First of all, what exactly is retention marketing? Retention marketing is when you focus on creating value from existing customers rather than only looking to gain new customers. It is important to understand that not every tactic will work for every businesses, however, I will talk about the top systems that you can put in place and when they should be put into play.
Unfortunately, there is not one specific tool that works well for every store. The best plan depends on the stage your business is at financially and your current acquisition to retention rates.
Generally, you will find the most success when you put into place a selection of retention tools, all working together. An example of this would be a loyalty discount system for existing customers, partnered with an email system to remind customers of their loyalty discounts and rewards – prompting the customer back to your online store.
Here are some of the best retention tools available for your online store:
1. Provide a high level of support
Having solid support systems in place allows you to offer your customers a premier level of service. This also means you have the ability to transform a customer with a problem into a happy and devoted customer. In most cases, questions or problems arise after purchasing….when these questions or problems are addressed effectively and in a timely manner, first time buyers can become valuable life-long customers.
Instructing your Web Development Company to add tools to your e-commerce store such as Live Chat and Support Ticketing allow you to provide human interaction to your customers, this addition will give customers confidence in your services and keep them coming back time and again.
“83% of consumers want some sort of support in their online journey”
As humans we like to deal with other humans, not robots. Live chat is one of the most cost-effective and easiest ways to provide your customers with real human support. Most Live Chat tools will allow you to up-scale as and when you require more staff to man the chat system, thus giving your customers unrivalled support.
2. Provide an awesome customer experience (cx) and customer service
Two of the most important factors when it comes to customer retention are customer service and customer experience. If a customer has just one poor experience or did not find the buying process enjoyable on your website, they are more than likely to be gone for good.
Ensure your e-commerce store is running on a lighting quick hosting platform, your website is fully mobile responsive and the buying process is swift and clearly guided. This will all help to ensure you offer the best possible customer experience.
3. Make it personal
As a brand, you should strive to personalise all of your marketing efforts. You wouldn’t want to feel like just another number on a database – so why would your customer!
Here are a few ways to personalise your marketing strategies:
Add your customers name to all your correspondence (via email and physical mail)
Personal product recommendations
Personal cross-selling based on buying behaviour
It is paramount that you tailor a customer experience is based around loyalty. Remember, a happy customer is one that is going to bring in higher sales for your business.
4. Use email to retain your customers
The chances are that if you already have an e-commerce store in place for your business, you are already email marketing on some level. However, you may not be doing this in a retention marketing manner. Instead of using email to promote new products and special offers, utilise email to encourage previous customers to come back and shop with you.
Knowing your customers average time between purchases can be extremely useful. For example, let’s say you run a supplement store and you know that the average time between a customer buying a fresh 5kg tub of whey protein is 3 months….you can manage customers based on last purchase date and give them a nudge after this period of time to purchase again. My Protein currently do this for me every time, nearly down to a tea, so props to them!
What makes this even better is that you can use your current email marketing software to send these emails, simply by segmenting your audience.
5. Put a winning loyalty scheme in place
Rewarding your customers for choosing to purchase with you, is one of the most powerful retention tools you can implement. Giving customers reward points for each purchase means they have an incentive to keep shopping with you. Plus, it means customers are unlikely to use a competitor in the future, due to already having a loyalty scheme in place.
Loyalty doesn’t need to be limited to only purchasing. It can also be linked to other valuable actions, including:
Referring a friend
Leaving a review
Newsletter sign up
Sharing on social media
Following on social media
If you haven’t thought about a loyalty scheme for your e-commerce website yet – I would highly recommend you speak to your Web Development agency about how you can benefit from this.
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