E-commerce Tips & Tricks 4 min read
12 Aug 2020

How To Grow Your Ecommerce Business Through Customer Retention

How To Grow Your Ecommerce Business Through Customer Retention

So you’ve set up your ecommerce business and it’s starting to pull customers. How are the customers behaving when they visit your store? Do they stick around for more, or do they only get just that one thing? You’ve realized that you need to get as much out of them as you can before they leave.

If you are wondering which customer retention strategies can work for your store, let’s break it down for you. Want a high-converting Shopify store? Download the free Debutify theme now!

Welcome New Customers

It is easier to get an already-buying customer to buy more, so how do you convince a customer on their first purchase to do the same? Give them a warm welcome, something good they can associate with their first buy. Let them know shortly after they buy the first item that they can get a discount on their next purchase. If a traditional follow-up email feels too aggressive, check out this solution on Shopify that makes your effort more presentable.

Learn Your Customers’ Habits

Those who have already bought from you just need a small push to buy again. Embark on a continuous campaign to win them back by occasionally reaching out to them. How do you do this effectively? Strike when the time is right. You know who buys kitchen supplies every 2 weeks, or sports gear every 3 months? Send them a message right around the time their next purchase would happen.

Include some special information about your new stock be it type, size, source, or extra features. This makes customers feel like you care about their wants, and that they are aware of the best you have to offer. It also helps you reinforce habits among your customer base.

Reward Your Customers’ Loyalty

Figure out how you want your customers to behave and create a program to reward that behavior. One of the easiest ways to do this is by giving loyalty points. While scoring loyalty points may not make a customer buy in bulk, it will likely make them buy repeatedly.

Always consider how these points are to be earned and spent, as this controls their effectiveness. Give extra points for those who buy a variety of products rather than a particular one. Multiply the points for those who spend them before a given date, which can increase a customer’s purchases in a period of time.

Customer loyalty programs also give you another reason to contact customers, where you tell them how many points they still have for use.

Offer The Option To Subscribe

Once you pay less attention to the problems of subscription models, you can use them to gain customer retention for your ecommerce business. If you have customers that need health-related products, consider offering them a monthly subscription. It leaves the customer with much less work to do as they simply have to wait for deliveries.

They can just focus on renewing the subscription. It also helps you control how long you can retain a customer. If a monthly subscription works well, you can easily turn it into a yearly subscription with a slight rate cut.

Subscription models also work well for moving products that complement others. A customer buying a cake mixer can be lured into subscribing to baking additives like flavors and sweeteners. The same goes for printers and ink, razors and shaving cream, and other pairs like that.

Make Shopping A Fun Game

Known to many as gamification, it involves giving customers a similar feeling to that of playing a game when they shop. Start an activity that makes customers compete with each other through their online shopping behavior. Hold lucky draws using secret codes for certain products, with one of them making a customer eligible for a prize. 

Create shopping ranks that motivate customers to achieve a status that entitles them to a reward. Start a countdown that comes with gifts for customers who hit certain shopping targets by the expiry date. Successful examples include eBay’s bidding and feedback, Woot.com’s daily deals, BestBuy’s CityVille Presence, and Aldo’s Instagram Moodboard. Scavenger Hunts are also a common go-to, previously used by Bonobos and Wayfair.

Sell VIP Membership

Just like in nightclubs, customers in large numbers usually produce a group that wants to feel special and will pay for it. Identify some of the most desired perks of your shopping service, bundle them properly, and sell them for a fair price. Anything that isn’t available to everyone and is of value can be offered in this deal.

An example is extra user interface features like managing shopping history. It can also be after-purchase services like shipping, which is available on Amazon's Prime Membership Program. These kinds of programs require a lot of thought to find out what’s really important. They are also more successful in cases where you already have an existing group of frequent customers.

Surprise Your Customers

While offers you pursued can be satisfying, those that just fall in your lap have a different sweetness to them. Take a group of customers every now and then and reward them in a manner that they did not see coming.

If you have built a Shopify store, for instance, you can send some customers “thank you” postcards, or even branded merchandise. It all depends on your budget.

Since we have a few strategies down, let’s get into other efforts that have larger benefits for your store, but also speak to customer retention management.

Beautify Your Store

If someone who wasn’t even shopping stumbled upon my store, would they look around for a bit? What if it was someone who only bought one product? Did they at least check out others? Present your products in a neat and organized format.

Make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for through searches, categories, and tags. Offer different views and angles in your product photography. Accompany products with other relevant recommendations on the side. Build a site that can get someone to do wishful shopping.

The cart they created might be the first thing on their mind when there’s money on their card. The Debutify theme has an excellent design that is very easy for you to customize to your specific needs and taste.

Download the free top-converting theme for Shopify stores.

Care For Your Customer

How easy is it for a shopper to get help while using your site? Does your team handle questions quickly? Answer questions about any information that isn’t available or is unclear.

Keep communicating with the customer while their goods are in transit. McKinsey research shows that 70% of buying experiences are based on how a customer feels they are being treated.

Further research by Forrester shows that 45% of US consumers will neglect an online transaction if concerns aren’t dealt with quickly. Remember, 12 good reviews can be destroyed by just one bad review.

Be Active On Social Media

Shoppers won’t always be on your site. So how do you stay on their minds when they are somewhere else? Prepare a good content calendar for your social media accounts.

Post frequent updates about your stock that can distract a customer from the memes and gossip. It is also a good way to get your customers to interact with your brand. Keep in mind that their followers often see what they like, retweet, and comment on.

This helps you tell a positive story, making even those who were only slightly aware want to be more involved. A lady on social media quoting your fashion product posts saying “Finally got a place where I can get this dress” can go a long way.

Post thank you messages about hitting subscription targets and other goals. Repost content from other accounts about you, hold Q&As, etc. Keep the conversation alive. Peep this neat infographic on how to retain customers using social media.

Get More Technical

Make the shopping experience as easy on mobile phones as it is on a computer. How will you retain customers if they can’t even shop while on the go? Give options for notifications about new products and offers. Offer as many payment options as you can.

A customer who has to first move money around whenever they see something they like might tune out. Beyond Visa & MasterCard, think of every emerging payment service that is getting popular like Apple Pay, or Google Wallet, and add them to your site. Give an option of a native wallet where customers can deposit funds that will be dedicated towards shopping.

Partner With Other Brands

Look for other sites that are in a business that in a way support yours and get yourself placed there. Make a list of product reviewers, bloggers, and other stores that may need traffic too. Someone who buys certain goods from you seeing your brand on other sites where they buy other products or watch videos will likely revisit. All-in-all, customer retention strategies should not only be about what’s happening on your site.

Consider what customers are doing when they are not on your site and how to fix yourself in that too. Customer retention is very vital to the growth and success of any ecommerce store.

Retaining customers to your Shopify store starts with having an excellent Shopify theme. Download Debutify - the free top-converting theme for Shopify stores.

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes is the CEO at Debutify. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies, and mentoring programs.

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