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[Google] Make the Sale: Build, Launch, and Manage E-commerce Stores: Tips for increasing customer engagement

Getting customers to your e-commerce store is a big achievement. But it’s not enough. Once a customer is on your website, you need to keep them engaged.

Customers who have a good experience on your website are more likely to become repeat customers. Plus, they’re more likely to spread the word about your company, which often leads to more customers.

According to HubSpot, 77% of consumers share their positive experiences with friends, on social media, or on review sites. Consumers who share their positive experiences are called brand evangelists, or customers who are so passionate about a product or service that they enthusiastically promote it to others.

In this reading, you’ll learn three tips for increasing customer engagement on your e-commerce website. Customer engagement is the interactions and emotional connection between a customer and a brand.

Tip #1: Enable product ratings and reviews

Product ratings and reviews are an important part of your e-commerce store because they help customers make a decision about whether or not to buy a product. According to research, 89% of consumers worldwide read reviews before buying a product. On top of that, 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Reviews from other customers make a big difference in how customers view your products.

Another good reason to enable product reviews on your website is because the conversion rates for product pages with reviews are up to 3.5 times higher than pages that don’t feature reviews. That’s a big increase in sales!

Product reviews can also help reduce the rate of product returns. Because online reviews give customers more information about a product, they help the customer make better decisions about whether a product is right for them. This reduces the need for customers to return a product because it didn’t meet their needs or expectations.

Types of product ratings and reviews

Product ratings and reviews can include one or more of the following:

  • Star ratings
  • Written reviews
  • Photos uploaded by the customer
  • Videos uploaded by the customer

Star ratings are typically the easiest to receive, because they don’t require customers to write or upload any content. The ratings usually include one to five stars, with five stars as the highest rating.

Written reviews provide helpful details about why a customer likes or doesn’t like the product. They are valuable because the information provided can help customers decide if a product will meet their needs based on someone else’s experience.

Customer-uploaded photos and videos are impactful because they show the product in use. For example, a customer who submits a positive review and photo for a dress can influence the purchasing decision of other customers who are similar in size.

Product review with star ratings, a written review, and customer-uploaded photo

Product review with star ratings, a written review, and customer-uploaded photo

Tip #2: Ensure a good user experience

When customers visit your website, they should be able to easily find the information they need. You can do this by creating a good user experience. The user experience is how a person, the user, feels about interacting with, or experiencing, a product. In this context, the product is your website.

The customer should be able to find what they need using the search function or navigating the menus on your website. Make sure your site includes easy access to helpful information, such as a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page, return and exchanges policy, and contact information for customer service.

Since a growing number of customers shop on smartphones, it’s important to optimize your website for mobile and other devices, such as a tablet. One way to do that is to use a responsive website, which is designed to work on all types of devices, including computers, mobile phones, and tablets. You may also want to consider launching an app so that customers can shop more easily on their mobile device.

A responsive website is designed to work on all types of devices.

A responsive website is designed to work on all types of devices.

The product pages on your website should include high-quality images and detailed product information. Since customers may not be able to experience your products in person, it’s important to provide as much information as possible online. Virtual experiences can also enhance the customer experience by allowing them to try on jewelry or picture how a TV would fit in their living room.

The navigation for your website should be simple and intuitive—including the checkout process. You’ll learn more about optimizing the checkout process in another section of this course.

If you’re interested in learning more about user experience, you may want to consider the Google UX Design certificate program.

Tip #3: Personalize the customer experience

According to a research study by Accenture, 91% of consumers say they’re more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them. This is called personalization, which is the practice of delivering a customized experience for each customer.

One way to offer a personalized experience is to use a product recommendation engine, which is software that uses artificial intelligence to analyze customers’ data, learn which products might interest them, and display those products to the customer. The recommended products for each customer might be based on their browsing history, recent purchases, or the saved preferences in their account. For example, a customer who recently purchased a laptop might receive recommendations for a keyboard, mouse, or other related accessories.

Product recommendation engine displaying “Products you might like”

Product recommendation engine displaying “Products you might like”

You can also personalize your offers by tailoring them to the customer. For example, you might set up an automatic email campaign so that after a customer purchases a laptop, they’ll receive an email for 10% off a keyboard and mouse.

You might also personalize your rewards program, which is a marketing strategy designed to build customer loyalty by providing incentives for customers to continue shopping with the brand. One way you could personalize your rewards program is by sending the customer a special offer or gift on their birthday.

Another way to personalize the customer experience is to guide the customer to the right product using a questionnaire on your website. You could also use online chat on your site to help customers find what they need. Allowing customers to add a monogram to products or include a gift message could be another way to personalize the customer experience.

There are many ways to personalize the customer’s experience. Finding unique ways to provide a personalized experience that are tailored to your specific products or services can help set you apart from your competitors.

Key takeaways

Focusing on engaging the customer is one of the best ways to create a successful e-commerce business. A few of the ways you can engage customers is by enabling product reviews, ensuring a good user experience, and personalizing the customer experience.