Acquiring new customers might be the aim of every ecommerce site, yes. But that should not be the ONLY aim. Businesses should also consider working upon how to retain lost customers. This helps in building the trust factor and loyalty of customers.
Many ecommerce site owners focus on the acquisition stage with the exclusion of retention. That’s because people often think of marketing as synonymous with acquisition. Which means the act of attracting customers to your business. Keeping customers, or retention, should be equally if not more important than acquisition.
Retention strategies truly pay off in the long run and help you build a sound business over time.
Be smart. Create a successful retention strategy to convert your new customers into long-term customers. Chances are that you too will spend less and earn more, the formula for a successful business.
In order to build a successful retention marketing program, you must rethink how your ecommerce site prioritizes its marketing efforts. Retaining customers is less expensive than acquiring new ones. Happy customers are more likely to tell their friends and family about your business. Repeat customers spend more money but require less help.
If you’re able to fix your customers’ problems and impress them with outstanding service, you might just win an even more loyal customer. The consequences of customer retention also compound over time. And in sometimes unexpected ways. Even a tiny change in customer retention can cascade through a business system and multiply over time. The resulting effect on long-term profit and growth shouldn’t be underestimated.
So, what strategies are the can you use to keep those loyal customers coming back to your ecommerce site time and time again. Here are some of them:
Adding CRM To Ecommerce Site
A CRM system, or customer relationship management system, allows you to track, monitor and communicate with customers using an automated platform. You can customize messages to focus on items, issues, products or information of interest to specific customers. Which helps build retention into your communications mix. Prioritize around retention, rather than acquisition, strategies.
Shift the focus from outbound, mass advertising, and general ads to communications with existing customers. Add tactics to your outbound marketing mix as part of your retention efforts. And let your team know that they should focus on completing these tasks first.
Be sure you include enough budget to support retention efforts as much as you have supported acquisition in the past. Track, measure and monitor customer value, especially customer lifetime value. Instead of measuring individual sales alone, use your database to measure sales by customer.
Customer lifetime value assigns a score to customers based on recency, frequency, and monetary value of their purchases. The higher the lifetime value, the more you invest in retention efforts with that customer. Since they are considered a ‘good’ customer for your company.
Frequent Communications In Ecommerce Site
Emails and postcards are inexpensive ways to maintain communications with customers. Remind customers of upcoming sales, or drop them a simple “thank you” note and coupon to encourage repeat business.
Social media isn’t about pushing messages out to your fans and followers. It’s about communication and engagement. Share, comment and thank people when they share your posts. Be a frequent, courteous social media presence.
Remember that in a retention-driven business, it’s a two-way street. Complaints are an opportunity to engage with your customers, not an annoyance. Use the opportunity to resolve the problem fully and to thank them with additional services.
Whether you have an online or an offline business, consider hosting an event. Online businesses can host podcasts, give-away events, “open office” Q & A hours, or special sales. Bricks and mortar business can have special parties, open house events, guest lectures, new product unveilings, and other events at their stores. Make some events exclusive for your current customers only and you’ve turned an event into a retention tactic.
Introducing A Loyalty Program
There’s little point in dedicating massive resources to generating new customers. When 25-60% of your dormant customers will be receptive to your attempts to regenerate their business. And that is, if you approach them the right way, with the right offer. Reactivating customers who already know you and your product is one of the easiest, quickest ways to increase your revenues.
Re-contact and remind them of your existence. Find out why they’re no longer buying. OvercomE their objections and demonstrate that you still value and respect them. This will usually result in a tremendous bounty of sales and drastically increased revenues in a matter of days. And will lead to some of your best and most loyal customers.
A powerful system that improves the interpersonal skills of your team and changes the spirit of your organisation. It involves speaking to colleagues politely and pleasantly, without sarcasm or parody. And treating them at least as well as you would want them to treat your customers.
Consistent Customer Experience
Offering a consistent customer experience involves having all departments talking to each other. Marketing needs to talk to sales; sales needs to talk to customer support. All departments should have shared goals in what customer experience needs to be delivered to each customer.
The best companies recognize that customers interact with different parts of the organization and across multiple touch points. They know customers engage with different employees when they make a purchase, when they’re getting service and support, and when they’re talking to billing or accounts.
Long-term success and customer retention belongs to those who do not take ethical shortcuts. There must always be total consistency between what you say and do and what your customers experience. The design, build quality, reliability and serviceability of your product or service must be of the standard your customers want, need and expect.
Service integrity is also demonstrated by the way you handle the small things, as well as the large. Customers will be attracted to you if you are open and honest with them, care for them, take a genuine interest in them. Don’t let them down and practice what you preach.