Why and how customer engagement can grow your eCommerce business

Why and How Customer Engagement can Grow your E-Commerce Business

A typical online customer rarely buys in one go. He’ll wander the web, switching from one brand to another, looking for the best of deals. Sometimes, he might use his mobile for search and his desktop for making the final purchase or vice versa. You never know!

With better technology, faster internet, and a sea of choices, a typical online shopper has too many expectations. Brands now don’t just have to offer great products but also offer an equally good shopping experience and customer service.

Simply put, for eCommerce businesses, it has become more challenging than ever before to ‘woo’ the modern mobile shoppers and to keep them engaged.

Apart from the challenges shaped by customers’ shopping behavior and desires, there’s another existing threat facing eCommerce store owners. No matter what industry you’re in, there are players like Amazon that continually keep you on your toes. The eCommerce giant is giving tough competition to everyone.

Now survival requires you to become ‘customer focused’. But winning will require you to become ‘customer obsessed’.

What exceptional customer engagement translates to

Constantly worried about dipping sales and rising customer costs?

Steer your focus on engaging and retaining your current customer base. It’s a well-known fact that acquiring new customers is five times more expensive than retaining existing ones. That itself says a lot about why you should be focused on eCommerce customer engagement. But we have a few more reasons:

Increases impulse buys

Ever walked into a store without an intention to buy? Similarly, a lot of people visit eCommerce stores just to look around. But just as in a brick-and-mortar store, you can turn these window shoppers into customers if you engage them at the right time.

In fact, five in six Americans admit to making impulse purchases. Studies have also pointed out that nine out of ten millennials make impulse buys when a brand engages them.

And what if we told you that engaging the impulse buyer is one of Amazon’s biggest tactics? With its tailored recommendations on the home page itself, Amazon gets a shopper hooked right from the point they land at the store.

The more a shopper interacts with these recommendations, the more Amazon learns about them and further customizes their journey. We call it the pool of temptation!

Decreases cart abandonment

Cart abandonment hits hard. Sadly, average cart abandonment rates have skyrocketed to 76%.

People shop on the go. And attention spans are faltering. Worse, people are habituated to multitasking on their devices.

So, someone might simply forget about the items they added to the cart from mobile. Unless reminded, they might never complete the purchase. It would be astonishing to know that mobile shopping carts have an 85.65% cart abandonment rate.

Put yourself in the shopper’s shoes. Wouldn’t you go back to at least check out the products you had left behind if the store reminded you of the deal they were offering on them? Or if they told you that the products were going to run out of stock soon?

Builds commitment and trust

The ease with which a shopper can reach out to your brand goes a long way in instilling trust. When a shopper is happy with the quality of interaction they’ve had, they become more likely to stick around.

People have questions about the products they are purchasing, shipping options, discounts they are entitled to, estimated delivery time, or sometimes even how to use a certain product. They need to feel informed, reassured, and comfortable before buying.

That’s where ‘interaction’ and ‘engagement’ come in. Facilitating such interactions can win them over.

Did you know? Nearly 80% of consumers are using mobiles to interact with customer service and support of a brand.

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Tactics to create exceptional customer engagement

Now that we’ve talked about the importance of engaging the customers let’s take a look at some practical tips and tactics to help your eCommerce business with it.

Invest in a smart recommendation engine

Amazon’s 35% of revenue comes from purchases that customers make through recommendations. As such, investing in a recommendation engine is a brilliant idea.

Why people really love recommendations is the fact that they ease the whole shopping experience. Better still, they keep them from switching elsewhere. Invespcro points out that 45% of people are more likely to buy from a site that offers personalized recommendations!

Upcoming eCommerce brand Shein shows recommendations pointed out to items additionally viewed by shoppers who landed on a certain product page. This increases the visibility of their other products and also their average order value.

smart recommendation engine driving customer engagment

Actionable tip: If you have a first-time visitor, use the main page recommendations to nudge them to engage further with your store. You could show them the latest deals, seasonal discounts, and the most trending or featured collections to start with.

Later on, when you have enough data about the user’s actions, you can personalize. If you can dig into social data about your users, you can also make use of ‘socially enhanced’ recommendations!

Leverage the power of product videos

Content matters. Even more so today. How people process information has changed.

Your shoppers might not want to go through a long list of features that describe your product. They would rather enjoy a video display of how the product looks and works.

And, to keep people’s attention and engagement levels from dipping, you need to give them what they really find interesting. Get creative with product videos, and you can have them hooked.

Actionable tip: Involve people in videos. Give them some value out of your video content. With Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube becoming vital eCommerce propellers, you can use video content very creatively to your benefit.

Take tutorials, for example.

Because people want to learn, they are very likely to watch, engage, and share anything that helps them do so. Here’s a video by NYX showing shoppers how to use their products like a pro. It’s of great use to a makeup lover!

Offer help to shoppers with live chat

Real-time support keeps people happy. And that’s why live chat is expected to grow by 87% in the next 12 to 18 months. If you look at more live chat statistics, you’ll find out that it has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel.

The rate at which a customer gets a response from your side matters a lot. One in five people would walk out on you for giving them a slow, delayed response.

Actionable tip: Use in-chat recommendations to drive more engagement from your online shoppers. But don’t be abrupt. Build on a real conversation, and first, focus on the pain point the shopper has called in live chat support for. Be genuine about your advice and help them make an informed purchase.

Leverage the power of personalized emails

Emails are one of the most effective marketing tactics for eCommerce businesses. But why use them only for transactional purposes and order updates?

Engage your subscribers and customers with emails based on their previous interactions with the store. Personalized emails have proven to deliver up to 30% more sales. Stores like Purple Turtle Toys are generating over $150K from automated emails using SmartrMail. This makes them one of the best ways to increase your eCommerce conversion rate.

The platform analyses your shopper’s browsing behavior and purchase history. It then delivers automated and personalized emails with product recommendations from your store. The timely delivery of these messages to the shopper or an existing customer boosts your customer engagement rate.

customer engagement email example

To know more about how to set up personalized email customer engagement campaigns, click here.

Actionable tip: While the platform does it all, remember to track your campaign performance in real time. It will help you understand the online shoppers and your customers better. By identifying what type of emails they interact with the most, you can customize your customer engagement campaigns for better results.

But most importantly, remember to always be of help first. Don’t just try to push a purchase. Help them make an informed purchase instead.

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Use web push notifications to re-engage shoppers

Using web push notifications could mean 88% higher engagement for your business. In fact, e-commerce apps exhibit the highest push engagement lift at 278%, points out Localytics.

While the numbers are clear for eCommerce mobile apps, the same holds true for even desktop and mobile browser users. That’s where web push notifications come in. There are a number of ways in which you can use these instantaneous messages to reach out to shoppers and engage them.

  • Generate curiosity about your ‘limited edition’ accessories
  • Inform users about products ‘back in stock’
  • Bring dormant users back to the site with ‘going out of stock soon’ recommendations.
  • Get people revisiting your website with notifications that imbibe a sense of urgency, such as ‘One-day price slashes.’
  • Remind users about products they left in their cart
  • Inform users about product shipment and delivery status

Let’s give you an example here.

Proozy uses web push notifications by PushOwl to promote its branded fitness gear. The tactic helps the store recover more than 180 carts every month and generate 299X higher ROI.

example of a customer engagement web push notification

Even Ora uses web push notifications to inform its users about its new product ranges. These notifications are informative in nature, and because the product is such that people would want to read more about them, these notifications work!

example of a web push notification

To make your web push notifications even better, you can instill a sense of urgency in your message. Here’s an example of a store offering a time-sensitive discount.

customer engagement web push notification

Actionable tip: Convey the maximum in the minimum possible words. Remember to keep the message creative but contextual at all times. You can also use emojis to make your notifications more fun – scientists point out that seeing an emoji can make your brain light up just the way it would when you see a human face! Here’s an example of how you can use emojis in your notifications:

customer engagement example

Turn your shoppers into brand advocates

Involving people in your endeavor is the best way to keep them engaged. That’s why feedback has always been valuable and welcome. Taking this a step ahead is ‘brand advocacy’.

Modern-day eCommerce merchants are moving to the idea of making buyers the sellers. This is why you see a lot of user-generated content on the internet. It is being used to leverage trust and credibility to win engagement from potential customers.

Let’s consider what I See Me, a leading eCommerce provider of children’s personalized books, does. The brand first encourages shoppers to write comments regarding their purchase. All positive comments are then curated to show on the product pages of the brand with the help of a social widget.

another example of a customer engagement web push notification

Actionable tip: Don’t just ask your customers to review and rate your products. Remember also to request feedback. The more valued they feel, the more engaged they remain with your store.

Apply the same tactic to off-site engagement campaigns as well. Right from social media and emails to web push notifications, don’t hesitate to reach out to your customers.

Over to you

The ways in which you can engage your customers are unlimited.

Thanks to the number of channels of engagement that have emerged. The future holds even more interesting ways of customer engagement (think AI). And, we are here to keep unleashing the latest to you. To tell us about your customer engagement challenges or endeavors, drop in a comment.

Author Bio

Vanhishikha Bhargava is the Content Marketer at PushOwl, a web push notification app for Shopify stores. You can follow her discussions on Twitter and her blogs here.

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