How To Increase Engagement, Sales With Customer Communities

Filiberto Selvas

Merging content and commerce in a customer community can be a real game-changer for a business. And thanks to emerging social collaboration tools, creating a community network for your company’s consumers is now easier than ever.

A business that deploys a successful community can provide a valuable location where customers can learn from other customers, gaining the insight they need to identify the right product for their needs ad confidently making a purchase; reduce the product research phase and accelerate the decision-making process; and provide buyers with a forum to leave product feedback and continue interacting with your company.

Building trust through existing customers

It’s no coincidence that the largest online retailers all have similar community features. People benefit from seeing reviews from fellow purchasers, and they’ve come to rely on ratings systems when shopping. Moreover, customers often prefer reading raw feedback from other average customers rather than professional, polished reviews.

By creating a hub for these reviews, you’re preventing potential customers from leaving your site to conduct additional research, making it much more likely that they will complete an order through your e-commerce site. A one-stop experience combining content and commerce presents shoppers with a convenient location to learn everything they need to know about the items they’re looking for.

Shorten the product research phase and increase sales

Reducing the number of third-party pages that customers have to visit will prevent them from being overwhelmed with unnecessary information. More importantly, it increases the likelihood that consumers buy directly from you, as everything they need to know in order to influence decision making is located right there on your site.

Many times, the decision to buy something online comes down to price. But certainty of finding the right solution and convenience are absolutely a factor as well. If a consumer has already made up their mind about buying something they’ve deemed a necessity, odds are they’ll likely purchase quickly instead of spending multiple hours researching to save a couple bucks.

Optimizing your product page by adding all necessary information, combined with a trustworthy customer community, will effectively take the guesswork out of online shopping and result in higher sales conversion rates.

Maintain a relationship long after a sale

Lastly, and arguably most importantly, an active and friendly community is sure to build trust between recurring customers and your business.

By providing customers a forum to ask questions and provide feedback will make them feel their voices are being heard, especially after they’ve received a response that acknowledges them. This will inspire them to return regularly to interact with your business and other customers. Ensuring you provide a welcoming and safe space to interact will also prove that your business cares and is looking out for its community members.

Explore the benefits of customer communities today

Integrating a customer community with your commerce solution might seem like a time-consuming and costly operation. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Many easy-to-customize and affordable options exist out there for businesses of any size.

By upgrading your product pages and creating a community that existing and new customers will enjoy, you’ll immediately notice an uptick in sales and traffic conversion rates.

Take advantage of these tools today to explore the benefits for yourself. Keep your web traffic, convert more sales, and build a community that new customers will be eager to join!

Check out this free MWD Advisors report, SAP Jam Communities: Bringing Engagement to Commerce, to continue your education.

Filiberto Selvas

About Filiberto Selvas

Filiberto Selvas is Director of Product Management at SAP, focusing on SAP Jam Communities. He is responsible market definition, feature requirements, positioning, pricing, go to market, sales enablement, and partner strategies for the cloud solution. Working with globally dispersed engineering, sales, and marketing teams, Filiberto manages direct relationships with customers, analysts and partners. Prior to working at SAP, Filiberto has 25 years of experience in digital marketing, CRM, social networking, support, and online communities for a number of technology companies including 17 years with Microsoft.