The art of retaining customer loyalty requires a fine balancing act of meeting your customer's needs as well as those of your business. For online businesses especially, there are plenty of options for customers to choose from, hence merchants need to exceed customer expectations, or they may choose to look for other options. Depending on how an organization can anticipate customer needs and drive engagement, we can gauge their sales and conversion rates.
There continue to be rapid technological advances made in the area of E-Commerce, with businesses needing an understanding of machine learning and artificial intelligence in order to stay ahead of the competition.
By studying shopper behaviour across various channels, we can come up with some methods in order to increase our shopper engagement and discover how other businesses are developing trust with their customers.
1. Adapting your business to Mobile.
It is very important to keep mobile in mind when implementing product recommendations. Almost half the traffic on Magento powered websites is for mobile users and this percentage of mobile users is increasing every year. This indicates to us that customers have started looking to mobile as their primary form of E-Shopping. However, it is also important to note that mobile also has the highest bounce rate, exceeding that of desktop and tablet users, with over half the users navigating away after viewing only one page.
So, we must ensure that our site is optimized for mobile and keeping our customers engaged from the get-go. This involves optimizing attributes such as:
Website load speed.
The average mobile user expects a much more fast-paced experience than a visitor to a desktop site.
It is observed that visitors tend to abandon a mobile website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
This shows that it is essential to reduce our website load speed as much as possible.
By pairing images with the relevant text, we can retain customer attention and enforce the information that we wish to relay through the text.
Due to the nature of mobile touch screen, mobile responsiveness can often be a tricky issue. The solution to this is to customize your website for mobile users in order to provide a seamless experience.
While adding new features and functionality will keep improving customer experience, we must make sure that our existing mobile site is optimized as much as possible to increase engagement.
2. Customize product recommendations.
It is a good practice to implement recommendations personalized to each customer. Depending on the objective of your store, recommendations can be applied to areas where they are relevant and give the best return on expenditure.
By taking a layered approach, we can deliver the right products to the right customers. For this, we must first understand our products and their relation to each other. By doing this, we can determine the products that are most often bought together.
We must then establish a profile for each customer based on their browsing habits. This browsing data provides a detailed set of attributes for each customer, such as tastes and preferences, purchase history and location. Based on these attributes, we can provide extremely personalized recommendations.
We can also provide higher priority to products that are more likely to be bought. This can be analyzed through machine learning algorithms for past revenue performance of each product. We can then show the highest priority products more often in recommendations.
3. Interactive Content.
Cart abandonment is a big issue faced by E-Commerce stores, where customers are lost because of indecision, complicated website navigation and a lack of engagement. In order to prevent this, we must engage with them in a way that convinces them to take a chance on your website.
One way to do this is through Behavioral Pop-ups. Pop-ups can be used to engage new shoppers and those that may be leaving, due to indecision or lack of time.
With the help of the shopper data, we can display discounts for products that they may have viewed and last minute sale announcements, which can help increase the Average Order Value.
Customer Reviews can help give potential customers the reassurance they need to buy a product as they cannot inspect the product before buying. We can also take steps to provide detailed product information, high-quality photos, and videos, in addition to product recommendations.
4. Social Media engagement.
By having a presence on social media, we can interact with our customers in entirely different ways. Almost every business is making use of paid social media advertising in order to increase their business visibility and revenue.
It is a way to increase your customer engagement even beyond your website, allowing tailor-made ads based on the interests of customers of similar demographics. The key to social media advertising is to find the right customers.
An effective approach to advertising via social media is to take a bottom-of-the-funnel approach, where, rather than setting a massive budget for social media ads, we can target those users who are most likely to convert and use them for other conversions.
Video content is also observed to be an effective method of engagement, with over 100 million hours of video content being consumed on websites such as Facebook daily.
By pairing personalized content with video, we can increase the relevancy of our ads.
By having our customers engage and share our content with their circles, we can use methods that promote user-generated content. Such content can include photos, videos, tweets and more.
Effectively, we can have customers promoting our products, thereby reducing our costs spent on advertising and also increasing our revenue.
Shifting towards a personalized shopping experience is the smart thing to do as more customers now want brands to recognize their interests and anticipate what they need. This is made continuously easier through advances being made in AI and machine learning, where customer data can be collected and analyzed to find what’s best for them.