In the new and ever-changing world of eCommerce, we often want to focus solely on customer acquisition and expanding our brand’s reach. However, customer retention is just as important, if not more valuable, than acquiring new customers. Keeping and nurturing your existing customer base and improving eCommerce retention is simpler than you might think. A well-implemented eCommerce retention program can increase the frequency of completed sales, improve the average sale value, and even expand your brand’s reach through earned media and word of mouth.
The following strategies are tried and true ways to improve your brand’s eCommerce retention rates.
Offer Exclusive Deals Only to Loyal Customers
Loyal customers are the backbone of any brand and are what allow the brand to continue to thrive. In order to improve eCommerce retention, the loyal customer base should be given just the right amount of special treatment to make them feel valued by the brand. A great way to do this is to create exclusivity in products, deals, and price points. One of the easiest ways to implement this is to have special offers for a select group of customers: your most loyal customers.
Put together a compelling offer and send it either with your existing promotional communications or as a separate piece of communication. Sending something like a buy one, get one free offer is sure to catch the attention of your customers. This tactic is two-fold; first, an attractive offer is bound to convert into a sale, but also, the customer will feel valued and like they are a part of a brand community.
Improve the Customer Service Experience
Customer service and support are huge aspects of the online experience. Without real people there in person to attend to customers, eCommerce companies rely on the website support programs to help remedy any issues they encounter. A way to ensure eCommerce retention is to create a seamless customer support system for your website.
Make customers feel confident that any issue can be solved just with the system by providing help articles within the website to allow the customer to problem-solve themselves before having to contact an associate. If a problem arises that can only be solved with the help of a sales associate or other brand representative, provide your customers with an automated response email that lets them know their issue ticket has been received along with a wait time estimation. Something as simple as an automated call-back program for phone calls, instead of having to wait on hold for a representative, can be effective as well.
Implement a Loyalty Program
A big way to incentivize customers to return and be repeat buyers is having a rewarding loyalty program. Loyalty programs can be very simple, like a coffee shop punch card, (buy nine coffees and get one free). The best loyalty programs that perform well often have a gamified aspect that keeps people excited. Adding a “point” system to loyalty programs makes it feel like a game where you continue to play and have more access to exclusive deals and offers. Some examples of how to introduce the idea of collecting “points” could be offering “points” for every dollar spent or winning “points” after following the brand on social media.
Personalize All Communication and Utilize SMS Marketing
Personalization is the winning tactic to get customers to care about your brand and maintain eCommerce retention. 73% of customers believe that companies should cater to them as unique individuals. In this day and age, when data is available to target consumers, utilizing that information to personalize communications sent to customers is a surefire way to have your customers become loyal to the brand.
SMS marketing is on the rise within the eCommerce world as a way to quickly reach customers and cut through the existing noise. Email communications have become very saturated and, more often than not, emails get deleted without even being read. SMS messaging is a newer way to reach consumers, and SMS messages have an impressive 98% open rate vs. around only 20% for email.
Continue To Be Active on Social Media
Social media should be one of the most important prongs of your brand’s multi-pronged communications and eCommerce retention strategy. Social media is the way brands interact most authentically with their customer base and can create a community. Customers want to find shared values with the brands they support, and being active on social media provides a way for brands to show who they are. Engaging directly with current customers and potential customers via user-generated content (UGC) is a great way to increase retention rates because it creates a visual way that your customers are part of the brand.
Every brand strives to have high eCommerce retention rates because high retention rates contribute to the longevity of the brand. Focusing on rewarding current customers, in addition to expanding your consumer base to include new customers, benefits the brand long-term and helps overall growth. Imagine Monkey offers eCommerce support services for your website and can utilize these tactics to improve your eCommerce retention. Contact us today to get started.