Building brand ambassadors for eCommerce

Building Brand Ambassadors


  • Your efforts to establish your online eCommerce store and grow it will bear fruits only when you have an established customer base. Although there are many marketing tools and techniques available, and they are all useful, the best way to acquire more customers is by delighting your existing customers and converting them into brand ambassadors.

“An analysis by Bain & Company shows that companies that excel in the customer experience grow revenues 4%–8% above their market.”

Reports suggest that more than 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations before purchasing online. To turn your customers into your brand ambassadors, you must provide consistency in customer experience, product quality, and variety.

My friend had this interesting incident with a retail store that turned him into their repeat customer. During one of the pandemic induced lockdowns, he had gone to this store to buy a battery for his computer mouse. When he asked for a battery, the store owner promptly asked him if he wanted an AA or AAA battery. My friend hadn’t noticed what type it was that he needed. He was about to leave the store to check and come back; the store owner asked him the device for which he required the battery. When he told the store owner that it was for his mouse, the owner gave him an AA battery, which was what he needed.

This may seem trivial, but in the customer’s mind (my friend, in this case), the store owner had provided him excellent customer experience. He was so happy that he started talking about this store to his friends (& that’s how I came to know of it) and how they delight customers consistently.

This is the kind of behavior that we are talking about. Eventually, understanding what your customer is looking for and providing it will turn them into repeat customers and brand ambassadors. In the online world, we all have seen stores like Amazon suggesting products that we will typically need along with the item we have just purchased, thereby making it easy for their customers to find what they are looking for.

Why build brand ambassadors

With fierce competition across any vertical of eCommerce, it is essential to engage, retain, and leverage your customers. You would know well how much you spend to acquire every customer. To ensure that investment is optimally used, you must delight and retain them.

Once your customers are delighted, they eventually become your brand ambassadors by talking about your brand offline and online. This is the best form of marketing stores can hope for.

Why delight your customers

Mere satisfaction is not what customers seek. They are looking for personalized experiences, however big or small their shopping endeavor is. We have our preferences of brands, not just for the product quality or variety but for the experience that we got from that brand that made us feel special. This is what your customers also expect.

Anyone in business would know that a customer delighted is a customer retained. Retail businesses, especially segments like groceries where margins are not high, cannot afford to spend a lot to acquire new customers. A painful experience can lead to customer churn, thereby increasing the cost of acquisition.

A customer-centric retail business benefits from the following:

  • Higher average cart value
  • Increased customer lifetime value (LTV)
  • Increased order frequency
  • Enhanced customer referrals
  • Higher customer retention rates

A study by Deloitte shows what happens to customers when you delight them…

Deloitte Source Image

How to build brand ambassadors

A business aims to create customer advocates that sell your brand to even more people than the business itself. One customer your delight could potentially have a multiplying effect on their peers and eventually convert them into your customers. Another important benefit of customers thus acquired is that they tend to stick on longer than others.

Before understanding how to build brand ambassadors, let us look at the top factors that impact purchase decisions:

  • Price
  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Recommendation from family/friends
  • Brand

Now that we know what impacts purchase decisions let us look at various ways to address these factors and grow your brand advocates.

Customer Segmentation

Retailers tend to gather and retain customer information like their address, contact details, special days, buying patterns, brand preferences, and purchase frequency. Nowadays, there is also additional information on their social accounts and online activities.

Put all these data into action to identify your most happy and unhappy customers. Make sure to contact the happy customers and understand what the things about your brand are that they love. At the same time, reach out to unhappy customers to know why they are unhappy.

Segmenting customers gives you a deep insight into their behavior and preferences allowing you to target those customers with specific strategies like offers, promotions, and gifts. Analyzing the buying patterns can enable you to decide on an appropriate pricing/discount strategy.

As discussed in the earlier article, there are multiple ways to segment customers.

Amazing customer service

At the heart of delighting your customers is consistent customer service. Customers expect a professional, personalized experience throughout their journey. This is like providing easy parking, entry to the store neatly arranged product aisles with guiding boards, staff to help them find products and quick billing in a physical store.

Your customer’s online journey is quite similar. They should discover products quickly, have an enjoyable buying experience and reach out to you soon for any concerns. Whether it is finding information about your business or trying out your products, customers expect to be seamless, i.e., they should be able to perform these from any online channel of their preference. It could be websites, Mobile Apps, or social media.

A common concern that many of us face while using online stores is difficulty reaching the retailer’s customer support. It is crucial to ensure that your customers can quickly get you through calls, emails, or messaging services like WhatsApp or social media platforms like Facebook. Once you hear from them on their concerns, make sure to acknowledge their concern and provide them with a solution or a timeline for it. Make sure that you keep up your word on the timeline.

Customers also feel a personal touch when stores contact them regularly through their order journey. It can be a call to confirm their order, clarify the instructions, or collect feedback after the order delivery. Such experiences turn an ordinary shopping exercise into a buying experience for your customers.

Give your customer reasons to talk

People love to talk and share experiences. It’s up to you to make it a good one. Retailers can smartly leverage their customers’ online conversations into brand-building opportunities. The following will trigger conversations about you by your customers:

  • Delightful shopping experience
  • Exciting offers
  • Personalized service
  • Feature updates to your online platform

Retailers can frequently provide content through social media posts, videos, and blogs to let their customers share it with their peers. It is also vital to have a rating, review mechanism built into your eCommerce solution. Happy customers are already talking about your product/service to their friends. When equipped with better content from your end, it makes their job easy and helps you gain brand awareness without much additional cost.

Leverage the power of social media

As part of collecting customer information, it is essential for you to know where your customers are online, the social media platforms of their choice. You can then build your profile on those platforms and be active on them to push information from your end and actively listen to what your customers are saying.

Active listening to your customers’ social media will provide valuable information on their preferences and concerns. This will help you proactively address issues before they lead to customers leaving you.

Many eCommerce solutions allow you to easily integrate with different social media platforms that you can leverage for this purpose.

Build trust

Ensure that your customers get exactly what you say. Customer focus and care shouldn’t just be your marketing jargon. Your customers must always experience it when they encounter you, be it at your offline store or online.

Customers tend to advocate brands only when they get a consistent experience. Be transparent with your customers. If you are unable to fulfil something for any reason, be open about it with them.

Following are some easy ways to build trust:

  • Be transparent about your pricing and offers
  • Returning a product should be as easy as ordering it
  • Product quality should be the same as what they saw in your online store
  • In case you are unable to fulfil an order fully or partially, reach out to the customer personally and offer substitutes or a refund
  • Allow your customers to choose their refund methods. (E.g., forcefully pushing refunds to your store wallet)


Running a business is not easy. So is, acquiring and retaining customers. This can be made easier by converting your customers into your brand ambassadors. Who better to talk about you than the person consuming your products/services? But, to achieve that, businesses need to understand that it requires a mindset transformation from the business owner to the store staff to be customer-obsessed.

Focus on building long-term relationships with your customers and building trust. This is when your customers start speaking on your behalf. Remember, customer advocating for you is the most cost-effective way to marketing and bring in more customers.