When opening a store, you may think it is all about attracting as many new customers as possible to the website. However there are many eCommerce store owners that are definitely missing a trick! In fact retaining your customers can be far more profitable than attracting new ones. A statistic from Econsultancy says it costs 5 times more (on average) to attract a new customer than it is to keep a returning one. Therefore it is important to have a solid eCommerce customer retention strategy in place to make sure you are not missing returning customer sales.
Why is an eCommerce retention strategy important?
One of the most valuable customer transformations businesses hope to influence is the transition from first-time shoppers to long-term customers. This is the same for eCommerce stores too. However, customer retention is not a clear-cut or one-off solution!
Fortunately though, there are many strategies that we can think of that may collectively increase the chance of developing long-term customers. The value of improving customer retention is versatile, especially for eCommerce sites who hope to last the distance.
Ecommerce Customer Retention Strategies: Personalization
To turn a passing sale into a regular customers you have to give a personalized shopping experience. Online shoppers can get tired of the status quo of shops, therefore you need to stand out head-and-shoulders above any competition. By catering to their specific shopping needs and personalizing their experience, you can easily do that!
One of the masters of website personalization is Amazon, which offers up a slightly different homepage on every visit for returning customers. It reflects what they’ve purchased, the products they’ve viewed and items they may be interested in down the road. Make your Shopify store personalized by adding last viewed and similar items, to make their shopping experience fluid and easy.
If you have a varied product range then you may want to set up your email marketing to cater for this. For instance, someone who regularly buys camera accessories, probably does not want to be sent an offer on phone covers. Set your email marketing up so that your list only gets sent the stuff that interests them.
Ecommerce Customer Retention Strategies: Make Creating Accounts Simple
One of the most frustrating parts of buying something online is reaching the checkout page only to be greeted by a screen requiring registration. Compulsory website registration can lead to abandoned shopping carts and incomplete customer conversions. The age-old argument of whether you should make your shop simple, or capture customer details by forcing them to create an account. Most eCommerce systems do require users to make an account, but many experts think one time checkout option is better to secure the sale. Shopify allow shop owners to decide between three options in their admin panel.
1) Make accounts required.
2) Give the customer the option to choose.
3) No accounts needed.
We would always suggest to make number 2 the option that you select. If you disable the option for customers to create accounts then you may miss out on vital demographic information about your customer to supplement your retention efforts. Further more, once a user has an account, it will actually make it easier for customer’s to checkout in the future.
Ecommerce Customer Retention Strategies: Follow Up To Hear Feedback
Following up with a customer 4-5 days after their product has been delivered is a great way to engage them in the satisfaction with their purchase as well as the shopping experience overall. A post-shipping review system is a nice way to gather feedback and is another touch point to develop your customer service and brand message with the customer. This lets them know you are focused on their satisfaction and also want them to know you are there for them outside of your purchase. You can set this up easily with the Shopify Reviews app.
Ecommerce Customer Retention Strategies: Gamification
The term gamification means that your business offers incentives to encourage customers to return. This may secure their continued interaction with your products or services. When customers reach some milestones,they get an award for being loyal to the company. This could be a spending limit, amount of times they have bought in the store, or another set of disciplines. We like the app Loyalty Program which is a simple way of setting up membership/customer levels and offering incentives for repeat purchases on Shopify.
Ecommerce Customer Retention Strategies: Make Your Email Marketing Game Strong
One of the tactics that works well is to make customers feel that they know your business. Keep a chatty yet professional tone in all customer service and marketing emails, even those that are automatically generated. There is no reason for an email to be boring. Stand out from the crowd by creating emails that customer’s will just love to open. Even small changes in phrases can make a huge difference. For instance such as “we’re so delighted that you ordered from us” and “your fabulous new piece will be on its way to you in less than 24 hours” are much more fun than the standard emails that go to the inbox.
When you send replies to customer complaints or queries, it is important that same tone is used. Spend a great deal of time thinking about and writing auto-generated responses and make sure all of your staff are on the same page.
Ecommerce Customer Retention Strategies: Do Not Break Your Promises
The last tip we’ll cover here is pretty simple: make sure that you keep your promises. You may get more conversions with ‘guaranteed two-day delivery’ on your website, however you can loose a customer’s faith very quickly if you do not deliver. Make sure that you can uphold that promise, if not, customer satisfaction declines, poor reviews are published, and retention is lost.
Need help getting those Shopify customers in the first place? Shopi SEO has a team of Shopify Marketing Experts waiting to help. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 205 4303 to speak to one of our experts or ask for a free Shopify audit!