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Rules of Engagement: The Real Person Behind the Storefront

Though it seems to go against the grain of the go-go-go demands of today’s society where everyone wants what they want yesterday (preferably with free shipping), research by Ipsos suggests people shopping with online sellers also want a personal connection. The best engagement means connecting with the real person behind the storefront.

Fear not, ecommerce pros, for your customer doesn’t seek a lengthy globe-spanning whirlwind tour. Just the whirlwind bit, according to the Ipsos¬†10 Golden Rules of Engagement.

“People can have short attention spans, need direction, and like the security of a consistent plan,” writes Clarke DePastino, VP Engagement Ipsos SMX. Sellers who engage in email marketing already know the value of a clear call to action. That concept extends to the social media where one might engage customers, perhaps through their presence on Facebook or Twitter.

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“A recent study by Buffer concluded that online posts below 250 characters can get you 60% more engagement and posts under 80 characters garnered 66% more engagement,” said DePastino. “Communication with members should be short and clearly define expectations when there is a desired action.”

Another compelling reason for keeping the message short ties in to the way more people are accessing online content, including ecommerce, and that is through their mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. DePastino noted how “catering to mobile” means having more opportunities to reach people with one’s message, including while those customers are on the go.

Also noted in the 10 Golden Rules: an appreciation by customers for those executives who take the time to personally engage. For the small to medium sized online sellers, the principle is the same. It’s an opportunity to engage, and build a relationship, not just with (for example) “Joe’s Widgets” the brand, but the more meaningful Joe-the-person.

According to Ipsos, a few words will suffice.

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David A Utter

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR’s “All Things Considered” with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.


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