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How to boost conversation and engagement in e-commerce

Via The Business Journals : While you may not be able to put in your 2 cents towards an offline conversation, you can do your best to manage online content and conversations pertaining to your brand.

As an e-commerce retailer, engaging with your audience is key to converting browsers into customers.

The digital age continues to flourish, along with the way consumers are communicating today.

Many consumers turn to social media, review sites and online forums to voice their opinions. They want to be heard.

The big question remains, how do you manage to keep up with all channels at once?

Many brands are investing in online conversation management to keep up with their audiences.

Conversations and engagement

Communication goes both ways, you don’t have to wait for your audience to make the first move to initiate a conversation. Distributing content that invites the public to engage with your brand is the first step to getting to know your audience on a personal level.

Focus your questions towards the needs and wants of your consumers. Content that is worth sharing is the golden ticket to success, since a simple share can lead to millions of views and potential customers. The content you distribute doesn’t always have to be original, if you find an article that relates to your product, why not share it? The more material you find that isn’t written by you that can promote the usage of your product, the more it will help build your credibility and give your audience some food for thought.

There are three steps to take when engaging with customers:

1. Observe

Just like any other question or comment someone directs your way, the first thing you will naturally do is take into account what that person has to say. As the face behind the brand, this gives you direct consumer insight. Keeping up with all your channels and notifications can be exhausting, which is why there are many free tools in place that businesses can use to never miss a beat. Use tools such as Google Alerts, Social Mention and Talkwalker monitor what’s being said about your brand, relevant topics and competitors.

2. Facilitate

Whether you’re selling cookies or art supplies, it should not come as a shock that having a social media presence is vital. Your goal should be to make it as easy as possible for your audience to communicate with you. Staying active and alert throughout all channels will help you reach this goal. Share your social media links on all material possible. If you’re having an event, sale or simply just sending out an email, be sure to include your social media links. This will encourage those on the receiving end to engage with you via social media and get connected with your brand.

3. Join

After you have had a short time to digest the comments directed towards your brand, it’s time to take action. Remember to first and foremost be a good listener. Start the conversation by answering the comment to the best of your ability, but leaving it open if possible. Avoid using industry jargon and cookie-cutter answers, pretend as if you are having a conversation with a friend. Setting a relaxed tone will encourage further engagement. That being said, don’t be shy, ask questions and be open. The more you can get out of a conversation, the more data you can collect.

How do you capitalize on customer engagement? By using the information to personalize your customer’s experience.

Getting to conversion

Whether you have conducted a survey, run a contest or are simply getting your data from what’s being said about your brand, these are all ways to help you personalize ads and campaigns for customers. Always define your KPIs and try to analyze your strategy based around them. See what else about your product you can position to relate it to what your customers like and want.

Be observant, take a look at what words resonate with customers. What calls to action have been proven to be most effective? What are the top three questions or comments that you most frequently receive? These will help you tailor your message for your target audience to drive sales and attract new customers. Use available tools in the market for UX and UI testing.

On top of everything else that it takes to run a business, facilitating the right kind of interaction with your customers should always remain a top priority. The communication between you and the end user are what keeps your business alive. Failed communication tactics can cause damaging results. If you are going to put some tasks on the back burner, don’t let it be this.

Amit Bhaiya is the co-founder and CEO of Dotcomweavers and has been a serial entrepreneur for the past 15 years. This led him into dabbling into several different businesses until he started Dotcomweavers, which grew from a Web design company to a full-blown Web and e-commerce solutions business. Dotcomweavers creates end-to-end custom Web solutions for small and medium size businesses across 15+ different markets.

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