Building a loyal customer base isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s something that takes time, effort, and resources. A lot of which is spent on laying down foundations for your customer engagement strategies to provide relevant content to your users. The use of customer data platforms to understand your customers wants and needs has been helpful for businesses in the past. And their use still helps to understand customers and increase conversion rates.

57% of a purchasing decision is made by the time a consumer has engaged with you. This shows the value in concentrating on customer engagement and how it can lead to an increase in conversions. Once they engage they’re more than halfway there. Intelligent and relevant messages sent to the right person will help you get your customers to that 57% mark faster.

Yet there is still 53% of consumers that think businesses need to change how they communicate with them. It’s a tough game to win. Engaging with your customers can be made easier if you engage with them in the right way.

A lot of the time, your engagement will come in the form of providing valuable content that the customer is actually interested in. But there are other, slightly more subtle ways to keep them engaged with you.

Personalisation

Providing a personalised experience is what will turn browsers into purchasers. Customers expect you to know them on a more personal level. 

91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with businesses who provide relevant offers and recommendations. They also aren’t as scared as you might think they are of sharing their data with you. 83% are willing to share it to have this experience. It used to be much more difficult to get data. But this change in consumer behaviour makes it more beneficial for both parties. You can create more relevant campaigns that lead to higher levels of engagement and retention. The customer receives the personal experience that they want.

Use of data

The data you collect is one of the most valuable assets you have as a business. Storing it on a customer data platform can help you make better decisions and provide a better experience. But you also have to know how to use it.

Getting the data isn’t the difficult part anymore. But customers won’t just give it to you for free. They need to know that it’s going to be worth their time. Make sure you communicate how sharing their data will enhance the user experience..

There are plenty of types of data you can collect to provide a stellar experience. You can learn a lot about a customer through their purchase history, transactional data, and their behaviours on your website.

Good quality customer communications starts with getting an in-depth understanding of what matters to them.

Segmentation

You should know at this stage that you won’t get away with treating all your customers the same. Various users will use your website for different reasons. Assuming they all want to see or hear the same thing will lead to little or no engagement from your messaging or communications.

This is where segmentation becomes so important. Splitting your customers into different buyer personas using a customer data platform makes it easier to understand who you’re talking to and why. You can then create timely and relevant communications tailored to their interests.

What comes from this is a far more personalised eCommerce experience for the customer. Through this level of segmentation, your engagement levels should increase as well as the likelihood of that customer converting.

Channels

It’s not just about what you communicate, it’s how you do it. Just like different customers have preferences on what they want to see, they also have preferences on where they want to see it.

More than 60% of customers interact through multiple channels. Finding the perfect channel of communication can be a difficult task. But customers expect consistency, so that’s what you must give them.

It’s important you analyse the engagement rates of your customers when it comes to the channels you communicate through. You really need to make the effort to understand what is working and what is not. If you don’t, you could be wasting time and resources on a channel that your customers don’t engage with. Furthermore, you could lose that customer because the message isn’t getting through to them as well as it should be.

Reviews & Feedback

Giving customers the opportunity to provide feedback on products can make them feel as though they are making a difference to your business. Something like this gives them an avenue to interact with your brand. 

Alongside this, it instils trust in your products for future customers. With countless brands and products to choose from, it can be hard to know who to trust and shop with. The fact that online customers can’t physically hold a product before purchasing means that reviews play a large role for potential buyers. In fact, 63% of consumers are more likely to buy from sites with reviews.

Guiding customers along the decision making process leads to sales. Using reviews for customers to get a better understanding of the product can really aid in guiding them towards completing a purchase. Reviews can dispel any uncertainty customers may be having.

Following on from this, any negative review can help you eradicate any issues that customers are having with your product. By doing this it makes customers feel heard and their opinions valued. 

Negative reviews can also play to your favour. If the social proof is overwhelmingly positive, customers will regard reviews as more authentic and therefore more valuable.

Businesses operating in the eCommerce space should actively seek reviews from customers.

Loyalty Programmes

A useful and very successful way to keep customers engaged with your business is to establish a loyalty programme. At their core, they are there to keep customers engaged with your business. And by doing so, they will end up using your site more often. 

An increase in interest in your business and products means an increase in traffic, engagement, and purchases. As well as this, repeat customers spend 67% more than first time customers. So giving customers more of a reason to shop with you with loyalty schemes makes a lot of sense.

You should use the data stored on your customer data platform to identify who is using your site often. These are the customers you should consider sending loyalty programme invitations to.

Loyalty programmes increase average spend and lifetime customer value. So loyalty programmes are a great way of retaining customers and rewarding them for shopping with you on a consistent basis.

Customer Support 

Providing great customer support is a necessity in maintaining the customer relationship and keeping them engaged with your business. Especially in competitive markets where a bad experience will drive customers to other websites.

Poor quality customer support can be infuriating. Customers will happily cut ties with your business if that’s the experience they get from you.

It’s important to remember that when there’s an issue, customers can often get impatient. 79% of consumers prefer a live chat function available on your site at all times. This gives access to immediate support when they need it.

The live chat function is also a great way to engage your customers in real-time, not just sorting out problems. Proactively engaging with them onsite increases the chances of a visitor turning into a buyer.

Using a customer data platform allows you to create an end-to-end experience for the user when an issue occurs. They allow you to ingest the customer’s issue or query to the platform, then send personalised updates on that issue. 

Automating these communications means that your customer will get real-time updates without you having to do all the manual lifting.

Online Customer Experience

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. The experience a customer has on your app or website in the first few moments can influence how often they interact with you. Impressing them with a really good experience from the start is pretty important.

They’ll either leave your app or site satisfied with their experience and return or, they won’t. 89% will look elsewhere after one bad experience. You’ve done the hard work before this with the energy you’ve put into understanding users on your customer data platform. So you should certainly make the most of all that work.

A good experience can be enhanced by a number of things. Page speed is a big one. There are few things more frustrating than waiting for a slow page to load. It makes for a terrible user experience and you will lose some potential customers. The majority of shoppers will leave if a page doesn’t load within 3 seconds. So it’s important to make sure it’s as optimised as possible.

Using real-time stock management is essential too. Customers will be deeply frustrated if they order an item ony to be told it’s out of stock or on back order. If you don’t have it in stock, don’t have it on your website. You’ll be sure to lose a lot of customers if you don’t keep this on the list.

When it comes to checking out and purchasing what’s in their basket, the faster the better. Customers will drop out and abandon their basket if your check out process is too long and complicated. You should ensure that it is as streamlined and easy as possible to avoid losing out on purchases.

Something that can really put people off making a purchase is not being transparent about other costs and shipping times.You should make these clear to the buyer throughout the process to keep them aware so they don’t pull out of the purchase.

Be Consistent

However you engage with your customers, make sure you do it consistently. Given the red sea that is eCommerce, your customers will hear from every site they have ever visited. So make sure you don’t get left in the background and let the other businesses win.

You need to make the effort to make sure your customers don’t forget you. 

To learn more about how customer data platforms can help you engage more effectively with your customers, get in touch today and request a demo.

About Xtremepush

Xtremepush is the world’s leading customer data and engagement data platform. We work with various top brands within the eCommerce industry. Schedule a personalised demo of our platform to learn more about how we can help your brand drive repeat customers and increase revenue.