Rising above competition and standing out is the heart of all online businesses. You’re constantly looking for ways to keep your customers as loyal as they get. While also being on the lookout for new prospects.
Joggling both tasks together can be tricky. Especially as customer acquisition techniques are much different from customer retention strategies. Which customer retention strategies are right for your business? How do you know what to do and when to do them? These and more you’ll learn in this article.
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Why You Need Customer Retention Strategies
In business, whether online or physical, how you can generate good profit is by making sales. No doubt about that. Even at that, there are different levels to making sales. There are one-off sales where a customer buys from you just once and never to come back again. While there are recurring sales where you’ve got the customer coming back for more.
If you sell cars, which is a high-value product with low purchase frequency, it is pardonable to have one-off purchases. But if you sell coffee which has low value and a high purchase frequency, and you’re getting only one-off customers, it simply means you’re not getting something right.
So, this is where customer retention comes in. For the car business, there are subtle ways you can implement customer retention with strategies like Refer-a-friend programs. And for the coffee shop, you would need to deploy every technique in the book that would get people coming back to buy from you.
Why do you need customer retention strategies? Here’s the answer! Customer retention helps you generate more profit per customer. According to a research conducted by Frederick Reichheld, published on Bain & Company, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
Measuring metrics like the customer lifetime value (CLV) among others give you a proper perspective on this. The CLV is a metric that gives you an idea of how much the average customer is worth to your business. What you want to do is keep this figure as high as possible. Always higher than the cost of acquiring new customers.
Before scrolling through this article, note that you should know the definition of customer retention and its metrics. If not, you can quickly check this article.
10 Customer Retention Strategies for your Shopify Business
With good planning comes great results. This saying holds true for businesses as well. If you want to achieve your business goals, then you need to plan your Shopify strategies towards it and implement as much as you can. This is the goal of studying customer retention strategies for Shopify businesses.
1. Provide Top-notch Customer Service
The number one strategy any business can use to win over new customers is through a gold-star customer experience. Think about the last store you visited to get a product and the customer service was so awesome you wanted to give them a rating higher than 5-star. I’m sure they wouldn’t need to do much for you to revisit or recommend to a friend.
That’s the same way it is for every other customer. According to a publication by Doofinder, 86% of consumers are willing to pay more in order to receive better care. So, how can you improve your customer service? You can start by having a customer service rep, who would handle a live chat or help desk tool for your online store.
When customer complaints are effectively resolved, chances are you would have turned an unhappy customer into a loyal one. The attributes you need to focus on for your customer service are fast response, consistency, and friendliness. This would reduce the churn rate of customers and improve your repeat customer rate.
2. Improve User Experience
For online stores, user experience is all you have to convince your customers that your store is great. Just like in physical stores, you see a nice building with good lighting and well arranged shelves, you already think highly of the store. This is the role a user-friendly site plays for an online store.
Customers must be able to navigate through your site and make orders without having to contact customer support. It is easier to convince happy clients to come back than to appeal to unhappy ones to give it another go. According to Inc.com, “A good user experience is instrumental in getting repeat customers and boosting your company’s revenue.”
To better improve your customer experience, you can introduce user accounts. Such that purchasers can now have personalized experiences on your online store. For first time visitors, you wouldn’t want to force them to get an account before purchasing. Rather, after their first purchase, encourage them to open one.
An excellent user experience is directly linked to improved customer lifetime value. With a user account, you can incorporate a repeat purchase feature. Such that customers can just log in and the site would readily show them items they have purchased or shown interest in before. With such a seamless process, they get to buy more without thinking too much.
3. Create a Loyalty Program
Another brilliant method of getting purchasers to stay loyal to your business is through a loyalty program. A loyalty program is one that rewards customers for taking certain steps. The aim is to get them to purchase more frequently by offering them more value for their money. About 84% of customers say they prefer to patronise brands that offer a form of loyalty program, as published by Shopify.
A loyalty program is most effective when you include elements of gamification. Such that you reward based on points. Say when a new customer makes their first purchase, you give them welcome points. And for creating accounts, you reward them with user points. The list goes on and on. The good thing about this strategy is that you can be innovative with whatever gift is attached to redeeming of points.
One other idea for running a loyalty program is through a refer-a-friend method. This technique would drive up traffic to your store organically in exchange for an incentive to your customers. You could also link this with the point system if you so wish.
Overall, you can use a loyalty program to improve your purchase frequency, reduce customer churn rate, better the return customer rate, and also the overall customer lifetime value.
4. Package and Deliver Quality Products
This goes without saying; if you don’t deliver quality products, purchasers won’t come back to buy from you. Before you do anything on customer service and loyalty programs, or any other retention strategy for that matter, make sure you’ve gotten your product right. A research study based on customer loyalty from the University of Central Lancashire has found that customer satisfaction and loyalty are driven by perceived value and perceived quality.
Special packaging for your products can improve your overall product quality, or at least its perception by buyers. So, if you can go the extra mile of packaging your products nicely before delivery, you just might win over loyal customers. A nice touch would be to add a hand-written “Thank you” note to your products. If I were your customer, it would blow me away and keep me coming back. Worth the try, right?
Here are some examples of package boxes retailers can use to ship products.
5. Offer Product Bundles
If you’re looking to improve your average order value for your Shopify store, here is the client retention strategy to focus on. A product bundle is a selection of similar products which can be sold as a pack.
When customers select any of the included products, they get offered the bundle. You can make the bundle offer discounted to make it irresistible for interested buyers. As compiled by Shopify, retailers have been able to boost their sales between 30% to 111% using product bundles.
By offering a discount on the total price or by adding a perceived value (like a “free” item), the customer feels they got a good deal—even though they’ve likely spent more than they planned to.
6. Engage through Email marketing
Many business owners don’t pay enough attention to email marketing. The potential it offers for customer retention is mind-blowing. Email marketing has been proven to be one of the most effective marketing strategies with higher conversion rates than all social media. About 56% of marketers regard email marketing as the most effective retention strategy.
To get engaging emails, you need to employ the techniques of direct response marketing or at least some copywriting skills. Also, you can experience ready-to-use email templates and mass delivery with an auto email marketing app. These would spur leads or customers on your email list who have already shown interest in your products to take action. A perfect recipe for shooting your purchase frequency high up.
7. Increase Trustworthiness using Customer Reviews
Customers trust customers more – it’s a fact in business. No matter how hyped you’ve made your products, if an unhappy customer makes as much a snide remark, it would affect how your product sells. Customer reviews are linked to your overall profitability per order – as this is a metric based on trust.
What you should do instead is politely request your customers to leave great reviews for your products once they’ve tested it and seen it’s quality. When requested, the chances that you would get great reviews for your products is doubled.
According to Online reviews statistics of Qualtrics.com, 93% of consumers said that product reviews impact their purchase decisions. The Product review app on the Shopify App store is a helpful tool to provide public reviews from previous customers.
8. Build Trust via Social Media
Want to bolster the public impression of your brand or store? Social media is your go-to tool. Using social media to present your products to prospects and customers moulds your brand image. 53% of customers look forward to getting a response within seven days on social media when they engage posts.
The more you engage people via social media, the more trust your brand name gets. Like we pointed out from the last point, trust is much needed if you want to sell for a good profit margin. People buy products that are higher priced based on trust. Staying in your customers’ faces through social media can also improve your purchase frequency.
9. Offer Discounts
Discounts are also great incentives to get your customers to buy more. This strategy works especially for product bundle offers. You can also incorporate it into your loyalty program or even as an offer through your email marketing campaigns.
Whichever way you choose to go, be sure to calculate your profit margin to know which products to discount and how much. Customers love to shop at stores where they get more for their money – 58% of shoppers in the UK consider free shipping in their according to this review.
10. Provide a Hassle-free Return Policy
A return policy is not a common feature among eCommerce stores, particularly for new guys on the block. It might be hard for you to come up with a policy that protects your business as a start-up. You don’t want to set yourself up for exploitation. Regardless, you can model after the big guns to set up a return policy for your shop. It would make you stand out and inadvertently improve your customer retention. As published on Termsfeed, over 60% of customers review the Return Policy before they make a purchasing decision.
Struggling to make consistent sales for your Shopify eCommerce business? You should take a good look at your customer retention strategies. Adding one or two techniques to better your serve buyers can improve your customer lifetime value drastically.
Implementing customer retention strategies may require some additional store development such as theme tweaks or customization. But don’t worry, if that’s your case, contact HappyPoints, with years of experience in Shopify, we know how to get the job done!