When it comes to building a sustainable e-commerce business, successful business owners know that loyal customers are golden.
Having customers who only buy once is a no-no. The real gold is having what we call “repeat-customers”--the ones that keep coming again and again.
According to the numbers, it costs the business five times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. But here’s the joke, even after bringing in new customers, the probability of selling to them is about 5-20 percent as opposed to 60-70 percent for existing customers.
For all it’s worth, loyal customers are your business’s most valuable asset. And so, focusing your energy on customer retention strategies that could help build brand loyalty and drive sales to the business is non-negotiable.
We’ve helped you out by listing six major strategies you could employ to engage your customers, boost loyalty, and keep them happy:
1. Offer Them A Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are a great way to reward loyal customers and show that you value their commitment to the brand. The truth is everyone loves the feeling of being valued and will respond positively to this.
Loyalty programs are excellent for e-commerce businesses that want to drive sales and boost customer loyalty.
How do we know this? Reports have it that 81% of customers will return if they are offered a loyalty program.
There are several ways to go about this as an e-commerce business. For starters, providing your customers with a seamless purchase experience is a step in the right direction. Online shoppers love and crave convenience; if you can offer them this experience right on their mobile or PC, you can easily buy their loyalty.
Another way to go about this is to offer discounts to customers who join your loyalty club. By doing this, you encourage other members to join the club as well.
Another driver in this area is diversification. You can achieve this by offering customers several online platforms to interact with your brand. By engaging them in different platforms such as social media, mobile apps, online communities, etc., you indirectly build a strong loyalty program.
Finally, you can up your customer loyalty program game by personalization. Customers feel more valued when they are offered personalized services.
E-commerce businesses can draw insights from the customer data at their disposal to provide relevant and tailored services and offers to their customers. It could be a birthday text or a Christmas text with their names and a loyalty bonus attached. Once all of these are put in place, closing a new deal becomes easier to achieve.
2. Offer Great Customer Service
Offering great customer service is perhaps your number one ticket to having satisfied customers. And as we know, when customers are satisfied, they don’t only buy, they sell the brand to friends.
One way to go about this is by being responsive. 95% of customers will return to buy at a store if their issues are resolved seamlessly and without stress. Your ability to provide this intangible benefit as an e-commerce business will set you apart from your competitors.
Online businesses are encouraged to automate the process of responding to queries and questions. The help desk provider app is one great way to achieve this. You could also consider using a “live-chat service.” Doing this will help increase your responsiveness, cut down on dissatisfied customers, and improve customer relationships.
3. Request For Reviews And Act On It
Asking for a review is another way to show your customers that you value them and their opinions. It is also another way to build a solid, personal, and long-lasting relationship with them.
By asking them to leave a review, you get them to assess their satisfaction level, which reinforces the fact that you’re intent on satisfying them. If shoppers leave positive reviews, it can attract prospects, and with a good strategy in hand, you can convert those prospects into paying customers.
To reward them for their feedback, you can offer them special bonuses or discounts on their future purchases.
Finally, proactively addressing their complaints shows them that you’re committed to providing them with value. It also helps you improve your brand offerings, which plays a vital role in retaining your customers.
Customers who see reviews prominently on a product page are 63% more likely to make a purchase. So proactively engaging with existing customers to get reviews is not only a smart strategy for customer loyalty, it can also help you acquire new customers as well.
4. Engage Them On Available Online Platforms
Three options that work like magic are engaging them with emails, web push and social media. Emails are great for keeping up with your customers. As it stands, 80% of retailers agree that email marketing is their number one tool for customer retention.
By sending regular emails to inform them early of available promotions, discounts, and special offers, you can turn shoppers to repeat-buyers and then loyal customers. You could also use loyalty points as an incentive for first-time customers to buy again.
Use web push notifications to re-engage customers even they are not on your site. Push Notifications are delivered directly on the browser. For any time-bound events like a flash sale, send push notifications to bring customers back to the site instantly.
How do you convert the customers on your email list to your social media platforms? Simple! Give them incentives that will encourage them to engage you on social media. This could be in the form of promotions, challenges, or contests.
The numbers say it all; 44% of retailers agree that social media helps them retain their customers better. Social media is the new publicity trend, and as an e-commerce retailer, you want to use this in your favor. Most shoppers are active on social media; by adding this to your communication strategy, you can boost loyalty.
5. Use Rewards To Improve Your Strategy
This is the creme-dela-creme of boosting your customer loyalty game. In business, it is called “reciprocity. It involves using acts of kindness to express gratitude. As an e-commerce retailer, you can go about this by including packaging inserts to the customer’s shipment.
Your inserts can be very affordable yet meaningful. It could range from a simple thank-you card to product samples, giving them early access to a new product, discount offers, or even small gifts. The idea behind this is to provide extra-value and exceed the customers’ expectations.
6. Use Your Loyalty Program To Upsell
There are several ways e-commerce businesses can turn upselling to a loyalty program. As a matter of fact, shoppers are increasingly weighing customer experience above price and product to differentiate between brands.
As a result, shoppers favor brands that provide a more personalized and seamless customer experience. Product recommendation is an excellent tactic to achieve this. You can even easily automate this process by using a product recommendation provider.
The product recommendation provider can then be used to recommend relevant products to the customers based on previous purchase or preference. It can also be used to display special discount offerings on certain products in the recommendation section.
This is a great way to upsell and cross-sell. And more so, it encourages shoppers to buy more to earn those points and discounts.
For online retailers, winning strategies are needed to drive sales, boost customer loyalty, and improve retention. Why the hassle, you ask? Loyal customers are your brand’s first ambassadors, and as an emerging or already established business, you need all the positive feedback you can get.
Phillip Akhzar is the Founder and CEO of Arka with over a decade’s experience in packaging. Phil is a San Francisco native and attended Cal Poly SLO as an Industrial Engineer before graduating from both Y Combinator W15 and 500 Startups Batch 16.