Engagement is a word used relentlessly in internet marketing as advertisers and brands understand that once they’ve conquered this elusive word, the rest will follow. The High Street alone has changed significantly over the past twelve months and now as attention turns to shopping online more methods must be used to entice loyalty and to connect with the customer.
Take a Tip from the Good Old Days
Less than twenty years ago, we had local shops, small independent newsagents, sweet shops and bookstores that were part of everyday life. We loved stepping inside to be greeted with a smile and we felt like we were a valued customer. We felt as if our money mattered and we adored being recognised.
Then the internet came and lives seemed to get busier. Customers were seduced by the convenience of shopping online, and for a while they enjoyed not having to make conversation as they browsed from the comfort of their homes.
Many of us were so enamoured that we didn’t realise that many ecommerce companies hadn’t budgeted for separate customer service staff. We took this on the chin as part of enjoying this new sparkly service.
Then we changed. We became used to having access to anything we wanted online. No longer was weekly delivery enough we wanted it sooner. We wanted arrays of offers, we wanted multichannel retailing and we wanted customer care. As customers started to take online shopping for granted many began to realise that they didn’t feel that same sense of reward when shopping with online brands, they missed the recognition and the personalisation of days gone by.
Ecommerce sites who realised this took steps to ensure they could bridge the gap, proving with their own successes that pleasing the customer is no longer enough, the customer must become involved. This is when the word “engagement” really began to fly, as every business that wanted to succeed needed to personalise their offerings in order to bring the customers in.
Remarketing and Retargeting for Engagement
Although face to face communication wouldn’t be an option (maybe in the future, with Skype etc.), the internet itself did offer brands incredible tools for customer engagement. For instance, by collecting cookies and analysing a shoppers behaviour companies can ensure their shoppers see adverts they’re specifically interested in no matter where they go on the wen. This personalised approach makes the customer feels special and in turn increases customer loyalty.
Social Media Marketing
Social media allows even the biggest brands to connect with customers, it opens up conversations and has the power to raise reputations while increasing your SEO. Although many miss the face to face greeting 80% of shoppers love communicating with brands online through Twitter, Facebook and more.
It’s the easiest way to engage, to offer advice, share blogs, and to gain insights from your own demographic and it can make you seem more like a friend as customers enjoy a connection they would never have without the internet.
In summary, customers should be brought into the business, they should feel like an integral part of your success in order to retain their loyalty.