Niamh Reed
Niamh Reed 20 February 2019

The importance of interactivity in ecommerce (and how to achieve it)

In today’s fast-paced, online hubbub of a world, we’re quick to boredom if we aren’t actively doing something. In ecommerce, this boredom leads to lost leads and negative experiences. So, we need to combat it. Herein lies the importance of ecommerce interactivity.

Interactivity is key to turning passive interest into active engagement. With an interactive ecommerce strategy, you can grab consumer attention and capitalise on fleeting moments of interest. Yet it’s often overlooked.

So, how important is ecommerce interactivity, and how can you make it another feather in your ecommerce strategy cap? 

The benefits of interactive ecommerce

Your future customers might be passively scrolling through Twitter or wandering aimlessly through your website. Unless they find inspiration, they’ll soon click away.

Interactivity allows you to capture these fleeting moments of interest, attention and time. Whether it’s on social media or your own website, catching this attention is powerful. With it, you can grow your brand awareness, reduce your bounce rates and amplify brand immersion.

Capturing attention early means that those prospects are more likely to remember you when they’re looking to buy. In fact, catching attention at the right time can result in more positive experiences. In turn, this means more social sharing, and the opportunity to drive more sales.

But how exactly do you make your ecommerce offering interactive?

Interactivity on social media

One of the more obvious places that ecommerce businesses can flaunt their online interactivity is social media. It’s not enough to have a static social media account that only shares content and updates. Social media, as the name suggests, is social. So, when customers and leads engage with you on these channels, be sociable and interact with them.

Increasing your ecommerce interactivity on social media means being both responsive and empathetic. You must respond to comments, questions, complaints and mentions in a timely and emotionally intelligent manner.

When you interact with one customer on social media, you aren’t just engaging one person. Rather, you’re demonstrating that you’re friendly and accessible to all the people who see that post. So, it’s as important to address the negative as it is the positive. Tools like sentiment analysis can help you identify these negative mentions early. So, you can interact with upset customers with speed and empathy — before things spiral out of control.

Interacting with consumers on social media can boost brand awareness. Witty or helpful replies from you can gain shares and likes, meaning more people will be able to see the friendly, human side of your brand.

Powering up your website

So, what about your website? There are three key elements to improving your website interactivity.

First, content. It’s impossible for a visitor to interact with you if there’s nothing on your site for them to engage with. So, provide content for your visitors to interact with. For example, articles and blog posts can help to inform and generate interest.

Second, mapping. The crucial part of making your ecommerce website interactive is making sure there’s always somewhere for the visitor to go next. So, they might start on that blog post, and click through to a product page. From there, they might access your FAQ section, which links to your contact options, and so on. This is achievable through clear, focused call to action buttons, relevant links and a high level of content findability. (So, tidy navigation menus and a handy search function.)

Finally, personalisation options greatly increase the interactivity of your ecommerce site. These options could be as simple as choosing a preferred language. Or as integral as personalising your products. Either way, visitors can enjoy deals relevant to their preferences, content suggestions that suit their mood, or even products as unique as they are.

Conversation: the interactivity king

Your social media isn’t the only place you can actively engage with your customers, leads and prospects. In any ecommerce strategy, interactivity boils down to capturing, nurturing and maintaining the attention of your online visitors. It’s as much about demonstrating your presence and accessibility as it is providing engaging content. One of the best ways to do that is through conversation.

The opportunity for conversation should be available from every page of your website. This creates a helpful, interactive presence. Technology tools like chatbots or live chat software provide a great way to achieve this. Through chat options like these, you can engage online visitors in real time — meaning no wait between interactions, and no chance to get bored.

So, for instance, you could set triggers to proactively engage with returning visitors, greeting them by name. Or to offer help to someone browsing your FAQ. And of course, you can make sure that visitors can choose to start a conversation with you at any time, with a single click of your chat button.

Don’t be static

It’s often assumed that because online visitors are scrolling or clicking, they’re engaging with our content and brands. But ecommerce interactivity is about more than scrolling through a static page.

It’s about encouraging conversation, enabling personalisation, and making it easy to engage with you. It encompasses the whole customer journey, from generating awareness, the confirmation of purchase.

So, is it time you improved your ecommerce interactivity?

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