. Because of this When a customer does decide to make a purchase, your site will be at the forefront of their mind so they’re less likely to shop around because they’ve already bought into your brands message and ideals. A website that’s driven by unique content will help drive sales without the need to bombard customers with various forms of direct marketing like emails or popup advertisements. Both of which can damage your brands equity before they even get a chance to ‘sell’ to your customer.

Creating original content to help bait customers to your site can be done in many different ways. The most common routes taken will normally involve news articles, personal blogs, information centres, forums, reviews, downloadable content and unique product descriptions. The key to them being successful however will depend on the following:

  1. How well you tie the content in with the needs and interests of your target audience / community
  2. The level of competition for the key words you target to bring quality visitors to your site
  3. The social platforms you choose to promote your services and products on
  4. And finally how all the above ties in with seasonal and geographical trends for your products and services.

All of the above will take time to plan out your strategy as every community focused site will have different goals and audience needs to cater for. When done correctly though it will improve not only your revenue but your brand equity/perception both online and offline. So although a community website may not give you the best short term ROI it will definitely help you achieve your long term revenue goals and help you stand out from the now competitive crowd.

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