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04.Oct.2019 Narendar Rajagopalan - eCommerce
Jeff Bezos – the Amazon founder once said in an interview that the secret sauce to Amazon’s success is customer obsession and not competitor obsession. Turns out the best eCommerce strategy would be to focus on customers rather than your competitors.
Isn’t that a hard-hitting fact? Most businesses and their leaders tend to be more focused on outwitting their competitors.
When too much time and resources are spent on outwitting competitors than serving customers, things go awry. End of the day, your customers pay for your products. Their experience with your business, the quality of your products and post-sales service matters a lot than creating a smear campaign on competitors.
When a business serves products and services the way customers expect it, the customer engagement shoots up. But, what is customer engagement?
Customer engagement can be described as the rare emotional connection a customer has with a brand. It is extremely important for any business because, highly engaged customers tend to buy more, stay loyal and also spread the word.
Think about it. Invespcro’s study found that it takes five times more expensive to acquire a new cost than to retain an existing one. Also, when you increase your customer retention rate by 5%, there is a possibility that your overall profits will increase by 25% to even 95% (Bain & Company).
Those numbers point out how serious customer engagement and loyalty are. For an eCommerce store which deals with its customers through the online medium, customer engagement can be quite a complex maze to solve.
Here are some pointers that will help boost your store’s customer engagement.
Customer experience begins right from the moment a customer lands on your store’s website and continues forever after. Positive customer experience tends to make customers more engaged, even if it makes them pay more.
The same has been proven by PwC’s Experience is everything which says that 43% of customers would pay more for greater convenience. 65% of them find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising.
The takeaway – customer experience is everything. Fix it to see your customer engagement rate soar high. Along with your customer engagement, your eCommerce conversion rate would also scale new heights.
End of the day, customers are human beings with cravings and emotions. As a brand, your messaging tone should appeal to their needs. It should make them understand what you are offering and how it will solve their problems. Even an ad copy written to announce the latest deal must be written keeping in mind how the end-user will perceive it.
Also, with all the buzz of chatbots, automation, and machine-assisted customer support, it is quite easy to lose the human element in messaging. The moment you start sounding monotonous in your brand messaging, customer engagement will start to take a hit.
The really interesting fact about the millennial generation of customers is that they might forget to do anything else but to check their social media profiles. Apart from updating their realtime statuses, images, and live videos, customers also take it to social media to reach out to customer service.
Quite often, when they do not get the intended response from the brand, they start a rant that kicks off a storm of tweets, memes, viral articles and what not. If any of these happens for a negative reason, your brand reputation is as good as ruined.
Add to that fact that users spend at least 2 hours every day on social media as part of their online time. (Global Web Index)
Strange as it may sound, your customers most often do not know what they want. Like Henry Ford once said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
If your online store is selling something unique, you have to educate your customers about its benefits and purpose. The AIDA marketing model itself breaks down the selling process as Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. You must create awareness before your customers will have the desire to buy.
That awareness to buy can be created by educating your customers. Let’s say your online store sells a niche range of earphones. For a layman user the various types of earphones can be quite difficult to decipher. A buyer’s guide for earphones that explains what each type of earphone is, which is the best type for each purpose and the cost-benefit relation will help your customers decide better. Needless to say, it will increase their time spent on your website as well as engagement.
From time to time, your business will make errors that will make your customer irate. Although it is unfortunate, it is inevitable. No business can run like a perfect machine all around the year. When you do fail, your customers are bound to take it to review websites and online platforms to voice their rants.
Do you know what creates more damage than these reviews themselves? Not responding to these reviews. While it is easy to say thank you to happy customers, responding to customer reviews — especially bad ones can be quite difficult. But, that should not deter you from responding to reviews.
Studies by Harvard have found that replying to customer reviews will actually result in better ratings. End of the day, your customers want to be heard. They want you to listen to them and respond appropriately. Needless to say, you need to have a reviews and ratings tool configured in your online store to manage customer feedback.
Having Ecommerce Product Reviews would be one of the biggest sales advantages you can have as it boosts credibility. Building an emotional connection is never an easy task, given the dynamic preferences involved. For any business, customer engagement is extremely important because highly engaged customers buy more, promote your business through word of mouth and also remain loyal. They also help eliminate the cost required to acquire new customers. If your eCommerce store is finding it difficult to engage with customers, these strategies should help.
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Senior Ecommerce Strategist9 Years of Experience Working with Multiple Brands
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