Online marketplaces have made it difficult for sellers to build customer loyalty. With so many options to buy from, shoppers can hop from one merchant to another, whether they are a B2C or B2B customer. Repeat business is much harder to achieve nowadays, but with the right retention strategies in place, you can effectively win customers for life.
Retention vs Acquisition: Advantages of Keeping Loyal Customers
Customer retention is more profitable than customer acquisition. In fact, repeat customers are responsible for generating 41% of a store’s revenue. Repeat customers are essential because they are easier to convert than first-time shoppers, leading to lower marketing spends.
While keeping loyal customers is easier and cheaper than attracting new ones, you need to spend on acquisition first before you can get any repeat business. This is why it’s important to delight your customers the first time. Loyal customers are likely to spend more on each purchase, and are also known to increase spending during the holidays.
Look no further than Amazon Prime for an example of a successful customer retention program. According to the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, 91% of first-year subscribers renew their subscriptions. More importantly, Amazon Prime members spend nearly twice as much per year on Amazon compared to other shoppers.
Loyal customers not only increase sales, but they are often also brand ambassadors of your products, through word of mouth or social media. Repeat customers should be a significant part of your marketing strategy.
How to Keep Customers Loyal: 12 Tips & Retention Tactics
Customer retention techniques are quite complex, and each strategy should be informed by A/B testing data. There are no one-size-fits-all tactics, as every ecommerce business is different. But if you take the time and effort to build customer loyalty, you can transform first-time shoppers into repeat buyers, and ultimately, lifelong advocates.
Here are a number of practical tips and customer retention tactics to consider when building a retention strategy:
- Make your website and shopping experience easy - if you sell using a shopping cart, make sure that navigation and checkout is seamless on desktop and mobile. A multi-channel listing software can help you sell across marketplaces and sales channels.
- Invite customers to subscribe to your newsletters - 56% of brands say email marketing is the most effective way to reach retention goals.
- Make sure you have a superior order fulfillment - earn the trust of your customers by delivering the right orders on time. Try using an order management system that integrates with several shipping carriers and offers an automated shipping rate calculator.
- Invest in your packaging - delight your customers with an amazing unboxing experience, and don’t forget to thank your customers and include surprise offers or promo codes.
- Handle returns properly - shoppers love a generous returns policy, and the less hassle the returns, the better.
- Don’t run out of stock - If you want your customers to keep buying from you, make sure your online stores have inventory; otherwise, shoppers would have to go with another competitor. Consider using an ecommerce inventory management system.
- Deliver outstanding customer service and ask for reviews - good communication fosters trust, so it’s not a bad idea to get feedback from your customers.
- Take advantage of social media - invite customers to follow you on social media, and announce any promos, coupons or new product releases. Consider a multi-channel marketing system to manage your promotions.
- Send branded email confirmations and a post-purchase survey - these efforts could deliver a memorable brand experience over an unremarkable purchase.
- Consider loyalty programs and personalized ads - consider some tried-and-true retention tactics that could spur customer loyalty, if it makes sense for your brand.
- Deliver a great omnichannel experience - if you own a retail store, you can consider offering buy online, pick-up in-store, so shoppers can save on shipping costs. This could also boost your in-store sales.
- Provide a customized B2B buying experience - don’t neglect your wholesale customers! Customize their shopping experience with a B2B portal and ecommerce CRM, and assign specific carriers for faster shipping and service.
- Bonus: Test, Refine, and Test Again - data is powerful, but only if you use it well. Test one thing at a time and consider how they align with your overall marketing strategy.
The Benefits of Jazva: Automation That Improve Customer Retention
Drive customer retention by having your operational tasks and data all in one place. A centralized, integrated system like Jazva can streamline all your operations and provide you better, actionable business intelligence to make smarter decisions.
See how this retailer boosted customer retention through stellar fulfillment.