Thanks to the growth of ecommerce, there’s an increased pressure on individual ecommerce stores to keep up with the latest trends or risk going out of business. Online stores, whether they are very niche and serve a very specific base of customers, or something as large as Amazon, need to invest in tools to provide the best customer experience and earn customers’ continued trust. Studies have shown that even minor improvement in customer retention can lead to significant gains in overall revenue and profits.
Customer Retention vs Customer Acquisition
Spending extra money on marketing to potential customers is necessary, but shouldn’t be the primary method for achieving growth. If the sales of your brand grow proportionally with your ad spent, something is wrong. Ideally, once the customer discovers your ecommerce store from an ad, he should keep coming without the advertisements.
If you focus on customer retention, not only you don’t have to pay extra to get additional business, but you also earn customer’s trust and repeated business, which leads to higher revenues. Having a highly effective customer retention strategy can help you turn regular customers into brand ambassadors who bring you even more business.
Writing Personal and Useful Letters
Some customers who make a purchase in your online store aren’t going to come back, even if you did everything to give them a fantastic experience. Even though the customer might have liked your store, she’s going to need a little nudge to come back again, and eventually form a habit of shopping on your ecommerce store.
One way to encourage them to order again is to write personalized, helpful emails. For starters, these letters are very effective for upselling your customers. You could track their purchases, and use the combination of AI and ML to help them discover other products they might like. This will maximize the likelihood of them giving you their repeated business.
In addition to you writing them, also make it possible for them to write to you. There are excellent tools for creating stylish contact forms with customized functionality.
Make your emails stand out
These days customers are bombarded with advertisements everywhere, so they’ve become very good at detecting just another email that tries to sell to them. Try to stand out from other promotional emails by providing customers with actually valuable information. For instance, if you run a fishing products store, send them fishing tips and tricks they can actually use.
Some companies stand out by trying to establish personal experience with their customers. They offer their customers free products on their birthday, anniversaries and other days with high emotional value.
It’s a scientific fact that customers are more trustful of brands that are familiar. Sending personalized welcome emails and setting up helpful weekly newsletters is a good start, but not enough to firmly establish your online store as the customer’s favorite shopping destination.
Having a highly visual, catchy social media presence can help you educate customers on your brand, promote your products and in short, build familiarity with them.
To maximize customer retention, include the link to your social media accounts in the initial email sent to the customers. You could even set up special promotions for your social media followers and to earn their loyalty. This can be a discount for the first X number of customers, a random giveaway or even a small trivia competition.
Having a strong presence on social media is also an opportunity to look out for comments, where customers share their experience with your store. In addition to listening to their feedback, you can also message them directly and stay connected with your customers on a personal level.
Offer personalized experience
Customers love businesses that understand their needs and fulfill them effortlessly. This includes making smart product recommendations, using knowledge bases to help them find the information they’re looking for, and similar tactics to help them get what they want.
The homepage of an ideal ecommerce website should be personalized to include products and promotions that could be interesting for the customer.
Ecommerce businesses need to use CRM solutions to create different categories for customers depending on their needs, pain points and interests. If you create a very specific customer segment, you can better address their needs and keep customers satisfied.
Reach out to customers with abandoned carts
Abandoned carts mean one thing: a certain customer was interested enough to go through most of the purchase process without finishing it. She might have been distracted by something such as a phone call, or might have realized she didn’t have the funds to place the order at the time. Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to these customers and encourage them to place an order. If they liked your ecommerce store enough to add items to the cart, then it’s possible to turn them into paying customers and even to attain their long-term loyalty.
Prevent common problems
Using complex algorithms to provide personalized experience is nice, but it’s not important if you don’t get the basics right. Before you work on advanced features of your website, make sure you’ve perfected your order fulfillment process. Delays and mistakes in the product delivery process can hurt your chances of getting repeat business.
If you change suppliers or manufacturers of your product, you should be twice as careful with quality control to make sure your customers receive products that satisfy the quality standards they’ve come to expect from your brand. This is the only way to ensure that they keep coming back for more.
Anyone even remotely familiar with business management knows that keeping existing customers is much more profitable than acquiring new ones. The same principle applies to the world of ecommerce as well. There are many ways to ensure continued loyalty of your customers, we just described five of the most practical methods here. In general, making your store good enough to attract repeat customers also means that new customers will be more tempted to sign up as well.