Any business owner who has achieved even a modicum of success will tell you the key to steady profits is retaining customers. However, before you can retain a customer, you have to gain that customer, which is where expanding your ecommerce customer base comes into play.

    These tips will help you attract new customers.

    Retarget Visitors

    Only a small percentage of first-time visitors to an ecommerce site go on to make a purchase. However, that doesn’t mean you should write them off as dead ends. Instead, mount a retargeting campaign to follow them around the ‘net for while to show them ads for the items they spent the most time reviewing on your site. Set parameters around the length of time they spent on your site, the number of pages they viewed and the pages on which they spent the most time. Do this correctly and you’ll increase the chances they’ll return to make a purchase.

    Offer What Your Competitors Cannot—or Will Not

    Figure out your competitive advantage and use it to steal customers from your competition. Whatever it turns out to be, you have to figure out what you can give a customer they aren’t getting anywhere else—and make a concerted effort to let them know about it. Maybe it’s offering personalized service; maybe it’s free assembly of products like furniture. A free website template like those offered by Shopify can support live video chat; maybe that becomes your thing. Whatever it is, make sure you can do it better than anyone else and use it to draw new customers into your fold.

    Connect With People Using Social Media

    This one comes up so often now, it’s starting to feel like a tired old trope. But the fact of the matter is social media marketing really is an effective method of attracting new business. With so many channels out there, trying to leverage all of them will become overwhelming. Instead, choose the ones your ideal customers tend to frequent and focus your energies on those. Keep in mind, rather than an overt marketing onslaught, posting useful content is a better play. Mind the 80:20 principle, wherein 80 percent of your posts are service-oriented and 20 percent are about marketing your wares.

    Provide Outstanding Customer Service

    Remember, the end game here is to retain your gain. When this onslaught of new business arrives in response to your efforts, you must be sure you can service it. Do everything you can toensure your site can support the increased traffic, be certain your customer service is head and shoulders above the standard and most of all, make certain the customer gets what they came looking for.

    Don’t Hate, Participate

    Given Amazon’s emergence as the 800-pound gorilla of ecommerce, it’s easy to look upon the behemoth as an adversary. That’s a mistake—particularly for a smaller company trying to broaden its customer base. It’s far better to consider Amazon an ancillary sales platform. Offering products on Amazon will gain exposure for your business and give you an added opportunity for sales. Yes, you’ll break them off a slice for the hook-up, but you’ll also attract people who wouldn’t have seen you otherwise.

    When it comes to Amazon, don’t hate—participate.

    These five tips for expanding your customer base will help you conquest business from your rivals, giving you an opportunity to convert these people into loyal customers. Just remember, the same thing it took to get them is what it will take to keep them. If you want to keep these new customers, you have to give them a very good reason to come away from their every interaction with you saying “Wow!”