How to improve digital customer engagement for retail

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The pandemic accelerated the transformation of digital customer engagement for retail. When brick and mortar stores had to close their doors, e-Commerce exploded virtually overnight. And according to a survey of 3,400 B2C companies, those that embraced digital customer engagement saw an average revenue growth of 70%.

Although stores have since opened their doors, it’s a new world. Customer demands are shifting, and retailers must adapt or be left behind. It’s critical to respect the needs and wants of online consumers — especially since more than half of B2C digital engagement takes place over a digital medium — but it’s also important to remain authentic to your brand. The online customer experience should reflect the in-person retail experience, and provide a consistent CX overall.

Looking to improve digital customer engagement for retail while staying true to your brand’s roots? Read on to explore seven opportunities to enhance your digital engagement strategies.

Interact with customers at moments that matter for major impact

The digital transformation has created some digital fatigue. Customers want a seamless, simple experience. The “work smarter, not harder” adage applies here. Engaging at the right moments and in the right ways can make all the difference to your customer.

Some examples could include:

  • Starting a chat while they’re viewing a product
  • Segmenting emails/texts to send only the most relevant content
  • Delivering contextual promotions/offers
  • Anticipating issues through proactive educational content

It’s a delicate balance to remain top of mind without overwhelming the customer. By strategically engaging at the right moments, you’ll be able to influence customers in a “just right” dosage across the purchase journey.

Understand your customer through the supreme truth teller: data

You need more than a gut feeling to identify those pivotal moments that matter — you need data.

Attracting, engaging, converting, and retaining retail customers requires a deep understanding of your customers’ journeys and experiences. You may think you know your customer, but the data doesn’t lie, and it can unearth some surprising discoveries about your shoppers’ behavior.

As marketers, we have more data at our fingertips than ever before. But that data is useless if it’s not being translated into actionable insights. Ensure you’re leveraging your data to maximize the impact of your digital customer engagement efforts.

Create a unified customer view to develop one-on-one relationships

One-on-one customer engagement provides a prime opportunity to develop loyalty, upsell, or generate referrals. Unfortunately, it also provides an opportunity to end the relationship: 91% of customers are willing to switch companies after just one bad customer service experience.

Today’s online customer expects a consistent experience, no matter what medium they’re on. They don’t want to repeat themselves, and they expect you to know about them — their purchase history, personal information, and all previous interactions.

Cross-channel visibility is a requirement to ensure positive customer interactions. While a customer may have 10 interactions with 10 different team members, it should function as a one-on-one, ongoing conversation. Having a unified customer view that collects data from every channel creates a better experience for your customers, and also saves time for your customer service agents.

Use AI for personalized interactions 24/7

Not long ago, AI and chatbots seemed “high tech”. Now, they’re commonplace. Customers are used to the technology and it has advantages for both sides.

Customers can get fast, personalized assistance 24/7. Customer service agents aren’t bogged down by simple tasks. Plus, AI is getting smarter, which means chatbots are getting more helpful … and better at sales.

We often think of chatbots as a pure customer service tool, but that’s evolving. By 2024, it’s predicted that consumer retail spend via chatbots will reach $142 billion — up from just $2.8 billion in 2019. Almost 40% of internet users prefer talking to chatbots over human agents, which makes them a powerful tool to enhance digital customer engagement.

Give customers a reason to keep coming back

When an online customer comes to your website, are they greeted by the exact same experience at every visit?

In brick and mortar locations, we know it’s important to keep things fresh. Merchandising, promotions, and events give customers a reason to keep coming back. Your online customers should get the same treatment.

Delivering new and unique digital experiences is essential to getting your customers in your digital front door, which presents more opportunities to upsell or upgrade. Bare-minimum online shopping experiences aren’t going to cut it in today’s sea of competition.

Maybe that means a chatbot has different personalized greetings depending on your customers’ journey. Or perhaps you regularly update your website with helpful tutorials surrounding your product. Find ways to keep things fresh in a way that makes the most sense for your brand and customers.

Equip your team with the right tools

If your customer experience team doesn’t have the right tools, they’re likely going to get frustrated. If they’re frustrated, you can bet your customers are too.

It’s essential that your team has the right tools and technology to efficiently and effectively serve customers. They need an omnichannel view that empowers them to see where exactly the customer is in their journey to provide faster and more personalized assistance.

Investing in the right tools can feel challenging given that technology is changing rapidly. Read this blog post for tips on how to future-proof your digital customer service tech stack.

Show, don’t just tell, through visual engagement & videos

Visual engagement like co-browsing, screen sharing, and video chat can cut down on customer frustrations. Humans are visual, and adding visual engagement to your retail website can:

  • Clarify information and create the ability to quickly understand the customer’s concern
  • Foster a better emotional connection
  • Help you stand out against competitors to promote brand loyalty

Read: How Powerful Visual Content Grows Your Retail Business

In addition to powerful one-on-one visual engagement, we’re seeing more and more retailers use videos to engage their customers. Tutorials, product demos, promotional videos, and customer stories can be used at various stages of the customer journey to improve their experience and loyalty.

Retail CX: Download your guide

For more insights, trends, and tips to help boost digital engagement for retail, download your free copy of our retail CX ebook.

Download the retail CX guide here

And if you’re ready to explore how Glance Guided CX solutions can help you meet your customers wherever they are in their journey, book a demo today.

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