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Tips to Improve Customer Retention of your Online Store

Asloob Alam

It is common knowledge in the eCommerce market that the cost of acquiring a customer exceeds the cost of retaining one. Customer retention is of the most important variables that formulate the user base of your store, and thus, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Getting your customer retention rate to go up simply means making sure your business excels in the digital market. But the main question is how to improve customer retention?

The exact steps your business needs to take to improve retention depend upon the type of industry and the value proposition of the product or service. However, as a general rule of thumb, when businesses provide a personalized feed to their customers, they are more likely to return. Customers want to feel valued, be it on their first time visiting your site, or many moons after. Providing them with a sense of uniqueness via personalization makes them feel validated, cared for, and cherished – which then results in brand loyalty.

Aim for Retention Not Just Acquisition – 12 Tips How

Aiming for customer retention ensures that there is a plan in place after your customer lands on your site. This means from the landing page to the displayed products, to the checkout tab – the user journey is smooth and hassle-free. Add a personalized touch by putting the right products in Infront of the customer, and investing in cross-selling, up-selling, as well as focusing mostly on customer experience. Make sure that your customers get a self-optimizing recommendation engine that stays relevant, and updated to minimize time wastage.

Additionally, staying relevant to the needs of your customers helps businesses retain more of their user base. Here are some additional tips to increase customer retention:


1. Focus on the Onboarding Process

When a new customer lands on your site, within the next 30 seconds or so they are most likely to decide whether or not they are interested in your brand. This is why having an engaging and exciting landing page can make all the difference. No customer wants to see sold-out items, or irrelevant products on the main page. Show them what matters to them, why they should purchase the item, and how to place an order.

2. Offer a Bargain & Free Samples

With each product purchase, try to give your customers something extra like a tester, or a special discount. Encourage your customers to repeatedly purchase your products by giving them discount codes for their next purchase or sample products to ensure they return. Get creative and think of your own way of giving more. As you'll see from websites like Coupon Ninja, the discounts offered by companies are often quite considerable. Ideally, you should conduct research on the offers prepared by your competitors and one-up them to attract more customers.

3. Think of Marketing as a Continuous Process

If a customer has purchased a product already, your business now has more of a reason to encourage them to purchase from you again. Enroll your customer list into win-back campaigns that remind them of the product they are missing out on, and how you’ve got a product in stock that’s just for them. Keep your audience continuously engaged.

4. Always Value Customer Feedback

Some online stores show the feedback of their products, and there are a million ways you can use it to your advantage. Encourage your existing customers to leave a review and get something in return, and showcase good reviews and testimonials to retain your customers. Similarly, have an action plan to fix bad feedback, and aim to get the same customer to fix their feedback after the issue has been sorted.

5. Retain Customers with Target Offers

Review the purchasing history of your customers and find commonalities that can help to segment your customers. Once you find a pattern, participate in marketing or promotion strategies that encourage your customers to make a repurchase. Use PR services to promote your products. For example, put their preferred item in a bundle or on sale for a limited time period. Send them alerts and reminders based on the specific customer segment and see how many customers return.

6. Reward Customers Who Return

Managing customer retention is a continuous process, and it takes quite a lot of back and forth to make customers truly become loyal to a brand. Introduce a loyalty program for customers that reminds them to purchase your products to be eligible for additional gifts, luxury swag items, discounts, vouchers, coupons, and more. Your customers should feel valued and should understand the value of your brand as a whole.

7. Plan for Customer Service

Customer retention revolves around customer experience and taking care of all touchpoints relating to the customers. As a business, you need to think about encouraging your customer base to make a purchase as well as taking care of their queries and concerns through an In-app chat solution. Invest in AI-centric customer service and respond to customers' queries and concerns at a moment’s notice. Let the voice of your customers be heard, and use customer service to find pain areas as well.

8. Think Beyond the e-Store

Assuming you’ve taken care of your customer's needs and have created a landing page, user journey, discount offers, and automation strategies that encourage customer retention – the next thing you need to plan for is delivery or shipping. Provide your customers with multiple delivery options that are according to their liking, and reduce fares whenever possible to access a wider pool of audience. Customers feel valued when you deliver their preferred products according to their timeline. You can also let them track their packages as well in real-time.

9. Invest In Conversion Optimization

Evaluate all successful and unsuccessful purchases to find patterns and trends of what makes your audience convert, and what stands in its way. Find problem areas and characterize those cases in which the audience converted at first, but then left. Then, optimize for retention by improving the checkout experience, debugging product pages, adding relevant descriptions, improving call to actions and using AI-based recommendations. Additionally, you need to optimize your interface for different devices to maximize consistency.

10. Use Email Marketing to Your Advantage

Don’t let your customers forget about you and your special offers. Send out email reminders that have special offers, informative articles regarding your products, or any premium content that they might enjoy. Remind them of what your brand offers and why they should avail it according to their customer profile. Keep in mind not to spam but to woo! Decide the frequency of email marketing based on data insights and don’t push the customer to unsubscribe.

11. Everyone Loves Freebies!

Customers admire brands that go out of their way to do something special, and word of mouth travels fast. Randomly give customers freebies and let them share their experiences on social media. If you're planning a givaway, consider making free logos of your brand and using them on packaging. Create a genuine brand persona that loves to receive feedback and give out gifts to those who stay with the brand. Improve your value proposition and let your customers advertise your business.

12. Stay Relevant with Content

There are other ways of retaining your customers other than reminding them to purchase your products. Don’t offer your customers just one angle, instead, offer value in terms of information. Depending upon your business model and the type of products or services you sell, create engaging content. Share information, tutorials, updates, hacks, DIYs, tips, and more to your customers to stay relevant to their needs.

Customer retention comes naturally if customers' needs of product value and personalization are being met. Therefore, simply focusing on improving your eCommerce store gets you half of the way!


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