Effective communication is the backbone of every successful business. Customers need to have access to any and all relevant information about both the product and the company in order for a sale to happen. But when the primary medium for customers to connect with your business is through a website, it can sometimes be difficult for owners to navigate how to keep shoppers engaged during the buying process. From product specifications to blog articles, every customer touchpoint should be optimized for your consumers so that your e-commerce site runs smoothly.
Improve your user experience
Your website is usually one of the first ways that customers come in contact with your business. When your website is intuitive for visitors, you’re showing your customers that you’re committed to helping them find the products that they need. Make sure that all the information your users need to make a purchase is easily accessible, from prices and product descriptions to how your company differs from your competitors.
There are plenty of things you can do to improve the user experience of your e-commerce site, from updating the navigation bar to creating content that is specific to your target audience. First-time visitors should be able to easily find the pages that are relevant to them without having to search your entire site. Place your best selling products on the first page of the site, that way users don’t have to go hunting for the one thing that they came to the site to find. Be sure that products are in the proper categories in your navigation menu, and give users an easy way to get back to your homepage on every page of your site. With this in mind, your visitors are able to engage with the content that is relevant to them without having to scour through things they’re not interested in.
You also want to be using language that your users will understand. If your audience is particularly tech-savvy, then they may need and appreciate a more specific description of products and services. If your audience is fashion-forward, then your content should be using language that would attract them. By mirroring the way your audience communicates, you’re showing that your brand is a perfect fit for them— making it more likely for shoppers to buy from your site. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make sure you do it right.
Give personalized messages to your customers
It’s no secret that shoppers enjoy being addressed in a way that’s unique to them. According to one study, customers don’t like receiving generic promotions and offers that get sent out to everyone else, and they’re more likely to shop with companies who they feel know them well. This is why it’s critical that e-commerce sites spend time speaking to their audience as individuals rather than as a large group, and show that they resonate with buyers on a personal level.
In order to communicate with your shoppers so that you have a solid understanding of them, you must consistently reach out to them with information that is specific to them. Send out an email to a customer who has abandoned their cart without finishing their transaction and offer products that might be of interest to them. Provide a returning shopperreturning shopper with useful recommendations based on their previous purchases. Send out a survey after purchase and allow the customer to share their thoughts and opinions. Each time you interact with someone on an individual level you are showing them that you care about their experience just as much as you care about making a sale, so make sure you’re reaching out often.
Offer reliable customer service
Online shopping should be an easy process— your customer visits your site, finds what they want, buys it, and goes on their way. Unfortunately, this process isn’t always so simple. Users should find it easy to contact a member on your customer service team should a question or issue arise.
The key to having reliable customer service is to give people a variety of ways to get in touch with your business. Some users may find it faster and more convenient to communicate with websites over the internet—whether that be through the website itself, through email, or through a social media site— while others may prefer to discuss their concerns over the phone. Your customers should be able to use whichever medium is most comfortable for them.
If you find that your customers are constantly reaching out with small questions that can be answered through text, it might be beneficial to use a real-time chatbot service that lets customers quickly interact with a member on your team to address their concerns. This feature gives you the benefit of always being available to your website visitors, showing your dedication to their shopping experience.
While it’s true that some people shop online because they prefer to socialize through a computer rather than in person, e-commerce websites should not discount the importance of real-life human interaction. Some queries, like tracking package deliveries, price discrepancies, and product returns are sometimes better handled talking over the phone. It may be beneficial for e-commerce sites to use a cloud-based contact center software to handle these situations. This software not only allows your team to effectively address the concerns of your customers’ but it also gives you customer experience analytics to help your team give the best support to your shoppers.
It is by using appropriate communication tools that e-commerce sites can effectively and efficiently provide solutions to their customers’ problems.
Utilize your owned channels
There plenty of sources out there telling you the benefits of using influencer marketing to boost your online sales. While influencers are a great way to gain exposure for your site, it’s incredibly important that the influence your owned channels have doesn’t go unleveraged. Owned media is anything that your company and/or website have complete and total control of. These include your blog, your company newsletter, and social profiles.
Blogs give e-commerce websites the ability to engage with their audience in a way that goes beyond just trying to sell them things. It is through this medium that you are able to show off your thought leadership. By giving your audience different types of content to engage with, you’re strengthening customer relationships that lead to brand loyalty and ambassadorship. Similarly, newsletters and email marketing campaigns provide yet another chance for your customers to engage with you in a way that’s not solely you trying to sell them something. Use this touchpoint wisely by sharing content that lets your readers learn the different facets of your company, and send personal emails whenever possible.
Social media provides the ability for two-way communication, meaning that customers are able to instantly provide feedback on the products your selling as well as the content that you’re producing. Use this opportunity to humanize your brand, while using call-to-actions to drive traffic to your site. Make sure you have the bandwidth to respond to your audience as quickly and often as possible. This will make your customers feel seen, heard, and valued.
Even when your business is handled primarily through a website, it is extremely important that you have a communication strategy in place to keep your customers engaged before, during, and after the buying process. It is through intentional interactions with your shoppers that you are able to build a loyal customer-base.