5 Proven Customer Retention Strategies for Ecommerce that will Increase Your Bottom Line
Being able to attract new customers consistently is the basis for any successful business.
However, no matter how effective your lead generation strategy might be, it won’t matter much if you’re not able to retain the customers that have already chosen to buy from you.
Even the most cost-effective lead generation method can’t compete with retaining your current customers – attracting leads costs money, so you need a lead nurturing strategy that enables you to get as much from each buyer as possible.
If you can ensure that your current customers stick around for as long as possible, you can relieve the pressure from having to continually come up with new leads to survive.
But Why is Having a Customer Retention Strategy So Important?
Since it’s more expensive to attract new customers than to retain old ones, you need to focus on the latter.
And that’s why an effective customer retention strategy is so important.
You need a method for consistently extracting as much value from your existing customer base as possible. That not only helps to maximize current profits but by increasing your customer lifetime value, you are effectively giving yourself more room to go out and be more aggressive when attaining new customers as well.
If you know that you’ll be able to get more from your current customers, that means that you can also spend more on attaining new ones because the lifetime value of your average customer is higher.
At the same time, if you aren’t retaining your current customers, you can’t spend a lot on attracting new ones as well because they leave before you can make back your investment.
So, to help you improve your customer retention, here are a few strategies that can start bringing measurable results, fast.
Make Them Revisit Your Site with the Help of Email Marketing
Email marketing is by no way a groundbreaking strategy for eCommerce businesses – most are already making it a part of their marketing efforts.
And there’s a reason for that.
Email marketing works, plain and simple. But in order to use it to its full potential, you need to differentiate yourself from what others are doing and take your efforts to the next level.
You see, your subscribers are likely bombarded with dozens of marketing emails every day, seeing the same offers again and again, until finally, the subscription ends up in the spam folder or at least buried somewhere deep in their inbox.
But how can you make your emails stand out?
Well, there are a few ways that can make your target audience eagerly await your email instead of looking for that delete button as soon as it hits their inbox.
First off, you need to establish the rules for your communications from day one. Tell them why they should subscribe, what will they receive, and how often will you communicate with them.
Once you set clear expectations and stick to them, your emails won’t feel like an intrusion, but rather an awaited communication.
Secondly, make sure that your emails remain relevant – you need to find a way to manage your customer information and segment your subscribers according to their interest, delivering personalized and relevant messages that aren’t just general-type offers they could just find on your site.
And finally, you need to ensure that each email brings value – your readers should be rewarded for giving your emails their time and attention. Offer them the best deals, tell them the latest news, and remind them why they should buy from you and not your competitors.
Use Multiple Social Media Channels
Social media can be an excellent tool for attracting new customers and expanding your reach, but it works just as well, if not better, as a way to engage your current customers and improve customer retention.
The reason why social media is so effective is the fact that it allows you to re-engage the same audience multiple time, nurturing the relationship, providing useful information, and building trust.
But how do you get started with social media?
Well, the first step is becoming available. You need to ensure that if your customer wants to look up your business on social media, he will find an active and informative page, no matter which social media platform he’s using.
Aim to be as consistent as possible – use the same social media usernames, same color schemes, and the same logo to ensure that there’s no confusion whether the page is really yours.
Also, make use of each platform’s unique strengths and differentiate the type of content you produce. Sure, you should still repurpose your content, but adapt it to each social media platform, so it doesn’t feel like you’re just posting the same stuff. You could even post specialized content, including deals, to different platforms to make it worthwhile to follow you on multiple social media pages.
If you think you won’t have the time to manage multiple accounts, you can use advanced software solutions that assist with social media marketing or hire a social media manager to take over the entire process.
Educate Your Customer with High-Quality Content
Content should be at the forefront of any comprehensive customer retention strategy. Without content, all of your communications would be sales messages, which would make it impossible to build a relationship that would entice the customer to stick around.
If you’re able to provide consistent value through your content, it positions you as an authority in the field and breaks down trust barriers that would prevent some of the prospective customers from committing.
With good content, you’re also continuously re-engaging your current audience because you’re providing relevant information that helps to solve their problems and move them closer to their goals.
But content can provide benefits beyond engaging your audience – it can also help to better understand your target audience by tracking what type of communications receive the best response. This allows developing a more personalized and customer-focused content strategy that can generate a better response.
SMS Marketing – Forgotten but Still Useful
With all the digital strategies that allow you to communicate with your audience, SMS marketing might seem like an outdated strategy, but it still can serve as a useful tool for engaging your audience and keeping your business on their minds.
In fact, by 2020, 48.7 million consumers will have opted in to receive SMS messages from businesses, so it’s clear that SMS marketing still has its place in your customer retention strategy.
If you manage to make your messages engaging and valuable to your customers, you can not only remind them of your business but also entice them to buy from you again.
The key to making SMS marketing work for your business is not sending out messages too often. If you bombard your audience with SMS messages every other day, they won’t be subscribers for long.
Instead, use SMS marketing about once per week to inform your subscribers of your best deals, new products, or special promotions. You can also make it possible for them to respond, which can turn one-way broadcasts into a conversation.
Easy-to-Use Ecommerce Website is a Must
Your site is the hub of your business – it’s where you want your customers to end up when they are ready to buy your products.
That’s why it’s essential to make your site as easy to navigate as possible – sort your products into categories and make sure to allow sorting the products according to all the essential parameters.
And once they’re ready to make the purchase, you need to ensure that the entire process is as quick and simple as possible if you want to combat order form abandonment and maximizes the chances of conversion.
Another way to increase customer retention is to provide as many payment methods as is necessary – if you don’t offer your customers a diverse range of possibilities to make the payment, many of them will have no choice but to go to your competitors who do have the option that they need.