The e-commerce industry is expanding at a pace that has never been seen before, and we don’t expect it to slow down anytime soon. While this is excellent news for consumers who like to shop, it isn’t exactly the most uplifting information for those who own an online business.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to compete against businesses that continuously offer a better price than you. However, what’s far more difficult is to attract and keep customers. Let’s face it: how many times as a consumer do you end up surfing new internet stores and buying stuff from them rather than the one you visited last month? Many, I’m sure.
In reality, a few days ago I purchased a phone cover from an internet store. I had never heard of the firm before, but seeing a social media post about it piqued my interest. The variety and pricing of the goods compelled me to give it a shot.
So how do you as someone who runs the business, retain a customer like me?
Best Practices To Win At E-commerce Customer Retention
1. Run Loyalty Programs
A loyalty program is one of the most powerful tools a business may have to bring customers back after they’ve abandoned their site because of all the other alternatives they have to choose from. A loyalty program is one in which the online store offers a personalized discount to its existing clients. The approach not only brings your consumers back to your store but also makes them feel appreciated for receiving a discount that no one else receives.
For example, I hadn’t shopped from Nykaa in a long time. They sent me an email with a personalized code that I could use to get an additional discount. And no, you can’t have my discount code!
2. Give Purchase Rewards
Every time you make a purchase, you promise yourself that this will most likely be the last time you go on an impulse buy for the month. Let’s face it, online shopping frequently results in us spending more than we intended.
Risk-averse customers will avoid all of your emails and messages to prevent spending more money. This is when purchase rewards come in handy. These are points that a client earns after purchasing from your website. The points may be redeemed on his next purchase, so even the most strong-willed customer will return to your store!
Chumbak, for example, offers loyalty points for every item and makes it a point to inform customers about what they will receive by making a purchase.
3. Map Out The Customer’s Journey
It is critical for every business to have a thorough knowledge of where the gaps exist and how they may be closed to enhance client interactions. Customer journey mapping comes into play at this point. These maps are a complete analysis of your consumer’s purchase route with your company. It’s vital to remember that each client has different experiences and encounters with your store based on how they got to your site, why they picked you, their purchasing activity, and so on.
Build numerous journey maps based on various customer personas. Consider a variety of communication and purchase methods, as well as consumer actions and an interactive timeline, when developing multiple journey maps. Examine various paths to see where you may improve your retention rates.
For instance, Lego created a Customer Journey Map called the experienced wheel. It is constructed in an interesting and simplified way and shows the analysis of a flight to New York City. The central part of the wheel includes a persona’s characteristics. The next circle is divided into three levels of experience and achieving the goal of traveling. Outside the circle, we’ll find descriptions of every step a person will take for this journey. Every step was marked with an emoticon mirroring positive, neutral, or negative experiences. This form of a map is really simple and easy to make – even at a meeting during a discussion on ideas or issues. It’s a great way of taking a quick look at our product or service ‘through the eyes of the customer’.
4. Practice Cross-Selling
I went to your website and purchased a smartphone. It’s quite clear today that I’d want something to keep my phone safe, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when I started looking for a cover or case. Now that I don’t need to return to your store to acquire these demands, I don’t need to do so; instead, I may look elsewhere for a better bargain or better quality.
In this scenario, a cross-selling promotion on your online store would have prevented me. Cross-selling campaigns are designed to suggest a product to a client based on what he has previously bought. He is likely to return to your store if it benefits him in some way!
Make sure you’ve helped customers by suggesting items on-site, through emails, push notifications, or social media.
5. Don’t Forget About Emails
Emails are and will remain the most effective channel for e-commerce businesses to not just market their products, but also keep their customers engaged. They are the one communication channel where you can personalize your approach on a one-to-one basis using smart tools offered by Wigzo.
Consumers are constantly reading their emails on mobile and online, so they will be consumed by them. The only thing to remember is that whenever you contact them, you’re providing value to your consumers while avoiding being spammy with your approach.
For instance, Myntra makes it a point to send me a quick email every time they have a sale going on. As someone who likes to save on money while purchasing even the best of products, it takes me back to their website.
6. Send Out Push Notifications
Your online store traffic consists of mobile and desktop users, and you need to effectively engage both of them to improve your e-commerce customer retention rates. By implementing mobile and browser push notifications for your online store, you can keep your customers hooked to your offerings. Be it a discount you’re offering, an ongoing sale, price alerts, or simply cart items that they recently abandoned.
For instance, most of us have seen how e-commerce biggies like Flipkart and Myntra send mobile push notifications every time a product goes up on sale.
Now, not every online store has an app to offer to its shoppers. But they certainly have mobile and robust desktop websites. This is where browser notifications come in handy. Implementing these with the same strategy as mobile push, will not just bring back customers to your website from both the channels, but also boost your sales.
7. Leverage Content Marketing
Don’t overlook content marketing if you want to draw attention to your online store. You must incorporate inbound strategies like blogging for business growth into your strategy. Whether it’s discussing what items are hot in your store or how you may utilize them, or simply giving a sneak peek into how your company works, they will not only keep consumers engaged but also make them feel good about interacting with your firm again and again.
For example, Lush is an online store that employs blogging to discuss the items and craftsmen who create them. Isn’t it always fascinating to learn where your purchased goods came from?
8. Tap Into Social Media
Social media is a great way to stay in touch with your target market and consumers daily without seeming pushy. A customer who has just purchased from your online store is much more likely to follow you on social media, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other platform.
Use the platforms to promote your products, discounts, blogs, and even monitor what people are talking about. It’s the one channel that may provide you with more information regarding what your clients want from your website, how satisfied they are with their purchases, and ways in which you can make their experience better.
9. Test Subscription Models
Subscription models are increasingly common among e-commerce companies these days. Online consumers are looking for subscription boxes because there are a few perishable products that need to be replenished on a weekly or monthly basis.
While this isn’t a strategy that every online store may utilize, you can always have a peek at your store’s many product categories. Experiment with subscription programs based on recurring purchases made by consumers.
For instance, Sugarbox has created subscription models that a customer can choose from. Subscribing to any one of them ensures repeated sales to one customer over time as well as keeping him hooked to your online store.
10. Always Care For Your Customers
The post-sales approach is the most common flaw that e-commerce businesses have. Customers who shop online consider post-sale services to be the most important factor affecting their purchase decisions, such as what if the goods aren’t as good as advertised on the store, or what if it’s complicated to understand, etc.
In this situation, you must demonstrate that you care about your clients. After a product is delivered to a client, sending out feedback emails is one of the most effective methods to contact them. Request that they assess the product and their interaction with it. This also allows you to get insight into why your company’s customers are leaving.
For instance, Amazon sends a feedback email within 24 hours of the product being delivered to a customer.
E-commerce has evolved into a competitive market, and to succeed, you must have not only a strong client acquisition strategy but also a method for ensuring that you don’t lose those you attract.
Building a loyal customer community will also help you run referral marketing campaigns that will boost your sales over time. But more importantly, this would ensure that your customers aren’t adding to the sales of a competitor!
The more times a client purchases from your online store, the stronger your connection is with him and the greater his customer lifetime value.
Looking for expert customer retention solutions for your e-commerce business? Start your free trial with Wigzo today!