Shopping Cart Software


How to Keep Your Online Store Interactive

 by sinan on 30 Sep 2013 |
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If you spend any significant amount of time in the world of ecommerce, you’ll get to know the buzzword: “interactivity.” That’s because having a successful website means having customers who consistently peruse, browse, shop, and in all other ways interact with your products and content. If you don’t have a contingent of regular visitors doing this, then your site is already failing at its primary purpose.

So to address the point directly, how to keep visitors engaged? Well, it helps to ask yourself a few questions:
  1. Are you regularly updating your landing pages?
  2. What about your blog?
  3. Are you keeping up with comments from your engaged readers and prospects?
  4. How helpful is your support staff? Do you have a live chat option?
If you answer "No" to any of these questions, it's time to jump on the ball and get it rolling!

Keeping Customers Engaged

One of the most essential elements of any successful online store is that interactivity, in other words giving customers the opportunity to connect with real people. In this case: You. If your customers aren’t receiving this basic service, you can be sure that they will take their traffic, (and all the accompanying conversions) elsewhere. They will quickly become a part of the "45 Second" category of people. The ones who only briefly visit your ecommerce site. Usually, they’ll stay for less than a minute and then leave, never to return again.

And since we know that you wish to draw your viewers in to become loyal and regular customers, it's important to keep your store interactive and engaging, which is easier to do than you might expect. Interaction is based on the simple principal of creating action between two or more people. You can easily do this by:
  • Becoming an expert in your niche
  • Creating authentic and insightful Content
  • Staying active within your targeted Social Networks
  • Writing engaging Product Descriptions and Reviews
  • Producing and managing captivating Sales Campaigns
  • Sending Coupons and Discount Codes to encourage repeat visits
  • Requesting Testimonials and Referrals from Satisfied Customers
  • Creating "Best Seller", "Now Trending" and "Most Popular" categories
  • Providing a Live Online Chat service so that your customers can get help instantly
  • Producing detailed feedback and post-sales surveys that encourage customer participation
Most of these are part of the "little" details that are looked at as unnecessary extras, when in fact despite their simplicity, they’re quite necessary for any digital store front that truly wants to sustain a meaningful income from its online business.

Customer interaction can also been seen as an external marketing practice. These kinds of things are achieved through third party blogs and forums. Think of them as opportunities to flex your "helper" muscle and gain fresh new customers directly, while simultaneously feeding them into the lifecycle of loyalty and referrals.

Getting Customer Feedback

Most of the essential tasks listed above can easily be taken care of with new applications and technologies that help you leverage your time and budget. Qualaroo is one of our favorite feedback apps. It’s a simple program that you can copy and paste right into your website, where it will become an interactive pop-up menu that encourages viewers to leave you feedback about their experience on your website. Such information can be vital in the process of understanding how to be everything you customers need you to be.

ServiceKick is another amazing resource for online shop owners like us, who need some assistance getting testimonials without feeling like we have to squeeze the water out of rocks in order to get them from our current customers. Similarly, Ashop's built in newsletter system is a great way to deliver this testimonial request. Just set an Autoresponder to 20 days after an order so it gets to every customer at the exact right time.

This can be an especially powerful strategy, because consumers often trust the feedback of other consumers far more than any sales or advertising pitch you can provide them with. So it works on two levels. First, you get to determine which of your customers are the most interested in you and your brand, because if they weren’t they’d have never responded to your request for a review. And second, you get positive feedback that you can post as a testimonial promoting your site.

Another even quicker trick you can use to enable your customers to provide you with feedback is allowing them to review your products with a click. Much like you would rate a movie on Netflix with 4 out of 5 stars, you can implement similar functionality for your product pages. This will allow your customers to review public opinion about your products at a glance. And the easier you make things on your customers, the more they’ll appreciate your efforts.

Putting all of these disparate factors together will aid you in your most important endeavor, creating an interactive space that keeps customers committed to taking actions and eventually leading to conversions. Anything that keeps a customer’s attention and puts you in a position to capitalize on their interest is a worthy addition to your site. So keep your eyes and mind open for any blossoming trends that can be used to your advantage, and always work to make the desired customer actions easy to find on your web page. 


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