While conversions are tangible and measurable, customer engagement is not that straightforward.
How exactly can you measure one’s loyalty: by a number of social media shares or a number of page visits?
Meanwhile, customer engagement is as important as the conversion rate. It helps you grow your business in the long-term perspective by strengthening customers’ loyalty and encouraging them to come back to you. You won’t get immediate results after a single interaction with the customer but you will make the numbers work for you: acquiring a new customer is 5X more expensive than retaining an existing one.
Customer engagement strategy involves many aspects, from email marketing to social media promotion. In this post, we will focus specifically on the design and how interactive elements of your site contribute to building customers’ loyalty.
Provide useful materials
Because you want to build a long-lasting relationship with your customers, you will need to provide them with something valuable. One of the ideas is educational content that is related to your products or services.
It can be a PDF file, a blog, or a separate page on the site. The main goal of such content is to give useful information that shoppers can use in relation to your products. I.e. if you sell footwear, it can be a PDF file with tips on taking care of different types of shoes.
From the design point of view, it is important to make this content visible if you really want shoppers to use it. If it is a blog or a page, ensure the user can easily get there. In case of a downloadable file, make the CTA button visible and place it somewhere on top (or the middle) of the page so the user can immediately spot it.
Since Monin sells premium syrups, it naturally educates the users about the best way to use its products in the Mixology Blog that is placed on the homepage.
Pop-ups can be extremely annoying if they appear 1 second after you hit the page and immediately ask you to sign up for a newsletter. The wise use of pop-ups, on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish.
Pop-ups can serve numerous goals:
- retain the shoppers from leaving the page (exit-intent pop-ups),
- request to sign up for the newsletter,
- ask to sign up and become a member,
- inform about incentives and special offers.
The use of pop-ups also contributes to adding personalization to your store. If crafted correctly, the copy can initiate a dialog with the customer and promote further interaction that will eventually result in a conversion.
Example: Winky Lux
The message in this pop-up is very personal and creative. Right away it helps the customer feel special and does not pressure to make a decision.
Add interactive assistants and elements
Modern customers demand more control and that leads to certain changes in the way your Magento looks, and sophisticated custom design. For example, the UX Playbook for Retail by Google recommends killing automated product carousels and opt for user-initiated so the users decide what and when they want to see.
Such a shift in the customers’ behavior led to the growing popularity of interactive assistants on the sites. These are usually tools that, through a set of questions, offer the best solution to the customer. Such an assistant reminds a salesperson’s behavior in brick-and-mortar stores and serves a few important tasks:
- better personalization,
- one-to-one active interaction with the customer,
- data gathering.
Interactive assistants significantly save time on getting to the desired product and add an entertaining element to the store.
Example: Home Chef
The interactive builder by HomeChef asks the customers about their preferences in order to provide the best and individual meal plan.
Use social media
Today, social media is one of the primary sources of reaching your target audience. It lets users directly communicate with the brand and choose what kind of content they want to see.
For any e-commerce store, social media presence is a must. But how do you let your shoppers know about your existing social profiles apart from advertising? The answer is simple: integrate social media buttons on your site.
You can place them both on the landing page and the product pages of your Magento theme. I.e. if you have a Pinterest account, offer your customers to Pin the items right from the product page.
One more awesome way to engage shoppers with the brand and let them feel special is to ask to share the user-generated content. What many brands do is integrating the Instagram photo gallery on the landing page, where the gallery consists of the users’ photos with the product.
The integration of social media buttons eliminates the necessity to switch between the store and social platforms, saves users’ time, and drives a significant amount of traffic to your profiles. As well, it encourages users to follow you, leave comments, react to your content, and become engaged with your brand on a personal level.
Example: Dr. Martens
Dr. Martens invites customers to share their own content via the official Instagram account and get a chance to be featured on the website with millions of daily views.
Ask questions and reward the answers
The key to any successful relationship is getting to know each other. Same applies for building a relationship with your customers.
In order to engage them and offer something valuable, first, you need to find out what they actually like, need, and want. And surveys are a great way to do so.
Of course, nobody wants to waste even five minutes of their time answering sketchy questions. But what if you offer a $10 off for the next purchase simply for answering a couple of questions? Now that makes it interesting.
The questions in the survey will depend on your goal: whether you want to learn more about your audience’s demographics, behavior, or hobbies. Try not to make the surveys too lengthy: despite the incentive, the majority of the customers are not ready to spend 5-10 minutes of their lives on that.
The copy of the Anthropology store uses a friendly tone and shows that the customers’ opinions really matter.
Show reviews by other customers
Shoppers trust other people much more than they trust a faceless brand. In fact, 84% of the shoppers trust customer reviews as much as they trust recommendations from a friend so it’s definitely a good starting point for building trust.
Add customer reviews to the product pages and don’t hesitate to add both positive and negative ones. In fact, mixed reviews are perceived as more honest and trustworthy so keep that in mind.
But it’s not enough to just place a review on the product page. For better engagement, ask customers to write reviews right on the page. This way, you will show that you completely trust their opinion and want to hear it.
NYX Cosmetics does an excellent job by showing both the best positive and the best critical reviews, thus letting the customers make an independent and bias-free decision.
Use chatbots for better customer service
Chatbots have proved to be a great way of boosting customer experience. They save time on finding the necessary information and provide users with an immediate assistant. As well, chatbots are an absolute must for those stores that wish to engage shoppers and build a stronger relationship with them.
Chatbots perform the following important functions:
- provide real-time answers,
- address to the shoppers personally,
- ask questions.
All that comes together as an ultimate engagement tool that encourages the shoppers to interact with your brand and communicate with it.
When designing a chatbot, approach it from the following point: make it visible but not pushy. Many companies use chatbots a bit too much so that you get distracted by annoying sounds or constant pop-up messages that invite you for a chat.
Example: Sephora bot
Sephora uses a Canadian messenger Kik to chat with the users and offer them an easy and fun way to find the needed product.
“So… how do I engage customers?”
Because you want to navigate your shoppers towards conversions, you don’t want them to get distracted or confused. It is, therefore, essential for all store elements to be helpful and guide the user in the right direction.
The customer engagement process should happen under the radar, alongside the shopping process. The user should not feel like you want him to engage – they should feel the need to engage themselves. And that’s one tricky part about the UX/UI design that comes with experience and lots of testing.
Feel like you need a bit of help with brushing up your store and making it more engaging? We will be glad to give you advice and bring your ideas to life to boost the engagement of your customers and help you build a stable and long-time relationship with them.