6 Strategies To Improve Retail Customer Engagement
Customer engagement has never been more important in retail. In years gone by, retailers could differentiate themselves from the competition by offering better products, or by selling at more competitive prices. But today, this is no longer enough.
In order to attract and retain market share, retailers have to go further and work hard to build a loyal customer base. Customer engagement is a vital part of this: making it as easy, quick and personal as possible when customers interact with your brand, so that they feel positive enough to want to come back and shop with you again in the future.
Achieving this requires careful planning and a strategic approach. This blog explores six helpful strategies for improving retail customer engagement, and how you can boost your revenue in a climate where customers can easily shop around online, and have major expectations of service.
The key strategies for improving customer engagement
The importance of customer loyalty can’t be understated. According to Bain & Company, customers who have shopped with retailers for at least 30 months spend an average of 67% more per order.
These strategies can make the difference:
Use AI to segment your customers: Microsoft research has found that by 2025 95% of all customer interactions will be conducted through channels powered by artificial intelligence. AI is proving vital to meeting customers’ increasing demands for personalised experiences. That’s because it can analyse all the detailed customer data at your disposal, and work out which offers or product information will be most relevant to individual customers. It can then ensure that information is transmitted to them at the time when it’s most likely to get their attention.
Personalise to the extreme: Lani Barmakov, eCommerce director of Nourished Life, sums up the importance of personalization very well: “We’re talking to people how they want to be spoken to, when they want to be spoken to: If you like to open your emails at 7pm, it will come to you at the right time.” Understanding the behaviours and preferences of individual customers is critical to delivering this level of personalisation, so that they get the information they want, and feel valued by a retailer that is thinking about their needs
Re-engage existing customers: sales efforts to existing companies generally result in a conversion rate of 60-70%, whereas converting new leads only generates between 5% and 20%. That’s why it’s always worth making an effort to sell to existing customers, who have already bought into your brand and are more receptive to your messaging. Automated engagement technology can help here, contacting customers who haven’t interacted lately with the right offers to generate revenue from them once again.
Listen to what customers are saying: gaining a true understanding of what customers want is vital, and analytics is the most efficient and cost-effective way of obtaining that knowledge. That’s why Gartner has found that 85% of marketing executives say ‘significantly more’ of their marketing decisions are based on analytical findings. Taking an active approach to exploring customer activity, and learning what they want through analytics, is therefore invaluable when trying to respond to their needs.
Use social media strategically: 80% of consumers expect retailers to interact with them on social channels, according to Convince & Convert. However, there are lots of different social media platforms out there, and some demographics use some platforms a lot more than others. This is where customer segmentation comes into play: understanding which platforms and which messaging will resonate best with different types of customers, and maximising the chance of your audience responding to what they receive.
Engage your audience with the right tools: all of the above can be complicated and time-consuming to implement, especially if many of the processes are manual. A customer engagement platform like Retainly, however, can make these vital activities quicker, easier and more effective. By helping to manage workflows, reduce repetitive tasks and understand customer activity, you can target customers with the ideal messaging, through the right channel, and at the right time to maximise the chances of a conversion.
When retailers get customer engagement right, the potential payoff is huge. Not only do they convert more interest from new and existing customers alike, but they also gain new customers as positive word of mouth spreads. At a time when marketing teams are trying to achieve as much as they can with limited time and budget available, a customer engagement platform massively expands the scale of the potential success they can achieve.
Retainly’s customer engagement platform is the efficient way to make every one of your customers a long-term customer. Find out more about how we can support your customer engagement efforts here.