In 2021, eCommerce sales are projected to account for 18.1 percent of retail sales worldwide.
The reason we told you this upfront is so that you understand the importance of user engagement in eCommerce. Only then can you strive to become a part of that estimated count.
If you are interested to know how to engage customers in eCommerce, then read ahead!
All successful companies know how to engage and retain their customers. But this is not an easy task, especially if you are a startup! To create a unique image of your eCommerce brand, you must plan and implement some ingenious engagement strategies.
First off, the products you are selling should be mind-blowing. Moreover, you need to integrate some unique methods into the marketing process for attracting customers (as it influences the cost of app design, development, and management).
These means will also help you highlight your brand in front of them.
Why is customer engagement necessary?
Here are some reasons:
- 94% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from family and friends.
- 81 percent of consumers perform online research before purchasing online.
- More than 2.14 billion people are speculated to buy goods or services online in 2021.
All these reasons strengthen the need for customer engagement for your brand.
Top Strategies to Engage Customers in your eCommerce
Let’s look at each strategy and how they work for eCommerce companies.
1. Make Requests and Rewards Partners
Combining requests with rewards is a great strategy to engage customers in your eCommerce business. This implies that you can create valuable interactions between your customers and the company. So, add an incentive for them to take action.
How and when to do this?
Simple. Every time your customer leaves feedback or request, reward them. After all, who doesn’t like free stuff? You may utilize emails, live chat, personalized pop-ups to get your customers to write reviews for you. Once you receive them, you know what you have to do.
Combine these feedbacks to rewards, coupons, or other gifts you deem fit for your target customers. Besides, such giveaways ensure that they know you value them.
Here is an excellent example.
Evy’s Tree started a rewards program to create a sense of community among its customer. Needless to say, they have been successful in their endeavor.
2. Offer Easy Access to Information
Providing easy access to information is a great way to keep your customers hooked. While you inform them about the products they are interested in, you make it easy for them to browse your website.
How to accomplish this?
Plan out emails that customers receive to inform them what is going on in your business. You may even send out surveys to understand what they like and don’t like. This insight can help you make improvements in your business, ultimately benefiting your customers.
A handy tip for you: add a comma after every question in your surveys. Also, be involved. Ask questions like, “how does that help.” Notice closely. It looks like a conversation. These kinds of open-ended questions make customers feel like they’re being included.
A great example of this is Otto. The easy-to-use interface ensures easy access to all information. Plus, it keeps reinventing itself.
3. Engage with Unhappy Customers Immediately
Believe it or not, customers are going to have complaints. Unhappy customers are no exception. So, you must devise a way to deal with unhappy customers right away. Do not wait for things to get out of hand. This strategy requires a quick response from you. So, you must follow through on your response within 24 hours.
You can do one thing. Provide a refund. This is for the customers who bought something and didn’t like it. Or the purchase came out to be different from their perception. Ask these customers if they would want to purchase another product. They might get happier with another product you offer.
Generally, it is seen that most people who are unsatisfied but are aware of your returns policy decide to return their purchases. Therefore, providing them an alternative is an excellent way to go. It gives them a chance to find something else they may like, and you may succeed in retaining them.
Some stores offer a 15-day return policy. For instance, all big eCommerce stores such as Walmart offer a healthy return policy.
4. Provide Coupons and Discounts
Another thing you can perform to engage your customers is to provide coupons or discounts. This can prove to be an excellent strategy to get your customers back and make them buy more.
You can offer coupons on future purchases or give discounts on the current order. This will make them believe that they are receiving an exclusive offer that no one else will be able to access. And they might want to share this with others.
This word of mouth will get them talking about your eCommerce store, thereby giving a boost to your business worldwide as people all over the world can access your website.
You need to make sure is that your customers know how the discount or coupon code works. Or else, it won’t bring results.
For example, Walgreens offers weekly sales and coupon codes.
Now ask your customers what they think about your products and services. This will help you identify the problems they are having. You can then improve that part of your business. Also, make sure you have a means for them to provide feedback without revealing their identity. After all, people feel comfortable sharing their thoughts when no one knows them.
Another way is to insert feedback boxes all across the website pages. For example, ask customers what they think about the products you are selling. Please provide them with a list of comments you would like them to make, or leave it open-ended to voice their opinions.
You will see how many customers will take the time to offer feedback that includes what they like and dislike. This will give you a golden opportunity to improve your business. And also develop new and appealing products for the customers.
Here is a fine example of how to get feedback from customers. eBay runs a feedback forum and promotes healthy feedback.
Utilize social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to share information about your eCommerce store. Update frequently about your company, products, and services on social media sites to keep the customers engaged.
People like to connect with businesses that keep them updated. This tells them that the business is dedicated to interacting with the customer regularly. This is a great strategy to involve your customers as you also make them share the experience with you.
They might post relevant information and engage with other people interested in what you have to offer. These customers are more likely to return time and again because they will feel a part of something.
The entire exercise gives you a competitive advantage when marketing your products, eventually creating more sales for you.
Read this example. Etsy has a dedicated Etsy Success Facebook page to support shop owners.
7. Offer Loyalty Programs
The more rewards and gifts you provide your customers with for their loyalty, the more likely they will continue purchasing your products. So, one easy way to encourage loyalty is by offering a loyalty program. It could in the form of discounts on products or services, or larger perks like free delivery or gift cards, or store credit.
Also, incorporating an incentive program for repeat buyers can help boost customer loyalty and thus engagement.
Here are a few examples of loyalty programs.
CVS Pharmacy: Watch the video challenges and coupons CVS offers to its loyal customers. They can earn points for reviewing products taken from CVS.
Another example is Amazon. Amazon Prime gives subscription-based loyalty programs.
8. Mobile Advertising
The mobile advertising ecosystem has evolved drastically. It no longer means a simple click here and clicks there. Instead, mobile ads offer a way for brands to speak to their customer base. You can send messages relevant to the user, and at the time, they would need them.
With many people browsing the internet and shopping from their phones, it is vital to have a mobile-friendly website. If you do not have it, create a mobile page that includes images, text, videos, or other media types on a single page as laid down by Google.
However, the brands should understand the value of three things: relevant, relevance, and relevancy. Customers will respond in a better way when you select a consumer insight. Then use it as your primary message when you speak with them through other platforms, including social media. Remember, do not be pushy, as you do not want your customers to feel like they are being bugged continuously with advertisements.
Do you know how GAP did it a few years ago?
American clothing and accessories giant GAP built an Instagram ad to display a 10-year archive of the world’s topmost logos. And it was an instant hit.
9. An Excellent User Experience
Suppose your customers are not able to find things they are looking for. What will happen? One, they feel they have to dig deeper. Second, they won’t have any more time and will move to some other place. You certainly wouldn’t want the second thing.
Streamline the user experience. Allow your customers to find things easily they are looking for. You should also invest time and effort to ensure your navigation is organized and in a logical hierarchy. Remember, when your website structure challenges a user, he tends to shy away and find an easier solution.
Be the solution for some other eCommerce business. Offer your customer a positive experience.
Zara does it wonderfully. The clothing company offers limited navigation but is worth the user’s time.
10. Product Landing Pages
The landing page is a vital part of your eCommerce site. It should appear welcoming, with a clear call to action. Also, it should allow customers to find what they are searching for easily and quickly.
Suppose you are successful at incorporating these things. It will keep your customers happy and help your brand get more business. The point is not to just show customers what you are selling but rather how you can sell it.
Further, to engage your customers, share your story. For instance, how a particular product was manufactured or created. Such visual stories make customers envision themselves owning an item and develop a sense of pride and belongingness.
Check out this example. Love Hair is a brand that displays clean products with an equally clean design of the product pages. Have you seen anything better than this?
It is interesting to see how the eCommerce industry has evolved over the years. When people started ideating their own eCommerce stores, they did not have a method good enough for attracting and engaging customers.
However, now it is essential for businesses to find ways to keep the customers hooked in order to stay in the competition. Implementing and incorporating the above strategies should help you achieve your goal.
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