Today, with the advent of Internet – method of communication has changed dramatically. We can now connect and maintain relationships with anyone, anywhere in the world.
This also applies in the world of retail. Simply spending money to only divert new customers for your retail business may not bring in the expected returns on investments, however building a continuous relationship with your customers will make it inexpensive and easy way to reach out to your customers.
If you have a retail business – selling products online/offline then implementing customer engagement tactics is important. This is because it will encourage your customers to engage and share their wonderful experience that you create for them as a business and a brand. When performed in a right way – a strong customer engagement strategy will cater brand growth and loyalty.
What can a strong customer strategy do for your business?
– Reduces marketing cost for diverting new customers
– Increases brand awareness
– Fuels growth and boost opportunities
Effective engagement strategies for your retail business
Offering content in the form of videos will make it exciting for your customers to engage with your product/brand. “YouTube” has always been a great platform for retail business to set up a business page, but today there are many other photo/video sharing platforms that includes Instagram, Vine which allow tools to create highly entertaining videos.
For online store owners: This can be an effective source for engaging your online customers. Create an attractive teaser promoting your new products with a tagline and target relevant customers using the above mentioned platforms. Doing this you automatically encourage them to post their opinions and feedbacks for your products, increasing engagement level up to a great extent.
For offline store owners: Installing the latest game box or a small display showcasing your product line at your retail store will attract kids and adults who accompany their beloved ones for shopping. Customer engagement does not only mean making sales, but offering recreational activity will make your store one of the favorites whenever they wish to shop offline.
– Customer reviews
Its always seen that customers only post reviews for a brand or product if they have a bad experience. Obviously, it’s not your intention to drive such reviews but replying back to those reviews becomes equally important if you want to maintain a good brand value in the market. Apart from those negative reviews, you should think on ways that will encourage customers to post good reviews and feedbacks for your products.
For online store owners: Displaying good product reviews on your website and social media accounts will spread a good name for your brand as well as encourage other customers to share their experience when purchasing product from your site. Customer reviews will not only create a brand awareness but also increase conversions dramatically.
For your offline store owners: Soliciting customers feedback will help you not only to improve your offline store, but also address any mistakes that bother customers. Offer a feedback form to get a better idea of what customers think about price, product, shopping experience, etc. Try and infuse a touchpad devices to conduct such surveys as it will make it easy, quick and exciting for customers to provide their opinions.
Personalizing is one of the oldest strategy, but still used by many retail business owners to increase engagement level with their customers. Following this medium you not only create a good brand value but also encourage them to return back to your store for a repeat purchase.
For online store owners: Creating a website that allow customers immediately get (navigations) what they are looking for will increase engagement level and conversion rates dramatically. Also, sending personalized email to first-time customers including a survey form after which they could unlock a discount coupon on completion is another great way of increasing customer engagement and converting them into a repeat customer.
For offline store owners: Offering attractive coupon codes or giving away sample products as freebies on filling out the feedback form at the cash counter will make more and more customers share their opinions for your brand. No matter good or bad, every customer’s review for your brand will help you take measures to improve your service day-by-day. Attaching a printed ad to those freebies displaying all your best selling products will encourage them to re-visit your store for another purchase.
– QR Codes
QR codes known as quick responsive code works by simply scanning the code with a mobile device that is equipped with a camera and QR Code reader application. These applications can be easily downloaded for free on popular smartphone platforms such as iPhone and Android. Today, more and more retail business owners are taking an advantage of this source to offer their customers some sort of engagement factor in a fun manner.
For online store owners: By infusing a QR code which is linked to products on your website will allow customers to share it with their friends and family and interact with each other online. Also, you can offer discounts codes that will encourage customers make a purchase on-the-go over the phone.
For offline store owners: Place a QR code that is nearby your retail store and is easy for customers to scan. By doing this, you encourage potential customers to enter the store and look around for the product or incentive placed in the code.
Publishing newsletter is the simplest way to involve customers while keeping them aware of the latest promotions, sales, and recent events within your company. At the same time, it’s a great source for showcasing industry knowledge and expertise within your industry.
For online store owners: In order to attract more and more customers subscribe for your newsletter, offer promotional discounts on subscriptions. This will increase engagement level as well as keep your brand alive in their mind at frequent intervals.
For offline store owners: Similar to online store, target customer whom you feel can be your potential ones by offering a promotional discount on subscribing for your newsletter from within the store. Doing this you automatically spread your offerings, news and other information as well as you can share a line at the end of the newsletter suggesting that customers email you personally if they have any questions. You can then email them back directly to form even deeper relationships.
– Social media competition
Many shoppers frequently research for products online before making a purchase, hence organizing small competition will encourage them to get into action. Conducting social media polls can help you gain perspective on a certain demographics thoughts and buying habits, which can be implemented into future marketing campaigns.
For online store owners: Your business has a presence over social media sites, and majority of your customers will be available on those sites. Frequently come with polling campaigns offering customers a small discount on completion that they can use for their next purchase from your store. By doing this you automatically create an awareness for your brand and repeat sales for your business.
For offline store owners: Having an online appearance for your offline store will give you a wider platform to target a mass of relevant customer in one go. And, such platforms allow tools to organize competitions targeting local customers which makes it easy for them to engage with your products/services. Announce a price for the competition in-store and not online. By doing this you will not only attract participants but also make the members of their network curious to visit your store to know more about your offerings.
– Allow blog post reviews
Having a blog page becomes very important if you want your products/services rank high in search engines. Regularly updating content relevant to your retail business will keep you products and product-related information visible online. This will make it easy for online shoppers to engage and provide opinions for your products and brand.
For online store owners: Promote blog post reviews over social networking site giving an access to your blog page. By doing this you encourage potential customers to get into action allowing them to input their thoughts regarding the post.
For offline store owners: Creating a blog page for your offline store will help you spread your brand name in a very cost-effective way. Therefore, try and promote content through your business accounts over social media sites. By doing this you will automatically encourage potential customers and people from the similar industry provide effective opinion and solution.
– Direct support
Direct Support is lot more better than an automated machines when it comes to increasing customer engagement. Answering machines creates an impression that your customers aren’t worth your attention and that’s not what you want them to feel, right? Also, an added advantage – when a real human answers your consumer’s calls because it makes them feel that their concern and satisfaction are your top priority.
For online store owners: The most effective way to keep your customers engaged with your site is to have a live chat support in place. By doing your customers can quickly connect with your support staff when they are lost with your site, or having a problem in finding a product, or due to any other reasons. With no live chat support such customers will immediately leave your site for one of your competitors.
For offline store owners: Sales representative are the key factor of increasing engagement in-store, hence it is becomes important that you have trained and skilled employees at your retail outlet who not only assist customers who shop from your store but also offer telephone support to customer who are offline.
Savio Fernandes is a writer who influences. Writing for over three years at Orderhive, he is currently focused in offering eCommerce and retail solutions for start-ups and medium business owners.
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