In today's digital age, e-commerce has become a vital part of the retail industry. However, the virtual nature of e-commerce makes it harder for businesses to create trust and engage customers compared to traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
The essence of commerce goes through human touchpoints, such as building trust, convincing, explaining, selling, and supporting customers.
Yet, in the e-commerce space, businesses need to find other ways to engage their customers, such as gamification, loyalty program, marketing activities, entertaining content on social media, etc...
When is a customer considered “engaged”?
The theory says there are several levels of customer engagement, which include:
The customer is aware of the company or brand, but has not yet interacted with it.
Interest in product or service or business:
The customer has shown interest in the company or brand, but has not yet made a purchase or taken a specific action.
The customer is actively considering a purchase and is evaluating the company or brand against competitors.
The customer has made a purchase or taken a specific action, such as signing up for a service or downloading an app.
The customer is a repeat buyer, and is likely to recommend the company or brand to others.
The customer actively promotes the company or brand to others, through word-of-mouth or social media.
Customer engagement can mean many things. This list shows an engaged customer can be someone who visits an online store once per week, opens all emails sent by the brand, or even recommends it to friends. These are facts an e-marketer can easily track, since most engagement tools propose a dashboard to follow engagement rates.
However, many e-merchants and marketers define customer engagement with simple, one-off metrics. In reality, customer engagement is a much more holistic experience. It's the sum of all interactions and the quality of each of them that lead to emotional attachment from your customers.
How to foster Customer Engagement on an online store?
Achieving emotional engagement is a challenging task. Businesses have shifted their marketing efforts to human and authentic content, mostly using short videos.
Showing videos of real people telling their experiences or explaining how to use a product can create a strong emotional connection between customers and the company. A more online store is humanized, the more customers will relate to it, trust it, and ultimately take action.
Concretely, the company should allocate a certain budget and hours per week to record short videos. These videos can be:
Create Informative videos
Example: let your customer know about shipping times
Promote Transactional videos
Example: thank buyers on the order-confirmation page
Make great Inspirational videos
Example: a feed of several videos for your visitors to discover new products
Market Effective Product tutorials
Example: explanations of how to use the product at home
Product in action
Example: show the product in us
Regarding budget, $300 to $600 is enough for a mini studio, including a background with neutral tones like navy blue or soft white, a microphone, and a video-editing software (for basic edits like adding subtitles, cropping videos, or trimming them).
Finally, the company should allocate time to record and edit videos. Once trained, an employee will spend about 45 min per video, taking into account the recording and the editing. Based on this number, and on your product catalogue, you can define how much time your employee will need to allocate to produce X videos.
The impact of Emotional Attachment for a brand
Emotional attachment is the strongest part of engagement. Customers who are emotionally engaged will proactively recommend your brand to their peers, buy from your store multiple times, and more. On the other hand, customers who are less engaged usually need a series of incentives, such as a Black Friday newsletter, to take action on your store.
Emotionally-attached customers take proactive actions, while less-engaged clients only react to incentives.
In conclusion, creating emotional attachment is crucial for e-commerce businesses to engage their customers. By humanizing their online stores, brands can create a strong emotional connection between their customers and the brand, leading to increased trust and loyalty.
Businesses should focus on creating a holistic engagement experience and not just rely on simple, one-off metrics. By doing so, they can see a significant increase in customer engagement and ultimately drive more sales.