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In the world of marketing, 'sticky' is a buzzword which covers a whole range of parameters that determine how well a website or piece of content can hold a consumer's attention. In terms of a website, this may include how long a potential customer spends browsing through the site in one visit, how long they spend on specific pages or how many times they subsequently return to the site.
The 'stickiest' of sites will hold visitors' attention for the longest amount of time, drawing their interest to relevant content, such as promotions, thus enticing them to purchase. Sticky content plays a major role in achieving these conversions and, along with intuitive website design and onsite personalisation, will keep visitors coming back time after time.
Engaging customers with your website requires ease of navigation from the off; there's nothing more frustrating than being faced with a site's landing page and wondering how to get anywhere. Ensure that this doesn’t happen by making a landing page intuitive - make links to the most relevant or popular pages highly visible and get the design basics right.
Remember to have a detailed and useful sitemap in the footer of the site and an easily visible contact page; even better, make the basic contact details available on the landing page. Aside from making visitors' lives easier, always a plus, proper contacts pages and sitemaps are key to keeping search engines happy and maximising SEO.
With potential customers visiting sites from various devices, integrating sticky content and branding across all channels is becoming increasingly important to keep customers engaged. The shoppers expect to enjoy the same experience across mobile and desktop sites, so designing sticky content for a site also means making sure that it loads quickly and is easily viewed across all devices.
Creating sticky content for returning customers is all about onsite personalisation, something that is much more powerful thanks to enabling technology like Intilery. This involves far more than simply remembering a customer's basic details and parroting them back every time a visit to the site is made.
By integrating information about a customer's activity across multiple channels, customer experience management (CEM) tools can take complex data and use it to inform the display of content that is relevant to a returning customer. This nuanced approach to onsite personalisation, taking into account many aspects of a customer's recent behaviour and interactions, is the best way to ensure that the stickiest (i.e. most relevant) content is displayed onsite for each given customer visit.
Understanding the art of omni-channel customer engagement is a key part of producing sticky content, but in order to make sure that the whole website is sticky enough to keep drawing customers back, content needs updating and replaying regularly and in real-time. While branding and appearance need to be consistent and easily recognisable across all platforms, content must be refreshed (this is good for SEO too).
Try and keep a blog or news feed updated regularly with relevant content that will draw readers in, avoiding surrounding it with ads, and make sure that it is easy to read across all devices. When thinking of ways to keep a site feeling fresh, such as developing a 'What's New' section, it's important to remember the differing expectations of new and returning customers – as well as considering the different personas visitors to your site can have.
For the first time visitor the content simply needs to be attractive, but for the returning customer more intelligent, personalised content is needed. Making use of onsite personalisation to track the activity of a given customer is an excellent way of tailoring content. A news feed-style feature can be tailored so that a customer's 'old news' is removed from the feed, and 'unread' content displayed in its place. This flexibility makes repeat visits appealing and increases stickiness.
Stickiness of content across different channels is also determined by the format of said content or other promotional messages. For instance, having short integrated video clips on a home page will grab visitors' attention, and are equally well suited to both desktop and mobile sites. Stickiness is also about interaction, engaging visitors to improve potential customer experience.
Presenting onsite personalisation for returning customers, using customer engagement solutions, and adapting these after customer use, all helps to keep a site sticky and shows a willingness to engage and interact.
Even when a website has been designed with stickiness in mind, monitoring its success at attracting and retaining customers is a new challenge. Customer engagement technology can follow a customer's journey across all channels, collecting and analysing data in extreme detail to unpick exactly which areas of a website are proving successfully sticky. With customer experience software being able to gather this data together into a single customer view, managing and executing successful onsite personalisation for each individual customer is a much easier task. Using these tools effectively allows a company to keep redeveloping a website in line with customer behaviours so that it stays sticky, relevant and engaging.