It’s a lot less expensive to keep a current customer than to acquire a new one.
According to Invesp, it costs five times as much to attract a new customer, than to keep an existing one.
In part, this is because you have a 60 – 70% probability of selling an existing customer. While the probability of selling to a prospective client is 5 – 20%.
But, it is also more costly to acquire a new client than retain a client, because of the lifetime value (LTV) or customer lifetime value (CLV) of a client.
CLV is a prediction of the net profit or actual revenue attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer.
In other words, CLV takes into account the actual revenue that could be generated by a future relationship with a customer.
Retain your eCommerce customers through the entire lifecycle
There is no one-off tactic that will allow you to retain an eCommerce client.
Rather, in order to retain your eCommerce client you must think of the customers full lifecycle.
There are several tactics to use in unison to retain your customers before, during, and after their purchase:
- Personalize their customer experience
- Interest-targeted email marketing
- Loyalty program
- Join the conversation and the community
- Upsell and cross-sell
- Re-purchase or replenishment program
- Provide great customer service
1. Personalize their customer experience
Each one of your customers have different interests and needs.
Thus, none of your customers should be treated in the same manner.
Let their actions do the talking.
Based on your online customers specific interests or actions there are many ways to personalize their experience with:
- Form submissions
- Campaign (email) opens
- Visits to your website or page visits
- Links clicked in a campaign
Further, if you are using SendBound, every time a customer takes an interest in what you are offering you can automatically apply a “tag” to their contact information. A “tag” is a way to indicate a specific interest or action on a contacts record.
For example, if you run an online shoe store and a customer clicks on black boots on your website, you can automatically apply an “interested in black boots” tag to their contact record.
When you use targeted messages, you can get better results – for the same amount of work. Here’s how Platinum Skin Care uses personalization to sell more.
Ultimately, you want to cater to each of your customer’s wants and needs providing them with a customized experience.
2. Interest-targeted email marketing
Email marketing is an effective way to retain your online customers. It will allow you to successfully communicate and stay top-of-mind.
Let’s continue the “interested in black boots” example.
Upon your customer being identified as “interested in black boots,” let’s say you send them an email with other black boots they might be interested in.
This provides your customer with additional black boots to ponder, and hopefully purchase, helping to further build your relationship and business.
Additionally, it will provide your customer with better service, because you are delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
3. Loyalty program
A loyalty program is a reward for your loyal online shoppers. It can be a percentage off their total purchase, free shipping, or a free gift, to name a few.
Ultimately, the loyalty program is meant to give back to your customer’s who have given to you.
Further, it’s a quick and easy way to show your customer you care and want to provide great service.
4. Join the conversation and the community
Part of retaining online customer’s, just like other businesses, is building relationships.
Continuing the black boots example, let’s imagine you start joining conversations with other online retailers or fashion bloggers. You’ve also decided to start your own community for people interested in fashion.
Both joining the conversation and starting a community, will allow you, and others, to be surrounded by those with shared goals and values. They also provide a platform for like-minded people to connect and network.
But, ultimately by taking part in the conversation and your community you will build more authentic relationships with prospective and current online customers.
5. Upsell and cross-sell
Upselling refers to a seller, in this case an online shoe business, persuading or encouraging customers to make a purchase of a higher amount. This can mean the customer purchases a more expensive item, upgrades, or adds-on other items or services.
Whereas, cross-selling refers to selling additional products to an existing customer.
Let’s say that when a customer purchases black boots you suggest a couple of accessories that they can “add-on” for a fraction of the cost. This would be a good example of upselling customers.
Whereas, if they already bought the black boots and you sent them an email suggesting additional items that might go with their new boots; that would be an example of cross-selling.
Either option would help boost your revenue and improve your customers overall experience.
6. Re-purchase or replenishment program
Give your customers a reason to re-purchase items they were interested in the past.
Since you run an online shoe store in this example, and shoes are seasonal, you should be reaching out to customers as the seasons change.
This is a great way to ensure you stay top of mind and your customers will also love the convenience of you reminding them that it’s time to buy
7. Provide great customer service
It was my intention to list customer service as tactic number seven. Not because it holds less weight than the other tactics, but because great customer service should be sprinkled into every tactic.
In other words, everything comes down to providing great service for your customer.
None of the other tactics would matter without your loyal customer base.