As competition is getting tougher, online stores need to find better ways to engage with their tech-savvy audiences and win their loyalty. Today, digital natives crave more than a fast-loading website with intuitive navigation (though you should never ignore that).
Here are four ways to increase customer engagement and stay ahead of the game.
#1 Visual Search
Visual search is shaping up to become a powerful eCommerce tool that makes an online shopping experience so much faster and easier. You may probably manage to find “a blue purse from a TV commercial” provided you remember the brand name, but you will definitely struggle to properly describe the outfit you liked on your social media feed a week ago.
Underpinned by computer vision, visual discovery functionality eliminates the need for detailed descriptions and uses the language that everyone understands — the language of images. Acting like Shazam for products, visual search empowers customers to take a picture of what piqued their interest and download it into your mCommerce app to search for visually similar options. Not only does this create a more engaging customer experience, but it also significantly shortens the path from search to conversion.
#2 Augmented Reality Shopping
The next big wave in eCommerce, augmented reality (AR) brings the elements of gamification and transforms online shopping into an interactive and more memorable experience. What’s more, AR effectively addresses perhaps the most important challenge that online customers face — if the purchase is a good fit.
AR-enabled apps provide consumers with in-store experiences by allowing them to try out different options inspiring users to make the right decision. Adding AR during your next custom eCommerce development project will score you points with users and position you as a forward-thinking brand like Sephora, Ikea, and others that are already using this technology to step up their customer engagement game.
#3 Artificial Intelligence-Driven Chatbots
Another surefire way to boost engagement is to provide impeccable customer service but a human operator can handle only so many customer requests at the same time. That’s where a smart chatbot can make all the difference between prospects lost through ineffective communication and converted users.
Artificial Intelligence-powered chatbots leverage Natural Language Processing (NLP) to make sense of the user’s input and provide relevant — and immediate — assistance. The fastest response channel, intelligent chatbots can answer routine and repetitive questions, guide users through your marketplace, introduce new products, and even offer personalized deals.
Even more importantly, chatbots allow you to take a proactive approach and start engaging with your potential customers the minute they land on your website rather than reactively waiting for questions.
#4 Social Commerce
Last year, the number of social media users worldwide grew up by 9% reaching a whopping 3.5 billion. The numbers don’t lie — social media has grown to be a massive part of our lives. An average user spends 2 hours 22 minutes per day on social networks. So, it’s only natural to try and reach customers right where they are. After all, no one spends almost 16 hours per week browsing Amazon.
Capitalizing on this killer social media engagement is getting easier as media giants now offer in-app shopping features on the platforms — Facebook Marketplace, Instagram tags, and shoppable posts, Pinterest buyable pins. By using social platforms to market your products and services, you can significantly streamline the customer journey, boost engagement, and spread the buzz around your brand.
As customer engagement is becoming the next battleground, brands are turning to new tactics to build more engaged and loyal audiences. Computer Vision-driven visual discovery, AR-enabled shopping, smart chatbots, and social commerce are the tools that can help you bring engagement to another level.
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