customer engagement
Customer engagement leads to loyalty, and both of those lead to increased and long-term sales for your business.

More than half of the time, customers gauge their buying experiences on how they are treated while doing so. Their shopping experience often determines whether they will make a purchase and return to your site for future purchases.

Here are the best ways to increase customer engagement and make sure their experience is nothing short of exceptional.

1. Improve user experience.

Maximize satisfaction during the customers’ journey on your site by optimizing your search tool, navigation bar and attribute tags. Add navigation for categories like items on sale and holiday-themed products, when applicable. Eliminate, or at least try to mitigate website issues like slow loading speed, dead links and confusing categorization. Make purchasing easy with a clear and easy checkout process.

2. Start a blog.

Provide relevant content and post frequently so customers don’t lose interest. There’s nothing more disappointing in the blog world than clicking through, only to see the last post was from several months ago or longer. Use smart headlines vs clickbait. “9 ways to …” is more compelling than, “You won’t believe how these 9 shocking tricks did….” Plus, smart headlines tell your customers that you aren’t trying to trick them.

3. Get personal.

Know your customers, and use a tone and voice throughout your website, blog, social posts, and other marketing efforts that resonates with them. Talk about things that are important to them. Anticipate their questions, and answer them before they have to ask.

4. Engage with them.

Answer customer questions quickly, and if possible, offer live chat support. Try your best to put them first, solving customer issues and addressing complaints with real solutions.

5. Create incentives.

Sales and discounts, are often good ways to develop brand loyalty, but other types of incentives may be even better at keeping them coming back. Try using giveaways, contests and after-purchase rewards – like a discount on their next purchase – to give them a reason to shop again.

6. Enable customer reviews.

Encourage customers to review products (another opportunity to use incentives), and react to them. A good review deserves a ‘thank you’ and a ‘we’re so glad you’re enjoying xyz,’ but even a not-so-great review should get a response. It’s a perfect opportunity to tell that existing customer and potential new customers how you’ll make it right. You can even share good reviews with your other customers via social channels.

7. Add product videos.

product video

Show the customer exactly what they are getting with your products, and how to use them with product videos. Make sure product descriptions are detailed and relevant.

8. Encourage account setup.

Setting up an account through your site (rather than checking out as a guest) increases loyalty because checkout is quick and easy during any future shopping trips. Plus, now you have your customer’s email. You can send them special offers and information, which opens up a whole new marketing channel with this customer whom you know is already likely to purchase. Increase the likelihood of the customer creating an account by offering an incentive to users who successfully complete the action.

9. Master upselling and cross-selling.

Product suggestions, when done intelligently, improve the customer experience. They feel that you understand their needs and are helping to fill them. This means less leg work for them and increased sales for you.

10. Ensure your site is optimized for mobile.

More and more purchases are made from phones and tablets. A bad mobile experience means lower engagement for 52% of customers. Therefore, optimization on this platform is critical.

11. Use social media to talk to your customers.

Build a community by interacting with your customers and fans directly. Social is a great platform for the contests and giveaways previously mentioned. You can also encourage customers to tell their friends about your brand, by coming up with a hashtag they can use with pictures of your products for a possible feature on your page. Create shareable content on all of your mediums, so that customers will want to participate in spreading the word.

Customers will consider key factors like price, quality and convenience when deciding whether to engage with your brand. But implementing these other tips and tricks will mean skipping the scenic route, and taking the freeway straight to more loyal buyers.

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