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Engaging the customer is key for e-commerce businesses

January 14, 2015

Customer engagement is a big part of any successful business model. Whether online or in physical stores, interacting with consumers is priceless.

Customer engagement is a big part of any successful business model. Whether online or in physical stores, interacting with consumers is priceless.

Keeping the dialogue open
Entrepreneur recently published an article that focused on customer engagement as an essential piece of the puzzle for any merchant. The media outlet advised that businesses should focus on continuing to have a dialogue with customers – not ending communications when transactions are concluded. Large pools of data are collected from selling products online, and this information can be used to inform merchants of customer needs and interests. Learning from trends in the data can help businesses steer conversations with customers in the future and improve customer engagement.

A Moxie software study indicated that consumers shopping online would spend more money if brands proactively sought to engage them. Entrepreneur also highlighted that the best way to drive customer engagement online is through a strong content strategy. Allowing customers to contribute to the conversation through comments, product reviews and ratings can help improve the client-business relationship and drive sales upward.The news source added that as social media websites incorporate more e-commerce initiatives into their operating models, customer engagement will become even more important.

Customer engagement is also a brick-and-mortar thing
CNBC reported that Macy’s Chief Executive and Chairman Terry Lundgren believes any company that sells products online will want to have brick-and-mortar stores in the future. Lundgren believes that customer engagement is important and that interacting with consumers physically offers businesses many advantages that cannot be experienced solely online. The CEO pointed to eyeglass company Warby Parker, that operated in the e-commerce space at first, but then opted to open stores.

“They got a feel for what it’s like when the consumer comes in and interacts with them, and they said, ‘This is what my customer wants,'” Lundgren told CNBC. “I think that’s going to be a trend of the future. I think it’s going to go the opposite of what many people have predicted.”

Macy’s own business model reflects this trend, as the large retailer maintains online catalogs as well as store locations spanning the entire country. The omnichannel selling strategy is known to produce results.

Today, many customers like to go to physical stores to inspect products, but complete their purchases online. By targeting customers from every angle, and catering to their fancy, a retail business can be sure to maximize its sales in a world that is increasingly closing the gap between what happens online and offline.

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