To attract a customer to your website and to retain them for a longer duration always requires you to put extra efforts. The concept of growing an e-commerce website is not just about getting new customers and acquiring them but also retaining them. In fact, retention of old customers has a big impact on the profitability of e-commerce sites, as acquiring new users has increasingly become more expensive. Retaining an e-commerce user increases customer lifecycle value. The necessity of maintaining a balance between new customer acquisition and retention is very important and how to maintain and retain the customers is what you need to focus on. And today I will be sharing the five strategies for customer retention for e-commerce sites.
There are basically three major criteria that should be focused on the steady and balanced growth of any E-commerce platform: An increase in the total number of customers, the frequency of repeated purchase, and an increase in average order value. Failure happens to most of the e-commerce websites because they simply focus on increasing their number of customers and neglect the other two criteria. In the course of time, they forget about retaining those customers by making them happy on an ongoing basis and not only in one transaction.
Now how can you attract new customers and retain them when you cannot keep your old customers happy?
According to a study by the Harvard Business School, one can increase his profit by up to 95% if he is able to increase his customer retention just by 5%! If you wonder how, then get to know that an existing customer, if happy, spends 67% more than a new customer because you already know them and it is pretty easy for you to convince an old customer to buy your product.
So how should you maintain a balance between all these three factors so that it’s a win-win for you?
Here are some must-try strategies for powerful customer retention for e-commerce sites.
1. Send Personalized Retention Notifications
Every customer, no matter new or old, would love to get personalized messages. It evokes in them a feeling of being connected to you always, and they feel privileged too. Sending personalized retention notification to customers will aid in increasing the second purchase. These could be based on their earlier purchases done or based on a prediction of when they will likely make the next purchase – e.g. when the shaving cream does get over.
Segmented notification can highly influence in improving customer retention to a great extent. This will help you to understand the expectations of each customer, and you can work on ways to meet their expectations in a better and concise way. Before sending personalized notifications make sure that you have a strong database to support your prospects for better outreach and also segment your customers based on their activity in your store. These notifications could be sent through various channels including web push notifications, app push notifications, in-app messages, or through emails.
2. Focus on Targeted Web Push Notification
Web Push Notification is one of the most widely used digital marketing platforms at present. These push messages are clickable messages that appear on your mobile or tablet or desktop even when you are not present on any of the browsers. These messages are sent in real-time, or they can be scheduled to suit the right timing.
Now how does a Targeted Web Push Notification works?
When a user visits your website for the very first time, a pop up appears in the form of an opt-in box seeking permission from the user to send them Web Push Notifications. If the user clicks allow, then he is added to your subscriber list.
The user needn’t share any of the personal information to become a subscriber, and this makes the opt-in process quite easy. Once subscribed, you can connect with your use anytime even when they are not online. In fact, web push messages help to connect with your user and get them engaged during different stages of their purchase. You can use PushEngage to segment your users based on their activity on your website to send targeted web push notifications for higher customer engagement.
Web Push Notifications serve various uses for customer retention for e-commerce websites:
To assist the user in his purchase: You can send product recommendations based on what the user added to his cart, or send out content articles related to the product if the user did not complete his purchase. You could send reminders for items left in the cart, or send out an offer for completing the purchase quickly. This will encourage your existing customers to take action in their orders and even motivate them to actually buy from your business.
To announce an upcoming flash sale: If your website is up for an upcoming flash sale, you can use Web Push Notifications to inform all your subscribers or a segmented group who are interested in buying the kind of products on sale. You can even opt for sending personalized notifications to a list of subscribers based on their past purchase history and whom you think will find an interest in this sale.
Announcing an upcoming flash sale through web push notifications can increase the number of participants and help your business get more profits from the sale.
To announce New Product Launch: Web Push Messages can be used as a medium to alert your users about your new product launch. If you have launched a new category of products, let your subscribers know about it with a simple notification that will clearly explain to them what kind of product and the offer they get if they make a purchase on the day of its launch.
Aside from increasing your sales, announcing new product launches through web push notifications will also increase the number of buyers. Your first set of buyers will enable your business to determine whether the product is effective or if it requires changes.
To announce new offers & discounts: Update your user about a new offer or a discount on a particular product via Web Push Notification. Send him a personalized message based on his purchase and search history. This will improve the rapport between you and the user, and he is sure to make a purchase happen. Thus the chance for yet another purchase will stand relatively higher.
Letting your existing customers know about new offers and discounts is also one way of building professional relationships with them. This will also make your customers feel valued and appreciated because you spent resources on letting them know what your business currently offers.
3. Offer Engaging Loyalty Points & Rewards
Though an old strategy, offering engaging loyalty points and rewards is still one of the many methods that aids in customer retention. Offering free merchandise, discount coupons, and vouchers, lifetime membership offers, points to redeem, exclusive deals, discounts based on quantity or volume, and lots more are sure to attract customers for a comeback very soon.
When offering loyalty points and rewards, make sure to think out of the box and offer something unique to your existing customers. Most businesses today offer points and rewards, which is why you should strive to make yours stand out. If you’re offering the same loyalty points and rewards for years, your existing customers will likely decide to do business with your competitors. How can they get excited with offers that they already know and used for years?
The benefits you reap with loyalty points are far beyond one can expect. Customers buzzing around you are always an added advantage, and it will build your reputation as well. A business that regularly offers new and unique loyalty points and rewards can leave a positive brand in the market, which is something that’ll entice your existing customers to stay loyal to your brand and even invite their friends and family as well. Moreover, a customer feels valued, and he feels that he is important to you.
4. Right Optimization of your store
If your website is concise and clear enough to capture the attention of a user within 4 seconds of his visit, then you own a well-optimized website. You need to hone the messaging of your website and make it personalized to the customer browsing the site. Basically, the website design, the user experience, and the innovative cross-selling techniques are essential for the right optimization of the website. The key is showing what the user is looking for or expecting clearly in above the fold. This will help you gain more and more customers and also retain the existing customers. Remember if a user is impressed, then you automatically win him as a loyal subscriber. This way, you can increase your sign-ups. As long as your user is happy with his experience on your website, he will make a comeback whenever he wants to shop.
5. Excellent Customer Support
Excellent customer support is a critical factor for acquiring as well as retaining customers for an e-commerce store. You need immense effort to win a customer, but due to a lack of poor customer support, you can just lose them easily. There are stats claiming that the chance of a customer opt for a competitor website is four times more if the customer support is poor. Kissmetrics says that companies lose 71% of their customers due to poor customer support.
The customers judge a store based on their experience with customer support. Poor customer support will reduce the chance of return visits from your customers. Always lookout for opportunities to strengthen your bond with your customers. Give them the comfort and assistance needed whenever necessary. Provide all kinds of assistance in all channels including chat, email, phone number, fax, social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Depending on the quality of the customer support you give to your customers, you might consider letting your employees undergo training or workshop to improve their customer handling skills. Although these will require resources from you, the benefits will be worth it in the long run.
By following these five powerful strategies, you are sure to create happy customers. They are sure to make long-term future visits which will help you grow your business remarkably