5 ways to increase e-commerce user engagement

One of the pillars of effective marketing is to cultivate strong engagement with users that visit your website. eCommerce user engagement is a complex concept. In today’s digital era, it is one of the core metrics to take note of when it comes to measuring online store performance.

Cross device usage is on the rise – users browse a website on a desktop computer and various mobile devices and often switch between them during the process of making a purchase.

Engaging with a user is important at every point in their journey – during the research stage through to the point of making a purchase – to ensure that they can easily acquire relevant information and to form a meaningful relationship with your business.

Failing to engage with users increases your website bounce rate and also results in customers purchasing from competitors.

The world wide web is filled with rich and useful content so the first impression that you make on a user is vital. It can be the difference between gaining or losing a customer and can happen within a matter of moments.

For an eCommerce site to truly thrive, your web presence must be truly engaging and must be suitable across all platforms. 

1. Share useful content

Many businesses take for granted what they have learned over the course of running a business and feel that many insights need to be kept to themselves. The idea that someone may steal your idea or content is not always the case. You will always be perceived as an expert in the industry and your users will be able to learn more about your business.

Sharing your knowledge through online channels yields great rewards. People who find the information useful will usually come back for more and may form a community that will share and spread your content on your behalf through word of mouth.

For example, by creating product reviews, people will look to your site for advice and will likely make a purchase from your site as a result.

2. Ensure flawless & intuitive navigation

People find their way through a website by it’s navigation structure. It is one of the key components which affect user engagement. Clean and easy navigation allows people to find their way around. If a user is misguided through a complicated navigation structure they will become frustrated and will leave your site quickly.

Navigation must be suitably positioned though is influenced by the type of website you operate. Do your research. Review what competitors are modeling. Note what works and incorporate it within your own design.

People want to perform as few tasks as possible on a website. Features like auto-complete on forms and product / service filtering allow users to interact with a site more easily.

‘What’s New’ is a category which comes in handy. It minimises the users search and piques interest immediately. Category names should be simple and easy to relate to.

3. Cater to all devices/platforms

It is common for users to interact on a number of devices when making an online purchase. Mobile use is ever increasing however desktop presentation is equally important. Studies have shown that users often gather information on mobile devices and then make a purchase on a desktop.

4. Use CTAs wisely

Every eCommerce site needs strong calls-to-action as they are the main directives which compel a user to perform an action. Common CTAs might be “Buy Now”, “Contact Us”, “Signup Now”.

Testing different CTA headlines can help determine what is effective and what doesn’t work so well. Wording, size, colour and placement affect how a user interacts with a button so it helps to make decisions based on what testing indicates. Consider how the CTA appears for mobile users – on this device, users want a CTA that they can click with a single stroke.

5. Use quality imagery

People are highly visual creatures. For a store design to really ‘pop’, high quality and clear images are a must. This is especially important for eCommerce sites in terms of product images – a user needs to be able to zoom in on a product to see the detail of their intended purchase.

Demonstration, or real-life, videos are also extremely helpful and allow users to more tangibly perceive what they are buying.

It can also be of benefit to ask social media followers to submit images of them using or opening a purchase that they have made from you. This aids in cultivating social proof.

eCommerce success is tightly associated with user engagement values. Your site must have valuable content and streamlined navigation for a user to be able to journey through the site with ease, find information that they seek and complete their purchase. Supports such as effective CTAs and cross-device compatibility contribute significantly to maintaining user engagement throughout the information gathering and checkout process.

Published on Wednesday, 8 May 2019 under CRO, eCommerce.