How to Track Your Consumer Engagement - Essential Metrics

Best Practice for Consumer Engagement Using Shopify - How to Track your Consumer Engagement
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What's the secret to a successful e-commerce business?

In this article we dive into some of the world's fastest-growing and most successful brands, attempting to unravel the keys to their success.

Making informed decisions may not seem like a major revelation, but customer engagement analytics happens to be a major topic in e-commerce and the subject of this article.

What are customer engagement metrics?

Engagement metrics are data points generated through customer interactions across your e-commerce and digital marketing channels. They are visualized through platforms like Google Analytics and help us understand customer behavior through interactions.

A successful customer engagement strategy relies on fitting ourselves within the market and not brute forcing our way. The best arguments are always driven home by data and customer engagement metrics are our first and best source of information. 

Example of Customer Engagement Analysis

A/B Testing: When creating a marketing campaign we often compare our options to see which approach is most receptive by customers. Rather than subjectively choosing our campaign strategy, we look at customer engagement which will give us a predictable outcome through comparable terms. A/B testing involves creating at least two similar marketing campaigns and tracking metrics like CTR, Clicks, and Conversions. Once we understand why one campaign performs better than another, we can leverage those key features for future campaigns and repeat the process. The end product would be a highly refined marketing strategy and a more acute understanding of what customers find more engaging.

Why is measuring customer engagement important?

Customer engagement analysis is a system of studying data for key insights and facilitating features that can multiply customer interactions. By increasing the amount of data we produce, we can find key insights that can help us better fit our brand into the market. As a result of better market fit, we can expand our reach and provide a more refined service, which can create a foundation for growth.

Along with the aforementioned, customer engagement metrics can also give us a baseline for evaluating your marketing strategies. Through comparison, you can determine the effectiveness of a marketing strategy, and narrow down a working system. Constant improvement relies on the ability to measure customer engagement metrics and adapt to your findings. As a result, it helps us make informed decisions for market impact.

Furthermore, customer engagement measurement can help you identify weaknesses or potential opportunities in your e-commerce operations. By studying engagement metrics and gathering feedback, you can smoothen the customer's experience and implement features that impact your results. 

Overall, by leveraging the full potential of customer engagement analytics; you can devise superior marketing strategies, improve operations, and optimize your product-market fit. Some businesses utilize customer data more effectively than others, which often results in a clear difference in performance. Ultimately, customer engagement metrics are universal in e-commerce since the industry is largely data-driven, with the world's most successful brands utilizing them for much-needed guidance.

How do you measure customer engagement?

The value of engagement metrics in e-commerce is undeniable. Any marketing or e-commerce effort we undertake is ultimately evaluated by these metrics. As such, the quality and accuracy of data is an important consideration. The list below suggests and evaluates the many types of customer engagement metrics commonly used in e-commerce and digital marketing.

1. Customer Feedback and Surveys:

One of the most direct sources of insight into your business's performance comes directly from the customer. As a result, we see customer reviews, feedback, and surveys being utilized by millions of businesses globally. While not all the information you gather from this method will be of value, it can reveal trends and the occasional major piece of information. Regularly collecting feedback through surveys and reviews can provide valuable insights into customer engagement and satisfaction.

infographic on the value of customer feedback and surveys

2. Net Promoter Score (NPS):

NPS is amongst the most notable customer engagement metrics used in modern e-commerce, which measures the likelihood of a customer recommending your business to others. A high NPS score indicates strong customer engagement. By developing your NPS you can refine your product-market fit and accurately predict the market perception of your brand.

equation for Net Promoter Score

3. Customer Retention Rate:

Customer retention is a major goal for any e-commerce brand since as a lot of value exists in repeat purchases. The ability of a brand to retain customers reflects on the connection it has with its dedicated customer base. Another term used for retention is customer loyalty, a fitting term since loyalty also represents a customer's attitude towards a brand.

equation for Customer Retention Rate

4. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV):

CLV is another customer engagement metric that is commonly associated with a strong connection with customers. CLV measures the total revenue an average customer generates through multiple interactions with your brand. The better your product or service fits into your target audience's “wants” and the fewer alternatives exist in the market, the higher the likelihood that you would be able to retain customers for longer and extract the maximum value from them. Higher CLV is commonly associated with how well your product fits into the market and is a strong indicator for growth potential.

equation for Customer LifeTime Value

5. Website and App Analytics:

Website analytics are the most consistent and reliable data that you have available to you at any moment. While these data points do not demonstrate clear narratives, they are more than sufficient for identifying weaknesses in your e-commerce and digital marketing strategy. Below is a snippet of Google Analytics which reveals some of the most customer engagement metrics. Observing this data can guide your decisions in the future.

Google Analytics - Website Metrics

6. Social Media Metrics:

Social media can be a prominent component of many brands and can account for a major portion of their revenue. Monitoring customer engagement across social media platforms can be a major source of information and can aid in optimizing social media reach and engagement. Start by narrowing down which type of content, what format, and what sort of promotions customer find more engaging and leverage that information for an optimized social media strategy.

Social Media Metrics

7. Email Engagement:

Email marketing is one of the most common marketing channels and is uniquely advantageous because of its low impact and cost of implementation. As such, it is critical that you understand how well your email marketing campaigns operate. Begin by tracking email open rates, click-through rates, conversions, and unsubscribe rates to gauge the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. Compare those metrics to the industry standards and devise a plan to optimize their performance.

Email Marketing Industry Average Metrics

8. Customer Support Metrics:

Customer support is an essential component of any e-commerce operation due to the technical and often disconnected nature of online shopping. This could greatly affect the profitability of our business, so supporting the customer across all nodes of our e-commerce operation is essential. Establishing strong customer support functions implies that we create a benchmark to work up from and find opportunities to create a greater impact. Begin by measuring your response times, issue resolution rates, and customer satisfaction scores to assess the quality of your customer support. Two commonly used metrics are Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Customer Effort Score (CES), which are great for narrowing points of weakness.

comparison between CSAT and CES

7 Customer Engagement Strategies

E-commerce is a data-driven industry which is greatly advantageous for businesses, seeing as they are able to closely measure customer engagement. However, these metrics have their limitations and require strategic implementation in order to yield any benefit. Measuring customer engagement is meant to be a way for us to seek opportunities that can alter our approach. Below is a list of strategies commonly used to improve customer engagement KPIs.

  1. Personalization: A very common issue in e-commerce is treating customers like they are all the same a lot like trying to hit a bullseye with a sludge hammer. In fact, customers often express dissatisfaction with random product recommendations and feel disconnected from their shopping experience. Personalization is the practice of customizing your services for individual customers or segments in order to increase relevance and timing. This happens by observing customer shopping patterns, listening to their comments, and building around them.
  2. Quality Content: Content marketing is one of the pillars of digital marketing and can be a source of strong customer engagement if implemented correctly. The more interesting and well-organized your content, the broader your reach and engagement can be. Think about being informative, and entertaining when creating content so that it resonates with your target audience. Creating high-quality content can be a serious challenge as it requires expertise and technique, but the benefits will result in great customer engagement metrics.
  3. Multi-Channel Engagment: Leveraging multiple channels allows you to diversify your marketing, broaden your reach, and build your authority. Customers have a tendency to use platforms that they are most comfortable with and seek multiple sources when verifying a business. Making yourself available across multiple channels allows customers to choose how and where they interact with your brand, which improves your chances of engagement and also creates more opportunities to generate observable data.
  4. Customer Support: Customer services are a critical element to a successful customer engagement strategy and can dramatically influence your engagement metrics. Customer support can be used in two unique ways, providing support and learning from customer issues. Providing exceptional customer service can reduce pain points, resolve ongoing issues, and improve your operations. Customer questions are also an excellent source of information that can be studied and determine consistent issues. With precise understanding, you can deliver sustainable solutions to your ecommerce function.
  5. Loyalty Programs: Rewarding loyal customers with exclusive perks can aid you in improving your customer engagement score. Not only are loyalty programs a highly attractive perk that can make the customer shopping experience interactive. It is also a way of fostering, rewarding, and enriching your relationship with customers. Loyalty members are often shoppers that have the strongest connection with your brand which in itself is a source of great value. 
  6. Community Building: Community building is a fundamental way of creating resilient customer engagement and providing a transcendent service for customers. This strategy primarily involves creating a context for your product and extending your services beyond the product alone. This sort of service is known to have a positive effect on a business's perception and can potentially create strong loyalty. An example of the positive effects of community building is Nike which creates a culture of fitness around their products.
  7. Feedback Implementation: Customer feedback is a wealth of information so being proactive in implementing customer feedback is a point of strength. We naturally must take precautions by filtering customer feedback for real benefit, but this is ultimately a strong way of improving our operations. Demonstrating a willingness to implement customer feedback is a philosophy of building your services around the customer which with proper guidance can be transformative.

Ultimately, customer engagement is a system of studying data for key insights and facilitating features that can multiply customer interactions. This can have a clear effect on your business metrics as this process is primarily involved in building your brand around the customer. It isn’t until we have succeeded in understanding customers that we can call our efforts a success and reach our true market fit.

Conclusion

Customer engagement metrics are detrimental to e-commerce and digital marketing. Without them were are effectively “flying blind”. As such we should be constantly looking to derive more high-quality information, analyzing that information, and implementing changes in order to optimize our e-commerce business. This article gives you a great overview of the importance of customer engagement analysis, how to track important engagement metrics and a few suggestions for improving your results.

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