When it comes to ecommerce marketing, companies often find themselves struggling with customer engagement. This is because with all of the hustle and bustle of managing your ecommerce business, it’s hard to keep up with the marketing and customer engagement at all times. This is why many large brands choose to bring on an ecommerce marketing company! Yes, you may not know it but that large brand you aspire to be is in fact using someone externally to handle their marketing dollars and increase customer engagement. But what about when you’re just starting out and can’t afford to bring on an external marketing company but still need help keeping your customers engaged time and time again. Well no fear, that's why I am here to help you keep your customers engaged to the best of your ability!
Before I dive into my four tips to keep you customer engaged, I want to give my personal thoughts on what some brands are doing wrong. Yes, what they are doing wrong. Two of the biggest errors I see when working with or observing ecommerce brands are their lack of customer service and their inability to show appreciation. Even though some brands are bringing in millions of dollars every year, they have to remember where they came from. Every business started somewhere and chances are some of those customers are still with you today. So even as you grow, be sure to never lose sight of your customer service and appreciation. It will go a long way with the average consumer. Now, let’s dive into those tips.
So let’s be honest, loyalty programs are sometimes the driving force of online sales. Just last week, I bought three candles at Bath and Body Works when I was using my free gift. Did I go to the site to buy three candles? No. But did I buy them? Yes.
There are many benefits of running a loyalty program for your brand, one of them being the obvious, that if you offer rewards, someone will make an unintentional purchase as I did above, but the benefits to having a loyalty program are far greater than just the chance that the consumer will come to use their reward and checkout with half of the store. Some of these benefits include: access to customer data, increased customer appreciation (people feel special when they receive an exclusive offer), and the ability to motivate your consumers to shop more to achieve a particular status and get a better reward. Lastly, having a good loyalty program makes consumers attached to the loyalty program and then you have a life cycle of loyal customers!
Now this tip may not be applicable for all ecommerce marketing companies, but if your client can offer subscriptions on your product that can directly increase engagement! If you offer products that a customer may need to restock on often, consider offering a subscription at a discounted rate where they will be auto charged every x days and a new product will be delivered to their door!
The psychology behind subscription services is that the consumer will develop a dependency on your products or they might not want to go through the hassle of canceling the subscription so they stay engaged.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit you may have noticed a lot of large ecommerce brands shifting their positioning and messaging from advertising their products to advertising their knowledge. This all revolves around brand positioning. When the pandemic first hit we all knew consumers weren’t going to drop a lot of money on products due to the uncertainty of things. Larger brands started posting helpful articles and acted as a resource hub for the niche audience and maintained brand loyalty. You don’t need a pandemic to do this. Every brand should have some resources on their site for the audience to seek out and engage with. If you don’t you’re selling yourself short.
Think about Apple for a minute. Do they have a loyalty program?
The answer is no. Apple has instilled something within itself that can run a marathon around a loyalty program and that thing is shared value. Because of how involved Apple is with not only consumers but the influencers and developers around the community they have built, Apple has become one of the industry leaders in tech. Create shared value and you are *golden*.
No really, what are you doing? It is time to amp up your engagement. Remember the first time a consumer makes a purchase they are risking their dollar. The second time, you’ve built some trust, but once you hit that third round of purchases, a customer had pledged their allegiance to your brand and as long as you create a valuable experience and environment for them they are in it for the long haul.