Loyal customers are at the heart of any successful eCommerce business. Studies show that increasing customer retention by 5% can lead to an increase in profits as high as 25%.
Repeat customers spend an average of 33% or more per order. Having loyal brand advocates can also help you with other benefits such as increased brand awareness, increased customer acquisition rate, and good PR.
In this guide, let’s look at some of the top actionable strategies that you can implement to improve your customer retention and boost your eCommerce business’s profitability.
1. Go all in on Email Marketing
Have you encountered customers who make a purchase once and then disappear, never to come back? For such cases, email marketing can be a powerful tool to keep your customers engaged and invested in your brand.
You can send welcome emails to your customers after their first purchase, along with cross-sells and upsells. This can be useful in triggering repeat purchases. You can set up cart abandonment, win-back, or birthday emails to motivate the customers to keep purchasing from your brand.
Another great way to leverage email marketing is to use it to send valuable, relevant content to your users. Instead of always being promotional, you can curate links of content that might resonate with your users as a part of your newsletter.
One good example of email marketing is this birthday email by Sephora that offers a free gift for the customer on their birthday.
2. Nurture your Customers on Social Media Channels
Social media is an excellent way to keep your customers engaged and to push them to make repeat purchases from you.
During the customers’ first purchase or with the help of email marketing, you can encourage them to follow you on popular social media channels. Having a visually appealing, value-packed social media feed will be helpful in this step.
Once you have your customers on your social media platform, you can nurture them in various ways:
- Share relevant content that your customers would be interested in.
- Share links and images to some of your most popular products.
- Share exclusive discounts and offers with your social media followers.
- Hold contests on special occasions to keep your customers engaged.
- Try to engage with your customers through one-on-one messaging or by interacting in your posts’ comments section.
These steps will help you connect with your customers and win over their loyalty.
3. Offer Personalized Customer Experience
Personalization may be the missing key to your low customer retention rates. Today, consumers are not looking for a one-size-fits-all solution. If you fail to personalize your customers’ experiences, they will likely move on to your competitors.
There are various ways to offer a personalized shopping experience to your customers:
- Offer personalized recommendations to your customers when they visit your website homepage or on other product pages.
- Use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to segment your customer base based on their interests, demographics, and pain points. You can target each of these lists with personalized messaging and emails.
- Identify customers who have abandoned carts or have not made any purchase from you for a long time. Send personalized emails to ensure that they make another purchase from your brand.
4. Have SOPs in Place to Improve Customer Satisfaction
eCommerce order fulfillment process is a complicated one with many key players involved in the process. One misstep in the process can lead to a bad customer experience, thus reducing your customer retention rate.
There are many things that can go wrong in the order fulfillment process:
- Wrong products might be delivered to the customers.
- Product quality might not be up to the mark.
- Product delivery may be delayed.
- Refunds for returns may take unusually long to get delivered.
- Packaging might be of bad quality resulting in damaged goods.
To tackle these possible problems in the order fulfillment process, you can set up Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs.) Having SOPs will help you ensure that the products are going through stringent quality checks and the right products are delivered to the customers.
Using SOPs, you can also make sure that there is no delay in the delivery of the products and your customers receive their refunds on time. All these steps will ensure that there is no room for customer complaints, which will ultimately result in a higher customer retention rate.
5. Create Valuable Content to Engage Customers
Content can be a potent medium to engage your customers and urge them to prefer your brand over your competitors. Though promotional content can be beneficial, there always has to be a mix of both promotional and informational content to attract customers.
- Create a blog for your eCommerce website and create posts relevant to your brand and pique the interests of your target audience. Promote your blog posts on all possible channels such as social media and emails.
- Create valuable content on your social media channels that genuinely add value to your customers. Support your content with high-quality visuals such as images, GIFs, infographics, and videos to keep your content more entertaining.
- Curate valuable content pieces and send them as a part of the newsletter to your customers.
- Create super-helpful premium content and offer them as lead magnets on your website. So users will subscribe to your email list in exchange for the content that you offer.
For example, IKEA has a dedicated section for “Quick guides to a more sustainable life at home” on their website homepage. Not only does this offer useful information for their customers, but it also shows the brand’s inclination towards sustainability.
6. Offer a Customer Loyalty Program
Top eCommerce businesses swear by loyalty programs because of the kind of results that you can achieve through a well-thought-out program. Be it exclusive discounts, free shipping, subscription services, or free gifts. It is much simpler to retain your customers through exciting loyalty programs.
You can have a purchase frequency-based loyalty program that urges the users to make repeated purchases from our brand. Make sure that your rewards or incentives are enticing enough for your customers to be a part of it.
You can also use gamification to turn your loyalty programs into even more fun. Use a points-based system or hold an exclusive contest that not just helps you earn your customers’ loyalty but also attracts tons of new customers.
7. Leverage User-Generated Content
User-generated content is a brilliant way to skyrocket your customer engagement and win over their loyalty for a long time.
User-generated content strategy is where customers essentially create content for you. So, you get good-quality content, and your customers get incentives for doing that – a perfect win-win.
You can start by creating a hashtag with a brand name or a keyword that resonates with your brand specifically for the user-generated content campaign. You can then ask your social media followers and website visitors to post content with this hashtag.
You can offer any incentive like featuring the best pictures on your social media or website homepage. Ensure to make the campaign as fun and interesting as possible.
For example, GoPro has a great user-generated content strategy. They recently put out at #GoProSnow challenge, and they feature the best ones on their social media page, which has around 17 million followers – a great way to earn visibility for their customers.
8. Showcase your Brand’s Story and Values
Apart from all the other factors, having an emotional connection with your customers can go a long way. By making the buyer journey more emotionally driven, you can offer memorable experiences to your customers, which may trigger them to remain loyal to your brand.
You can create this emotional connection by talking about your brand’s story. You can add your brand’s story to the homepage or about page on your website. You can talk about how your eCommerce business came into existence, the struggles you went through, and its success stories.
You can also talk about your values. If you feel strongly about something as a brand, then make sure that you let your customers know about it. If your values match with theirs, then you get a definite edge above your competitors.
Suppose you contribute towards a good cause, such as adopting an environmentally friendly initiative, community service, or philanthropy. In that case, you should showcase these elements proudly on your social media and website.
Customer retention is one of the best ways to improve profitability, increase brand awareness, and create loyal brand advocates. By following the strategies mentioned in this guide, you’ll be able to bring about considerable improvements in your customer retention rate.
Remember that simply focusing on one of these strategies would not yield you the best results. When you start working on multiple techniques together, you’ll see a great improvement in all your metrics.