Are you paying more attention to your customer acquisition or your customer retention rates? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you are probably more concerned with customer acquisition online. Did you know that increasing your e-commerce retention rate by just 5% can increase profits anywhere between 25-95%? Those numbers should get your attention. Start giving more consideration to your current customers by building brand loyalty. These tips will help boost e-commerce customer retention and increase your ROI.
Tip #1: Give Exclusive Promotions to Current Customers/Members
It doesn’t matter whether you sell online, in a brick-and-mortar shop, or both, when your goal is retention, you need to make your current customers feel like they have something nobody else has access to. If the same discounts and promotions are going out to every one of your contacts, there’s nothing to make your best assets feel special. So, let customers know that you appreciate them by giving them access to unique rewards when they purchase or follow on social media.
Tip #2: Cross-Promote on More Than Just Email & Social Media
For ages, businesses have provided special incentives and discounts to patrons (punch cards, etc.) to increase customer loyalty. Today, you can conveniently digitize your incentives. Don’t limit yourself to just social media and email, though. Mobile apps and text messages are great avenues for loyalty programs. For example, many well-known brands use text message marketing to implement time-sensitive discounts and other offers to their customers, and 90% of these messages are opened. Leveraging mobile makes your patrons more likely to see your promotional materials in the first place.
Tip #3: Send Birthday Gifts With Redeemable Offers
“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.”
~ William Barclay
By celebrating your customers’ birthdays, you let them know that they are special to you. If you have your patrons’ birthday information, use it. If you don’t, get it. Send acknowledgements every year, and go the extra mile on milestone birthdays (16, 18, 21, 30, etc.). You can send paper or digital birthday cards. To increase shopper retention, include a coupon code that is redeemable online or in-store. Make the most of holidays and special events in a similar manner.
Tip #4: Send Reminders to Those Who Left Items in Their Carts
If your customers leave items in their online shopping cart, it can be a great idea to send them a little nudge via email or SMS. For greater impact, you can even include a discount code. You’ll need to track where your customers abandon the purchase with Google Analytics, and use the info for your marketing campaigns. And you can set up the reminders that will be automatically triggered and sent when a cart is left unattended.
Tip #5: Make Site Registration Easy
If you want your customers to receive communications from you, make sure they opt in – this goes for email, SMS, and social media. Only those who choose to see your messages should receive them. So, in order to track customer purchases, know what to say and when to say it, and deliver relevant messages, the registration process on your site should be as easy as possible. Don’t ask for too much information, initially. If you do, people will be less likely to sign up.
If you notice that many people are buying from you without registering on your site (which shouldn’t always be required to make a purchase), try incentivizing the registration process. Offer a discount, free shipping, or another reward to those who choose to share their contact information for promotional purposes. This goes back to customer acquisition, but is necessary for keeping track of your users and nurturing loyalty.
When you pay attention to your most valuable customers, they are more likely to pay attention to you. While generating new customers is important, try shifting your focus to those you already have. By sending exclusive promotions, you will make people feel special. Cross-promoting your loyalty efforts on mobile will increase reception more than email and social media alone. Make sure to let customers know you’re paying attention by saying Hello and offering discounts on birthdays and special occasions. Send abandoned cart reminders, and don’t ask for too much information when you want customers to register on your site. All of these tips will help you build brand loyalty, so start integrating them into your marketing strategy today. Let me know how it goes and share your loyalty successes and failures in the comments below!
About the writer: Alexa Lemzy is the customer service expert and blog manager at TextMagic. She is passionate about everything related to customer loyalty and business growth.
Join the #retail and #inspiringretail conversations on Twitter @Alexa_Lemzy & @RetailNext, as well as at www.facebook.com/retailnext.