As COVID-19 continues, people are continually encouraged to stay home and maintain social distancing. This has resulted in more time online, specifically shopping and adopting contactless delivery. This consumer behavior will change the world of online retail as we know it; but it will also change everything relating to customer engagement and loyalty marketing.
In just a few months, this pandemic has significantly changed the way people shop, raising e-commerce figures and enticing more people and businesses to take their stores online.
Although this is not over yet, statistics, surveys, and analysis show that at least 50% of consumers are expected to do the following:
- Continue online shopping after the pandemic is over
- Never go back to in-store grocery shopping
- Order more from online stores in the coming months
So, What Does This Mean for Businesses and Stores?
This is an opportunity for every startup, retail store, and business to change its strategy and pivot to cope with the changes in a world where technology and online transactions are growing. It’s also a good time to focus on increasing your existing customers’ loyalty.
However, you can even grow your business and acquire new customers by simply providing an online shopping store or an e-commerce platform. You can actually now set up an online store so easily through Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento.
Many businesses already started shifting to building a strong online presence, of which some managed to increase their sales by up to 250%, according to a recent article by Zoovu. As the shopping behavior evolves, you also need to optimize your customer on-site experience, engage, and retain your customers. Here are 10 ways to do that.
Customer Engagement and Retention Strategies
In any business, communication is key. So, communicate with your customers frequently and consistently. Do not go below the radar.
Set expectations with your customers about long delivery times and possible delayed chat responses. Increase awareness of health safety and precautions. Conduct surveys and go live on social media platforms to discuss improvements out of the survey results.
Communication is one of the best customer engagement strategies you can implement. Don’t annoy customers but be sure to make them feel you’re there.
2. Online Support
Customers may have questions on products they view or purchases they made. Set-up a hotline or a chat service that is available for specific announced hours. You can even integrate a chatbot, like Widebot, into your system and offer 24/7 support.
3. Increase Payment Methods
Customers are aiming at a contactless process, so make sure they have it!
Add different payment options like credit cards, e-payments, or even installments for customers who may be facing cash flow problems.
4. Discounts and Free Shipping
Offer your customers discounts for big payments, multiple purchases of the same item, buy two and get one free, and free shipping.
If you are able, give free items to health carers, like nurses and doctors, just upon showing their medical ID!
This can be a great marketing tool for your business. You can also incorporate it in your CSR work.
5. Create Payment Rewards
Reward your customer for their payments by allowing them to collect points for every purchase they make.
When a customer signs up or completes a purchase, reward them with points that they can later redeem on their next purchases. Check Gameball loyalty and reward programs for easier customer activation, engagement, and retention!
6. Online Marketing
Customers are now paying more attention to your digital marketing and social media channels, whether it is online ads, emails, or SMS.
The more time they spend at home, the more they browse, and the higher is the chance to see your ads or special offers!
Online marketing can, therefore, increase your customer engagement and keep your brand in your customer’s awareness.
7. Happy Hour
Create a happy hour for discounts on specific items or increase the value of loyalty program points to increase sales. Announce the exact time to your customers ahead or just announce the day and surprise them with the exact timing.
This will help you increase visits to your platform, along with engagement, and sales. Again, Gameball has got you covered to do that with their hot loyalty program.
8. Sponsor a Charity Organization
Try a percentage give-back with each purchase to one of the COVID-19 fighting organizations. Your customers would love your brand even more for supporting such an important cause.
9. Highlight Your Reviews
Customer testimonials are your powerful tool to market to your brand and act as social proof to potential customers that they are making the right choice. Ask your loyal customers to write reviews and reward them for those reviews.
Highlight the good ones that reflect the true essence of your product. Post them on your platform, social media accounts, and your ads. Check out the judge.me app to help grow your online store through their easy-to-use cool review app.
10. Use Referrals
Word-of-mouth marketing is another strong tool that every business owner must use! But the big question is “How can you encourage your customers to refer people in their networks?”
The answer is simple, generate unique codes for each one of your customers to use to refer their network. Once, someone is referred and uses the link to signup and place an order, reward both customers with a discount, the referee and the referred!
If you are sure how to do that, visit gameball.co and book a free demo to get your referrals program up and running!
E-commerce is all about creating and validating your online presence. Make sure you are always there for your customers, engage with them, reward them, and always keep them updated and informed.
It can be difficult and overwhelming at times like now, but there are many tools out there that you can use to automate many of your day-to-day tasks.
Have you used any of the mentioned tools and apps for customer engagement?
Comment below and let us know your favorite app so far.