As the physical world continues to face limitations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the digital world is more active than ever. Most channels of business have been hit hard as social distancing practices have taken effect. Left with two choices, businesses can close their doors completely, or turn their attention to digital customer engagement. While it may seem like the rules of business have been tossed out the window, it is important to focus on what remains (and will continue to remain) true:
- An online platform is an extremely strong tool to grow your business;
- Higher customer engagement equals a higher rate of sales success; and
- Investing in your customers now will pay dividends in the future.
So how exactly do businesses go about increasing digital customer engagement? Keep reading to explore this question below.
The Accelerated Shift to Digitalization
In the blink of an eye, COVID-19 has turned eCommerce into the only viable form of commerce for the foreseeable future. The in-person meetings and events used by businesses to promote products and connect with customers have all been cancelled, and the majority of their buyers have moved almost exclusively online. Now, more than ever, businesses need to focus on enhancing digital customer engagement.
Regardless of where or how a purchase is made, the modern consumer wants a personalized, informed, and engaging buyer experience. But how can you keep customers invested in your brand when the only way you have to interact with them is through a computer screen?
Increase Digital Customer Engagement with a Customer Loyalty Program
Today, loyalty programs give customers both a reason and a way to connect with your brand online. With special promotions, gamification platforms, communications tools, and compelling rewards, loyalty programs give businesses the ability to provide personalized, memorable, emotionally impactful experiences for their customers. Depending on your business’s digital practices before COVID-19, an online loyalty program can be a great first step to begin building your digital presence or to enhance your existing digital platforms.
Loyalty program software utilizes a variety of channels to increase digital customer engagement and keep your brand top of mind, while helping you measure the results. Below are a few examples of the digital engagement opportunities that a loyalty program provides.
When it comes to digital customer engagement, communication is key. An online loyalty program provides you with a unique virtual platform to communicate your business’s value proposition and engage customers. Omnichannel communication tools let you connect with your customers across email, SMS, and push notifications, according to their preferences. Incorporating reward-earning opportunities with your digital marketing will make your communication even more engaging!
Trivia and Gamification
Your customers are most likely receiving consistent COVID-19 updates, which means they also need activities to help decompress and lighten spirits. Make your business stand out as a positive experience in their day by providing game-like, digital learning opportunities! Points-based trivia and quizzes are just a few of the ways you can amp up your digital customer engagement through your loyalty program, while educating them on your products.
Gathering Data to Increase Personalization
Promoting your products and educating your customers are not the only benefits of an online loyalty program. Your loyalty program can be a valuable tool to collect customer data. Whether your customers buy direct or through a channel, loyalty programs can be used to collect firmographic and demographic data, monitor customer engagement, and spot opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. This data allows you to better understand customers on a personal level and to personalize your sales and marketing.
Making the Shift to Digital Customer Engagement
If digital customer engagement was not something your business focused on before the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone. Adapting to this monumental change will not happen overnight, but you can start with small, informed steps. With the help of an online loyalty program, your business can begin to move in the right direction by providing personalized digital customer engagement and communication.
Now is the perfect time to begin making this transition. For many companies, business is slow right now, so use this downtime to your advantage by gearing up for program launch. As other companies are reducing their marketing spend, launching a loyalty program will give your business a major opportunity to stand out and show your customers you’ll be there for them when it counts.
Need more information? Incentive Solutions is ready to provide you with a free consultation. Let us know how we can help your business manage this change.