Keeping your customers engaged is more than just running a site with quality design and pithy descriptions (though wouldn’t it be great if it were that easy?). Today’s shoppers want to feel cared for, and integral to the buying process. Yes, there are plenty who know exactly what they want, and want to get in and out quickly. However, there is definitely a trend in shoppers who will come back, and stick around, for stores that really emphasize the customer experience. Case and point, Domino’s has created an app that allows customers to store their favorite orders, and track their pizza as its being delivered. Great as they are though, personalized apps and engagement features built into your site require coding, and maybe you don’t have the IT team to write them. So what then?

Use the services of sites that already operate on a “like” or favorite-saving basis. Sites like Wantering and Retail Me Not act as curators of online goods and services, and show weekly deals, sales, and items that may be of interest based on a user’s other likes. It’s a great tool for exposure, and allows you to associate your brand with the sites dedicated to great customer care. Retail Me Not is obsessed with “responding to users’ needs over all else.” They take proper care of the look of the site and their brand, and this goodwill spills over to their merchants. Another positive of their favorite-save based system is that smaller merchants get more “Share of voice” than they might otherwise – companies with the best offers will rise to the top. All of this, plus a tab dedicated to Cyber Monday, makes Retail Me Not a great option for ecommerce sites looking to get customers engaged and buying. (To submit your items, click here.)

But, don’t forget about the power of sincere, human-to-human interaction. Small businesses do have the advantage of providing a personal customer service experience that large companies may neglect. Don’t underestimate the power of a handwritten thank-you card. Yes, with the age of emails, texts and IMs upon us, handwritten cards feel like a dying art. Use that to your advantage. Emails can get lost in the shuffle of an inbox. A customer won’t forget a company that sent them a card.

Above all, as long as you make a conscious effort to treat your customers as you would want to be treated, you will succeed in enhancing the customer experience. It’s the age old golden rule, and it’s stuck around for a reason – it works.

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