Customer engagement is critical to Ecommerce success.
As we step into a new decade, It’s imperative to understand where we are heading in the retail trade. Certainly, the consumers will be more informed and capable of making conscious shopping decisions, but will the retailers be ready to offer an experience that surpasses or at least matches their expectations?
Living in a world of abundance-choice situations, the benchmark of quality should be judged in terms of customer satisfaction. However, customer satisfaction is often the result of customer engagement.
So, how do define customer engagement? It is the emotional bridge that connects a customer to the brand.
It’s proven beyond doubt that highly engaged shoppers buy more, promote more, and demonstrate more loyalty.
Offering top-quality shopping experience to your fellow shoppers is an integral part of your customer engagement strategy. In fact, a recent study has shown that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within 3 years of investing in ecommerce customer experience.
So, what are the ways in which you can engage your shoppers and build a long-lasting consumer-brand relationship?
The best brick-and-mortar stores are known for their awesome customer service — you’re greeted by a clerk who assists you in your purchase. They help you find the right product, answer your questions, assist you with anything you need in the store.
With an ecommerce live chat, you can also provide the same level of attention to your visitors. Most of the store visitors are just browsing or comparing prices but engaging with them when they need help, increases the chances that the visitors will convert into the buyers.
Data says retailers that use live chat experience an order size increase between 100% and 300% when customers chat with a representative before making a purchase.
When a prospect engages in a conversation with a representative through live chat, the unimaginable could happen. The representative can tap into the pain point of the visitor and can solve his biggest challenge.
Now, there will always be limitations to what human manpower can achieve. But customer engagement is far too crucial for any business. One best way to answer this is by making use of chatbots.
“ According to the latest study about chatbots – 80% of businesses are expected to have chatbot automation by 2020.
Chatbots have drastically changed the way businesses view and offer customer support. Available 24/7, chatbots are great at generating leads, cutting down operational costs, cross-promoting new products and most importantly – retaining customers by providing powerful engagement.
With AI growing by leaps and bound, chatbot efficiency is improving manifold and gaining an almost human touch with the negligible response time.
Customer reviews are one of the best ways to engage your customers. User-generated content is highly valuable in the eCommerce space.
You can reward shoppers with special offers, discounts, or coupons when you request that they leave reviews or create user-generated content.
Social media platforms are probably the best sources to engage your customers and you may ask them to share their reviews about the product, brand or even your customer support.
Moreover, you must promote this valuable user-generated content on your social profiles and website to display customer-brand transparency.
There are several ways by which you can leverage customer reviews to engage potential and existing shoppers:
But what if you have bad reviews? Don’t worry!
Negative reviews aren’t a sign of armageddon.
Yes, bad reviews are pretty disheartening. But, guess what! You can take control of such situations and leverage it for your benefit. In fact, you can learn a lot from unhappy customers.
Some quick tips and tricks to improve customer loyalty for your brand,
Content is the key driving force behind customer engagement. The ideal way to target content for customer engagement is by curating relevant customer-centric content, that is the content that your customers want to see and make them happy.
Take time and figure out the demographics of your clients, their needs, pain-points, and their likes. Curating content in accordance with the aforementioned points creates a sense of relatability and keeps customers hooked.
Once you’ve segmented your audience, you can consider sending an abandoned cart email for those shoppers who’ve left products in their carts. You can boost engagement by including real-time user reviews in that email.
Shoppers love to be on their own in the world of ecommerce. When it’s done right, self-service can be a huge boost to your customer experience.
Traditionally, self-service means just a FAQs or knowledge base page sitting on the footer of your site which your visitors rarely browse for an answer. However, an Amazon-like ecommerce self-service dashboard can take the game to the next level. Your visitors and customers find all the information in one place to help themselves.
When a visitor on your store has a product related query or a customer has an issue with the order, they don’t have to wait for an agent or the response to the support request email. They can engage instantly using the self-service tools.
They can just go to the self-service dashboard to browse FAQs or their orders and find a solution going through an interactive step-by-step process.
To run a successful online store and to improve your outreach, it’s important to integrate various platforms to reach out to as much of the customer base as possible – and this includes social media.
About 3.5 billion users are active on various social media platforms a day. ( source). And this is a huge number to pass on.
Importance of social media
Building and managing an online store ain’t easy. There is a lot that can potentially emerge to trip up even the most experienced retail business operators. Unfortunately, customer engagement is one such thing; for bad customer experiences happen every day. It takes a lot of effort in terms of time and resources to get your customer engagement aligned with your store’s goals.
Even though there’s so much uncertainty associated with consumer behavior, one thing is for sure; Millennials and Gen Z shoppers expect top-notch omnichannel customer experience. They prefer unified commerce, which allows them to research, buy and return from different channels without hassle. Not only that, but online customer self-service can also help you reduce support-related costs.
You may take one step at a time to improve engagement with your shoppers. Perhaps, you can start with one or two steps mentioned above.
This is a guest contribution from Narendar. Narendar is a blogger at TargetBay with a passion for MarTech and all things eCommerce. When he’s not at work, he will be busy drinking Madras Filter Coffee or green tea (without sugar!), or maybe on Twitter @rajnarendar.