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Tips on How to Better Engage With New Age Online Customers This is why it is essential to develop an emotional connection with the customers at a nascent stage

By Sumit Chhabra

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India is the second largest online market with more than 460 million internet users, revolutionising online market dynamics. With growing e-commerce platforms, digitalisation and massive use of social media platforms; the market will continue to witness a significant boost in the future. The advent of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning and massive exposure to digital media over the last five years has significantly impacted consumer online shopping behaviour.

Today, e-retail brands are looking for exciting ways to ensure a satisfactory shopping experience through seamless engagement with the customers. The evolving demand for digital platforms has made it challenging for the brands to come up with engaging content and strategies for their audience/customers regularly. The new age online customer is well aware and quick in his approach and makes perception easily if not convinced with customer service.

Here are a few tips on how to better engage with new age online customers:

• Build an Emotional Connection: Today with the rise of the digital age, the customers are open to having more choices and can easily compare brands by considering peer reviews before making a purchase. Therefore, it is essential to develop an emotional connection with the customers at a nascent stage. Establishing an emotional connection with the customers will further help a brand to leverage trust and increase customer advocacy.

• Influencer Marketing: Influencer marketing is one of the most significant tools of the decade being used by the digital era for all types of businesses. It is crucial for brands these days to associate with micro, medium-sized and macro Influencers to generate engagement and traffic for the brand. Few activities that might attract a decent brand re-call value are as follow:

• Celebrity Gifting – Celebrities can give a great shout out to your brand by just posting an Instagram story about your brand's latest collection/campaign/service etc.

• Hosting Influencer Meet & Greet at the Store – Also, hosting a small wine & cheese events for Bloggers, Influencers & Socialites can give a good buzz to your social media platforms. Such events can keep the audience updated about the brand's latest collection or tie-ups.

• Association with Influencer for a Giveaway Contest – Running a week-long contest by association with a Cat A Influencer is quite trending these days. Such kind of contest not only create a brand buzz but also helps in creating massive engagement on the brand's social media platforms further giving a brand recall value.

• Exploring New Avenues & Associations – With the growing retail market space in India, each brand is striving hard to attain a niche for themselves in their respective space. With the market full of opportunities, today customers are open to a wide choice to choose from before making a purchase. Therefore, it is necessary for a brand to strategise a 360-degree promotion for themselves by exploring opportunities like radio channel associations, sponsoring renowned city specific fests and events, strategic tie-ups with non-competitive brands for an Influencer led the event.

• Experiential Videos – Curating experiential videos by showcasing an emotional bond through short videos can do wonders for a brand. A lot of brands have started exploring this by targeting their niche target audience on social media by posting emotional and engaging short videos for their customers around festivals and topical dates like – Mother's Day, Father's Day, Women's Day and the likes.

• Share Select Content or Offers – To retain existing customers it is essential to be in their minds by sharing exclusive content like newsletters, case studies or exclusive offers for subscribers. Sharing e-mailers and exclusive content like blogs or case studies help to build positive sentiment for the brand in the mind of the customers.

Hence, these are some of the exciting yet engaging marketing strategies that can help brands retaining and gaining new age online customers for the long run.

Sumit Chhabra

CEO, MyFlowerTree


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