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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 offer personalized feeds to their customers and let them design and order personalized products online with an online design tool, 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.

What is customer retention in e-commerce?

Customer retention in e-commerce refers to the ability of an online store to retain its existing customers over a period of time. It focuses on cultivating long-term relationships with customers and ensuring they continue to make repeat purchases. Customer retention involves strategies and efforts aimed at maximizing customer satisfaction, fostering loyalty, and encouraging customers to choose the online store over competitors. It is a critical metric for the success of an e-commerce business as it directly impacts revenue, profitability, and overall growth.

What is good customer retention?

Good customer retention refers to a high rate of customer satisfaction and loyalty, resulting in a significant number of customers staying engaged with a business over an extended period. It is characterized by customers repeatedly choosing to do business with a company, making frequent purchases, and demonstrating loyalty to the brand. Good customer retention is typically reflected in metrics such as high customer lifetime value (CLV), low customer churn rate, and positive customer feedback and referrals. It indicates that the business has effectively met and exceeded customer expectations, built strong relationships, and provided ongoing value to its customer base. To enhance customer retention, businesses must continually innovate and offer fresh experiences. One effective strategy is to create new products by embracing the versatility of print-on-demand services.

Strive for Retention, Not Just Acquisition: 12 Tips on How to Succeed

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:

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 in improving customer retention. 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. By focusing on their needs and providing a seamless user experience, you can greatly improve customer retention and foster long-term loyalty.

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 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.

4. Always Value Customer Feedback

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. E-commerce brands can even collect feedback using QR codes on shipped products. These codes are easy to use and can be created using a QR code maker.

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 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.

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. 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.

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 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 optimize production as much as possible.

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 calls to action, and using AI-based recommendations. Be flexible with the payment methods you accept and allow users to link their bank accounts. If you are an eCommerce business, consider using an extensible commerce platform, as it can integrate various payment options by providing APIs and plugins that allow merchants to connect and configure a wide range of payment gateways, including credit cards, digital wallets, and other online payment methods. 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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!


Improving customer retention is crucial for the long-term success of your online store. By implementing the tips discussed in this blog, such as providing exceptional customer service, personalizing the shopping experience, and incentivizing loyalty, you can build strong relationships with your customers. Remember, loyal customers, not only generate repeat business but also act as brand ambassadors, attracting new customers to your online store. Prioritize customer retention strategies, and watch your online store thrive in a competitive marketplace.

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