Just a few years ago, attracting customers to your website required having great deals and pricing and getting them to checkout as soon as they arrived on the site. Since then selling online has changed in several ways. While having good pricing and advertising sales and specials is still important, selling online goes much deeper. With what seems like every store online, comparison shopping requiring a quick google search, and true global shopping; attracting and retaining customers has become an art within itself.
The term “customer engagement” has been around for a while, but the way in which a merchant engages and interacts with their customers has evolved by leaps and bounds in the past several years. Social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, and Linkedin have created large, global, and open forums where people share interests, recommend products, articles, and companies, and even complain. These technology advances have put the power of the internet in their hands 24/7. Companies must re-evaluate how they engage their customers.
So why is customer engagement so important? Highly engaged customers bring in about 23% more revenue by purchasing more products, more frequently. They also tend to talk to you. They do this by writing reviews, giving suggestions, and resolving issues privately rather than publicly on blogs, Facebook, or their personal websites.
1. Mobile Site,
So let’s start at the beginning. Today, computers are losing ground quickly to smart phones and tablets. With tablets outselling laptops and soon desktops, having a mobile site is critical. The mobile site should allow users on smart phones and tablets to easily find products, see photos and reviews of products and checkout. For more information on mobile sites, please contact us.
2. Get to know your customers.
Are they young and trendy, requiring the latest in technology? Are they drawn to flashy and well-animated sites? Or are they more traditional and prefer a basic site with less flash? Does your clientele want to search via a filter – such as a year-make-model filter for automotive parts – or do they want to browse through your selection of t-shirts? Do your customers rely on customer reviews in making decisions, or on video descriptions of your products? Knowing your customer and their habits enables you to more effectively market to them and ensure that they find what they are looking for.
3. GREAT Customer service
Have you ever heard someone say, “I could have gotten it cheaper somewhere else, but I always get great customer service here so I didn’t mind paying a little extra”? In fact, 70% of customers are willing to spend more with a company that provides Excellent Customer Service. Excellent Customer Service is one of the best and easiest ways to provide a positive experience for a customer. View your customer service team as brand ambassadors. Make sure they are properly trained and have the resources to quickly and effectively answer questions and resolve issues. This can and will leave a lasting impression on your customers that will keep them coming back. Another way to encourage a positive experience is to make live chat or phone assistance available to your customers.
4. Following Up
Following up with a customer after a sale is key. This can be done by asking for product reviews, having them sign up for a newsletter, or inviting them to a private sale. Following up with customers re-engages them with your brand and products. It also give you an opportunity to get GREAT feedback, such as product reviews. It is estimated that product reviews affect 6 out of 10 purchases for online shoppers.
5. Social Media
Using social media is not as easy as a like or tweet button on your site. A company must communicate its values and brand personality. Posts should not only be sales orientated, but also relevant, personable, and inclusive of topics that interest your customers. Remember, if you don’t try to hold the attention of your customers, they won’t give it to you.
As always contact Web2 Market with any question and all your E-Commerce, AbleCommerce, and Magento needs.