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 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.
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, investing in cross-selling, and 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:
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.
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.
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 in 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. And use e-commerce analytics to measure the reach of your marketing strategies.
Some online stores show feedback on their products, and there are a million ways you can use it to your advantage. Showcase good reviews and testimonials to retain your customers and use testimonial videos to show off the benefits of your products. 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.
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 or hire brand ambassadors 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.
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.
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. But if you plan on taking your business on a global scale, you'll quickly wrack up fees. To make your global transition more affordable, you'll need the right VoIP international call system, like OpenPhone. Even if you want to keep your business stateside, you still benefit from VoIP's other features, such as IVR, call forwarding, group messaging, and software integration.
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 audience. Speaking of which, always have a reliable international freight solution to scale operations for the international audience. Customers feel valued when you deliver their preferred products according to their timelines. You can also let them track their packages as well in real-time. You can also consider investing in production planning software to ensure your production process is streamlined.
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 calls to action, and using AI-based recommendations. Be flexible with the payment methods you accept and allow users to link their bank accounts. These days you can find many different types of accounts from automated payment services like PayPal or specific bank accounts for Teenagers. Take a look at the BigCommerce apps that can genuinely assist your mission of improving your customer retention. Additionally, you need to optimize your interface for different devices to maximize consistency.
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 of 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.
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 giveaway, consider making free logos of your brand with a custom logo maker, printing them in clear stickers, and using them on the 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.
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 with your customers to stay relevant to their needs.
Customer retention comes naturally if customers' needs for product value and personalization are being met. Therefore, simply focusing on improving your eCommerce store gets you half of the way!