Customer engagement (or customer loyalty) is one of the e-commerce holy grails. Every online entrepreneur wants to have loyal customers who frequently go back to his or her store in order to buy more products. But why is this customer engagement so important? What are the benefits for your business? And what can you do to enhance brand loyalty in your business? Let’s find out!
Topics related to customer engagement frequently come back on our blog. Last time, we talked about a customer engagement strategy [link]. In that article, we told you a lot about designing a strategy (and available techniques) and implementing it in your online business.
Loyalty programs, personalized customer experiences and product recommendations, online reviews, and marketing campaigns are all great ways to achieve brand loyalty. Every effective customer engagement strategy should be based on such actions.
What is customer engagement?
On the one hand, customer engagement is rather intangible. After all, being a loyal customer can mean different things to different people. Some may think that brand loyalty is all about just not buying competitors’ products. Or that after purchasing the product, the customer should treat it with the utmost care to show how precious it is to them.
The marketing world, though, had to coin a more measurable definition of customer engagement. Frequently, we define customer loyalty through the fact that customers often go back and purchase more products. If you run an online store and you have a customer that places an order once a month – you’ve got yourself an engaged customer.
Of course, the frequency of shopping is not the only factor. After all, many online stores sell products that don’t need to be replaced every month, correct? For instance, if you sell skis and snowboards, it is rather unlikely that customers will need new skis every month. But they can come back to buy a jacket, or maybe a new helmet. In such a setup, even buying something once a year can mean that you have a loyal customer.
What’s important is that the engaged customer doesn’t forget about your brand after one purchase and goes away forever. On the contrary, they stay involved with your brand, which can mean that they:
- Follow your social media profiles and do that willingly
- Subscribe your newsletter
- Frequently visit your store for new offers and discounts
In other words, a loyal customer is an active customer.
Why is customer engagement important?
For starters, loyal customers are ready to buy from you more than once. That means that with them, you sell more products. Selling more products offers many significant advantages! Your business is more stable and reliable (which is very important, especially in these troubled times). You can test new marketing tools and introduce new products to your offer. And finally, you can plan expansion with confidence.
Loyal customers are usually also so-called early adopters. This means that they are interested in every new product that you offer, even if it is a complete novelty on the market. The best example: Apple, obviously. People are willing to spend many hours in lines just to get the latest iPhone, even though there are no significant differences compared to the previous model. And they are willing to pay a lot of money for these products! That is, by far, the best example of brand loyalty in action.
How to improve customer engagement
It all starts with two things:
- The quality of the products that you offer
- Your customer service
Both these elements have to be as good as possible. People are willing to buy again only when satisfied with the first purchase. Make sure you treat each new customer with care. Show it in every element of your business.
Here, personalization is of paramount importance. Customers are especially interested in smart product suggestions – you should introduce them in your store. You can create a loyalty program or a VIP club that rewards people for buying more products (e.g., with discounts, free delivery, or other purchase-related benefits). Other elements comprise subtle reminders about your offer (you can use push notifications or newsletters for that), regular discounts and promotions, attractive prices, and other marketing techniques. Even typical ads can be perfect for growing customer loyalty. That’s because nowadays, people are flooded with news and impulses. They can simply forget about your offer, even if they were satisfied with the service provided. That’s why it is so important to say in touch with them.
And if you are looking for a personalization solution for your online business, drop us a line. At RecoAI, we specialize in product recommendation algorithms that use AI. With our help, your customers will get the best product suggestions they can imagine.