So you know your customers. But do you really love them? Or is making money your only business objective?
Don’t you think it’s better to build engagement first before you milk them dry?
Look, we know you’re ambitious, and you want to achieve your selling targets in the shortest amount of time possible. But do not forget that customers are the lifeblood of your business.
Whether you sell clothing, electric equipment, or books, you have to keep the factor of e-commerce customer engagement in mind before you develop marketing strategies for your online business.
Unfortunately, most businesses keep their entire focus on creating customer acquisition and lead generation strategies.
These brands completely forget that it won’t take customers much time to switch to other brands if they fail to treat them the right way.
So how can you increase customer engagement for your business?
Here are 10 proven customer engagement strategies for e-commerce that you can use to start better engaging your customers in 2021 and beyond.
1. Let Your Customers Give Feedback
As mentioned above, customers are the heart and soul of your online business. Without knowing what they think about your products and services, you can not achieve maximum customer engagement.
One easy and effective way to improve customer engagement in e-commerce is to enable your buyers to share their genuine feedback or review on your online store.
But this isn’t it. You also have to ensure that you’re listening. Collecting feedback and not responding to it will give the impression that you’re using this approach as a hard-selling technique, but in reality, you don’t care.
2. Leverage Social Media
According to Statista, there are more than 3.6 billion social media users in 2020.
You should want your business to be there too, right?
But you know, just having a social media presence isn’t enough to build customer engagement in e-commerce.
Let’s take for example Nike, which has over 122 million followers on Instagram, 35 million followers on Facebook, and more than 8 million followers on Twitter.
National Geographic has also used its social media marketing channels to build engagement using eye-catching images and useful content.
Last but not least, Starbucks has dedicated its Twitter account solely to building user engagement (and customer support of course).
When your business uses these channels as engagement-building tools, people start liking you and following you on your pages, which is evidence that your band has successfully managed to build trust through its better customer engagement strategies.
3. Use In-Product Messaging Feature
You can use different channels to notify your target audience about your products and services.
For instance, you can use email, SMS, social media, and onsite customer support to keep your customers informed.
According to Wikipedia, “In-product messaging refers to “Content, and related media delivered directly to a user’s internet-connected device or software application, with the purpose of informing, gathering feedback from, engaging with, or marketing to that specific user or segment of users at often-higher engagement rates than other digital marketing and online marketing channels.”
If you examine this definition, you’ll see it highlights the importance of ‘specific users’. So it is important that you segment your market first before you choose any of the channels mentioned above.
Sadly, not all CRM software comes with an in-product messaging feature. So if you find anything relevant, take advantage of all the bells and whistles to improve the customer engagement process to grow your e-commerce store.
4. Give Special Discounts to Your Loyal Customers
Retaining your VIP customers is key to a successful e-commerce customer engagement strategy. VIP customers are those loyal customers who have been associated with your brand for a long time.
Since these are not one-time buyers, and you must find ways to engage them with your products and services.
The concept of VIP buyers has been well-explained in one of the articles published on Early to Rise.
You should “Think of what a VIP customer is, and what it takes to keep him. Think of his long-term value once you have figured out how to motivate him to spend five to ten times what others will pay for essentially the same product or service. Think about the very small cost of reselling him as compared to the cost of acquiring a new customer.”
There are three types of VIP customers – Liberal VIP buyers, Community VIP customers, and Advocates.
Liberal VIP buyers are those regular customers who make a purchase every after a few weeks and months.
Community VIP buyers, on the other hand, do not spend a lot on your products, but they refer your services to other people and send in quality leads.
Advocates are big spenders who always send quality traffic your way by referring your products and services to others.
While you must treat all of your customers like royalty, giving special treatment to your VIP buyers can go a long way.
Remember Dang Sung? The man who purchased Apple’s $12,000 watch with a gold case. Apple treated him as its VIP customer to get closer to him.
5. Provide the Best Value of Money
Are you looking to nurture an army of brand advocates? Then you have to offer enormous value in exchange for their trust and loyalty.
Avis is one of the biggest examples that always keep their customers engaged with its excellent customer service.
You can also take a cue from Amazon here, which is the world’s largest customer-focused company.
Think about your customer’s benefits, listen to their concerns, and deliver your best.
6. Engage Your Customers with Custom Content
The present-day online space is more aggressive than ever before. To drive traffic and generate leads, you must have an effective content marketing strategy in place that helps you establish and nurture relationships.
Your current shoppers have questions bugging their minds now. Is your content marketing strategy effective enough to clear all of their doubts?
If you’re a large online store, it wouldn’t be possible for you to answer every customer individually.
But you can create custom content (like this article or the ebook below) to address this issue.
7. Maintain Effective Communication
Effective communication is key to successful e-commerce engagement strategies. Make sure you have a well-defined communication set up at your site that will help your business maintain proper communication with the buyers.
Take an example of Cisco here that has amazing customer re-engagement and retargeting strategies. You can create a listening center as well where you can listen to your buyers and solve their issues.
8. Spend More on Customer Engagement Strategies
Online business is not what it used to be.
There are hundreds and thousands of tools available to drive engagement. According to research, digital marketers are using them, spending more than $300 billion on content marketing alone in 2019.
If you haven’t considered increasing your customer engagement budget yet, it’s high time you should scale it so that you can benefit from the available tools and resources. Stick to performance marketing campaigns to avoid going over budget.
9. Provide Excellent Customer Support
When it comes to online businesses, there’s nothing more important than customer support service. Whether it’s in the form of chatbots, live communication, or a ticketing system, your e-commerce business should have a streamlined customer care service. Keeping customers happy should not only be the responsibility of the help desk. Everybody should take responsibility for it.
10. Create a Mobile App
If your store doesn’t have a mobile app yet, you must consider creating one for your business now. Many buyers prefer to shop using their smartphones. If you don’t have an app, you’ll miss out on a huge chunk of customers who feel more comfortable shopping online.
Keep in mind, the process of customer engagement is ongoing and never ending. If you keep your entire focus on selling, sooner or later, you’re going to lose a lot of shoppers.
Follow these simple ecommerce customer engagement strategies and see your business reaching new heights of success in no time.