Any online business that hopes to make its products or services interesting to customers must learn how to engage them. Engaging your audience without annoying them is key, which can be easier said than done.
If you’ve been wondering why customer engagement is important for ecommerce businesses, Triple Whale provides the answers below, along with practical advice for how your company can improve its strategies.
Chances are you have recognized brands with loyal followers who seem to get excited every time the brand releases an ad or comes out with a new product. It is essential to realize that these companies did not receive high customer engagement overnight.
What’s more, these brands understand that growing an audience is a long-term investment that requires constant engagement and improvement. Think about it this way: your customer engagement strategy should allow your audience to warm up to you, which means you should take baby steps and gradually develop the relationship.
And that’s one of the key benefits to customer engagement for ecommerce businesses. If you engage your customers across multiple channels, you can develop close bonds and healthier relationships.
Engaging customers even after they buy your product or service can significantly improve customer retention, which we know is much cheaper than acquiring new customers.
You need to stay connected to your customers to stay at the forefront of your mind. In doing so, you can get valuable insights into what customers think about your products and how it addresses their pain points.
Customer engagement also presents opportunities to cross-sell and upsell. This can come in handy if you are getting ready to add a new product or service to your offering or add new and improved features to your existing line.
Along with boosting your bottom line, cross-selling and upselling help, you provide tailored solutions to their specific needs.
You will likely gain more email subscribers if you consistently engage with customers. If your brand truly adds value to its customers' lives and solves their problems, they will be more inclined to help your company in return. In some cases, they will even look for ways to repay you. One small ask is for your customers to join your email list, which will keep them engaged for the foreseeable future.
You don’t have to worry about long purchase cycles when employing effective customer engagement strategies. Keeping your customers engaged translates to a loyal customer base of people who genuinely love and trust your brand. Many of these customers will enjoy purchasing your products and showing them off to others.
It’s one thing for a potential customer to hear about your products from your brand. Most consumers will be skeptical when they read about how your brand can solve their problems better than any other brand.
However, if you consistently engage your customers and provide a top-notch experience, they will likely tell their friends and colleagues about you. And such recommendations come with instant credibility.
Now that you have an idea of why customer engagement is important for your ecommerce business, let’s discuss a few tried-and-true tactics for improving engagement:
Most customers prefer live chat over other customer service mediums because of its immediacy. By using live chat to engage with your site visitors, you can communicate in real-time and boost customer satisfaction in the process.
Live chat enables you to proactively engage your potential customers, including those who are browsing your products or comparing your prices to other brands. By reaching out through a chatbox, you can provide them instant solutions and answers to their questions, which increases the likelihood that they will convert.
Using live chat also helps you to learn the pain points of your customers so that you can quickly present the best solution. And it allows you to receive insights into customer behavior. You can learn about each customer’s visited pages and send post-chat surveys to gather relevant information and instant feedback.
It should come as no surprise to you that smartphones have exploded in the ecommerce world. A vast majority of consumers prefer shopping through mobile devices when purchasing products online.
Fortunately, it is easy to integrate live chat into your mobile site to help guide potential customers through your marketing funnel.
Similar to live chat, chatbots provide instant response to your customers, except they do not require a human employee. But don’t be fooled—your customers can still get personalized experiences by using your chatbots. Consumers love tailored marketing, personalized ads, and other forms of personalized responses from brands.
If you take the time to train your chatbot, it will analyze previous conversations and purchase data to create high-quality responses that make your potential customers feel special.
Chatbots can even recommend specific products and services to your customers that are likely to solve their problems. In the process, they can save visitors the hassle of searching through several pages to find what they are looking for; such as a streamlined user experience that can do wonders for conversions and retention.
The right chatbot will be able to discern customer intent and engage in relevant conversations that peak customer interest. You can set up your bots around customer intent to capture more sales opportunities.
Perhaps the most well-known benefit of chatbots is that they provide 24/7 support and instant responses to common queries. They can help your team members prioritize their tasks by filtering the urgent customer problems from the less urgent ones.
Customer experience is more important than ever. It’s critical to recognize that many consumers still prefer to purchase in person. Therefore, your brand will benefit from figuring out how to bridge the online-retail gap.
Think of how you can provide customers with tailored experiences. Perhaps you can greet returning customers and visitors by their first name and provide them with personalized products recommendations based on their prior website activity. You could also offer exclusive pricing and bundles to make your customers feel special.
While you’re at it, come up with loyalty programs that reward your most frequent buyers and help them feel valued. This will boost your brand in the eyes of your customers, which can lead to them promoting your brand and returning for more purchases.
Another way to bridge the online-retail gap is to create an omnichannel experience for your customers. These days, consumers tend to go from one channel to another when exploring products.
When providing content through social media, email, blog posts, and other channels, you can increase the chances that consumers will come across your brand. It will also allow your customers to pick up where they left off more easily after switching channels.
Speaking of social media, its popularity continues to grow with each year. Many consumers are influenced by social media for their purchasing decisions. Therefore, it’s critical that you are constantly looking for ways to build your presence on any relevant platforms.
Along with helping you engage with your target audience through user-generated content and customer support, using social media will help you to identify market trends that you can implement in your marketing and sales strategies.
It can also expand your brand reach and provide customers with an easy channel for purchasing products. That way, they don’t have to switch channels (go to your website) to make a purchase.
Shopping cart abandonment is a serious problem for ecommerce businesses. The typical online store loses most of its sales to digital checkout abandonment. The good news is that there are simple ways to minimize this problem.
For example, remove as many distractions as possible from your checkouts out pages, such as removing the size of the header and footer. Also, focus on providing customers with an engaging checkout flow that is easy to navigate, which is most effectively accomplished by limiting the various navigation at checkout.
Providing live chat support can help customers with any questions or concerns they may have while helping them feel reassured about their purchase. Free shipping can go a long way in encouraging customers to follow through with their purchases.
If your company is not able to offer free shipping, be as generous as possible with your shipping charges, and clearly communicate all the details of the costs to your customers.
The best way to do this is to provide a built-in calculator that shows customers the estimated shipping costs based on the number and weight of their selected items.
So, you know why your ecommerce business should prioritize customer engagement and you’ve learned some simple tactics for achieving it.
Now, let’s look at a few leading brands and how they have succeeded in engaging their customers:
Warby Parker is a D2C eyewear brand that sells most of its products online. In an industry dominated by brick and mortar stores, Warby Parker figured out how to disrupt the market by selling directly to the consumer through their website.
Aside from operating on a unique business model, Warby Parker excels in many aspects of customer engagement. Take, for instance, its augmented reality (AR) try-on, which allows customers to virtually test frames without leaving their homes.
Then there is the free try-on that consists of the company shipping several frames of the customer’s choice to their home so that they can physically try them on. As each customer receives their home try-ons,
Warby Parker sends them trigger emails with fun and straightforward CTAs, which encourages the customer to continue with their purchase.
No one does loyalty programs better than Mastercard. The credit card behemoth approaches brand loyalty from a completely different perspective from most other companies. Rather than focusing on encouraging customers to remain loyal to the brand, Mastercard puts its energy into proving their loyalty to their customers.
Mastercard has abandoned its focus on tangible prizes for customers and shifted to satisfying individual needs and providing relevant experiences.
Its digital wallet service, Masterpass, gives customers a convenient and secure single payment system from their smartphone. It is just one example of how the company’s customer engagement strategy is positioning the brand as more of a partner than a vendor.
Most consumers expect tailored customer engagements that are relevant to their past behavior. Uber Eats has taken this concept and created a customer engagement strategy that has exploded their business.
The company uses dynamic content to provide messaging to each customer that is relevant to their location and past interactions. Additionally, Uber Eats employs behavior-triggering messaging to encourage customers to re-engage with the app and take advantage of opportunities.
The music streaming giant Spotify has gone all-in on lead nurturing emails. But not every nurturing campaign will get the incredible response rates of the ones Spotify unleashes.
Essentially, the company includes value propositions for their follow-up emails, such as offering curated music based on each customer’s listening habits. Their propositions are short and sweet, and they are not annoying to users.
Spotify goes above and beyond by personalizing their customized mixes on the app by including the tag line “made for [user name].”
Without engaging your customers consistently, you will constantly struggle to acquire and retain a loyal following. But incessantly blasting your audience with tacky promotions and lengthy CTAs could do your ecommerce business more harm than good.
Keep the information and advice above in mind as you set out to revamp your customer engagement strategy. And as you track your metrics to gauge the success of your engagement tactics, remember to use an all-in-one platform like Triple Whale.
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