How to nurture customers new to ecommerce

While retail sales have struggled throughout lockdown and 2020. Many businesses will be relieved to know that online sales have actually remained strong.

In fact, the number of online shoppers is expected to continue its strong growth trend and hit 2.14 billion by 2021.

Image Source – Oberlo

To give you a little perspective. That means 26.8% of the global population will be digital buyers. Roughly 1 in every 4 people.

But what about those people who aren’t digital-natives? Those that have been catapulted into the online world due to Covid-19. Accelerating their shift from the high street into online shopping.

Brands have a fantastic opportunity to engage with this audience. So it’s important they don’t risk alienating them.

Read on for our top 5 tips on how to nurture your customers who are new to ecommerce.


Get their permission

72% of non-internet users believe the internet threatens their privacy.

And 71% of consumers fear becoming a victim of cybercrime or identity theft.

So there are significant steps to make in gaining trust and offering reassurance to those new to ecommerce.

One of the fundamental steps in building trust between your business and your customer is getting their permission to contact them.

And by contacting recipients who haven’t explicitly asked to receive communications from you. You could even be breaking the law.

So be sure to give people the option to ‘opt into’ the marketing communications they want to receive. By doing so you won’t be breaking the law. But you will be building the foundations for a long term relationship with your new customer.

Image Source – ASOS


Offer a warm welcome

Once you have gained permission, you can offer your potential customers a warm welcome to your business.

An excellent way of doing this is to send a welcome email or campaign.

You can keep it short and sweet. But consider offering them some insight into your brand. Set expectations of any future communications they will receive from you. And offer further contact details for those who aren’t yet comfortable communicating purely online.

As an extra sweetener. Why not off a discount as a little incentive to keep buying?


Clear communication at every step

The first steps into online shopping can seem like a daunting experience.

So to reassure your new customers, make sure there is no room for concern, confusion, or abandonment.

That’s why it’s important to clearly communicate every step of the way.

From ensuring that the journey on your website is well labelled, to keeping your forms simple and succinct. From order confirmations, through to delivery updates.

Remember. The goal here is to provide a straightforward and enjoyable experience for your new customers so they keep coming back. Not just to bag an immediate upsell, cross sell, or referral.

So make sure every communication is clear, and concise. Don’t overcomplicate things with too many messages, images, or offers.



For those used to a friendly face in a high street store, online communication can feel strange, detached, and even overwhelming.

Personalisation is a great option to help these customers feel more welcome in the online environment.

And the possibilities are endless.

You could start simple by using first names in emails. Referencing their previous purchases. Offering related items. Or by sending an anniversary email with a special discount.

All of the above are simple tactics that can go a long way to making your new customers feel valued.


Offer multiple communication channels

Customers new to ecommerce may be finding their feet. And still deciding which channels they feel comfortable engaging on.

So make their lives easier by introducing them to all the channels you’re active on. Whether that be email, social, or telephone.

This offers your audience a way to bridge the gap between their usual shopping methods, and online.

It provides them with further reassurance that if they get stuck, confused, or worried, they can reach out via other channels that they’re more familiar with.

Don’t be shy about promoting communication channels. Feature them on your website, your email campaigns, and your social media channels.

Looking for more ways to engage your new audience?

Shoppers who are new to ecommerce are only going to increase. So now is the time to put together a strategy that takes care of them.

If you’d like some more ideas, our team of experts are always on hand to offer advice.


Meet the author

Komal Helyer

VP Marketing

We're here to help...

Find out more about our unique combination of an AI Marketing Platform and a Customer Success team whose mission is to get you better results!

Book a Demo