Not all customer engagement leads to sales, but all sales are preceded by customer engagement.
This is true for both offline and online stores. Shoppers want to have a rich user experience on yours – to easily navigate around categories, products, and other items of importance.
Best of all, the check out process should be easy and seamless. That’s if you want to have reduced cases of abandoned carts.
Sometimes, having done all that is necessary, shoppers still end up not completing their orders. Trust me, I can relate to this scenario.
That’s why I’m bringing you this guide to help you improve customer engagement and sales.
Customer engagement is all about how customers interact with your site, the kind of actions they take while on your store, and how these actions translate into completed sales.
Store owners need to be aware of the engagement level with their customers – keeping tabs of such details as the average time a customer spends on your site, the loading speed of the site, and how it looks on mobile devices.
This post offers you 10 things you can do on your online store that will start producing results right now.
The 10 Quick Fixes For Improved Customer Engagement:
- Allow Your Site Users to Connect With You Instantly
- Organize the Contents of Your Web Pages
- Make Use of Different Types of Contents
- Improve the Time It Takes for Your Site To Load
- Maintain the Connection With Your Visitors
- Make Your Pages Easy to Navigate For Users
- Use Call to Action That Gets The Job Done
- Not Found? Direct Customers to Custom Page
- Make Your Site Navigable
- Optimize the Search Experience With Interactive Site Search
1. Allow Your Site Users to Connect With You Instantly
Okay, so things don’t usually go as planned the first time. It might be a first-time user who isn’t used to the way your products or categories are arranged.
It could be something as basic as finding the check out button, or knowing what steps to take in the check out process.
These days, everyone seems to be in a hurry to get things done. And not having a solution for this will lead to plenty of lost sales.
You might point to your customer support or FAQ page that provides the right answers. But then, you should also have a live chat enabled on your store for rapid response.
Give your customers the impression that they can connect with you at the touch of a button. Make it possible for them to access answers as they surf your site.
Help make the buyer’s journey a smooth one for anyone on your site. And visitors will reward you with more sales.
Live chats are also great for providing round the clock customer support. They personalize the shopping experience for your customers while reducing the stress that they face before making a purchase.
2. Organize the Contents of Your Web Pages
One of the most important things I look out for in any business dealing is the other party’s attention to detail. It tells a lot about what to expect from that business relationship.
This same rule applies to e-commerce stores. How you organize your web pages can attract or repel your site’s visitors from becoming customers.
You might be asking, what has the site design or layout got to do with shopping? Everything! Remember that companies spend so much on branding their products.
Brands that look attractive are more likely to attract customers than the ones that don’t. Do you see how you have been leaving money on the table?
Organize the contents of your site, use the correct image sizes, space the content very well to look appealing.
Organize the structure of your site in a logical manner – every item in its proper place so they can be easily noticed!
You want your visitors to access all the details of a product before taking the next step because this will determine if they proceed to check out or abandon the order along the way.
Use the right mix of color, image sizes, contrast and brightness, and whitespace between the different contents in your store.
If your site lacks the desired structure, you can shop for a new store template to use from vendors online.
3. Make Use of Different Types of Content
Do you want to give shoppers a 360-degree look at your products?
Then make use of every known content type to promote your products. Text is great creating product reviews, details, benefits, and landing pages.
Images are just as good, if not better for those who are visually stimulated. Jpeg, gif, png are excellent formats, as long as the pictures are of high quality. Videos perform well when used for describing product features and benefits.
eBooks, infographics, webinars, tutorials, are all different content types to use for your products. Remember to use them with a good combination to make more impact on your customers.
4. Improve the Time It Takes for Your Site to Load
The loading speed of your site can make all your efforts at improving customer engagement.
When visitors arrive on your site, and it takes forever to load, the only thing they remember is how slow it is. Do you know why they never remember the type of products you have in your store?
That’s because they never waited to find out for themselves. Slow site speed is a one-way ticket for anyone to leave your site before the store finishes loading.
Google isn’t a fan of slow-loading sites either. In fact, the internet giant rewards faster sites over the slow ones. Imagine that your competitors are taking business away from you just because your site takes longer to load.
What are the measures to put in place to ensure that your site’s speed is at its best?
Ensure that your web hosting provider is giving you the best hosting plan that comes with optimized speed. If you are not sure about this, contact their customer support to verify.
You will have to work with your web developer on the remaining measures to take.
Avoid using multiple redirect pages on your site. You can create a custom page to handle all redirects (will be addressed later on in the post).
Also, make sure that your site is optimized for browsing on mobile devices. Close to 60% of total site visits will come through mobile devices, and you want to be sure that they have a great user experience on your site.
5. Maintain the Connection with Your Visitors
Most visitors to your store will not make any purchase on their first visit. Actually less than 20% will buy from your store for the first time.
So, how do you ensure that their first visit doesn’t turn out to be their last? It’s by having the means to connect with them on their visit, and ensuring that the connection is maintained.
You need to capture their emails when they first arrive at your store. You can offer discounts, bonuses, or other incentives for signing up.
Give them something of value in exchange for joining your email subscription list.
Once you have their emails, make sure to send them information that adds value to them. This way you will keep your brand in their faces, and maintain a steady connection with them.
6. Make Your Pages Easy to Navigate For Users
Your pages should be user-friendly and easy for first-time users to find their way around.
You don’t want to record uncompleted orders simply because a user could not move around your site.
The first step for making your site easy to navigate is to ensure that your contents are well-organized. The structure should be logical and every content in its place.
Your navigation menu must be easy to find, and very intuitive for a first-time user. No customer should spend time trying to guess where the button for a page is. All links to the other pages in the check out process should be easy to find.
Most users are not new to online stores, and so expect the pages to follow a logical process. Product page leads to the cart page, and then to the check out page where necessary payment details are inputted.
Make this process simple and straightforward for shoppers in your store.
7. Use Call to Action That Gets the Job Done
The Call to Action is often taken for granted by site owners. Some assume that any set of words would get users taking the required action.
Unfortunately, a call to action is much more important than that. It should be clear, concise, and compelling enough for your users to take the next course of action.
For example, after reading the excerpts of an article or blog post, the reader may want to know more. The logical thing to do is use a CTA such as “Learn More” or “Read More”.
The CTA should match the user’s current mood, or what you want them to do next.
After reading a blog excerpt, the last thing you expect the reader to do is making a purchase.
If users need more details after going through a product page, you can use a “See Review” button. While a “Buy Now” or “Get This Product” follows a detailed product review.
Your Call to Action should be very clear, concise, compelling, and appropriate.
8. Not Found? Direct Customers to Custom Page
There are times when a customer cannot find products they are looking for. Maybe you removed the product page or made changes to its URL. You can be creative about the way your site responds, rather than creating multiple 404 pages.
You could instead direct them to products that are related to their search. Or you take them to a search page where they can search for available products. Or include a list of “Products You May Also Like” to take advantage of the situation.
9. Make Your Site Navigable
A number of fixes have addressed what to do to make navigation easier. This fix deals with using internal links to make it easier to move around.
Rightly placed internal links can help motivate customers to buy more from you.
Internal links also make it easier for your customers to find different or related products.
10. Optimize the Search Experience with Interactive Site Search
Sometimes it is difficult for customers to find products they are looking for at a store. This may be caused by wrong spellings, or not knowing the actual names of the products.
One way to help them around this problem is the use of an interactive site search to hasten the buyer’s journey. This can include auto-complete, product suggestions, and related products.
They can easily find products whose names they don’t know with the auto-complete search feature. Your site search can also allow for misspelling of words or products they are looking for.
Also, let your search results include all available content types for the product they are looking for.
A highly-engaging store is more likely to retain and convert visitors to customers.
People need stores that provide user-friendly interfaces that they can interact with, easily find products, and proceed to check out.
Some helpful quick fixes include the use of live chats to instantly connect with customers and organize your content logically.
Also, improving your site’s loading speed, using custom 404 pages and clearing Calls-to-Action help improve user experience.
Making your site easy to move around with internal links and the use of interactive site search will improve customer engagement on your site.
Some of the listed fixes can be deployed almost instantly, while others may require more technical hands to get started with. If you want to see improvement in customer engagement and product sales, you should get started with the fixes that are easiest to deploy.
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