The acquisition of customers must be your primary concern as you develop your eCommerce business.
But as their businesses expand, far too many online merchants continue to focus the majority of their time and resources on luring new customers and ignore customer retention.
But developing a devoted customer base is crucial to starting a prosperous e-commerce business.
Repeat customers will probably make larger purchases and serve as unofficial brand ambassadors, suggesting your business to others, in addition to saving money on customer acquisition expenditures.
Even though the research on client retention now used in the business was conducted in 1990, long before the emergence of online shopping, it revealed that a 5% increase in retention rates resulted in earnings rising by 25% to 95%.
Customer retention is worthwhile spending time and money on if the relevant measure for eCommerce is even half as high.
Your retention rate can be increased via a variety of tactics, from little adjustments to large-scale campaigns.
Here are 12 strategies you may use in 2023 to increase customer retention.
Six marketing techniques for keeping customers in 2023
When it comes to acquiring and keeping customers, your marketing team can be extremely important. In fact, one of the best things you can do to boost sales is to promote to your previous and present clients.
These six (mainly) low-cost, high-impact tactics might produce gains in 2023.
Utilize Data To Recognize Your Clients And Customize Your Marketing
The abundance of data at your disposal makes eCommerce superior to traditional retail.
But unless you spend money on the tools you need to examine it, all that information is useless to you.
Tools to improve customer retention are available on customer relationship management (CRM) platforms like Salesforce Commerce Cloud or Zoho Commerce.
Utilize the information you know about your consumers to send them pertinent messages that will encourage repeat business.
Take full advantage of the competitive advantage that your inside information affords you.
Pay Off Customers Who Refer Others
A friend’s recommendation is a great technique to draw in new clients.
If you’re operating your company properly, your clients will promote it for free because they adore your goods and services and want the world to know about them.
With incentives or awards for referrals that result in new business, however, you can energize your referral pipeline. There are many resources available that can assist you in doing this, like Referral Candy, Ambassador, and Referral Rock, to mention a few.
You can use data from a referral coupon to learn more about the clients who boost your business the most.
Offer judicious coupons
Use discount codes and coupons to maximize customer retention.
For instance, a coupon given after a first purchase encourages a follow-up purchase, resulting in a repeat client.
Create an automated program to give the best discounts to your consumers after conducting some A/B testing to identify the right timing and quantity for various customer types.
Customer Service Is A Way To Show You Care
Although it is costly, providing human, personalized customer service may be very profitable.
As opposed to feeling ignored or (worse) abused, which can result in angry posts or reviews, a satisfactory answer to a client’s issue fosters customer retention.
Engage Clients Across All Channels
Use social media to communicate with customers.
Have personnel on hand to respond personally to social media comments, queries, and customer support requests.
Customer retention will rise with emotional connection and a sense of being understood.
Send emails constantly.
In the era of Slack, WhatsApp, TikTok, and the ever-expanding social media platforms, email may seem quite antiquated, but here are the fundamentals:
In 2021, more than half of the world’s population—over 4.1 billion people—use email. 91.8% of internet users in the US had email accounts.
Your online shoppers either have email accounts in plenty or at all.
Their emails are read, or at least skimmed. According to Mailchimp data for 2022, retail emails had an average open rate of 18.39%. Even if a buyer doesn’t open an email, you’ve still got their attention and they’ll remember you the next time they need to buy something related to your market area.
Email is a low-cost technique that works well for frequent touch, especially with your top clients.
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Design efficient email campaigns for various client profiles by A/B testing messaging and frequency, and then automate with tools like Mailchimp, HubSpot, or Salesforce.
Six customer experiences that increase repeat business
For online retail, your fulfillment processes have the greatest direct impact on the customer experience, which is at the heart of client retention.
Work on these six fulfillment upgrades for 2023 with your logistics team or your fulfillment provider.
Offer Quick Delivery
When a consumer puts an order, they expect it to be picked up first in the warehouse, packed fast, sent out and delivered to their door in a matter of days (or even hours!).
Of course, in practice things work differently; orders are processed and shipped in the order they were received.
The distance from the warehouse to the customer’s address and any additional circumstances that may prolong delivery are what determine the delivery time.
Here are some steps you may take (or the appropriate third-party logistics supplier can do) to expedite order delivery and improve client retention:
Reduce the warehouse line. The customer doesn’t know (or care) how many of the eight days that an order takes to arrive were spent waiting for picking in the fulfillment center and how many were spent on a truck. You may speed up delivery and please your clients by shipping orders the same day the customer places them (or the following day, at the latest).
Choose the locations of your warehouses wisely. Although your company’s headquarters or the port of entry for your goods may be close to a warehouse in Long Beach or Miami, orders to the other side of the United States will take several days to transport. Select central warehouse locations that provide ground delivery to a large region in two days or less. With the right locations, you can quickly transport goods to the majority of the U.S.’s contiguous states with just two or three fulfillment centers.
Adapt your delivery. The three main U.S. carriers are FedEx, UPS, and USPS, however, in recent years, capacity constraints have caused delays at peak hours. Avoid committing to just one carrier so you have backup plans in case your favorite delivery service runs out of room over the holidays. Take into account regional delivery firms as well as DHL, which has been growing its domestic operations in the United States.
Prioritize order accuracy
Since dependability is key to e-commerce, your orders must be properly chosen and packed almost all of the time.
Even though mistakes will always occur, customers will nevertheless be understanding them (see the section above on customer service).
Make a fulfillment operations report card, and if your mistake rate is greater than 0.5% in 2023, level up.
Offer A Enjoyable Unboxing Experience
Incorporate memorable unboxing strategies.
This could take the form of coupons offering savings on future purchases or other exclusive benefits, eye-catching, branded packaging, inserts with visuals and text that express the personality of your company, or any other option.
Additionally, user-generated unpacking movies are a fantastic method to raise awareness of your e-commerce business.
Make Your Fulfillment Green
In 2023, this will entail assisting consumers in feeling better about their purchase’s carbon footprint. Consumers want to feel good about the products they purchase.
Green packaging has a significant impact on whether or not sustainability is a fundamental value for your brand.
The reverse of a pleasant unwrapping experience is when a package results in a large amount of trash (such as plastic bags, Styrofoam inserts, or fillers).
Infill and recyclable or compostable packaging should be used whenever possible, and your marketing and packaging should emphasize your brand’s environmental commitments.
- Three times, three times, three times
It’s difficult to overstate the significance of inventory management for reasons that go far beyond retaining customers.
But effective inventory management impacts your supply chain, profitability, and customer experience.
For instance, customers might purchase the same or a comparable item from one of your rivals if you fail to place a timely order for a popular item and run out of supply. If they choose the rival’s goods, you’ve just lost a client.
Backorders may help you retain consumers, but if they do, make sure you keep them informed so they know when their items will arrive.
In today’s environment, supply chains of all sizes occasionally experience problems. Nevertheless, data-driven, intelligent inventory management can shield your stock from shocks and support the retention of your devoted clientele.
Create Loyalty Through Consistent Returns
Returns are a crucial component of your logistics that have the power to make or break a customer relationship.
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Utilize the following best practices with your reverse logistics to boost client retention:
Spend money on return shipping. Customers that shop online will feel more confident doing it and won’t be angry with you if they have to send something back.
simplify the returns procedure. Provide a return shipping label in the package or direct customers to an online return site to print one. Make the procedure easy to understand for your customers by using simple language and visuals, and make that information accessible on your website.
Give your consumers a range of return options. If you have a physical site, allow in-store returns for online purchases or offer a convenient drop-off spot.
Customer Lifetime Value Calculation
Metrics for customer acquisition are more interesting and simpler to understand than those for customer retention.
Conversions, new and lost customers, and the average sale are all important data points.
However, customer retention speeds up growth while customer churn slows it down.
The average client retention time for your brand will alter over time as you add more data, in particular.
By substituting the average gross order amount with the average profit margin on each order, you may adjust the computation to take profitability into consideration.
This enables you to distinguish between loyal clients prepared to pay full price and regular bargain hunters.
While acquiring new customers should always be a priority for your company, don’t overlook customer retention.
By making sure your current consumers have a wonderful experience, you are building the basis for a loyal client base that will keep coming back and recommending your business to others.
Whether you opt for one of these approaches or another, improving your client retention procedures in 2023 will help you increase sales and earnings.