How to engage with consumers online

Head of Conran Design Group Dominic Zammit offers tips on creating a digital strategy

22 Mar, 19

Head of digital at Conran Design Group Dominic Zammit offers five tips on how to engage with consumers online, by creating a digital strategy

How to engage with consumers online


In an increasingly commoditised and price-driven sector, independent retailers are having to fight hard for a share of the market and to break through the digital “noise” to create a meaningful connection with the consumer.

They need to think differently about what their digital strategy aims to achieve, and this necessarily begins with clearly defining who they are and what makes them unique.

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Laying clear foundations

Establishing an authentic brand proposition, that differentiates an independent from their mass retail peers, will provide the single-minded focus required to drive an actionable, digital strategy that delivers stronger return on investment.

Whether it is super-premium luxury or back-to-basics simplicity that defines your brand’s personality and product range, making a decision on who you are and staying true to this across your communications, online and off, ensures you provide a consistent brand experience for the consumer.

It means they can buy in to a brand that resonates with their lifestyle, values and ambitions.

The home of your brand

Establishing the channels that are right for your brand and, more importantly, for your consumer, is essential in delivering a successful digital strategy.

In 2019, a website presence is a necessity, whether delivering e-commerce functionality or simply articulating your brand story.

Consumers expect to be able to find out more about you.

Developing a website can be a significant investment for any brand.

For the independent it is key to think long-term, developing a flexible but robust site that can evolve with the business but, importantly, won’t require significant development within a few short years.

Taking expert advice on the best approach for your business is important.

Becoming social

As a lifestyle industry, a social presence is also fundamental.

However, those businesses that attempt to have a presence across all social channels often find themselves unable to maintain the meaningful stream of content consumers have come to expect from their favourite brands.

Being selective and focused on one or two channels that reflect the nature of your brand will deliver far better engagement than spreading the brand too thinly and diluting your message.

Rooting your brand’s channel strategy in consumer preference ensures laser-focused relevance.

Data is your ally; it is important to review your business’ analytics and publicly available consumer research when setting out your plans.

[Read should I use Instragram for business?]

Engaging not broadcasting

Effective brand communication is all about two-way dialogue.

It is important to ensure you review and update your content regularly and that it invites comment or engagement from the consumer.

Evocative, opinion-based or trend-related digital content will be meaningful for the user.

If they are visiting your website or social channels, they are already interested in your product, so you don’t need to push sales messages but ratherconvince them you are a brand worth considering in their purchase process.

Keeping it simple

Basket abandonment is a huge problem for retailers.

This is in a big way influenced by the increasingly short attention span of the digital consumer.

Ensuring the path to purchase is smooth and simple is key to return on investment.

Whether this is via direct e-commerce or third-party retailers, the importance of delivering a clean and intuitive user experience shouldn’t be underestimated.