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The 5 biggest challenges in eCommerce: #2 Customer Retention

How do we encourage loyalty and retain customers? Especially when it’s so easy for people to go elsewhere when their expectations are not met.

Returning visitors will engage 70% higher than a new visitor. There are huge benefits to be had from encouraging your existing customers to come back to your site, but how we unlock that loyalty? 

Ultimately, you have to earn it!

As a general rule of thumb, if you increase your sales, you increase your customer retention rate, as demonstrated in the visual below:

But if you’re not seeing these kind of figures in your sales reports, there could be some underlying issues. If this can’t be attributed to your products or level of service; it’s most likely your eCommerce strategy that’s to blame.

Let’s start by looking at a simple way of defining loyalty in terms of number of orders:

Returning Customer

A customer who visited your site twice and made a purchase on both occasions.

Returning Customer

A customer who has visited your site multiple times and has made a purchase on 3 or more of those occasions.

Converting that returning customer into a loyal customer needs to begin at the very early stages of the buying cycle. Here are some techniques you can employ on your eCommerce store to plant those seeds in the minds of your customers early on:

“Converting that returning customer into a loyal customer needs to begin at the very early stages of the buying cycle

Emma Gleaden, Marketing Manager at JH
  • Email Capture – Ensure there are ample opportunities for customers to leave their details and sign up to your marketing newsletters. We recommend pop-ups with new customer discount codes.
  • Loyalty Programs – If you haven’t already considered a loyalty program, then you should, as they work well across most verticals. Make sure your new customers know about your loyalty program from their very first site visit too.
  • Deliver relevant, personalised content – And do this in different and interesting ways! Newsletters are great but aren’t always well-timed. If you have a PWA, or a native app, utilise push notifications to send prompts to customers based on their past purchasing habits or known interests, at times you know they’re more likely to be responsive.

Whilst we can employ all the above modern-day marketing tactics to grab the attention of repeat customers, maintaining a loyal customer requires an eCommerce brand to uphold a certain level of emotion.

So, what will make your customer feel special? ‘Remembering’ their birthday perhaps? Or maybe just keeping them engaged with a story that is important to your brand and to them. Embed your brand within your customers’ lifestyle to create more meaningful and provocative interactions that ensure longevity for your brand and loyalty from your customer.

If you need support on how to better retain your customers, get in touch.