Let’s face it! No matter how great you’re at finding potential customers if those customers aren’t properly handled things can go south very very fast.
This means leading back to square one and finding customers all over again. – Trust me, that’s not at all fun or profitable.
eCommerce customer retention is unfolding new dimensions in recent times. The boom in eCommerce had skyrocketed the competition as well. Now, your customers are flooded with alternatives.
Thus, to save them from being swooped on by your competitors, you need solid eCommerce solutions and customer retention actions in place – These details will differentiate you from the crowd.
This blog intends to expose you to such nuances and help in mastering them. Here you’ll find all that you need to manage retention like a boss.
Before we get deep into the details of customer retention, let’s glance through the basics first.
Customer retention is an activity or process of retaining the customers who have already used or signed up for your product.
In this process, the brands engage with their existing customers to make them flock back again and again to buy their products.
Customer retention is completely different from the lead generation or customer acquisition as the customer has already used the product or service.
Retention is a crucial part of a customer’s lifecycle in your marketing strategy because,
Okay, was that convincing? If not, then here are a few statistics to justify the importance of customer retention in terms of cost and revenue for your eCommerce store.
In short, customer retention is a cost-saver, no investment marketing strategy, and revenue booster by 20-90%. Voilà!
Great! Now that you realize the importance of customer retention, let’s move on to our next question – “How to retain customers?”
Listed below are the top 12 eCommerce personalization and retention strategies of this era.
Customers don’t buy products or services. They buy emotions and values. To stop your competitors from persuading your customers with a price drop or promotions, bind them to your business with your values.
Offer a consistent, positive, emotional experience every time a customer interacts with your brand. Communicate your story to them and give them a non-monetary reason to stay with you.
When your customers start loving your values and feel connected with your brand’s vision and mission, a strong sense of loyalty is created.
Sharing updates and all recent events with your customers builds trust towards your brand.
Keeping them aware of the changes through emails, blogs and newsletters make them stay in touch with your brand and feel closer. This way they develop a sense of belongingness towards your brand.
This is one style of conveying that your brand truly cares for its customers. By offering support and educating your customers about the products and services you increase their interest in them. By helping your customers grow, you grow your businesses well.
For example: By educating your customers on how to use cosmetics or apply make-up, you drive them to use more as well as try new products. This way if you’re a seller of beauty products who is in a good relationship with the customers, they will place more or frequent orders with you.
Every sale is all about providing your shoppers with the right products at the right time. Product discovery in eCommerce has become more about creating an interaction with shoppers, recommending products, and driving sales.
92% of customers prefer eCommerce sites that are easy to use and convenient to place orders.
When it comes to product discoverability, the 2 factors that are critical for customer retention are – Product visibility and product findability.
Once a customer searches for a specific product on your site or purchases from you, you can learn their needs from their buying behavior. Use this information to increase retention by suggesting related products, offers, and deals available.
By employing this technique you urge customers towards products that they might like, want, or need. Recommending related products make customers get an impression that your brand actually knows what they need.
From the moment of entering your website to receiving the product and using it, the entire timeline falls under purchase experience.
All customers expect a pleasant experience with no stress or complications. Anything less than that will cost you the sale. For customers to purchase from you again and again you need to offer a seamless shopping experience consistently across all mediums.
Retention is all about following up. Once a customer interacts with your brand or enters the sales funnel, then follow-ups are essential to moving them across the funnel till the last phase.
Acknowledging the customers for their interaction, offering additional assistance with the product or service, informing them about upcoming events or offers in the course of follow-ups are the few ways to persuade your customers.
Know what your customers feel about you. And so on you know what worked and what didn’t. You can implement a simple star rating method or conduct surveys, interviews, and polls to collect customer feedback. Through this you let your customers know that you want to hear from them and improve your service based on it.
Installing an automatic feedback process helps as it collects feedback after every transaction.
The customer’s journey ends only when they checkout successfully. This is the last phase as well as the most important one. Any minor inconvenience washes the slate clean ruining all your efforts till this phase.
Secured acceptance and successful payment processes enhance the customer checkout experience. It gives them the confidence that the transaction is safe and motivates them to do more.
Most businesses tend to forget their existing customers in the process of treating their new customers better by offering showers and promotions. Now that’s a path to doom!
Never forget 5% of retention can bring you 95% of revenue.
Celebrate your existing customers and give them a reason to come back to you. Reward their loyalty with tons of incentives, but of course, keep in mind your profit margins.
In eCommerce, a lousy delivery experience will stop your customers from coming back to you.
Two-third of customers consider shipping and delivery as an important factor for repeat purchases.
Delighting your customers with next-day delivery is a key differentiator that can skyrocket your conversion up to 300%. Fast shipping with tracking and damage-free delivery are major retention factors in eCommerce.
Good customer support can save the day from any case of worst mishappenings. Though the interaction starts with a complaint or dissatisfaction, good customer support can turn the tables transforming it into a customer delight. Honestly, this creates a bigger positive impression in the minds of customers.
Remember customers stay only when they feel valued and heard. Proactive support like hassle-free returns, post-purchase emails, and feedback initiatives make them feel special.
Now listen, these are just the top 12 customer retention strategies that you can implement for your eCommerce business. But the truth is there is a shedload of other retention plans out there that may work for your business.
Thus, for customized insights and to try something innovative for your eCommerce store, don’t hesitate to reach us.
Now that you know all about customer retention and its strategies, next, here is what shoppers expect in your eCommerce store to visit again and again.
A seamless navigation experience that is interactive, informative, and fluent makes it easy for customers to shop in your eStore. Website’s with good site speed and simple navigation elevate purchase experience without confusing the shoppers.
Auto-completing searches based on product database or user’s search history directs shoppers to right product pages streamlining the shopping experience. Decreased search time, reduced display of no result page, and educating customers about the alternatives available, reduce the bounce rates.
Product finders accelerate product discovery. This virtual store assistant asks shoppers a series of simple questions to figure out their needs and suggests perfect products based on that.
This AI-based customer-centric approach organizes the product listing page based on who is viewing it. It shows the relevant products based on shoppers’ search history and behavior. This elevates the shopping experience of the users, interesting them to view more
Displaying all the products on the homepage is impossible. This is where product taxonomy comes into play. It helps customers to go through all products and product ranges in one go. Organizing categories, subcategories and optimizing them for SEO improves product visibility.
The product listing page and description page are the hooks where shoppers are converted into customers, Detailed description, high-quality images, and clear T&C will make your shoppers hit the “Add to cart” button.
Providing detailed information about the product and allowing them to be compared have a strong psychological impact on customers’ purchases. It minimizes the decision-making time and is conversion-driven.
Personalized recommendation of products based on reviews, best combo offers available, complementary products for items that the customer has purchased and customized suggestions from what others have also bought nurtures customer relationships and improves cart value.
Displaying more information about the product for a consolidated purchase decision and regular notifications about the order status – from order preparation to delivery – keeps the customers aware and informed about their purchase.
Accelerated checkout by saving customers’ payment information and shipping details completes the order placement in the blink of an eye. By utilizing the dynamic checkout button, shoppers directly go to the checkout page skipping the cart. These increase conversion rates and customer preference for your site.
Pop-ups or options that encourage customers to continue shopping, timely alerts that inform customers about purchase limit to avail free shipping, suggesting options to avail extra discounts, and provisions for coupon codes are the few other features that you can add to your checkout page to encourage your customers to visit again.
Multiple payment options let customers choose based on their convenience. Permitting guest checkouts and offering diverse payment options like credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal reduce cart abandonment due to payment reasons and the convenience gives you an edge over your competitors.
When you’re all done optimizing your website for customer retention the next spot where you have ample opportunities to bond with your customers is social media.
Social media is the best possible route to create an impact and attain maximum engagement. It helps you create a meaningful relationship in measurable terms. (Likes, shares, comments, tweets, followers, click-throughs, tags, and mentions). It also enables your audience to interact with your brand effortlessly 24/7, 365 days through multiple channels.
Slice and dice every metric of engagement such as likes, shares, tweets, comments, click-throughs, followers, tags, and mentions to make informed decisions.
Pick a strategy based on the analysis and what you really want to do – whether you want to educate, entertain, provide solutions or spread awareness. It’s your call!
Who’s your target audience and what interests them matters. Knowing your audience will help you decide “what to talk about?” and “How to talk?” – the language, tone, topics, and more.
Ignite some viral conversations with some valuable content. Create and share content that resonates with your audience.
Practice both reactive and proactive engagement. Never miss an opportunity to say “Hey!” or “We’re here to save the day!”
Social media is all about humans. So don’t be too “businessy”! Express your human sign with some humor, warmth, and acknowledgment.
Short response times keep the conversations going. Respond to comments and queries at the earliest possible. This boosts both your brand image and customer satisfaction.
Mark your presence with scheduled posts in all social media streams. Posting a minimum of 1-3 times a week will help your audience remember you.
Never hesitate to go beyond the feed and connect through direct messages or stories. Create multiple touchpoints and show them that you care 360 degrees.
For your posts to have a better reach, you need to experiment. Yes! There is no specific formula. You need to keep experimenting to find what works best for you.
So, here are a few ideas to make your feed go wild.
Photos: Post pictures of exact specifications for various channels with captivating content and exciting filters.
Videos: Use videos for extra 1200% shares. Super simple videos created on mobile with nice clips, text, and music generates better engagement than images posted.
GIFs: To engage like a pro, GIFs are your tool. With unlimited animations available, you can convey everything you want in a fun and exciting way.
Written Content: Yes it’s the old-school method but never out of trend. Interesting content with a hooking caption and spiced-up words work wonders.
If you’re one among those who think that your “product” itself will retain your customers, then Uber is the best example for you.
Uber was an original idea that created a revolution in the market. Its app was a crowd-puller and the idea was affordable, practical, and much needed by the consumers. But this didn’t stop Uber from implementing its retention strategy.
Uber understood that though the product is capable of acquiring customers, in the long run they need something more than that. Thus, Uber followed some smart strategies to retain its customers.
#1: Uber Referrals
Uber’s captivating referral drive created a win-win situation for everyone involved in it. The concept spread crazy like wildfire and the invitation codes were all over the place.
#2: Uber Cash
The next hit was its in-app wallet that made transactions simple and smooth. Users were also able to save up to 5% on $100 spent.
#3: Uber Rewards
Riders earn points on every dollar they spend on Uber. Points earned from Uber Eats, pool trips, and more were gathered to position the riders in the reward program. Based on the position, efforts were taken to retain them.
Amazon is all about user experience. The seamless experience offered with a touch of personalization and loyalty programs has made Amazon the leader of eCommerce.
#1: Amazon User Experience
70% of cart abandonment is due to bad user experiences – Amazon realized this – that’s why they hold sway in the eCommerce industry. Purchase suggestions, laser-focused landing pages, simple navigation, and quick payment options of Amazon helped it accomplish its customer retention goals to a larger extent.
#2: Amazon Prime
The Prime subscription was a breakthrough in Amazon’s journey. It had a 69% conversion rate, with a 93% first-year renewal rate and 98% the year after. This yearly subscription made shoppers stick on even when they weren’t happy, giving Amazon time and a chance to satisfy and reassure the unsatisfied customers.
The benefits of Prime such as free delivery and Prime Day events only for Prime users made customers feel more special and appreciated.
#3: Amazon return policy
Amazon’s 30-days return policy intrigues shoppers to give products a try. It gives the final nudge that is needed by a hesitant customer to buy a product online. Again, Prime users enjoy the added advantage of “free return” with no questions asked.
When shoppers were more inclined to switch grocery delivery services often due to the increased options during the pandemic, Instacart’s customer retention actions saved the day.
Instacart implemented the classic marketing strategy paired up with automation.
#1: Instacart’s reactivation campaign
#2: Re-engagement strategy
Online and offline data are combined to trigger automatic segmentation and behavioral emails. This advanced re-engagement strategy gets idle customers to engage again with your business.
You see it takes a lot of time and effort to build a loyal customer base who wouldn’t quit your brand in the long run, but it’s definitely worth it!
In short the answer to the question “What to do to make my customers hang on to my brand?” is “create a long-lasting positive impression”.
When your customers become an extension of your brand, retention is made easy!