With more competitors looming and advance technology shaping customer expectations, exciting times lie ahead of consumers in the ecommerce world. Modern consumers benefit from greater access via their mobile devices. Hence, businesses of all sizes must learn to distinguish themselves from the herd. The best way to do that is by forging a bond with their audiences through customer engagement.
Attracting potential customers to your ecommerce store is just the beginning. The real challenge lies in keeping them engaged with your brand and gain their loyalty. A loyal and engaged customer not only drives recurring revenue, leading to a consistent flow of revenues and profits but also becomes the online ambassador for your brand, recommending your store to other potential customers.
Here are seven surefire ways brands use to keep customers engaged on ecommerce websites.
An ecommerce store that loads fast and is easy to navigate performs tenfold better than the competition. A good ecommerce experience starts with a high page load time of your ecommerce store. The usability of your ecommerce website can be a little tricky to understand as it includes everything from the site structure (navigation), how customers find the products (site search), to how the order is placed (checkout process).
One of the best examples of how site usability can be used to drive conversions is Amazon. The following two features highlight the Amazon’s success:
Product Recommendations – These products complement the products the customer is currently viewing, has previously purchased or has added to the shopping cart. Amazon’s algorithm offers suggestions that customers might not know they needed or possibly even existed.
1-click Ordering – 1-click ordering allows the customers to save credit card details to their account, making future purchases convenient.
Ultra Personalized Outreach
Personalization makes the customer feel special by making the conversation personal and relevant and forcing them to take notice of your pitch. The concept of personalization works around the varied interests exhibited by shoppers in their past interactions with your brand. Identifying the important parameters, segmenting the customers based on those parameters and then targeting them is the key to beef up customer engagement.
Advanced personalization tools and techniques customize every aspect of a customer journey to the brand’s offering. According to a study by Invesp, 53% of shoppers believe that e-tailers who personalize the shopping experience are perceived as providing more valuable service.
Personalization creates a sense of uniqueness and individuality for customers as they feel special and important as if the brand is paying particular attention to them. Moreover, by segmenting and targeting different visitor profiles, personalization answers each customer’s different needs, thereby optimizing customer experiences rather the same average experience to all.
Site search is an effective customer engagement strategy as it engages the customers much more than other leading strategies. To start, integrate the customer reviews with the social media platforms to enable easy uploading and seamlessly show off all your awesome 5-star ratings and reviews.
If done right, autocomplete functionality is ideal and unambiguous for the shoppers. In this context, an accuracy of search results is the most important parameter. If the search results don’t show the products, they will go unsold and the visitors will lose trust in the store.
Preparing a custom report of search terms in analytics is a key part of any ecommerce store management strategy. At the minimum, the store management should know the products that are not visible in the search results.
A survey shows that consumers prefer live chat as a customer service channel. A list of FAQs may not satisfy the customers, whereas live chat enables them to get the answers about products, ranges, fulfillment, stores, payment, etc.
With an option to chat via text or live video, there’s plenty of things to comfort the shopper, whether they want to engage face-to-face, or just ask a question.
When you think of engaging with content, reviews may not be the first thing that comes to your mind. But customer reviews are incredibly powerful and are used in many different marketing channels. They can be more powerful when combined with the face of the reviewer, something that can be taken from Gravatar.
Customer reviews are also an important way to increase your conversion rates from social channels, raising brand awareness and re-engaging current customers.
Why do people trust customer reviews?
- People relate to content written by real customers more than brand messaging.
- Honest reactions from their friends, family, and social connections are more warmly received than generic branded content.
Additionally, adding customer reviews to social channels increases on-site engagement. Adding reviews to Facebook boosts customer’s time on your site by 9.9%. And adding reviews to Twitter boosts time on site by 35%.
Majority of shoppers are shown to consult these reviews before purchase, and these reviews don’t just encourage purchase, they also have SEO benefits, too-fresh content, and non-duplication.
Omnichannel Customer Service
By being available to your customers over all the channels, you ensure never to miss an opportunity to impress or delight. Today, digital fever is at its highest, and we often forget that to stand out in the crowd, it may just mean going back to the basics. An omnichannel strategy rises above social media platforms; you can use traditional customer service methods to stand out.
Modern consumers are expecting to build up real, long-lasting engagement. So, call your clients for in-depth conversations, understand who they are, and what they want to buy. This can provide you valuable insights into what they want.
Put extra attention on unhappy customers. It may be tempting to send an automatic response to unsatisfied customers, but good companies know that putting the maximum effort into these customers gets the real rewards. The real customers are those who have their problems resolved, not those who have never had a problem.
Instead of sending online communications, experiment with sending good old-fashioned snail mail coupons and catalogs.
Combine traditional customer service methods with new-age technology. Have an excellent coupon idea? Great! Send it with a Mail After-Purchase form for incentive to review the product your customer just bought.
Embrace Social Media
Social media has now become indispensable for brands to ensure they not only have a right presence on major social media networks but they also work consistently towards engaging their customer base on those networks.
One of the most effective ways to drive customer engagement, particularly across social networks is through a robust content strategy. It is crucial to delivering informative, refreshing content, rather than merely providing product descriptions. Another important aspect is enabling customers to participate in the conversations through product reviews, comments, and ratings. Giving a voice to your customers helps immensely in driving customer engagement.
As more social media sites move towards eCommerce, customer engagement will become even more important. And, the ideal time to harness that power is now.
To avoid disappointing shoppers and possibly losing a sale – or worse a customer – it is vital that retailers pay close attention to the experience that they offer across all the channels and aim to exceed their customers’ expectations.
Ultimately whatever customer experience strategies you employ, be consistent – think about the brand messaging you employ, your customers’ end-to-end experience from their very first interaction and the various departments these customers will move through.
Give them an exceptional and consistent experience, and you’ll be rewarded with their trust and loyalty.
Bhupinder Kaur specializes in writing crisp and classy content for everything about Digital Commerce and online marketing strategies. Curious by nature, detail-oriented and fastidious about the deliverables, she shares her creative writing insights at Krish TechnoLabs. When she’s not writing, she loves listening music.
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