6 Best Strategies to Retain Ecommerce Customers

Retain Ecommerce Customers


If you think the hardest part of converting the customers was over after they made a purchase, think again. 


Because once that is done, comes the next challenge. The challenge of keeping them. 


Customer retention is one of the most important marketing strategies in eCommerce. 


Research suggests that it is five times more expensive to hire a new customer than retain them. 


This doesn’t mean you need to stop working on acquiring new customers. But rather put equal efforts into creating retention strategies too. Only then can the acquiring efforts pay off. 


Let’s take a look at some of the top customer retention strategies you can integrate into your eCommerce marketing. 


Top eCommerce Retention Strategies 

1. Reward Repeat Purchases


Reward programs encourage customers to keep coming back. Allow them to collect points or offer free shipping to customers who regularly purchase products from your site. To offer a reward program, you can first gauge the buyer’s behavior and check what are their top favorites and what are the products they browse through but don’t buy. These analyses can help you understand how you can incentivize repeat purchases. 


You can either offer a reduced price on repeatedly bought products, free samples of products on the wishlist but not on the cart, etc. You can also introduce a point-based reward system where the more customers purchase, the more points they collect which can later be used as a discount. 

2. Improve Average Customer Wait Time 


Optimizing the buying experience for customers can go a long way in improving customer loyalty. Some of the ways you can do that are:


Optimize Checkout Pages: Check if your eCommerce site is facing any technical issues at the checkout page. You can leverage eCommerce monitoring tools that help with identifying and fixing such issues and aid with revenue recovery and cart abandonment. 


Reply Promptly: Checkout is the stage when a customer can have a lot of questions even with all the information laid out like queries regarding shipping, returns, size availability, etc. Facilitate quick live replies so that they are satisfied with the experience and come back again. 


Initiate Live Chat: Personalize chats based on where the customers are in the buying process. For example, if it is a returning customer, use a different tone and language such as “Welcome back” and suggest new products based on their purchase history. 


3. Send Promotional Emails with Delightful Offers


Your customers have already done their bit by purchasing from you for the first time. It’s your turn to invest in them. You can do so by offering promotional offers and discount codes in emails. Make your customers feel special by the exclusiveness of the offer and create a sense of urgency by providing the offer for a limited time. 

4. Introduce a Customer Loyalty Program 


Most eCommerce brands are actively rolling out customer loyalty programs for their customers to retain them. It includes offering value-added perks such as cashbacks, discounts, and other perks for making repeat purchases on the websites. 


You can even consider offering tier reward programs where you offer special benefits (exclusive invites, prolonged returns) to your gold or prime customers, added benefits (like free shipping, express delivery, etc) to tier 2 customers, and basic benefits (special discounts, birthday discounts) to tier 3 customers, and so on. 

5. Build a Strong Social Media Presence 


While social media isn’t directly going to help with retention, it does help you build a presence amongst the millennials and Generation Z. It is how your target demographic decides the credibility of your brand. They interact with your brand through mentions, hashtags, influencers, and direct posts. You can use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to market your product, run paid campaigns, and consistently engage with your customers to create a sense of brand recall and loyalty. 

6. Take SMS Marketing Seriously 


Contrary to what many brands may think, SMS marketing is not dead. Text messages have an open rate as high as 98%, yet many fail to use this medium as a tact to remind and retain customers. Using digital marketing tools, you can automate, personalize, and schedule SMS marketing campaigns that drive customers to your website and encourage them to purchase their favorite products. Align the time of the message to their browsing times so they don’t miss out on the latest deals and you catch them when they’re most likely to open your message and consider your deals. 

Wrapping Up

If acquiring new customers is what boosts an eCommerce business, it is retaining existing customers that keep it going. The more eCommerce customers come back to your site to make a next purchase, the better off your brand and the customer’s lifetime value. When you ensure that your existing customers are satisfied, you don’t have to invest much in advertising and sales as your existing customers become your biggest advocators who validate your products and purchasing experience. 


Author Bio:


Carl Torrence is a Content Marketer at Marketing Digest. His core expertise lies in developing data-driven content for brands, SaaS businesses, and agencies. In his free time, he enjoys binge-watching time-travel movies and listening to Linkin Park and Coldplay albums.


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