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eCommerce Guide: How to Keep Visitors Engaged

It's becoming increasingly difficult to stand out online. If you want to achieve that sale as an e-commerce merchant, you need to work harder and smarter.

One of the most important jobs of an eCommerce business owner is converting visitors into paying clients. In general, the more visits you have to your site, the higher your prospects of earning sales are. Keep in mind, though, that simply having a high number of traffic to your website isn't enough; you must also have efficient strategies to engage visitors if you want to increase sales.

A well-designed and engaging website is the foundation of practically any online business, as it can significantly increase revenues. As a result, keeping your existing customers engaged is critical if you want to boost online sales.

Creating engaged clients is the key to success no matter what type of business you run. These customers will buy more, stay longer and help you create a buzz around your brand. Here's our guide to increasing consumer engagement and, as a result, boosting sales for your business.

Why is customer engagement important in eCommerce?

Customer engagement is the process of establishing an emotional connection with your target audience, whether through social media or in person. In the context of marketing, the term "customer engagement" refers to the nature of a customer's interaction with a particular brand. Many metrics may be used to quantify it, including link clicks, the number of pages read each session and more. You can use customer engagement to see how customers interact with your brand, how they perceive your items, and the likelihood they'll stick around in the long run.

Here are three examples of how excellent customer engagement among your target demographic can help your business:

1) It can help increase customer loyalty

Repeat customers are the most vital component of any eCommerce business. The more loyal your consumers are, the more likely it is that they will return for more purchases and refer your business to others.

2) It can help you earn free advertising

When you have satisfied consumers, they are more likely to refer you to their friends and colleagues through word-of-mouth marketing. Customers like to feel important, so when they believe they have gotten excellent service, they are more likely to tell their friends and relatives about it. If they believe they have been treated unfairly or that they have not received what they paid for, they will not hesitate to warn their friends and relatives not to do business with you in the future.

  1. It can help you optimize your business.

A large customer base will provide you with a better understanding of the services and products that your consumers find most useful. A lot of customers are keen to leave helpful feedback and you can also learn a lot from them through different techniques. Based on this data, you may quickly build new templates or comparable items which will ensure that you attract more clients in the future. You may also utilize this information to develop more focused marketing efforts or to improve the performance of your website.

How Can You Engage Customers?

  1. Create Useful Content

Regular content

Creating good content is the most crucial thing you can do to generate an engaged consumer. Consider valuable content to be in the same category as air and food: we require it, it keeps us alive, and if we run out or have too little, we perish.

Providing value is the most effective strategy to generate an engaged consumer. How? Provide your consumers with useful material that answers their problems and provides them with the knowledge they want.

Long-form content, whether it's a blog article, a video instruction, or something else completely, is excellent for SEO and social media distribution. People are more inclined to share something valuable with their friends if it is useful.

Create a blog on your website that provides tips and tricks for utilizing your items, as well as suggestions for how to utilize them together. Encourage consumers to participate in the discussion by asking questions or providing solutions in the comments area.

Branded content

There is also specific content that you want to work on in the long run. This is called branded content. Branded content marketing is about engaging with customers on multiple levels — not just selling to them every time you speak up. It might be tempting to sell every time you put out some new branded content, but remember: Your audience isn't interested in being sold over and over again, and neither are their friends.

Branded content is meant to help solve issues and create an impression on audiences. The way to do this is to either educate them on a topic, assist them in locating information, or simply make them laugh. When people need help with a particular issue, you want to be recognized as the expert who can help them.

One amazing example of branded content is Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches Campaign from 2013. People were drawn by an FBI sketch artist using descriptions provided by the subjects themselves and descriptions provided by complete strangers. With this comparison, Dove demonstrated that individuals fail to appreciate their intrinsic attractiveness. You can see from the video that it wasn’t a typical ad but one that has a message which a lot of people can relate to.

In an era where physical appearances are often put on a pedestal, Dove's campaign was a success because the company focused on a non-product-related issue rather than one directly connected to its products. In fact you can only see the brand right at the end, after more than 2 minutes have gone by. It is one of the most watched videos of that year and one of the most successful campaigns.

  1. Use the Power of Social Media

Social media is vital in today's business environment.  It is where most people will discover a new brand like yours, so it's vital that you maintain a strong social presence. Use sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest to share company news, new product launches, and other information that will build the community around your brand.

  • Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be used to generate leads and engage with your customers online. Don't miss out on an opportunity to connect with your audience! You can:
  • Post pictures or videos of your products as well as behind-the-scenes photos from your company (if you're using Instagram).
  • Share blog posts that provide useful information about your industry or niche.
  • Host contests, where you can ask people to share content to win prizes and free products.
  • Offer incentives for sharing content. This is a great way to build up your community because it encourages members to share their own content. When you offer incentives, you give people something in return for their efforts which will drive participation even more.

A great example of a brand on social media is Nike. They are able to address current events and issues while incorporating their brand voice and identity. The swoosh, the billion-dollar partnerships with elite athletes, and the stylish, high-quality sports wear are just a few of Nike's well-known attributes. As a result, they've gained a reputation for a strong commitment to their brand principles.

During Colin Kapernick's National Anthem protest, Nike was one of the most vociferous businesses supporting him and even named him the face of their 30th anniversary "Just Do It" campaign. If you go through their social media, you will find that the brand frequently speaks out for women's rights, racial justice, and other brand ideals. They adhere to the needs of the times and stand with the people they serve.

  1. Implement Rewards Programs and VIP Tiers

Everyone enjoys feeling special, so provide customers with VIP ranks that give them access to unique pricing or added features on their purchases. Another strategy to make customers feel more connected to your company is to provide incentive programs.

Creating an "I want more" also known as “FOMO” (fear of missing out) feeling in your customers can help you sell more in the future. If your customers are pleased with what they receive from you, there is no need for them to shop elsewhere (unless you get too expensive or stop offering what they need). You want them to feel like they're missing out on something if they don't buy from you or if they aren’t a VIP.

  1. Use Smart Email Marketing

Email marketing can be a very powerful tool to grow your business. It's an inexpensive way to stay connected with your customers, and it reinforces the trust between you and them.

Smart email marketing refers to using the most relevant subject lines to boost open rates. When you're sending an email for a specific promotion, make sure your subject line fits with the offer and is tailored to your audience. A good practice is to test different subject lines with small segments of your list and see which one works best.

Your email subscribers are your most loyal customers, so you have to treat them like gold.

Respect your subscriber's time, so it’s best to keep the emails short and sweet. They shouldn't take more than 2 minutes to read or they'll get deleted, worst, unread.

Another key thing is that you should avoid sending sales emails. Your subscribers signed up for your list because they're interested in your brand, not because they want to hear about sales. They’re more likely to be excited about new releases, new features, and collaborations. A sale here and there will be OK but not every single time.

Also, make sure to always include a call-to-action (CTA) in every email that lets subscribers take some sort of action. Examples of good CTAs are:

1) Watch a tutorial video

2) Buy an item in a sale

3) Sign up for a webinar

4) Download an e-book or resource guide

5) Reply with their questions about your product

6) Reply with feedback about your product

Here are some tips to help you write effective email campaigns:

Write for your audience – Start by developing your target market persona. Who are your customers? What are their interests? What kind of language do they use? This will help you identify what types of emails resonate with them most. Then, write subject lines that speak their language and keep them engaged with compelling content.

Make it look good – Not only are emails read on mobile devices nowadays, they're also skimmed very quickly. Make sure your message is clear and concise with large, readable fonts and lots of white space. Use bullet points or numbered lists to break up long paragraphs and keep things feeling light and breezy.

Increase click-through rates – Strong headlines are essential to getting people to open and actually read your emails. Don't be afraid to add humor or create urgency around limited-time offers or special discounts. Make sure you're including images within the body of the email.

Here is a great example from Kate Spade:

Kate Spade's email is a good one, as it benefits both the company and its customers. The data obtained from customers may be used to improve planning and strategy, while the 25 percent discount is a present anyone can take advantage of.

Find out how your customers are feeling and what they think of your products and offerings by reaching out to them directly. Every customer's opinion is critical in determining the direction of a brand and in fueling business success. It enables you to establish a foundation of customer loyalty inside your marketplace. In addition, customers will feel appreciated if they can see that your company recognizes the value of their ideas.

  1. Collaborate with Influencers and Micro-Influencers

There's a strong chance that you might not be able to afford the big-name celebrities so it would be better if you look for micro-influencers instead. Influencer marketing may sound expensive but it doesn't have to be that way. There are ways for you to get this type of marketing for free or on a very low budget but still get great results.

First, take note that there are two types of influencers that can be used by businesses. These are the micro-influencers and celebrities (big names). While both of them can help increase traffic, the best result comes from using micro-influencers who have a big number of followers but with little engagement.

Micro-influencers have just a few thousand followers or less compared to those who have tens or hundreds of thousands of followers. They might be more affordable than big names in the industry but they can actually bring in more traffic compared to those who have a lot of followers.

How to choose and utilize Influencers:

When choosing a market influencer for your business, make sure you understand what kind of product you are selling and its target audience. This will help you identify the type of influencer that would be ideal for endorsing your brand. For example, if you are selling fashion accessories online, it would be better to approach a fashion blogger rather than a vlogger who mainly reviews beauty products.

If you use Google Analytics, then Shopify’s Google Analytics integration is an easy way for you to measure the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaigns. This tool allows you to see data from both platforms on a single report, so you can quickly spot which campaigns are working best for increasing traffic and conversion rates.

In the end, influencer marketing is a great way to market your business. It’s about creating interest and engagement for your brand by using people who enjoy what they do and have a passion for promoting products.

  1. Personalization

Personalized e-commerce marketing is one of the best ways to build an engaged customer base and increase sales. But what exactly is personalized e-commerce marketing? Personalized e-commerce marketing uses data that you have on your customers to send them targeted offers and improve the overall experience that they have with your brand.

Personalized e-commerce marketing is all about sending out offers and content to your customers based on their individual preferences and behaviors. It can be used in many different ways, but the common goal behind it is to create a more meaningful connection with your customer.

Customers want to feel like brands are paying attention to them as individuals, not just another sale or number in a system. Personalization can help you do just that by showing you know about them and can send them targeted content accordingly.

Using data is another key aspect of personalization in eCommerce marketing; there are many different types of data you can use to create a better experience for your customers:

Recency and frequency: Create tailored offers for those who have purchased from you recently or spent a lot on previous orders. If someone has bought socks from you before, send them an email with discount codes for gloves instead.

Data about what people buy: Use information about what someone has bought before to suggest other products or brands that might interest them.

Predictive personalization: Use attributes such as location or past purchases to predict an individual’s future behavior and serve up offers that specifically target their needs. For example, online clothing retailers will display different outfits based on the weather in your location.

CONCLUSION

Perhaps the main takeaway from this guide is that online customers are quickly becoming pickier and more demanding. They want to see promotions, they need customer service, and they require attractive payment options. The Internet has made it easy for them to find what they want, so you have to stop relying on the old ways of doing things and start creating new options that will attract an increasingly fickle audience. It shouldn’t be all about how you appear on the outside; it should also be about how shoppers feel when they are interacting with your brand.

It takes time and effort to build a strong customer base in this day and age, but it’s well worth it in the long run.

Thanks for taking the time to read this Shopify guide, and we wish you good luck with your e-commerce ventures. If you found this guide useful, we’d love it if you shared it with a friend or two, or posted it on Facebook or Twitter so that others can learn about how to increase customer engagement.

When it comes to making your eCommerce store, Shopify is really the best platform to do it, and Webinopoly is one of the most experienced and well-versed teams to help you build it. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’ve got big ambitions and want a professionally made custom Shopify website that can generate a strong web presence and help with conversions. 

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