Customer retention is the process of turning one-time buyers into repeat customers.
When people think about increasing sales, the majority will assume looking for new customers is the best way to do this.
But did you know that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer, than to keep an existing one?
Actually, the best way to double or even triple your sales is through your existing customers. In fact, you have a whooping 60-70% chance of selling again to one of your existing customers and the chance of converting a new lead into a customer is only 5-20%. Also, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%
While you are busy trying to convert new customers into leads means you are seriously missing out on connecting with your existing customers to make more sales.
The difference between companies that grow and those that don’t all comes down to customer retention. The more customers that you can keep and continue to sell to, the more likely you are to achieve love-term success for your business.
At the end of the day, the main idea about customer retention to keep in mind is to provide a level of quality and service that keeps people coming back.
Now let’s dive into some of the customer retention strategies that will ignite your customers’ desire to come back to your store for another purchase.
You’ve probably always believed in sending emails as the only effective way of converting customers. You may have reached out to your customers with the occasional promotional email along with a follow-up email. Unfortunately, most customers don’t seem to respond well to these types of emails.
The issue with email campaigns is when targeting a large audience with a single promotional email it must be generalised to fit the entirety of that audience. But here lies the problem, your target audience shouldn’t be ‘everyone’. When you’re trying to meet everyone needs, your brand identity end up being too vague and relating to no one.
As emails work much better when they are personalized to match specific audiences. For that reason, you need to use the data you collect from subscribers to create segments, from there personalised email campaigns can be created to target these different segments.
For example, if you ran a clothes store and have a segment for university students, you could re-target them with an email about the latest winter trends for the upcoming semester. This could be taken further with more data, the gender of the students could be targeted, therefore making the email more personal and in turn providing an increase in sales.
Major issue that all eCommerce businesses struggle with is cart abandonment. The average shopping cart abandonment during the second quarter of 2018 is over 74%. For all websites, this is a huge loss of potential sales.
There are many reasons why customers abandon cart. Without understanding the reasons behind it, it is impossible to reduce cart abandonment.
Another great way to retain your abandoning customers is to use exit-intent ads and pop-up messages. The term exit intent has been growing in popularity over the last few years in the E-commerce world.
This technology allows you to accurately guess when a visitor is about to leave your website and show an ad or a pop-up message or ad to keep them from leaving the website.
Exit-intent is effective when it comes to converting visitors into leads. But, you can also use it to cleverly re-target your customers whenever they are about to leave your website.
For example, you can use an exit-intent pop-up message to present a personalized offer based on the page a customer is browsing. Or right when they decide to leave without doing any of things you want them to do (buying, registering, etc.) – offer a limited-time coupon code to save money on the product they were browsing (take advantage of the scarcity mindset).
Social media is an extremely powerful advertising platform that gives you the chance to access an enterprise level advertising platform at an incredibly affordable cost.
Based on the latest Pew data, 68% of adults in the U.S. are on Facebook, and about 75% of those use it each day. Instagram is used by 71% of Americans in the 18-to-24-year-old demographic, and about 81% of those aged users are on the service daily.
Social media re-targeting works by connecting you with shoppers who have already visited your site on social media channels while incorporating their behaviour from the open web.
For example, when someone visits your website and adds something to a cart, views a product, or buys something, their intent data/cookie is captured at each level.
The cookie let your system know when one of your bounced visitors appears on another site or social platform, such as Facebook or Instagram. Since customer’s purchase intent is calculated, the ad will be very personalised, reflecting the products customer viewed, plus new discoveries based on items such as availability.
With all of the fast efficient conveniences that eCommerce offers, do you know what is the only downside of it? It’s missing the human touch – there isn’t someone who can answer their questions about the products they want to buy immediately.
Stating the obvious, people hate being in the middle of a purchase and then the process is interrupted because they have a problem or just some minor questions. Just thinking about making a call or completing a web form in order to receive an answer is already a huge mental turn-off for customers.
A live chat can give you the benefit of a direct communication with your clients, without interrupting their buying process. People will love it because they will have fast answers for their questions. Also, an immediate great customer service on your live chat can increase your sales since they can help your customers with personalised advice, recommendations and they can facilitate the buying process.
If you know how to use live chat at his best, this could be the beginning of a great relationship between your customers and your business as well.
There are many conveniently available plugins that monitor the real-time audience on your website and interact with them via a live chat system.
For these reasons, offering live chat support is not only a great way to provide immediate customer support but it’s also a brilliant way to re-target your existing or returning customers on your website.
Last but not least, always strive be honest and keep your authenticity alive. It’s as simple as that.
Building brand authenticity is all about giving people a reason to care. And to be a credible brand it’s important that you fulfill promises and values to your customers.
Make sure that you provide your customers with an honest experience when they’re shopping from you. Never ever trick them with faulty products, confusing returns policies, unknown charges, or something else, people are quick to lose trust nowadays.
At the same time, offer fair prices for your products and for your shipping rates. Be clear with which shipping company you’re going to use and remember to add your tracking numbers. Don’t try to hijack your price to silly amount of money. Nothing will make your customers more skeptical and annoyed than an unreasonably high price tag.
All in all, try to treat your customers how you want to be treated – this is one of the best ways to build long-term customer retention rates for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Maintaining customer loyalty is priceless, and can result in further customer acquisition for your company. After all, word of mouth advertising is not only free, but possibly one of the most credible forms of advertising. Customers will always talk, and they will always listen to other customers. After all, your customer base is a growing source of referrals for new customers.
Ultimately, positive and consistent engagement foster retention – that in returns, contribute to sustainable growth. Give your clients a specific reason to trust in your company, and they will remain loyal, happy, and enthusiastic about your brand. In short, take care of your customer with utmost attentiveness and integrity, and they will take care of you.