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When it comes to building strong customer relationships in any business, regardless of the industry, you have to look at things from the viewpoint of the customer.
With physical stores, you have the ability to build strong relationships with customers through face-to-face, in-person interactions. But with ecommerce businesses, it’s not as easy as a smile and a, “do you need help with anything today?”
It’s always been said that the “customer is king” or that the “customer is always right.”
In the world of ecommerce, those statements couldn’t be any truer.
Each day, more and more people are shopping online but they’re not just giving their money away to random ecommerce businesses. A lot of customer shopping habits are based on the reputation of the business.
Do you know what else?
If a business has a negative reputation, it could be the sole reason why they aren’t hitting their sales targets.
In all honesty, the reason why a business isn’t hitting their sales targets could stem from a number of factors. All too often, the reason why a business isn’t profiting as much as they could is that they’re not engaging with their customers as often as they should.
In starting an ecommerce business, there are basic and common steps to take to get it off the ground.
Some of the first few things you’ll need to do are:
- Purchase a domain name and build your website.
- Invest in a business insurance policy that fits your business needs.
- Set aside a budget to allocate to marketing.
Out of those common business moves, can you guess which one is the most vital and involves the most work?
If you guessed marketing, then you’re right!
And it’s not just regular marketing either…
You should leverage proven digital marketing strategies to boost your business’ growth.
The reason why marketing is the most vital is that it’s the most complex. It may involve hiring a link building agency, social media marketing team, or PPC advertising experts.
With business insurance, you just buy it.
With your website, you just build it.
But when it comes to marketing, you can’t just market.
Why Does Customer Engagement Play a Significant Role in Ecommerce Success?
There are so many complexities to marketing because you’re dealing with people and people are complex.
If you want your business to grow, your customers are going to be the ones to do it…
That’s why they’re the most valuable part of your business.
Customer engagement, on the other hand, is the key to success, but it’s also where so many companies are dropping the ball.
Just think about it…
With your ecommerce business, you’re not going to have any face-to-face interactions with customers, so it’s going to be a little harder to implement customer engagement.
But it’s not going to be impossible…
You just have to think outside of the box and get creative with your tactics.
If you want to improve sales and boost your online reputation, consider utilizing these customer engagement tactics.
What Are the Best Customer Engagement Tactics?
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best customer engagement tactics for your ecommerce business:
Make Products and Information Easy for Customers to Find
How many times have you walked into a retail store and immediately was approached by a worker saying “can I help you find anything today?”
Every single time, right?
Well, that worker’s intentions might have been good but most customers prefer to look around themselves and find what they want or need.
In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, 81% of customers actually prefer to find what they need on their own before asking for help.
Well, that same logic applies to online shoppers as well.
The way your ecommerce store can engage customers is by providing a self-service portal that provides all the resources a customer may want or need like an FAQs page or buyers’ guides, and of course a contact page, for when the self-serving customers actually do need your help.
Increase Your Interactions on Social Media
Image via Adobe
According to Statista, 2.65 billion people use social media today, and that number is expected to increase to 3.1 billion by the year 2021.
With those statistics, you definitely want your business to have a piece of that pie, right?
You need to create a business page for social media.
If you already have one and aren’t seeing any results from it, it’s probably because you’re not using it right and you more than likely don’t have the right social media monitoring tools.
One area of social media that lots of businesses get wrong is that just because you have a social media presence, that doesn’t mean you’re exactly using social media for customer engagement.
You should be posting, at the bare minimum, two to three times a day.
By checking your social media monitoring tools, you’ll have a better idea of the number of postings that work best for customer engagement with your company.
Not only that but whenever you make posts and customers leave comments, respond to them.
If a follower has a question, answer it.
If a follower gives your company a kudos, share it!
Customers like to feel special so any type of shout-out you can give them, they’re going to really appreciate it.
Increase the Number of Customer Accounts
Image via Adobe
It’s pretty common for people to make purchases online without creating an account. It’s even easier for them to not create an account when they’re being prompted to create an account but are given the option of “continuing as a guest.”
If a customer makes a purchase on your site, yes, you’re going to make a profit but it’s not giving you the opportunity to establish customer engagement.
So what do you do now?
Well, you just play it cool.
Don’t look for customers to create an account right off the bat. That’s like that annoying, yet intentionally helpful store clerk approaching you as soon as you walk in the store.
Let them make their purchases and then give them the opportunity to create an account.
By making the purchase, they’ve browsed your site, checked out the details of the product, compared prices and showed that they like your product enough to buy it…
That’s showing a little bit of established trust…
Once they’ve made their purchase, then go ahead and give them the opportunity to create an account.
Customer Engagement: A New Shift in Your Business’ Focus
When running an ecommerce business, sales are the top priority of most businesses…
Ultimately, it’s what’s going to keep your business alive.
The only downside to that theory is that if you put all of your business efforts into sales and selling, your number of customers is going to dramatically decrease.
Business owners fail to realize that sales don’t just come from selling. Sales also come from customer interactions.
So moving forward with your business efforts to drive sales, consider taking some of the efforts you put into “selling” and put it into customer engagement tactics.
This will help you to build relationships with customers and establish trust in your brand. Once you do that, observe just how much it improves sales.
Do you have any questions or customer engagement tips to add? Please share them in the comments below.
As a business coach, Sarah specializes in helping SMBs (Small and Midsize Businesses) set up processes for customer support that result in predictable growth. When she’s not coaching or writing, you can find Sarah on her small, but growing family farm.