9 Proven Customer Retention Strategies For E-commerce
Attracting a lot of customers is definitely one of the hardest, but also most important tasks for e-commerce. And once you’ve attracted shoppers, customer retention is fundamental as well. Customer retention strategies are the most efficient and cost-saving solution for turning the new customers into loyal, regular patrons. This blog post will explore some of the strategies you can explore for customer retention at your business.
E-commerce Growth Strategies
Specialists define two of the most important strategies for growing an e-commerce business. These are customer acquisition and customer retention. Both play a huge role in the business development process. However, we’re going to focus on customer retention strategies as one of the most profitable ways to win the customer’s heart. These strategies can significantly increase sales with the right implementation plan and delivery.
So, what are the benefits of customer retention strategies as you implement them into the e-commerce processes? The first one is cost-efficiency, as retention can cost up to five times less than acquisition. The next one is the lifetime value. These strategies will help you to connect with a new customer and ensure that customer is a returning one, meaning longtime revenue for your business.
The first customer-retention strategy we’re going to focus on is the win-back approach. A win-back campaign is a marketing automation sequence designed to re-engage lapsed customers whose behavior indicates that they are no longer interested in your brand. This approach is constantly used by advanced email marketers in various niches and businesses. However, there are some aspects of this approach that can be employed by any business operator to increase efficiency. Let’s go!
Timing is Everything
When it comes to win-back marketing tactics, perfect timing is critical. The earlier you win them back, the better. Otherwise it may be too late to re-engage them with your brand. Watch the purchasing frequency of your clients for cues on when their purchasing patterns begin to fall off with your business. Once you know the average frequency in which your customers return for consecutive purchases, set alerts to notify you when a customer is falling behind that frequency. Your alert will tell you it’s time to re-engage.
Give Customers a Reason to Return
Once you’ve identified customers in need of re-engaging, you need to figure out how to entice them back. Try offers such as gifts, bonuses, and perks that are hard to resist. For e-commerce, a free shipping option is often a great incentive for customers to give your products a second look. As you try out different offers, keep track of your results and focus on finding the right balance between hitting the target and spamming. Remember, you want to inspire your customers, not irritate or anger them.
Loyalty programs are well-known tactics for rewarding customers for frequent purchases. If you offer a highly-competitive product or service and dedicated customer service, the addition of a loyalty program will likely pay off.
Of course, there are different types of loyalty programs available to you. To find the right one, consider the type of business you run. For example, international company Preply has two programs: affiliate and referral. With the first approach, any person who decides to become an affiliate partner with Preply receives a link, which then connects them to customized creative content, banners, and co-branded landing pages.
For the other approach, people who bring new clients to Preply make money for every referral. Both incentives consider Preply’s business offerings, goals, and target audience in order to maximize value for the business and clients alike.
Do your research to explore the loyalty approach(es) that will yield the best results for your business.
This type of customer retention strategy will be useful for those who constantly buy from your e-commerce store. When you designate a shopper as a very important person (VIP), you can thank them for their support and keep them coming back for more with exclusive perks and recognition. Some examples of VIP perks include free shipping, first opportunities to purchase new products, or exceptional discounts on wide-ranging goods or services.
Note that this retention tactic requires a careful and professional approach and a good deal of planning. Also, you need to have a base of existing customers before you can strategically build a program like this. If done right, the VIP membership tactic will attract new and retain existing customers.
Gamification as a retention strategy is relatively new. As the name suggests, this tactic makes customer retention creative and fun, giving customers the option to earn new benefits with your business. You can implement gamification in your business through contests, quizzes, referral programs and point systems.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is something you can implement at your business to collect consumer data and offer more personalized shopping experiences for each one. Use customer data to re-engage with them in personal ways, like birthday greetings, anniversary reminders, notifications about frequently purchased products, tailored thank you messages, and more. This approach will make your customers feel valued and appreciated.
SMS Marketing Campaign
Did you know SMS (text) messages have an open rate of about 98%? Despite that metric, this style of marketing campaign is often overlooked. Consider sending discounts or promo codes in SMS to stand out from other e-commerce market competitors.
Social Media Marketing
Social media offers an excellent opportunity to interact directly with customers. Along with that, this channel can be leveraged as a sales platform. It’s a perfect chance to represent, share, and potentially sell your product or service. Social platforms also let you get involved in interactions with your customers about your brand.
In Summary: Relationships are Key
Use wide-ranging tools to stay constantly connected to your customers. Ultimately, that connection and relationship is what you want to nurture to keep existing customers coming back again and again. Customer retention can significantly increase your sales and brand recognition. Whatever tactics you decide to employ, look for the mix that is best for your business niche. Good luck!
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