Implementing strategies that focus on loyalty and prioritise customers that have bought before can help boost income and stay ahead of the competition.
The fundamental of an e-commerce business is to sell; the more you sell, the stronger your business becomes. But as businesses expand, the reliance on customer acquisition can become expensive and hinder growth. At this point, focusing on customers who have purchased before can become highly profitable and generate returns that exceed sales channels or lead generation systems.
WHAT IS CUSTOMER RETENTION?
Also commonly referred to as “Customer loyalty” and “Customer Retention Rate”. Customer Retention is the process in which existing customers continue to purchase products or services from the same business. A strategy that focuses on increasing the percentage of repeat buyers will see economic growth. To work effectively, a strategy must include a way to form a lasting relationship with your first-time customers, creating brand loyalty. Once a customer becomes loyal, there is a higher chance that the customer will become an advocate for your business who will refer more customers to purchase.
WHY FOCUS ON CUSTOMER RETENTION?
Essentially, selling to an existing customer is more accessible than a new one. The probability of an existing customer purchasing again is 60-70%, whereas a new customer’s chance of converting falls to 13%. The benefits of marketing to existing customers can be highly advantageous:
Existing Customers Spend More, More Often
The acquisition of new customers has skyrocketed, with costs increasing by 50% since 2015. In comparison, research has proven that existing customers have a 50% more likely chance of buying a new product than a new customer. Existing customers are also more likely to spend a 31% higher amount than someone who is a first-time buyer.
The Cost Of Marketing Is Reduced
The spend behind marketing campaigns can be decreased, as a brand won’t have to convince customers to buy their products, as existing customers will already know the business they will be purchasing from. Increasing the customer retention rate by 10% will lead to an average of a 30% increase in profits.
Happy Customers Will Spread The Word About Brands They Like
Customers that are satisfied with their purchases are likely to tell their family and friends about the products. Friends and family that have been referred to are four times as likely to buy.
HOW CAN YOU INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF CUSTOMER RETENTION?
Targeting the factors that are the most important to customers’ retention will highly increase the chances of a customer purchasing again. The main factors to be focused on are trust, commitment, satisfaction and service quality. If a store is delivering on all of these factors, then the probability that a customer will visit again and purchase increases dramatically.
To evaluate how a business is currently performing with customer retention, assessing these three metrics will help to judge what can be improved:
– The percentage of customers that have purchased more than once?
– What is the frequency that customers purchase again?
– Does their average order increase or decrease with their second purchase?
Utilising these questions allows us to pinpoint if customer retention is performing effectively or if there are areas that need to be improved.
In order to increase customer retention or maintain current progress, businesses need to focus on:
– The delivery of service needs to be exceptional
– The speed of rectifying issues must be quick
– A constant line of communication with customers
– Tempt customers to spend using encouragement strategies
– Reward the loyalty of customers who have bought frequently
– Creation of communities that are helpful to each other and champion the brand
The phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ should be the opposite of how a business should target customer retention. Keep in the mind of your customers with new products, promotions, stories and other content to keep interest alive with your brand.
ASSESSING THE CUSTOMER’S JOURNEY
Viewing a purchase process from a customer’s point of view can be incredibly eye-opening. Question what the first point of interaction with a customer is and does it encapsulate the brand’s message through to the point of purchase. If so and all other quality and satisfaction levels are met, then the rate of retaining a customer will improve.
Customers can arrive from multiple touchpoints, which all need to convey the same message and theme to strengthen the brand’s image. Making SEO have the same branding as PPC and Social ads will help to enhance the trust of potential customers.
STEP ONE: ACQUISITION
The first step of a customer’s journey is acquisition; when a user learns about the site, this can be achieved through digital marketing platforms such as Google and Facebook. These paid platforms allow companies to broaden their potential market and reach new users. Examples of Acquisition can include:
- Clicking on an ad from a paid platform
- Link from another website
- Blog Post
STEP TWO: ACTIVATION
This step is when a customer is converted from a prospect. They aren’t fully engaged with the product or service yet but have decided to try it. Examples of Activation include:
- Placing the first order
- The creation of an account or a profile is set up
- Downloading an app
- Engaging with emails
STEP THREE: ADOPTION
This stage is most important in customer retention once a good relationship is established with the customer. Extending communication to customers who have purchased before will help with the Adoption stage. Remember that a customer has purchased a product or service to achieve something. In order to have a practical Adoption stage, help them understand how they achieved their goal and what can also be done to improve their goals further. Examples of this can include:
- Purchasing multiple times
- Accessing advanced features
- Upgrading to a higher tier of service
- Inviting others and recommending friends
Once each step has been created and refined, the customer journey will help convey the brand’s message and increase the customer retention rate. Remember to listen to customers and utilise tools such as surveys to understand their journey from beginning to purchase.
STRATEGIES TO BUILD CUSTOMER LOYALTY AND INCREASE PROFITS
1.Maintain communications with customers through calendars
Track the level of communication existing customers have with your business to avoid being forgotten. Remarket inactive customers through promotions to get them back to interacting with your business. Also, go the extra mile with customers, acknowledge their birthdays or remind them when their subscription will expire.
2.Utilise Company Newsletters
Newsletters will help keep your brand active with your customer base. Utilising email platforms such as Mailchimp will help make this strategy simple and effective.
3.Customer Educational Program
Give the customers the information that they need to be able to succeed. An educational program can be based on a product or service and give information that would detail why a customer will need to contact you again.
4.Live Chat To Help Customers
A live chat or chatbot will help always keep lines of communication on-site available, assisting customers in getting answers about products or services.
5.Reliability Creates Trust
Having a business known for its reliability of service and product will strengthen the relationship with customers. Utilise review platforms such as Trustpilot to show how previous customers have found their experience with your company.
6.Show Off Testimonials
Giving proof of how recent customers have interacted will help to persuade future customers to purchase.
7.Reward Customer Loyalty
Acknowledging a customer’s loyalty to a brand can be one of the most effective ways of strengthening a relationship. Give back to the people who have bought from your brands multiple times by using discounts or other benefits, as it makes them feel more emotionally connected to your brand.
If you’ve still got no idea where to start, and would like us to advise to next steps – get in touch today!