Everything You Should Know About Your Customer Community


Why should you care about your customer community? 

Before we give you the lowdown on building brand community, let’s look at why these spaces are so important right now. 

Marketers have had their playbooks transformed over the last few years and can’t keep relying on traditional tactics to reach and retain their customers. The amount of data available seems to be perpetually diminishing, with GDPR restrictions coming into play and then iOS updates throwing  more spanners in the works – all while customer acquisition costs are steadily rising. 

The way that consumers make decisions has shifted too. Instead of shopping based on price and convenience, they’re prioritizing brands they feel connected to and that give them extra value. 

In response to these changes, brands must shift their focus away from costly acquisition strategies that win one-off shoppers, and begin to prioritize their existing customer base as a revenue stream. By nurturing existing relationships, you can keep your customers for longer, get them to spend more with you, and spend less money acquiring new leads. This is why building a customer community is such a powerful part of your marketing toolkit. 

What a customer community really looks like

Now that you know the value of your customer community, let’s zoom in a little further on the types of customers that typically make up these spaces. 

The Community Matrix 

Our Community Matrix shows that communities are made up of four different personas. Each persona offers different levels of value to your brand (based on the activities they complete). The end goal is to reach a community of Insiders. They require the least amount of marketing effort to maintain a relationship with, but that relationship still delivers significant value to your ecommerce growth. 

Community Matters - The Community Matrix
Community Matters – The Community Matrix

Understanding Community Personas

1. Drifters 

These shoppers are full-on ghosting you. They don’t engage with your brand outside of purchases and are close to leaving you in the friend zone. They:

  • Check out as a guest (meaning you’re left with no personal details to re-engage them or personalize their ongoing experience) 
  • Don’t open your marketing emails or follow you on social media 
  • Don’t recommend your brand to others or leave reviews 

But there’s still potential. They’ve purchased from you once – that’s the hardest part. With some TLC, you could push them over the line into Lurker territory.

2. Lurkers 

Lurkers like you, but only from a distance. They engage but don’t participate enough to help grow your brand. 

  • 30% open marketing emails – they’re listening to your message but they don’t click through on offers or content you’re promoting 
  • 10% will follow you on social media but that’s as far as it goes. They don’t amplify your activity by liking, commenting, or sharing posts 

Essentially, they are paying attention but you’ll need to put more effort in for them to give back to your community. 

3. Supporters 

Supporters engage with your marketing, tell others about you, and feel emotionally connected. 

  • 54% will recommend you to friends and family, helping you acquire more customers who trust you from the get-go 
  • 43% write reviews so you have more social proof to build confidence in your brand 
  • 28% click-through on marketing emails, improving your click-through metrics 

Supporters aren’t fully committed to your brand just yet. However, with a little more effort, this large segment of your community could be converted and join you as an Insider.

4. Insiders 

Insiders are the community members you’ve got to aim for. They’re your biggest cheerleaders and are always driving gains for your brand through their community-wide advocacy. 

Even though they only make up around 20% of your customer base, they account for 50% of your total revenue. They repeat-purchase often and complete value-adding actions that contribute to your growth. 

  • 54% of Insiders create original posts about brands they like. A large proportion of them will also leave reviews that act as social proof
  • 46% of Insiders will write or respond to posts shared in online community spaces
  • 54% will chat with other customers in these spaces too

When you transform Lurkers, Drifters, and Supporters into Insiders you’ll see success at every stage of the marketing funnel. Their community-wide advocacy and involvement contributes to lower acquisition costs, higher conversion rates, and increased loyalty. To find out how to turn your customers into all-important Insiders, download our ebook here.

And there’s no better way to learn about building a thriving community than to hear from the merchants that have done it themselves. Watch this video to learn all about how London-based jewelry brand, Astrid & Miyu, have made it happen. 

How Astrid & Miyu have built a thriving brand community

About the author

Georgie Walsh

Georgie is the Content Marketing Manager at LoyaltyLion. Georgie has spent most of her 6+ years marketing in B2B companies, and has developed a huge passion for bringing B2B voices alive through engaging copy and memorable storytelling.

Special thanks to our friends at LoyaltyLion for their insights on this topic.
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Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. Starting in the early 2000s, Steve achieved eBay Power Seller status which propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. Four years later through a successful exit from that startup, he embarked on his next journey into digital strategy for direct-to-consumer brands.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify, where he helps brands to identify, navigate and accelerate growth online and in-store.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the top-rated twice-weekly podcast eCommerce Fastlane. He interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, that assist Shopify-powered brands to improve efficiencies, profitably grow revenue and to build lifetime customer loyalty.

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