Securing repeat customers is the lifeline of any eCommerce business, but this is especially true in the realm of eCommerce where many consumers are still reluctant to shop. With that in mind, You work hard day and night to retain your customers. You’ve likely spent a lot of resources marketing your business, raising awareness, and getting people to walk through your doors. Seeking out new customers is not just a time taking task but can be costly as well. Conversely, encouraging the customers you already have to make a repeat purchase is often easier and more effective.

In the marketing world, retention is tedious and optimization especially around acquiring new customers is sexy. I don’t believe you“close” a sale—you “open” a relationship. Effective marketing is an equilibrium – it’s the equal balance of getting customers, and keeping them. The question is, how do you get them to come back? 

Here are some suggestions to put the odds better in your favor

Customer Satisfaction

the first thing you should focus on is customer satisfaction. Make sure everyone is satisfied when they shop with you. Besides product quality, customer service has the biggest impact on customer satisfaction. Bad customer service can push away. That makes the customer support department the first place you want to put your efforts. 

The root of retention and loyalty comes to service. Create a good experience, that’s consistent and predictable, and you have a shot at customer retention. 

Quick tips to deliver excellent customer service:

Respond Quickly – Rapid response time can immediately improve your customer service.

Do your best to help customers – If you are there when customers need most, they will stay with you for life.

To make customers satisfied, excellent customer service is not enough. Having the right people on the front line is important. You can have the best product in the world, but if the person your customer interacts with is not engaging or even worse, downright unpleasant to deal with, you will drive people away. Make sure you have qualified people on your team. Friendly, efficient and personalized service should be a standard.

Send Greetings/ Gratificationgreeting

While experts debate whether the marketing funnel is outdated, it’s been proven that managing the entire experience of any age of the customer is a better way to keep customers. The conversation cannot stop once the sale is made. It is critical that companies focus on sending personal communications throughout the lifecycle of the customer. it is not enough to rely on service or repairs to hold on to customers. 

For example, the welcome message is critical — it is one of the single most important communications businesses can send.

The best way to bring people back to your store is to incentivize their visits and give them instant gratification on each visit. That means either issuing them a promo code, discount on their next purchase, buy one get one free if they return, or putting some sort of membership in a place where they receive regular discounts on purchases that grow every time they purchase something in-store.” The key is making customers feel rewarded or that they’re getting something of value whenever they walk through your doors.

For example, send them a birthday greeting (along with a special offer)

Offer Incentives & Loyalty Programloyalty

Sending out a special discount code or voucher with your customer’s first order is a very effective way of luring them to place a second order. It’s best to add a time constraint to when they can use this voucher to add a sense of urgency. If you send discount codes to your mailing list regularly, it will also help to reduce your unsubscribe rate, as your regular customers will want to make sure they don’t miss out on any special offers.

Rewarding repeat business with discounts or free items through a loyalty program is also a proven marketing technique both to attract new customers and to encourage existing customers to spend more.

And if you haven’t done so yet, upgrade your loyalty program so that it helps you keep in touch with shoppers. It’s not enough that you give customers a rewards card and send them on their way. You have to be more proactive about reminding them to collect points or redeem their rewards.

Rewards, containing offers such as:

  • Bonus starts 
  • Buy one get one (and earn starts/rewards) in the process
  • Double rewards on almost every purchase

Retargeting

retargeting

Abandoned cart emails are one of the most effective ways to retarget customers – if they add items to their cart but don’t complete the purchase you can send an email reminding that there are items in their cart and offering an incentive such as money off or free shipping. 

Retargeting customers based on what they previously bought can also work well for consumable items, or simply by promoting other items they might like.

Social media is another area where retargeting works well. If a customer has previously visited your site, you can display an advert on their Facebook or Instagram feed, which might nudge their memory and prompt them to return. You can also send them directly to products they looked at or may be interested in.

Go Social

social

Make sure you’re available on social media always! It is a great idea to offer customer service through social media as well. You want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to get hold of you. Offer them exclusive deals when they shop through your social channels, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Just as encouraging customers to register for an account and receive marketing emails from you can give you opportunities to push repeat sales, so you can encouraging shoppers and browsers to follow your brand on social media.

Make the most of social media, as they are extremely useful in maintaining customer contact after the initial sale. Implementing social media into your marketing strategy is a great way to form the vital personal connections between your business and shoppers.

Consumers have turned to social media platforms to ask questions, register complaints and resolve product issues. Take advantage of it to show how your brand is listening and cares about your customers.

People love to be heard and seen. You can frequently post positive feedback on your social media channels and mention the customers. This small action would make customers feel special and noticed. 

So If social is going to be part of your customer retention strategy – and it should be!

Engagement

To engage with customers in deep, consistent, and meaningful ways. From the moment a potential customer walks into your business or visits your website you want them to feel like they’ve found their home. You need to speak to your ideal clients in the language that they speak and treat them like a new friend you are interested in getting to know better.

In Marketing communications speak to them directly. Get to know them, ask questions to find out more about what they like and who they are. Make them feel appreciated right from the start. Do whatever you can to let them know that you appreciate their business and that they, personally, are important to you. Thank them on their way in and their way out of your physical or virtual store. Follow up to make sure that your client’s experience landed well with them. Continue to offer them incentives to visit you again.

Here’s the tricky part. You need to have some on-going way to stay connected when they don’t need you. Offer a “club” for past customers and send them e-mails or offer phone calls, texts, or postcards to keep them aware of new ways you can serve them. Give them the option of being connected within the way that works best for them. Treat each of your clients like they really are your friend, one you care about deeply and want to get to know better and you’ll master the Engagement that will keep you in their thoughts and keep them coming back for more.

Brand Positioning

brand positioning

If you can create and curate content that has a lot of value for your customers, be it blogs or newsletters, they’ll follow and share your posts, which helps to promote your brand through word of mouth. Position your brand as a trusted resource. If you’re an expert in your field, help your customers learn something new. You will not only gain customers’ trust but also become a reliable resource when they seek help. With your deep understanding of customers’ needs, people can rely on and follow your instructions. As a result, they also trust the product and service you provide.

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Final Word

In the case of an eCommerce purchase, it’s a common fact that it costs more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. Encouraging repeat purchases and improving customer retention rates can have a hugely positive effect on your business profits, so it’s worth coming up with a marketing plan to target these valuable customers. Just taking a few of these steps can help greatly with improving the trust and relationship between your brand and the customer, turning one-time customers into returning customers.

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