Clientbook Blog
September 7, 2023

Digital customer engagement: What it is and why it matters

"Retailer ghosting" is a phenomenon driving customers away without retailers even realizing it.

According to Monica Ho, CMO of SOCi, "when retailers ignore their customers online, they inadvertently send a message that the customer experience isn't a priority. It's akin to retail employees ignoring shoppers in-store, and this type of behavior has a significant impact on revenue and sales."

Leaving customers hanging after a digital interaction is one of the quickest ways to disengage your customer base. When they're not treated as actual customers like you'd see in the store, they feel invisible and won't be inclined to revisit your brand.

So, how do you avoid retailer ghosting? The answer lies in digital customer engagement

In this article, we’ll talk about what digital customer engagement looks like, why it's so important to have a digital engagement strategy, and how to implement it in your retail business to achieve greater customer loyalty.

What is digital customer engagement?

Digital customer engagement refers to the interaction and relationship-building efforts that businesses and organizations take on with their customers through digital channels. 

It encompasses the ways in which companies use technology to connect, communicate, and provide value to their customers. Digital customer engagement is a crucial aspect of modern business strategies, as it allows companies to meet customer expectations in an increasingly digital world.

Why is digital customer engagement important?

SOCi Inc.'s study shows that retailers are "ghosting" more than half of all customers online when they give feedback, ask questions, or leave reviews. This results in a $2.4 billion annual loss for the U.S. retail industry. So, not only are companies losing a significant amount of money, they're also severing ties and relationships with potential customers. 

What drives digital customer engagement?

If you’re new to engaging with customers on digital channels, we’ve got you covered. Here are some key components of digital customer engagement:

Online presence

Maintaining an active and responsive online presence through websites, social networks and social media, mobile apps, and other digital channels is essential. This presence allows customers to find, contact, and interact with a company.

Content marketing

Creating and sharing valuable, relevant content such as blog posts, videos, webinars, and ebooks to educate, inform, and engage customers. Content marketing is an effective way to establish authority, build trust, and improve your engagement rate.

Social media content strategy

Actively participating in social media platforms to connect with customers, answer questions, respond to feedback, and create a sense of community around your brand.

Email marketing strategies 

Sending personalized and relevant emails through your marketing department to engage customers, promote products or services, and nurture leads. Email marketing is a powerful digital marketing tool for maintaining ongoing communication.

Chatbots and AI

Implementing chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) tools to provide instant responses to a customer service inquiry, streamline customer support, and enhance the overall user experience.

Personalized experiences

Using customer data and preferences to deliver precise personalization, such as specific product recommendations or targeted digital marketing campaigns.

Customer support and service

Offering efficient and accessible customer support through digital channels like live chat, email, or support tickets. Promptly resolving customer issues is crucial for maintaining a positive customer experience.

Digital customer service has the ability to make or break a customer's experience and attitude toward your retail business.

Feedback and surveys

Collecting feedback from customers through online surveys, reviews, and social media, listening to understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. This information can be used to make improvements. Glean feedback from previous conversations and practice active listening.

E-commerce and online sales

Facilitating online transactions through e-commerce platforms and providing a seamless experience for online customers. 

Community building

Creating and nurturing online communities or forums where customers can interact with each other, share experiences, and seek assistance.

Data analytics

Utilizing data analytics to gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and engagement rates and patterns. This data-driven approach helps in making informed decisions and optimizing digital strategies. 

Omnichannel engagement

Omnichannel engagement ensures a consistent and integrated experience across various digital channels—from social media channels to email—to meet customers where they are and provide a unified brand experience.

Examples of successful digital customer engagement

Several current brands have made efforts to engage their customer base through digital experiences, thus enhancing their customer journey. Listed are a few of these companies that have succeeded in digital customer engagement strategy. 

LEGO

LEGO engages customers through its LEGO Ideas platform, where fans can submit and vote on new set ideas. Successful ideas can become official LEGO products, giving customers a sense of ownership and involvement in product development.

Airbnb

Airbnb's digital platform connects hosts and travelers, offering personalized search results based on user preferences. Reviews and a secure booking process build trust and encourage user engagement.

Sephora

Sephora's mobile app allows customers to virtually try on makeup, receive personalized product recommendations, and access a loyalty program with rewards and exclusive offers, enhancing engagement and customer retention.

These examples demonstrate that successful digital customer engagement can take many forms, but they all share a focus on providing value, personalization, and an enjoyable user experience to build strong relationships with customers in the digital realm.

How Clientbook can help retailers with digital customer engagement

Clientbook is a customer relationship management (CRM) and clienteling platform designed to help retailers enhance their digital customer engagement efforts. Here are several ways in which Clientbook can assist retailers in improving their customer engagement strategies:

  1. Customer data management: Clientbook allows retailers to collect and manage valuable customer data. This includes information on purchase history, preferences, contact details, and more. Retailers can use this data to create detailed customer profiles, enabling more personalized interactions and cultivating relationships with loyal customers. 
  2. Personalized customer interactions: With the insights gained from customer data, retailers can engage with customers on a more personal level. Clientbook enables retailers to send personalized product recommendations, special offers, and event invitations tailored to each customer's preferences and buying behavior.
  3. Messaging: Clientbook offers various communication channels, including email and SMS, to stay in touch with customers. Retailers can send targeted messages, event invitations, and order updates to keep customers informed and engaged.
  4. Customer feedback and reviews: Clientbook can help retailers collect customer feedback and reviews, which can be valuable for understanding customer satisfaction and improving products or services.
  5. Performance analytics: Clientbook offers analytics and reporting features, enabling retailers to track the effectiveness of their engagement efforts. Retailers can measure customer engagement, sales conversion rates, and other key metrics to refine their strategies.

Conclusion

To improve your retail businesses' digital customer experience, look to your customers for valuable insights into what they're really asking for. Providing an engaging and consistent experience is important for keeping your customers happy. 

Clientbook gives you an easy-to-use, customer-first platform and software for interacting with your customers and turning them into loyal clients. To see how Clientbook can help your retail business succeed, book a demo with one of our retail experts today. 

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