What’s the deal with those places you keep going back to? Quick guess: they either always have exactly what you need or are looking for—or they never fail to surprise and entertain you. If you want your website visitors to feel the same about your e-commerce business, here are a few things you can do.
First impressions matter. So does good design.
Remember your first job interview? Or date? You wanted to give off a great first impression, because of the potential valuable connection that could come from it. You check your hair, breath, pulse, and if you’ve got the name of the person you’re meeting right.
Think of returning visitors more than people who repeatedly buy from you: imagine you are building a relationship with them, from their first click. You don’t have long for that: on average, visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a website.
Time to make sure your design and user experience are up to speed. And to test and improve your loading time. No time to lose, quite literally.
Apart from running speed tests and making sure all the buttons work, a brand audit can be a helpful tool in improving your first impression. Ask for feedback from your website visitors: do your logo and colors convey the right message? What is the first thing that your eyes are drawn to when the page loads?
You want to grab people’s attention—fast, but in a good way. You can do this completely in your own style. Showcase your products or services in a captivating way. If your e-commerce is more on the personal side, start with an introductory video, or make sure your value proposition is loud and clear from the moment people come in.
Why you’ll want to build connections, not just gain customers
After the first deal is closed, don’t lean back just yet: this could be the start of something great. There are very few things as valuable as returning visitors. They can become influential online ambassadors for your brand, and send other people your way too.
And if that’s not convincing enough a reason to invest in customer retention tactics, here’s another one. The success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. For new (potential) customers, it’s only between 5-20%.
How to keep people coming back for more
As we mentioned, people like going back to places where they either know what they’re going to get, or where they never know—but that’s the fun part. As for the content on your website, you can take advantage of this.
Let’s get personal, personal
Some people go back to the same hotel over and over. To you, it might seem like nothing special. But they’re welcomed with a smile, and: ‘’Left the kids at home this time?’’. Recognition. The waiter knows what bottle of Sauvignon to keep cool for them. And what cheeky cocktail to serve once that bottle is done.
We can take away something from the way industries like these treat their guests: personalization. Now, you won’t need a dedicated chatbot welcoming each and every one of your website visitors by name, asking them about their day. But you can make your website more personalized, mimicking that sense of connection.
How do you go from creating an order number to having a customer you know more about? For instance, by giving people the possibility to sign up and make a personalized account. By asking the right questions here, you can gather enough data to create content and show offers you know they’ll love, every time they visit. Either based on preferences, or previous buys.
If you treat customers just right, they’ll probably already consider coming back to you. Impeccable customer service and high-quality products might do the trick. But most of us need a little extra nudge in the right direction. Give them that, with rewards and loyalty programs.
Customer loyalty programs can be much more creative than discounts. Think about offering premium features, first access to new collections, or small gifts every now and then to stay top of mind for your biggest fans.
Create a fun and engaging website experience
If personalization isn’t really your thing, interaction might be. Regardless of if you can and want to offer custom experiences, the content on your website is key to keep customers coming back.
So, what’s new?
If you want visitors to come back, they need to know there will be something new worth visiting for. Keep your content fresh and regularly update it. Match it to the search queries visitors perform on your website to make it as relevant as possible. Not only they, but also search engines will thank you for it.
Some website visitors want to do more than just browse your blog or window-shop your products. They are looking for a little fun. With interactive content, you can give them just that. Incorporate videos or quizzes on your site to offer a more engaging experience.
Your website isn’t the only place where the magic happens.
Chances are, your website will not always be one of the open tabs on your customer’s browsers. To make sure they don’t forget you, there are other ways to remind them of your existence and the great times you’ve had before.
When you’ve got all the right content and loyalty programs in place, you can start asking people to sign up for updates to never miss a thing. Whether that’s newsletters or social media, make sure these channels match the style and quality of your website to deliver a consistent experience.
And last but definitely not least, one of the most important tools for customer retention: retargeting. Even if customers fail to sign up or follow you, you can make sure you’re popping up on their feed every once in a while. That’s something we are happy to help you with, so let’s increase those conversions, shall we?
Customer retention FAQ
How to make your customers keep coming back?
1. First impression matters, make good design
2. Build connections, not just gain customers
3. Get personal, ask questions, gather the data to provide content and offers they expect
4. Build loyalty, treat your customers the right way by incentivizing them
5. Create fun and engaging website experience. Little fun with interactive content is the key.
How to retain customers outside of your website?
If you were able to get their emails, it is time to provide the content to bring visitors back to your store.
You can also run remarketing (retargeting) ads by collecting audiences and advertising to them. Most common platforms would be Google and Facebook.
Vicky Frissen is a freelance writer with an itch for giving brands more human voices, online. She’s a writer for Typeform and can’t stop blogging about digital marketing and digital nomad life.