For eCommerce merchants whose target market includes hobbyists and enthusiasts. Learn to advance your brand and increase sales.

If you’re among the many eCommerce merchants whose target market includes hobbyists and enthusiasts, you’re in luck. With a bit of effort, you can harness this enthusiasm in ways that can advance your brand and increase your sales. The key is prioritizing two-way engagement and giving your customers outlets to share their energy and expertise with both each other and your prospective shoppers. All you need to do is create ways to engage your customers and give them outlets to share their energy and expertise with your existing and prospective shoppers. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the ways you can tap into hobbyist excitement to provide your site with content, exposure, and authority-building reviews that will help you build your brand and your business.

Creating a Customer-Centric Business

Start by building a store that does more than just offer products at a competitive price. To win the loyalty of hobbyists, you’ll also need to:

  • Commit to quality. Good craftsmanship can mean the difference between a one-time purchase and a loyal, lifelong customer.
  • Invest in relationships. Many online shoppers still value a human touch in their buying experience. Focus on building relationships with your online buyers.
  • Be engaged! Ask your customers questions, listen to their answers, and take their needs and feedback into consideration when you make decisions.

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A Tale of Two Engagement Strategies

Consider turning your online store into a hobby hub, a place where enthusiasts can meet, share ideas, and find helpful resources. Automotive eCommerce store Xtreme Diesel Performance (XDP) is a great example of this in practice. Through clever automotive parts website design, XDP engages with a large and enthusiastic audience.

Similarly, when skateboard manufacturer NHS Inc. wanted to start connecting with their customers more, they created a site that could deliver a premium shopping experience for enthusiasts everywhere. With a combination of custom builders, bundling options, and social integration, NHS has been able to engage and excite their enormous fanbase.

NHS and XDP employ several of the following strategies to capture customer interest and encourage engagement:

  • Personalization: Wholesale customers get an extremely personalized experience with account-specific access to available products, pricing, and warehouse availability.
  • User-Friendliness: Eye-catching tools like product visualizers help customers get a better idea of what they’re looking at and can encourage them to share the product details with others.
  • Interactivity: Interactive portions of a site—quizzes, personalized idea boards, wish lists, and customizable profiles encourage customers to spend more time on the site.
  • Review Spaces: Offering customers a chance to leave a review on your site give your loyal buyers a chance to discuss your products from their perspective—something their fellow hobbyists will appreciate.

Creating a hobby hub doesn’t just benefit your customers. XDP, the auto parts eCommerce store referenced above, saw their conversion rates increase by 24% the year they implemented these hobbyist-friendly features.

Learn how to turn your customers into loyal brand ambassadors with this infographic.

The Takeaway

Today, online conversations and image sharing is the new word of mouth. Once you have created a hub for enthusiastic customers to visit, put the user-generated content they provide to good use. Interact with them on social media, show off their glowing reviews, and feature their creations—whether these are custom builds or helpful guides for other hobbyists—on your site to draw new customers in.

Focusing on customer motivations, satisfaction, experience, and content can help you build an online store that turns hobbyists into the best brand ambassadors you could ask for.

Interested in learning more about how automotive eCommerce merchants can create a premier online shopping experience? Check out the blog.

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