How do you differentiate your online shopping experience? Do you compete on pricing, does your brand hold a special place in the hearts of your shoppers, is your product unique, or is it the best of breed?
Nothing’s impact on your business may ever trump your product, brand name, or customer service, but a unique shopping experience can come close. Here being different is just a start, being interesting, engaging, and helpful are what makes an impact.
First time visitors often need a hook to stick around, and while being a price leader has a huge impact on conversion rates, sometimes it’s not enough. It reduces the value of each new shopper which is too bad because bargain hunters already have a higher likelihood of moving to a competitor the second they find a better deal.
New shoppers who don’t bounce immediately can be encouraged to continue their journey on your site with just a little bit of acknowledgement and a reward, even if the reward is purely symbolic rather than a discount. A badge or a link to an exclusive site category can give shoppers who are interested a reason to explore a little bit longer, maybe join your customer loyalty program, and eventually convert. Now that’s interesting!
Purchase history is meaningless to a customer, it provides no incentive for them to return more often or stay loyal to your brand. However, as a business, your customers with a meaningful purchase history are more valuable to your company, and they should be invested in accordingly. Public leaderboards keep longtime customers engaged with your brand and give them something they would lose by switching to a new competitor – status.
Reward new and established shoppers with discounts, exclusive offers, free shipping or personal invites to events.
Nothing will outshine good ol’ fashion customer service. Calling a number and immediately connecting with a human is priceless. Getting customers to this stage is the hard part. High context product recommendations can help get them there.
In addition to past purchases and onsite behavior data from social network APIs like Facebook Open Graph can help you attach actionable and unique information to customer profiles. Knowing what region someone is from, relationship status, age, gender and more enables marketers to pick out relevant categories and serve truly helpful product recommendations.