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Guide | October 18, 2021

5 tips to boost your customer engagement, without producing Squid Game

How much would you pay to put your products in front of 111 million sets of eyeballs?

Netflix did it for a cool $21.4 million with the smash-hit TV show Squid Game according to Insider, which works out at just over five dollars per view.

The rampant viral success of the Korean thriller comes just weeks before Halloween, and only a few months before Netflix announced it was getting into eCommerce. With the show’s creepy masks, bright jumpsuits, and other merchandise suddenly in huge demand for Halloween costumes worldwide, Squid Game and other popular Netflix shows could provide a big windfall for the streaming giant’s nascent retail business and its partner Walmart, as they create “digital storefronts” together.

Millions of views, more memes than you can shake a bloody knife at, and global virality all add up to the kind of engagement most eCommerce merchants could only dream of. It’s the stuff of dreams because of how valuable an engaged customer is, in fact, a fully engaged customer represents a 23 per cent higher share in profitability, revenue, and relationship growth, according to Gallup.

Of course, for most merchants, producing one of the most popular TV shows in recent history isn’t a realistic option for boosting engagement. Never fear though, we’ve got five tips to help you step up your engagement game, all without having to engage in a bloody battle royale and film it.


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Engagement isn't just for those of us getting married, you know.

Loyalty programs

Loyalty programs are big business. The loyalty market is expected to be worth more than $200 billion next year, but it’s not just cold, hard cash that makes loyalty programs worth the effort for merchants. Engagement may be harder to measure than revenue, but it’s still clear that a well-run loyalty program can get consumers to interact with your brand more often and more deeply.

Some 84 per cent of loyalty program members have made a redemption from the program according to research from Bond Brand Loyalty, while PDI Software found that 15 per cent of members interact with their loyalty programs daily. When you consider that the US alone has at least 3.7 billion loyalty program memberships, that’s more engagement that you can shake a stick at.

The most basic way to run one is to offer customers points for purchases to give them discounts on future purchases, but you can go so much deeper. You can gamify your loyalty program by giving customers rewards after playing games on your website or app, you can show your values align with theirs by rewarding sustainable actions, and more.

It is crucial to ensure your loyalty program is omnichannel so customers can take advantage and stay engaged no matter how they interact with your brand. Kanmo Circle is a good example, as customers shopping with the Mothercare & ELC, Gingersnaps, Pumpkin Patch and Justice brands are all eligible. Kanmo Circle syncs customer loyalty information across channels via the CRM system so that customers can check their information on the website, mobile app, or in-store via POS. This makes it easy for a customer to engage with the program (and therefore brand) however they choose to shop.


Segmentation should already be a weapon in your personalization arsenal for a plethora of reasons, but it bears bringing it up here for its value when it comes to engaging customers. It’s one of the first steps for good personalization, and a customer data platform (CDP) like the Antsomi CDP 365 is essential to segmenting well. Without a CDP to help gather, sort and analyze customer data, achieving effective segmentation will be nigh on impossible.

Whether you break your customers down demographically, psychographically, geographically, or behaviorally, or indeed with micro-segmentation within those categories, segmentation should help you serve customers with content that’s far more engaging to them than it would be if it were generic.

ASUS Singapore is an intriguing example of segmentation. The company recently pivoted to a B2B2C eCommerce model and has found significant benefits to unifying the B2B and B2C sides of the business. One thing ASUS has done in segmentation is no longer differentiating between B2C and B2B customers. Instead, customers are broken down in terms of their interests, which ASUS has found to be a more effective approach.

Internal linking

Whether it’s “People Also Bought”, “Products You May Like” or “Products Related To This Item”, internal linking is a great way to boost engagement. Internal linking is pretty much what it says on the tin and means to be linking from one page on your website to another.

Conversion rates for those who engaged with a suggested product were 70 per cent higher than for shoppers who didn’t, according to research from Monetate, which goes to show the P/L benefit of doing internal linking right.

Not only does it help with cross-selling, but recommending the right products that intrigue a customer can keep them on your website for longer. It should also aid your website’s link equity, which is good for your SEO and will make your website easier to crawl for search engines.

However, you should avoid overdoing it when it comes to internal links. For one thing, it can be offputting for users to try and navigate a site with links for almost every other word. For another, you can hurt your link equity by having too many links, therefore meaning you’ll get less organic traffic.

Wish lists


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Wish lists are a great way to keep shoppers engaged even if they aren't buying immediately.

Just like Santa Claus, you can rely on an eCommerce site with a wish list to deliver.

Giving customers the ability to save products they’re interested in using a list linked to their user account has a couple of benefits. Wish lists cut down on cart abandonment, help you retain leads, allow a customer to engage with a product even if it’s out of stock, and can be used for gifting. The engagement benefits are obvious as a wish list allows a customer to interact with your brand even if they don’t have immediate purchase intent.

When SmartOSC worked with Japanese hotel management company Mystays to revamp their website, one of the new features added was wish list functionality. This allowed Mystays to alter the search suggestions on the site for customers to include the properties they had listed, as well as the hotel they had previously visited.

The new wish list functionality was part of an overhaul that led Mystays to record a 900 per cent increase in banquet sign-ups, a 20 per cent uplift in conversion, and a 20 per cent increase in mobile bookings. Wishing alone won’t make magic like that happen, but a wish list might help.

Optimize the checkout process

Repeated engagement with the checkout process is what all merchants are after, and yet it can be the most difficult to achieve. The average cart abandonment rate is about 70 per cent leading to a loss of ome $18 billion a year for eCommerce companies, which goes to show how much is to be gained when the checkout process is improved. Most tellingly though, a survey by the Baymard Institute found that 47 per cent of cart abandonments happen either because pricing is unclear, or because the process takes too long.

The takeaway from this is clear: keep it simple! The easier you make it for a customer to checkout, the more likely they are to do so. Offering a live chat option at this stage could also help smooth out any final hurdles.

Part of SmartOSC’s work with ASUS Singapore included providing a one-step checkout to make the buying process simpler and more intuitive for the customer, thereby prompting more sales. As well as the sales bump, ASUS enjoyed 37 per cent more page views, and an increase of 1 minute and 39 seconds per session duration after SmartOSC’s work revamping their eCommerce offering.

To the winner, the spoils

You can keep on waiting for one lucky day when a Squid Game-sized engagement windfall falls into your lap, or you can take the steps we’ve listed above to boost your engagement. We can’t promise it’ll be as easy as playing a childhood game, but we can confidently say it won’t end in horrific bloodshed.

Get in touch with one of our experts today to find out how SmartOSC can help you score some eCommerce wins.

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