Golden rule for running a successful online store
Since the number of opportunities to communicate with your users rose significantly – from new digital channels to more personalized lines of communication – controlling and integrating so many channels is becoming a big task for online shops. Good communication equals engaging customers in meaningful way, and that can drive higher sales and profits.
In modern times, it’s not enough to simply orchestrate your Facebook and Twitter and say that ‘you are working on’ customer engagement. Mind that your competitors are working harder and can outreach you with more efforts. Retailers are having a hard time to deal with the fact that having a killer product is not enough. It`s great but It simply puts you out in the contest, and your marketing and customer engagement actions will tell who wins the game. You should work on this continuously, in order to stay competitive. Simply put – organizations that engage their customers outperform those that do not
Yes, I know it`s not that easy to build a shop, gather products, organize shipment, customer care and stuff, and then find out that it`s only a beginning. But, as we all know, golden goose is not easy to catch. So, we will try to explain how to focus your efforts on the essentials. And there’s nothing more essential in your store than customer engagement.
I’ve been able to read numerous articles that struggle to define customer engagement and present it as something more or less intangible. The exact definition of the term remains fuzzy although it`s equally explainable like any other indicator of online shop value and potential.
Customer engagement is fundamentally about a customer’s voluntary, ongoing interaction with a company and its products or services for the purpose of mutual value creation. Of course there are numerous metrics that can help you define successful rate.
First, the metric must be simple and clear while also having strong links to key business outcomes. Spending time and effort doing measurements that are not directly connected to your store performance is wrong. Always have in mind that the end result is the number of purchases or order size, so any change in approach to customer engagement (or retention, buyer`s experience and similar) should reflect positively in those end results. Metrics that you should always keep an eye on:
Actions time reflects the total time a buyer spends in the shop, interacting with the store.
Frequency represents how often a user returns to your shop?
Performing important actions
Those actions can be purchasing, leading to checkout, recommending/reviewing. The more important actions buyer is performing, level of adoption is higher.
NOTE: Have in mind that if total time for a buyer is high but performance of actions is low, you should try to work on CTA buttons, store design or investigate what is preventing users from purchasing or interacting (improving shopping experience). This is not to be confused with kart abandonment, that`s another story tied up to the checkout and we will discuss it in the future.
Finding the right metric is a tremendous first step in your organization’s journey toward increasing customer engagement — but measurement without action is meaningless. You should review current engagement status and identify steps that must be taken to increase performance at all levels.
Customer engagement specialists have the ability to proactively identify and address unhappy customers, create buzz, awareness and even entire fan communities, and create a more valuable customer lifecycle. Improving customer engagement goes beyond simply asking the right questions. Engaging requires round focus on changing your behaviors, processes, and systems to anticipate and respond to your customers’ needs. We will talk about it in our next post – part 2 of managing customer engagement.