All retailers know that acquiring new customers is a lot harder and more expensive than encouraging previous customers to make another purchase from you. If you make it a priority to build a base of loyal customers it’ll be easier to grow your ecommerce business as they make repeat purchases and recommend your online shop to people they know.
Tips for customer retention
The key part of building customer loyalty is to ensure that they have an excellent, stress-free experience when they make a purchase from you. As well as selling a great product, you need to make sure your deliveries are on time, if not earlier, and that the item arrives in perfect condition without any issues or complications.
Giving a great impression
When you’re selling on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, it’s a lot harder to establish your own brand and get repeat customers. Shoppers are less likely to remember which specific eBay or Amazon seller they purchased from and just remember the marketplace. However, you can impress shoppers with your packaging, delivery and communication to ensure that they have the best possible experience and they remember your brand.
Go the extra mile with your packaging so that customers remember their purchase from you. This can be especially important for eBay and Amazon sellers - if you’re looking to build customer loyalty make sure that your packaging is properly branded and include a card for your eBay or Amazon shop, or for your own ecommerce website so they know where to order from next time. As a marketplace seller, it’s essential that you make your parcels distinctive; if it just contains an eBay invoice the customer is unlikely to remember which seller they purchased from next time they’re shopping. Giving your parcels a personal touch will make your customers feel valued and help you stick in their minds.
Great customer service
Even when something goes wrong with an order, as long as it’s handled well the customer can still become a loyal shopper. If they have a problem and you solve it quickly they’re likely to remember the good service and won’t be put off ordering again - and if you give them really exceptional customer service they may even share it with people they know.
Understanding your customers
To give your customers the best experience it’s important that you understand who they are and what they’re looking for when they purchase from you. If you do have your own ecommerce website then there are a number of extra steps you can take to increase the number of returning customers and repeat purchases.
Create an account
If you can encourage your customers to register with your online shop by setting up an account then it’s much easier to reach out to them again in the future You should make registering as simple as possible, so that they can just add a password when they’re placing an order and you can use the details they’re already entering to set up an account.
Once a buyer has registered it’s much easier to keep track of their purchases, learn about the customer and give them a more personal experience. You can offer relevant items for them to buy in the future based on their purchase history and, by saving their delivery and payment details, it’s also a lot easier for them to make another purchase.
Once someone has placed an order with you, you should email them with an order confirmation, thank them for their order and take the opportunity to show them some more related products from your shop.
You can then email them for a product review, offer them discounts or offers for specific events through the year, and relevant items that they might be interested in. Find out more about the emails you should send your customers after they place an order here.
Creating loyal customers
With the data you gather from customers that place orders and create an account, you’ll be able to offer them more relevant, targeted discounts. You’ll also have a better understanding of your shopper, which will enable you to set up an effective loyalty scheme.
Offering a reward or some sort of incentive for purchasing from your ecommerce site is an effective way to increase your customer retention. A loyalty scheme makes it easier to encourage shoppers to register and set up an account. You can also use it to encourage them to spend more, and even offer rewards for referring others. Find out more about setting up a loyalty scheme for your online shop here.
A really effective way of enticing a customer back is to offer a discount off their next purchase. Either email them the discount, or include a message about it in their parcel - making the offer valid for a limited time (depending on what you sell and how quickly someone is likely to order from you again) will encourage them to follow through and use the discount code.
How to increase customer loyalty: Summary
The most important part of maintaining and growing a loyal customer base is offering the best products at the best price and a great customer experience. While some of the more targeted steps such as a loyalty scheme or creating an account won’t be applicable to eBay and Amazon sellers - you can still offer exceptional customer service and include information about your shop in your parcels, so shoppers know where to order from in the future.
Tracking customer retention
You can keep track of your returning customers across multiple ecommerce channels using Zenstores Insights. It enables you to track your sales on different platforms, such as eBay, Amazon and Shopify, and it can also help you identify which products, channels and customers are driving your business’s growth.
Find out more about Zenstores Insights here.