Browse our best sellers: customer engagement ideas to increase retail sales

Friday, September 17, 2021

As a retailer, you know it’s important to continuously attract new customers, increase customer engagement and drive a dependable revenue stream. But sometimes it’s tough to see what the next best idea is or where it will come from. Luckily, you don’t have to wait for genius to strike. We’ve curated a collection of strategies and tactics to help you build your customer base and boost profitability.

Simply bookmark this page and come back to it anytime you’re feeling stuck or needing inspiration.

Customer loyalty

It’s been said that “one without a smiling face should not open a shop.” And while we know you shine with a radiant smile and electric, entrepreneurial energy 99.9% of the time, it is nice to know that personal charm isn’t the only tool you have to keep customers coming back. You can also:

  • Rock customer retention with a rewards program: Rewarding customers shows you value their business and creates sustainable revenue for you. According to Forbes, brands with good loyalty programs inspire 73% of customers to recommend that brand and 79% of them to make repeat purchases.

    If you don’t have a customer loyalty program,
    learn how to get started in just three steps.

  • Surprise and delight your customers: This may sound hard to achieve, but it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Delivering a memorable customer experience can be as simple as adopting practices like these:

    • Include a hand written, thank-you note in order shipments

    • Host and invite customers to events

    • Include a special message on your boxes or packaging

    • Make personalized recommendations with items customers will really love

    • Share your expertise to help customers get the most out of their purchases

    • Upsell items that complement what they’re buying or have bought in the past

    • Offer free gifts to your best customers

 

Customer engagement strategy

You wouldn’t rely on just one or two products or styles to capture customers’ attention and keep them coming back. So why limit yourself when it comes to how you engage with them? Today’s savvy shoppers expect interactions with their favorite brands to deliver real value, and take place whenever and wherever they want.

It’s important you’re available, personable and responsive through as many channels as you can manage with care. Try this:

  • Get social and generate revenue: Social media is a unique and fun way to build customer relationships, show them your personality, gain referrals and boost your bottom line. If you haven’t set up social media profiles for your business, or you have and they’re not generating revenue, check out this blog and this guide for tips to help you:

    • Create social media profiles for your business on popular platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn

    • Post regularly and share user-generated content

    • Identify hashtags that are relevant to your product or audience

    • Build your audience by creating “tagging” contests for your followers

    • Create content that shows customers how to best use your products

    • Launch a YouTube channel or even a podcast

    • Make the Instagram algorithm work for you

    • Partner with a social media influencer

    • Share, like and comment on posts that are relevant to your mission

  • Improve and protect your reputation online: Because social media is all about two-way communication, there will be times customers use it to share bad experiences. It’s crucial you are aware of when they do and are able to respond quickly. Forbes reports that nearly half (42%) of customers expect a response within an hour, and a late response is as bad as no response at all.

    I
    n this day and age, it’s so important you manage this very public feedback loop well. Read this blog to learn how in just five steps. 

  • Keep customers coming back with personalized email campaigns: While email has been around for a long time, it can still be an effective way to engage and create loyal customers. Avoid spam, use personalized messaging and reach out during key touchpoints in the customer experience. You could:

    • Send a welcome email 

    • Get personal with location-based marketing

    • Borrow user-generated content for “As Seen On” emails

    • Rescue abandoned carts

    • Launch post-purchase emails

  • Capture online shoppers with your website: Chances are you’ve put some work into building your website. But is it working for you? Your website should serve as more than a digital billboard for your business. It should work 24/7 to create engaged customers and convert them into paying customers. If it isn’t, see this blog and this white paper for ways to:

    • Use social media and digital word of mouth (DWOM) to drive traffic to your website

    • Humanize your brand so it feels friendly and familiar

    • Optimize your website for search and mobile users

    • Audit your site to make sure pages load quickly and links aren’t broken

    • Add colorful photos and engaging product descriptions

Marketing and branding strategy

If you’re suddenly imagining executives in a high-rise boardroom going on about “corporate ecosystems” and “synergies,” we get it. But marketing and branding strategy is more than professional puffspeak. It’s a powerful plan that can deliver big wins for small businesses.

All you need are some practical tips and tools, a little time and honest customer feedback. You can:

  • Gain trust by building your brand: Your brand is more than just the name of your business. It’s the sum of each impression you make on your customers and the positive emotional connection they feel as a result. And that feeling is more than a "warm fuzzy;" it's actually good for business. Brand loyalty often translates into referrals, word-of-mouth advocacy and higher customer lifetime value. 

Download this white paper for steps on how to: 

  • Define your company values

  • Create a mission statement

  • Pinpoint what sets you apart from competitors

  • Identify your brand’s tone of voice

  • Determine your aesthetic and messaging

  • Design a logo

  • Increase sales by improving the customer journey: Understanding how your business and product fulfills customers’ needs through the lens of their experience creates happy, engaged and repeat customers who boost your bottom line. 

Businesses that use multiple approaches to improve the customer journey and experience see six times greater profits year-over-year. 

A solid customer journey also takes the guesswork out of marketing and improves the effectiveness of promotions. Invest the time it takes to:

 

Bring it all together

If you haven’t implemented most — or any  — of these ideas, that’s OK. Start by working on a few at a time. You don’t have to do everything at once. 

But if you see potential and are ready to move on several of these ideas quickly, we can help. You don't need an army of marketers or even a formal marketing program. Heartland’s Customer Engagement Suite makes it easy to obtain the customer data you need to offer personalized service that will improve customer satisfaction and keep them coming back for more.

You'll also get tools to build a customer loyalty program, understand customer behaviors, deploy campaigns and set metrics to understand their effectiveness. And it's all backed by a dedicated, US based customer support team who is on-hand 24/7 to answer any questions you may have.

Ready to move forward? Contact us today!