E-Commerce and Customer Engagement
Customer engagement is the name of the game in e-commerce. At a minimum customers expect that their orders will be fulfilled correctly and on time. We spend a lot of time making sure that that happens at Capacity LLC, and that's really what it takes to stay in the game.
There are a few things that retailers can do to engage their customers and to make sure that they keep coming back again and again via e-commerce channels.
Rule number one is that it's got to be a memorable experience, in a good way. The question to ask is what you can do to distinguish yourself from the competition. What's the extra service or feature that not only going to keep customers coming back but also recommending your brand to their friends. That's true customer engagement.
Packaging is a good place to start. How can you make it stand out and make it an integral and pleasurable part of the shopping experience. I had once read about how Apple had designed its packaging to unfold just so. If you've ever opened an iPhone box you know how it just slides off, not too slow, not too fast. It's part of the design. It's all part of the experience.
You don't need to spend years designing your packaging to succeed. Offering distinctive packaging, however, is one way to stand apart from the crowd. It gets people talking.
Another way to enhance the e-commerce shopping experience is to include something extra in your packaging. It's a way to connect personally with consumers. Everyone enjoys a personal touch... and something for nothing. If there's a way to add a personal note to an outgoing package that's something you might want to do. You don't have to do it for everyone, but it's a nice touch.
Complimentary samples to a long way toward building customer engagement. Aside from being a nice touch samples also prompt new orders. They can enhance revenues and encourage repeat orders. Free shipping is also great. It's one of the things that I look for when comparing prices from competing e-tailers. It's also something that you don't have to offer to every customer. Perhaps it's something that you want to offer to your best customers. Use it the same way that casinos offers comps to their best customers.
It's much more difficult to establish meaningful consumer engagement with people when they're ordering online than when they're in the store. It doesn't necessarily cost a lot of money, you just have to be creative. A small investment in thinking out of the box could result in measurable gains in business.