6 Customer Engagement Tips for Every E-commerce Site

Welcome to the Attention Economy

What’s the one thing every e-commerce site needs more of? Attention. That is, more people visiting your site, staying on it for longer periods of time. Why? Because the more often they visit and the longer they stay, the more likely they are to make a purchase. It’s important to note that longer and more frequent visits aren’t a random occurrence. There’s a lot you can do to make your e-commerce site more attractive to customers.

Here we take a look at 6 specific actions you can take to increase customer engagement on your e-commerce site. But first, let’s take a closer look at the meaning of customer engagement.

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What Is Customer Engagement?

For e-commerce vendors, customer engagement refers to how much customers interact with your website. Customer engagement can be measured in metrics like time spent on the site, amount of money spent, the number of visits, and so on. Customer engagement on e-commerce sites is important because the more customers engage with your site, the more likely it is they will do things you want them to do, such as make additional purchases, spend more with each purchase, and recommend the site to friends.

Use Social Media

Because so many people use social media, it’s likely that your customers are among them. You can start to build interest in your e-commerce site on those platforms. For example, you can develop marketing campaigns for Instagram, by posting informative or entertaining information on your company profile or by placing ads. Social media ads are highly effective because they’re narrowly targeted to specific demographics. 

Remember, social media interaction isn’t one-way. That is, don’t just post your own information and expect customers or prospects to respond. Give them a reason to respond by asking questions, requesting opinions, running contests, or suggesting that they create their own posts, such as photos of them using your products.  

Provide Ways to Connect

Take the same process of reaching out and asking for a response to your site itself. Provide ways for customers and prospects to interact with you there, such as:

  • Chat. A customer who has questions that go unanswered is less likely to make a purchase. Provide an obvious chat option so they can get quick responses from your customer care team. 
  • Feedback options. Give customers ample opportunities to tell you what they like or how to improve. Put a feedback button on your site and send one via email after each purchase. 
  • User discussion board. Give customers and prospects the opportunity to chat with others who are interested in your products. Set up a discussion board to enable them to communicate with each other about questions and uses for your offerings.

Be a Thought Leader

In addition to letting customers discuss your products among themselves, be sure to create your own content around your offerings. It could be in the form of a blog, frequent articles, white papers, infographics, webinars, or a podcast. This content can serve any number of functions, such as identifying industry trends, showcasing new products, providing case studies about specific customers, or simply sharing useful information.

For example, say your e-commerce site sells sports clothing for women. You could interview customers about their latest races, climbs, hikes, or other accomplishments and write them up as articles to post on your site. They would serve as an inspiration to other customers and associate your brand with things they want to see themselves doing. Always include social buttons so readers can share your expertise. 

Announce New Products

Treat your site visitors as special guests by letting them in on new product offerings before you share this information with anyone else. Gather email addresses from customers during the checkout process and from others when they visit your site. Then, send out email blasts showcasing the new products and their benefits. You can even offer a discount for these special customers. Do the same on your social platforms and consider creating different offers for each audience. 

Start (or Improve) a Reward Program

A reward program can keep customers motivated to return to your site and continue buying from you. Start by deciding what you will reward customers for. Some examples include:

  • Total amount of money spent 
  • Amount of money spent per purchase
  • Number of visits to your site
  • Referrals to friends
  • Social media posts
  • Response to special offers

Next, establish reward levels. For instance, you might decide that customers enrolled in the reward program get a gift for each $100 they spend. Or they might receive a discount after visiting your site a certain number of times. Make sure it’s obvious what the rewards are and what customers have to do to get them. Make it easy to find the section of your site where they can see their progress. And give them a reward just for signing up!

Provide an App

A reward program can also be tracked on your site’s app if you have one. That’s just one reason to have an app. Others include:

  • Capturing the mobile market, which is large and always growing. While you could also reach this market with a mobile-friendly version of your website, apps are easier to use.
  • Chatting with customer care representatives. You want customers to be able to reach you any time they have a question and from any device.
  • Recognition. Having an app is just one more way to get exposure for your brand. 
  • And, of course, supporting purchases from mobile phones and tablets. A well-designed app makes it simple for customers to shop.

Make sure your app is well integrated with your website. For example, say a customer starts a purchase on their tablet and then switches to their laptop. You’ll want them to be able to continue right where they left off. 

If you have developers in-house, great. If not, seek out a reliable development firm like BairesDev to help you create a custom app that customers will love to use. A good developer will walk you through the process from idea to reality. 

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