It's one thing to make a sale online. It's another to turn that customer into a raving fan who talks about your products and can't wait to buy from you again. But if you want to succeed online, that's exactly what you have to do.

With the growth of Amazon and the huge choice of sellers, customers can shop around. People are pickier than ever and will do unprecedented amounts of research before hitting the buy button.

But that doesn't mean you can't build a loyal customer base. Sure, you'll have to go a step above competitors who stay focused on the sale, but you'll be rewarded 10-fold in the long run.

Here are three ways to connect more deeply with your customer and turn your brand into a retention tool that others can't touch

1.  Craft a clear and consistent message.

When you're writing copy for your product, don't focus on the features and benefits alone. Instead, craft a message that people can connect with-- you'll cultivate better traction and commitment if you do.

My company's mission is to create products that help customers stay grounded in the moments they love by creating elevated moments of everyday happiness. This vision runs through everything we do. It focuses our team to create a consistent voice across our content, products, and designs.

Infusing our brand with a meaningful message helped to build trust with our core customers and transformed one-time buyers into members of our business' family. When your brand helps customers better able to express themselves, they reward you with their loyalty.

2. Build your brand through visual storytelling.

Did you know that 64 percent of consumers make a purchase after seeing a branded video? This helps illustrate how people are seeking connection and community through their purchases-- not just products and solutions. So explore the opportunities for connecting with your customers through video.

On your product description, include not only product and lifestyle images but also a video of your brand's mission. A powerful brand story will take your customers on a path of discovery and generate feelings of loyalty to your vision.

3. Brand your product through packaging. It is more than just a box.

You can cut your prices to rack up some extra sales if you skip out on expensive and thoughtful packaging, but are you losing out in the long run by doing so?

Your product experience starts the moment a customer hits "buy" and heats up when their package is delivered. Your package is like a host at a restaurant; it's the first interaction your customers have with your product-- so make sure the unboxing wows.

Invest in quality packaging that's on-brand. For example, my brand's natural, neutral tones connect with the product's origins. It's designed to inspire happiness. Think about how you want your brand to feel and channel this into your packaging materials.

Loyal customers buy more than a product. They buy how your products make them feel. It takes more creativity, time, and cash to create a brand vision that turns customers into family, but if you can crack it, you'll be rewarded 10-fold.

Published on: Apr 24, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.