Do you own an eCommerce store? If then, had you ever had a thought as to what would make your Ecommerce business successful?
Happy Customers – undoubtedly. And when I say Happy Customers, it means customers who would pick you above all others, and love to come back to your store and want to shop again.
Ask professionals in any industry, and they will all agree to this one common fact – your best customer is the one you already have. Research too states that 80% of profit comes from 20% of the repeated purchase of your old and loyal customers in your business.
Jason Fried, the CEO of Basecamp says: “If you take care of your existing customers, they will take care of your new customers”.
E-commerce success relies heavily on loyal customers.
Many companies focus on customer retention as it is far more cost-effective to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones therefore keeping those old customers is a crucial aspect of your brand’s growth and profitability. Therefore you can expect almost 25% higher profit if you are successfully able to retain 5% of your customers happily.
Your customer retention strategy is an integral part of increasing your ecommerce sales. The quality of your products and services makes repeat customers spend 33% more per order than new customers. Brands that have a large number of loyal advocates have seen increased customer acquisition, good PR, and greater brand awareness.
But what is customer retention, why is it important, and how do you go about it?
What Is Customer Retention?
Customer retention means retaining your customers over a specified period. If a company has high customer retention, that means that the company’s clients pick them up again and continue to repurchase the same products or resubscribe to the same services. In another way, the old customers continue buying and being loyal to the company.
E-commerce companies can retain their old customers by enticing them to make repeated purchases within a certain period of time. When e-commerce companies implement effective customer retention strategies, many customers can be retained which is the backbone of the business because they buy more frequently from the company and the company’s average lifetime value of its customers increases significantly while the cost of acquiring new customers decreases.
Customer Retention Strategies & its Benefits
Companies that offer e-commerce services formulate customer retention strategies with the intention of boosting sales, increasing customer retention, and enhancing conversion rates. Customer retention strategies have several benefits for e-commerce businesses, a few of them are listed here below.
- Enhanced Brand Awareness
- Increased Customer Recall Rates
- Improved Sales and Conversion Rate
- More Customer Loyalty
- Free Word of Mouth Promotion
- Increased Average Customer Lifetime Value
- Measured Acquisition Costs
- Improved Customer Experience
Best Customer Retention Strategies
An e-commerce company’s marketing and sales plan is highly influenced by its customer retention strategies.
Following are some of the best-proven customer retention strategies that you can implement for improving customer retention thus improving business profitability.
- Prioritize Customer Service
Your e-commerce company must invest in offering great customer service because the increased number of orders and higher number of customers will bring you more business. Customer service communications that are clearly defined as part of your customer retention strategies can help your business to grow and become more profitable. Be proactive when interacting with your customers and make sure you understand their concerns. In addition to helping you gain customer satisfaction, it can also help you understand where your products and services need to be improved.
- Build a Good Customer Experience
Through better customer experience you can delight your users, resulting in higher user engagement, satisfaction, and growth. Delivering what is promised is one of the methods to enlighten your customer. Most customers are understanding and empathetic as long as you are frank and honest with them about your limitations. Let’s say as an example, that communicating to customers that they could be a delay in shipping to their location due to Covid-19 restrictions, sets proper expectations with proper and clear communications.
Also, set up your site that is easy to navigate and access. Add features to make shopping more convenient and enjoyable, so as make your customers want to come back again and purchase from you.
For Example, you can have a Wishlist and Comparison option on your product page. With the wishlist option, the customer can segregate the products that they like into a separate section that intend to buy maybe later. This would be a great option for the customer to come back to your site again. Similarly, for the comparison feature – it makes it easy for customers to add products that they wish to compare to a separate section and compare and pick the one they consider the best. This option is easy to enable on to your site by simply installing a WooCommerce plugin –Wishlist and Compare that is surely going to bring your customers back for having a great and a useful option.
- Build Strong Customer Relations
Customer relationships are also important to B2B industries, where purchases tend to be more deliberate and require more one-on-one interaction between team members. Over time, customer relationships are known to be strengthened by actions like buying your customers lunch or providing incentives after a meeting. Ecommerce stores that go the extra mile by including a handwritten note or offering free shipping with the order can enhance the user experience and create a number of loyal customers.
- Offer Personalized Product Recommendation
Provide personalized product recommendations based on past purchases and search history. To introduce them to your brand and enable stronger bonding, you can also send them free resources like blog posts, product videos, testimonials, etc. Businesses that offer personalized product and content recommendations will eventually make their customers more willing to pay a premium for the excellent customer service they receive and for the products they purchase.
- Optimize Digital Marketing Campaigns
E-commerce companies should include customer retention strategies in their digital marketing campaigns. You should optimize your digital marketing campaigns so that the right customers are reached in order to achieve the best results. Optimization may include targeting existing users – creating mobile-friendly online campaigns, sending appropriate campaigns through the customers’ preferred communication channel, and posting the campaign at the right time so as to maximize traffic.
- Loyalty programs
Purchase points are typically awarded by loyalty programs and can be redeemed for products or discount coupons. Loyalty programs encourage repeat purchases and customer referrals. The social proof of a personal recommendation can be a more powerful sales tool than anything else.
Customer referral programs are great methodology for customer retention strategies which are known for assured results. It will not just help in retaining the old customers but the referral programs will bring many new customers as well. There are two main benefits from this program: first, it inspires new leads and secondly, the existing ones are rewarded too. A customer referral program can bring better results than any paid ads or telemarketing calls. If you are successful in making existing customer happy, then they will surely bring new quality leads for the goodwill and the rewards they are getting.
- Shipment tracking
Did you know how many times does a customer track their shipping? It is seen that on an average a customer would check their shipment for app. 4.6 times for each online purchase, thus illustrating the significance of updating and sharing info of their package and the shipping services. This indeed is an opportunity to appease your customer during the post sales stage and help in retaining customer with such added post-purchase services. With various new Ecommerce applications, it is easy to create custom tracking page experiences that drive more sales.
- Pay Attention to Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are also an important segment in the customer retention strategies. Product testimonials and customer complaints are the areas where you get to know if the customers are liking your products and services. You must respond to the reviews posted by the customers in any communication channel so that they feel that your brand pays attention to them and how they are feeling. Eventually, this will help you retain customers and increase customer loyalty. The success of an e-commerce company will depend on how it implements feedback into its business processes.
- Send Newsletters for Promotional Offers
you can send them promotional offers crafted for them in the form of newsletters as a part of the customer retention strategies. It will encourage them to check the products and buy them as they will think that they are getting the product at a lower price. With the usage of the right digital marketing tool, you can encourage your customers to discounts and offers that have specific expiration dates. Like wise you can surprise them on their special days sending personalised gift or wish mails . As an eCommerce owner, you can have the privilege of having a special relationship with your customers. So you can always make them feel special on their birthdays and special occasions.
- Leverage User-Generated Content
Customer engagement can be boosted with user-generated content, while gaining long-term customer loyalty. Retailers offer users and customers personalized content based on their search histories so they can get the best products at the best prices. Furthermore, you can also create hashtags of your brand name on social networks and create content to engage customers in a way that is useful to them. Ultimately, these strategies will help provide a personalized customer experience that aids in customer retention.
Effective customer retention strategies will help you in increasing the average life cycle of customers for your brand. You will benefit from it in terms of building your brand and reducing your marketing ROI.
Finally, the key to successful customer retention isn’t rocket science. To encourage customers to return and continue to do so, you must build a beautiful customer experience that is easy and pleasant.
When implementing customer retention strategies, consider the areas where your customers need help, analyze all the information related to your customers, and determine which communication channels your customers prefer.
A successful customer retention strategy includes excellent customer service, excellent customer support, fast and consistent communication, and also the selection of the right tools to help you automate these processes.
The higher the customer retention rate, the better the e-commerce business will perform in the market.