By Justin Kraft

Your website is the face of your business. Often, it’s the first point of contact potential customers will have with your brand. Even if you operate a traditional brick and mortar storefront, customer engagement with your website occurs when they search for your contact information, operating hours, location, or details about specific products and services. More and more frequently, this is also where customers go to make purchases or payments on their account.

The problem is many websites can be one dimensional and generally look the same and this makes it difficult for customers to distinguish you from your competition. Think about your favorite restaurants or coffee shops that you might recommend to someone. The first ones that come to mind are those that are doing something different to set them apart. These businesses are likely innovators thinking outside of the box about unique ways to improve the customer experience. They also seem to make a habit of going out of their way to create compelling opportunities that drive customers to interact with their brand.

What a successful website engagement strategy looks like for your brand will greatly depend on what you hope to gain from increased interaction with your customers. Here’s a few ideas to help you get started with increasing website engagement for your business in 2020.

Gamification and Interactive Doodles

Play to Win! Gamification is a great way to reward customers that play games with winnable discounts, loyalty points, or exclusive offers. Don’t want to give away the kitchen sink? Offering non-monetary rewards such as personal recognition through badges, special mention on social media platforms, newsletters, etc. can offer your customers the same gratification.

By adding a layer of interaction that could be as simple as moving around puzzle pieces, spinning a wheel, or popping a balloon, you create a connection with your customer.  They have a chance to get a benefit to something they wouldn’t normally have access to. Not to mention, this is all while having some fun.

Giveaways

Enter to win! Win big when you organize a contest, giveaways, drawings, or sweepstakes. Who doesn’t love free stuff? Despite outward appearances, contests can be a very cost-effective method to help your business. For instance, giveaways can drive traffic to your website, generate leads, segment email lists, grow brand awareness, promote products, improve brand loyalty, and grow your social following.

After all, nothing really comes for free. Potential and returning customers are required to perform certain measurable activities like visiting your website and inputting personal information such as receipt number or email address. Where your competition might be asking for this same information, are they offering a chance to win in return?

Storytelling

Create an emotional connection with your customer. Do you have an emotionally compelling product success story or an exciting service use case? If so, storytelling might be for you!

Stories give your customers the opportunity to relate personal experiences and values to your brand. A great example of using storytelling to drive online engagement is revamping your About section with compelling media. Customers want to  visualize the early beginnings of your brand story and follow along your road to success. This will create a rare connection that allows you to highlight your company values and relate to your customers on a deeper level.

Push Notifications

When used in concert with other website engagement metrics, direct customer messaging (push notifications) can be a powerful customer communication tool. Instant contact with customers is a privilege so be mindful of your messaging and it’s value to your customers. Here’s some great ways to leverage push notifications to strengthen your customer relationships.

  • Struggling with user adoption? SaaS companies often use in-app messaging or browser notifications to increase user adoption and analyze feature usage.
  • Need to improve customer retention? Responding quickly and thoughtfully to changes in customer behavior can go a long way.
  • Business is slow? Direct your most loyal customers to an exclusive online sale or coupon download to drive revenue while showing customers you appreciate them.
  • Let’s say a customer leaves an item in their shopping cart, you might be able to overcome a pricing objection if you notify them of price changes as they happen.

LiveChat

Connect with your customers anytime from anywhere. LiveChat offers a wide array of customer centric value propositions. From anticipating customer needs, to addressing pain points – when you respond to customers in real time, you increase conversions. Businesses that use the chat function, boost productivity and minimize phone support costs by creating automated workflows triggered by specific activities.

Here are some initial examples of ways to best utilize live chat: Build rapport through positive scripting, up sell bundles and add-ons, offer personalized discounts, and give relevant product information.

Website Design UX/UI

Catch them off guard! Your website paints a picture and sets the tone for sales conversions. With hundreds of design layouts to choose from and customize, why would you want a cookie cutter template? While we encourage you to keep the structure simple and consistent, that doesn’t mean that you can’t change it up a bit with your design. Think about what makes sense for your customers. Below you can find some common designs to help you decide which is right for your business.

  • Magazine
  • Modular
  • Grid or Gallery
  • Full Screen
  • Featured Image
  • Single Column
  • Video Background
  • Zig Zag
  • F Pattern
  • Z Pattern
  • Linear
  • Carousel
  • Cards
  • Presentation
  • Parallax Scrolling
  • Long Scrolling
  • Fixed Scrolling
  • Infinite Scrolling
  • Asymmetrical
  • Split Screen
  • Symmetric

The list goes on and ultimately you can work with a designer to create a custom design that speaks to your customers in a way only you can.

Consumer Education Tools

Figure it out! Website engagement statistics show that roughly 70% of consumers want to learn from your website before taking additional action. In today’s day and age consumers like to make informed purchases. Whether you’re involved in high-end technology sales or in the business of selling common goods you can’t go wrong when you add value to your website.

With the information superhighway at their fingertips it’s important that you establish yourself as a trusted advisor and an authority in your market.

When you utilize website engagement tools, they need calculate the value and/or functionality of your product or perform side-by-side product comparisons you equip yourself with valuable product feedback and create trust between you and your customer. This can lead to fewer customer service issues, and faster sales cycles. The bottom line is an informed customer is a happy customer.

Effects and Animations

Wow visitors with responsive interactive design sets to showcase your offerings and your ability to innovate in style. Fluid effects, transition animations, 3D models or scanning, map pins, drag and drop shopping carts, hover effects, timeline markers, music bars, and so many more!

Choose the right combination effects and animations to create micro interactions.

Remember, you only get one chance to create a memorable first impression. A positive perception can bring additional opportunities to interact and engage with your customer. These key factors lead to an increased customer lifetime value. However, it is important that you engage with your audience in a meaningful, exciting way.

Will Website Engagement Ideas Work?

Clearly defined and measurable objectives are critical in the success of any website engagement plan. When website engagement ideas are implemented, individual goals may vary. It’s important not to initiate multiple website changes at once to measure specific outcomes of website engagement models.

These tips will help you engage your clientele throughout your website in 2020!