6 Customer Retention Strategies that Can Boost Sales for eCommerce

customer retention strategies blog post cover

Are you looking at customer retention strategies for e-commerce to increase sales? It’s no secret that the art of customer retention is the first step towards building a real business that can run for years. Falling into the trap of just acquiring new customers rather than retaining those you already have does not deliver an appropriate return on investment; it’s like going after one giant whale instead of dozens of smaller ones.

Customer retention strategies are one of the best and most cost-effective ways of increasing your e-commerce store’s sales. There are several ways to retain customers, including offering loyalty programs, free shipping, promotional discounts, exit-intent popups, referral programs, crowdfunding campaigns, and much more.

If you’re in the business of selling online, it is essential to get your customers onto a “retention” program. Simply put, you want them to come back and make repeat purchases so that you enjoy an increased ROI. By implementing these six customer retention strategies, you can ensure that more of your sales last for the long haul.

Let’s dive in!

Upsell and cross-sell

Source: Foundr

Upsells and cross-sells can help you increase revenue by 10-30% on average. 

It is a well-known fact that customer retention is one of the most critical factors for any business. Many shoppers will leave your website if they do not see the value they can get by purchasing from your store. Upselling and cross-selling are two ways to provide additional value to your customers by making them happier. Moreover, upsells and cross-sells can help you increase revenue by 10-30% on average. 

Upselling is simply increasing the price of something you’re already offering, and cross-selling is getting your customers to buy more of something you have on offer than they originally intended. These techniques can be used with both pricing campaigns and free offers. The key is to offer value without necessarily charging extra for it.

Having a high upsell and cross-sell ratio will help you sell more products, increase average order value, and develop more long-lasting ties with current customers. This will lead to more profits and a loyal customer base for your online store over time.

Personalization

As e-commerce has matured, the need for personalized features and options has increased. Customers want to know what they will find when they shop online, which keeps them on the site longer. They come back often to look at special offers, or try out products they’ve heard about, or try a new kind of product they’ve never tried before. Just because someone has bought a product once doesn’t mean it will continue to be there and consistently be a top choice for them on every search they conduct in their lives.

Optimizing your store and personalizing your website allows you to communicate with your customers more personally. Having a consistent visual language in your store will appeal to customers and increase conversions. It will also help improve the overall experience of your website as users will be more likely to stay and see other examples of the products they have in their cart.

Segmented loyalty program

A loyalty program can add tremendous value to any online store, whether for shoppers or enterprise users. While most loyalty programs emphasize the sales generated, segmenting the customer base offers many more benefits. This approach allows you to deliver targeted marketing to certain segments while still reaching other prospective customers. Segmentation can also make the product offering more relevant to the user’s preferences to become more engaged with a company.

Creating a loyalty program is not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of effort to span the entire customer journey. But suppose you know the proper steps that the customer can take and put into place to be rewarded for loyalty or engaged by the brand. In that case, you can create a segmented loyalty program that will deliver a significant benefit.

Get customers to share your brand, then reward them for doing so. A segmented loyalty program creates a consistent customer base by encouraging repeat shopping with continuous loyalty programs. It creates loyalty opportunities for brands by combining a customer’s preferences with individual attributes to inform advertising and other marketing activities.

Recurring subscriptions

If you are an e-commerce business, your ultimate goal is to increase your lifetime customer retention through a variety of methods. One method that many businesses utilize is recurring subscriptions. A recurring subscription is a one-time payment that can be used to recoup the costs of products or services. Simultaneously, you’ll be decreasing average order sizes and increasing your customer lifetime value.

There are different types of subscription models that you can implement on your website depending on your product offering. For instance, you can offer an auto-ship method for perishable or often used products such as coffee, tea, supplements, or groceries. Also, you can bundle your products and offer monthly subscription boxes such as beauty kits, snack boxes, and mystery boxes. Large companies such as Amazon offer subscriptions to their Prime plan, including free shipping, prime deals, and access to their streaming services. 

Customer service

67% of customers check the company’s return policies before making a purchase. 

How do you retain your customers and make them repeat their purchases? The answer is simple: excellent customer service. The best customer service rep knows how to answer every customer question, even when they can’t directly answer it. They also know how to work with the whole team to build a relationship that lasts. You will be more valuable as a company when you provide good, quality customer service. Also, customers highly appreciate flexible return policies and fast shipping. In fact, 67% of customers check the company’s return policies before making a purchase. 

Focus on listening to your customers and provide stellar customer support 24/7. Sometimes it is hard to do, especially when running an e-commerce store with a small team. You can consider implementing chatbots on your website that will significantly improve the overall customer experience on your website. There are plenty of tools to choose from depending on your business needs. Chatbots can help you collect leads, answer frequently asked questions, and provide tracking information to your shoppers.

Email marketing

For every dollar that you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42.

Email marketing is a great way to keep customers engaged. It’s also effective at getting new and repeat customers. Email marketing remains the number one channel in customer retention. According to DMA, for every dollar that you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42. Even more interesting, 49% of consumers say they would like to receive weekly promotional emails from their favorite brands.

Are you bored of cold emailing your customers? If you are, there is a good chance you are wrong. Emails should be a vital part of any customer retention process, but too many emails can work against your brand. Especially if every single email is automated. These are a few tips to help you top-notch your email marketing game:

  1. Segment your email lists
  2. Send personalized emails
  3. Optimize your emails for mobile
  4. Consider text only emails
  5. Get creative with your subject lines
  6. Have a clear call-to-action (CTA)

Provide easy and fast return policies

The ability to return products easily and fast should be a core part of any customer retention strategy. In fact, many potential customers do read the return policy before deciding to make a purchase, and most of them are ready to buy from the brand again if the return process is smooth. In eCommerce, there are a few golden rules related to returning products. For instance, there shouldn’t be any urgency: the process should be stress-free, and, ideally, customers should be able to make returns for 40 days or longer after the purchase. The process should also be as transparent as possible: define the timelines, special policies (e.g., what products cannot be returned), and use straightforward language in your statements.

Wrapping up

Have customer retention strategies in place so you build a loyal customer base that will stick around for years and tell their friends about you. Retained customers are worth up to 10x more than new customers. Don’t let your business grow stagnant, put a strategy in place and reap the rewards. Hopefully, you found the tips in this article and find a way to implement them in your store to boost sales and retain your customers!


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FAQ

What is customer retention?

Customer retention refers to a store’s ability to convert one-time customers into repeat customers and keep them from going to a competitor.

What is customer retention rate?

Customer retention rate refers to how many consumers a business keeps over time. It’s measured as a percentage of a company’s current clients who stay loyal over time.

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