If there had to be a marketing equivalent to the phrase “content is king,” it would be “engagement is king.”
In the beautiful world of marketing, the term “engagement” is used profusely, and almost to a fault. But that just goes to show you just how important it is to make those meaningful connections with your customers. Blog posts and social media is even measured by engagement indicators. The likes, comments, and shares all play a significant role in boosting a brand’s engagement rates.
But as technology advances and becomes more of a pivotal part of how customers interact with brands, is it possible for too much technology to create a disconnect between a brand and its customers? Of course, it is!
True enough, technology has allowed businesses to reach high levels of success through access to larger markets. However, having access to such large audiences, businesses oftentimes get lost in the sea of success and treat customers like order numbers.
Sure, a business isn’t going to be able to send all 11 million customers a hand-written birthday card every year, but there’s no denying that technology has created a digital disconnect between brands and customers, and still does to this very day.
Accenture holds an annual study gauging the experiences and attitudes of consumers all over the world on marketing, sales, and customer services. Their 2016 study revealed that consumers want more human interaction. The study further revealed that not only did companies rely too heavily on digital technologies but it cost them their customers as well.
Based on that study, it poses a question:
How can businesses realistically nourish and cultivate meaningful connections with customers when operating in a digital era?
Well, the answer to that question might leave you with one eyebrow raised and have you scratching your head… The best way to cultivate and nourish meaningful connections with your customers through engagement is to use more technology (mic drop).
That answer probably sounds contradictory, but the technology you need is in big data systems. Through big data, you’re going to have a better understanding of your customers. Everything from preferences and patterns to their overall shopping behavior, you’ll have all the tools to provide them with a better experience, which will, in turn, cause engagement levels to increase.
Here are four ways, backed by data, to boost customer engagement for your e-commerce site.
4 Ways to Boost Customer Engagement Backed By Data
1. Suggestive Selling Through Predictive Analytics
Suggestive selling requires predictive analytics to give you insight into the browsing and buying habits of your customers. This is going to allow you to make recommendations based on what your customers like. Is it “spying” on your customers? Maybe, but not in a creepy way.
Amazon is the perfect example of just how effective suggestive selling can be. Amazon has a recommendation feature that accounts for 35% of its revenue. You’ve seen it before... “recommended for you Laura” or their “frequently bought together” options.
Incorporating suggestive selling on your e-commerce site will allow you to inspire a transactional move without the hard sell simply by suggesting things they like and may possibly like.
2. Personalized Incentive Perks
Personalization is something that more and more businesses are offering simply because it plays a pivotal role in increasing conversion rates. But the only way to truly capitalize on personalization is through data analysis.
One of the top ways to obtain really good customer data is by offering incentivized perks in exchange for information. Is it a bribe? Absolutely! But it’s a bribe that customers are willing to take on.
You can take advantage of personalized incentive perks simply by paying attention to the purchasing frequency of certain products. If you notice that customers have purchased a product that has a two-week supply, you can send out a reminder email to those customers to repurchase and include a personalized discount.
3. Mapping Your Customers’ Buyer Journey
Knowing exactly when to engage or re-engage your audience is a major contributor to boosting your conversion rate. This can be accomplished by the content you create on your site simply because it influences whether or not the customer trusts your business as well as their intent on buying.
For example, when customers are in the last stage of their buying process, their focus is going to be on content like how-tos and other informational content to confirm that they’re making the right decision in buying your products.
A lot of the larger companies have an entire team that creates content for their audience, but if you don’t have the staff for an entire content marketing team, you always have the option of hiring an industry expert for quality content writing services. This will give your site credibility and set you up as an authority and industry leader.
Big data is going to automate your targeting and help you determine the type of content you need to provide to your audience. But you will need to have a strong understanding of your business’ sales funnel in order to create a realistic customer journey map to engage or re-engage customers based on where they are on their journey.
4. Customer Demand
One of the most frustrating aspects of a customer’s shopping experience is to find something they absolutely love and then go to click on it and find out that the product is out of stock. But equally enough, businesses can waste money on inventory by having more than what the customer demand is.
Uncertainty in customer demand is now a thing of the past. With the help of demand forecasting, you can now use customer data to predict your market for a particular product or service.
This particular form of predictive analytics will help you lower holding costs, optimize your stock levels, and “available to promise” (ATP), which will, in turn, help you keep happy customers by preventing them from seeing that dreaded “out of stock” disclaimer.
Despite how loosely the term “engagement” is thrown around, engaging with your e-commerce audience is extremely important. When you’re able to make a genuine connection with customers, they’re more likely to show loyalty to your brand and refer your business to friends as a trusted brand they know and love.
In your efforts to boost customer engagement, make sure you’re using big data to its fullest advantage to ensure you’re nourishing and cultivating the meaningful connections you desire.