Businesses are increasingly integrating creative methods to engage their customers’ hearts, minds, and wallets. Traditional push marketing and one-way “spray and pray” approaches don’t work anymore.
One of the most effective ways to increase your conversion rate is to target your audience smartly. This can be done in a number of ways, but for most e-commerce stores, customer engagement is a necessary part of any marketing strategy. Engaged customers account for a 23% higher share of profitability, sales, and relationship growth.
Here are six creative ways to engage your customers and revitalize their shopping experience so they will continue to purchase from you and your online store.
Let’s get started!
Get creative on your social media channels
Social media engagement has many benefits for your business. It attracts new customers, brings in leads, and also helps you build a brand. Social media isn’t just about promoting your products and services to your customers. It’s also a way for you to engage with them. A study shows that 90% of customers purchase from brands they follow and engage with on social media channels. I’ll take a guess that you are re-posting the same old stuff and hardly interacting with your fans. Well, that’s exactly what you need to change.
Focus on building a personal connection with your followers instead of selling. For instance, posting fun content or memes can get you more likes and engagement. Tell stories to your customers about your brand and what you have to offer. For instance, Nike is a great example of a company with engaging social media content that has over 140 million followers on its Instagram account.
Test out Groupon-type deals for your store
Not sure how to get new customers into your store? Need an idea for a promotion to drum up some PR? Or maybe you’re just bored and want a fun project. Whatever the reason, Groupon-type promotions are a great way to add value to your business by providing new incentives for new customers to check out what you have to offer. These promotions can also be used as a tool to retain your current customers if catered towards their particular interests. The benefits of Groupon-like deals include more traffic and exposure for your business at a fraction of the cost.
Groupon has taken the world by storm because there is a simple business model behind it: give the customers a great deal on your products and services. When customers get a great deal they are happy, and you are happy because you sold products at a discounted rate. Offering Groupon-type deals can help to increase your sales, collect customer data, and attract new customers. Sounds like a win-win to me!
Reward them for referring new customers
If you’ve been in business for any length of time you know that one of the best forms of marketing is word-of-mouth. It’s all about your customers spreading the news about your company to their friends and colleagues. Over 92% of people trust referrals and recommendations from people they know over any other form of advertising. This why referrals are the best way to get new customers, which in turn helps your bottom line. When you reward your customers for referring new customers to you they will want to send more customers your way.
For instance, Hello Fresh is a great example that offers a referral program. Customers can send a free box full of groceries and recipes to their friends. They can redeem a freebie through an email invitation. Alternatively, Hello Fresh has a refer-a-friend program that offers you a discount when you share your unique code with your friends. Referred customers will receive a $40 discount off their first delivery when subscribing using a referral code and the referrer’s account is automatically credited $25.
If you don’t have a referral program in place yet, it’s probably an opportunity for you to start digging more and trying a referral program on your online store.
Encourage user-generated content to keep the brand connection authentic
Increasing brand awareness, creating emotional connections with customers, and improving marketing results are the goals for most businesses. You may be thinking that you’re tasked with developing a promotional campaign to accomplish these goals, but are you? Let’s think outside of the box! User-generated content (UGC) is appealing because it is natural, authentic, and can have a humanizing effect on a brand. Allowing customers to interact with the brand might be just what your business needs to become more effective online. Effective UGC strategies can help you boost social proof on your website resulting in more sales and brand trust.
Repost customer reviews
The greatest thing about collecting reviews is that you can use them to boost your social media presence. You can grab your customers’ attention by reposting their reviews on your social media channels which can get your brand noticed. Use tools like Canva or Adobe to create stunning visuals with customer reviews for your social media. Maintain a good visual presence on Instagram and consider using text on Twitter.
Launch a UGC campaign
Run a contest with a hashtag for your customers who follow your brand on social media. People love contests as it is a fun way to share their experience with a brand and win prizes at the end. For instance, you can give out prizes to the most creative contestants with a bundle of products from your store or a voucher that they can redeem on your website.
Feature your customers
Use your social media channels to build a community and appreciate the feedback of your happy customers. Don’t be shy to ask your customers for photo or video reviews to post on social media channels. Customers love to feel valued and acknowledge it when brands share their reviews on social media. Many of your customers won’t miss out on the opportunity to get featured on the brand’s social media pages.
Gamify points for reviews (and top reviewers get some goodies)
Engaging your customers is really difficult to get right. However, if you treat them well, they’re likely to convert quicker and also leave reviews. Reviews are so important because the more you have the higher you’ll rank in search results. According to Parceltrackr, only 77% of shoppers would leave a review if asked.
Gamifying reviews is one of the best ways to increase traffic and encourage user engagement. Gamification has helped many brands increase the quality of their inbound marketing strategy as well as provide real value to customers. It encourages loyalty by making your website fun to use. People want to be recognized as helpful reviewers, and get a badge as proof that they are. The idea is simple – you give people a point for reviews they have left, and the top reviewers get some goodies or rewards from your brand.
You could do so very easily by integrating reviews or loyalty apps into your store. In the app’s settings, you can verify users and offer them rewards for being a top reviewer. This allows you to engage your most loyal customers and increase traffic to your store.
Give out free samples to customers who come back frequently
We all like free stuff. And retailers know this…Well, don’t just take my word for it. I did a little digging and found some pretty interesting facts about the relationship between freebies and repeat sales. Over 81% of customers surveyed say that they are more likely to purchase a product after they receive a free sample. Also, 49% of shoppers say that a free product is the best part of the shopping experience.
Many well-known brands such as Sephora, Living Proof, and Splenda offer freebies with a purchase. So why not take a small sample of your products and give them away to customers who have already bought from you? This can work really well if you sell something like food or supplements, where you can give the customer a free sample. For other businesses, try something similar — give away a small free gift to your frequent customers.
Engaging with your customers is key to making them feel special and motivate them to spread the word about your store. Enriching your customer relationships with creative engagement tactics is worth the time and effort. Doing so will help you gain traffic to your store, sell more, and grow your customer base.
We hope that you found this article insightful and gained some ideas on how to engage your customers.
Polina Kulikova is a digital marketeer at Growave, and she is passionate about creating content for e-commerce businesses to help them succeed. Growave is the all-in-one marketing platform for small and medium-sized Shopify stores. Growave helps to drive conversions, boost sales, and build brand loyalty. Some of Growave’s features are Reviews, Loyalty and Rewards, Wishlist, Social Login, Instagram, and UGC.