Customer Retention Tactics
You’ve heard it before. It’s cheaper to get past customers to purchase again than it is to find new customers. This is true for most businesses, especially in the crowded online ecommerce arena. Knowing that it’s cheaper to get current customers to purchase from you again, you should make an effort to re-engage your current customers to get them to come back.
Benefits of Reselling to Current Customers
There are several benefits to reselling to previous customers versus acquiring new ones. First and foremost it usually costs less. That alone is reason enough to spend more time focusing on your current customers. The more times a customer purchases from you, the stronger your relationship becomes. It’s these strong relationships that cause customers to champion your products and services, effectively creating powerful referrals and word-of-mouth marketing that will help drive new customers.
1. Utilize Customer Accounts
Customer accounts can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, accounts can make repurchasing much easier by giving customers easy access to past orders as well as pre-filled shipping information. On the other hand, customer accounts can be a seen as too big of a commitment for new customers. Because of this, most people will choose to checkout as a guest if given the option.
So how can you effectively implement and encourage customer accounts while not hindering conversions of first time customers? The trick is to provide the option to create an account after the first order has been placed. You can send customers direct invitations to encourage them to activate an account after processing their order via email. As an added incentive, you might offer a discount for creating an account and/or placing their second order.
2. Implement a Customer Loyalty Program
Reward customers for their loyalty. Developing a loyalty membership to your store is another way to increase conversions from your current customers while rewarding them for their repeat purchases.
Creating a loyalty program can be as simple as rewarding customers on their second purchase at your store or after a set dollar figure.
Shopify apps such as Klaviyo which can automatically email your customer a reward coupon when your customers make a repeat purchase from your store. Additionally, you can opt for full featured and automated loyalty apps like SLoyalty and LoyaltyLion which can reward your customers for a variety of actions they take in your store, including creating a customer account, referring friends and making purchases. Woocommerce Points and Rewards rewards your customers for purchases and other actions with points which can be redeemed for discounts.
Contact us to help you set up these loyalty programs on your site.
3. Send Regular Customer Newsletter Emails
Your email list is a critical tool for maintaining and building relationships with your current customers. Time and time again email has proven itself to be one of the top converting channels for ecommerce. Take a look at the graph below from Monetate. It’s clear that email converts much higher than social and close to twice as high as organic search:
An email marketing campaign like this to all of your customers is quick to implement and can produce big gains. Contact us to assist you with email marketing.
4. Surprise & Delight Your Customers
Depending on your niche, product mix and margins, sending a small gift to your best customers can be a great way to remind them to come back while adding the element of surprise and delight.
Giving an unexpected gift plays to the law of reciprocity which refers to responding to a positive action with another positive action.
Use this to your advantage by sending your best customers small and unexpected gifts. It can be as simple as a digital gift certificate to your store, or you can take it a step further and send your customers something that lets them know you went the extra mile because they are important to you.
5. Reach out and Connect on Social Media and Post Often
Social media is all about building relationships and who’s better to build and cultivate relationships with than your customers?
People who have chosen to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your company tend to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your brand for a reason. These people can be your most loyal customers and brand ambassadors. They want to hear more about new products and promotions so it’s important to use these channels regularly to make sure you’re connecting with these people and driving them back to your store often.
Keep in mind that Facebook only shows your posts to 5%-10% of your total fans. This means, you should be posting often enough so that you’re regularly reaching all of your fans and customers.
6. Offer a Discount or Credit to Return
Be careful with discounting your products. For many ecommerce merchants, margins can be tight and if your customers become accustomed to discounting they may expect it all the time. However, discounting can also be a really effective trigger to bringing back customers that haven’t purchased in a while.
Experiment with offering credits to use at your store (i.e. $10 towards any purchase) versus a percentage discount (i.e. 10% off any purchase). The credits make the offer feel more tangible and makes the customer feel like they need to spend it, otherwise they are wasting money.
Sending out discounts to dormant customers can either be done manually if you have a relatively small customer list, or, it can be automated through email apps.
Your current customer is the best asset your store has. They already know your brand, they know your products and they know your service. Focusing your time and energy on this group can be a powerful way to supercharge revenues for your store.