What is the biggest challenge for newbie eCommerce stores? We know that many of you would say, acquiring new customers. But if you ask us, retaining existing customers is the actual challenge.
Did you know that repeat customers contribute to 80% of business profits? While acquiring new customers can be a priority, eCommerce stores must also focus on the existing customers. Needless to say, the strategies that work for new customer acquisition are poles apart from the strategies that work for customer acquisition.
This article will discuss the top 6 strategies for building customer loyalty. Let’s get started.
What are the benefits of gaining customer loyalty in eCommerce?
Before we move ahead and discuss the customer loyalty strategies, let’s discuss why customer loyalty even matters for the eCommerce stores:
Loyal customers generate higher revenue
Believe it or not, loyal customers spend more. A study shows that loyal customers are 50% more prone to spend on new products and services than new customers.
The reason? Well, loyal customers already know your products inside out. They know how each product will benefit them, and they keep purchasing at a consistent rate from eCommerce stores. Repeat customers are nine times more likely to purchase than new customers.
Loyal customers will bring new customers
Loyal customers are satisfied customers. They are your eCommerce store’s vocal advocates and can play a significant role in your marketing plan. Word-of-mouth is still one of the most popular forms of marketing, and these loyal customers can be the driving force behind your word-of-mouth strategy. eCommerce stores can spice it up with innovative referrals programs. Such programs will tempt these loyal customers to purchase from your store and also recommend others frequently.
6 Customer loyalty strategies for eCommerce stores
Here are some of the sure-fire strategies to increase loyalty in eCommerce stores:
1. Plan creative, fun loyalty programs
Your loyal customers deserve special treatment. So, why not plan fun loyalty programs that entertain them and entice them to buy more at the same time? Let us talk about two of our favorite brands that went the extra mile to ensure the best rewards for their loyal customers.
Brand 1: Amazon
There are over 150 million Amazon Prime members worldwide. But did you know that these Prime members spend around $1400 per year while the non-prime members spend only $600? Then why do you think millions of people have subscribed to Prime membership?
The Prime membership comes with some of the irresistible perks. These include:
- Two-day, free shipping on all items
- Free streaming of numerous movies and music videos
- Other discounts and price cuts
Brand 2: Starbucks
Starbucks has over 19 million members in the US. What clicked for Starbucks is its excellent loyalty program that lets the customers earn points on each transaction. Here are some benefits of Starbucks’ loyalty program:
- This program goes beyond beverages and lets the users buy other household essentials like grocery items and merchandise
- Special rewards for the frequent spenders
Apart from satisfying the customers, these reward programs can also create a lot of buzzes. Once customers start talking about these programs online, they quickly draw the attention of many potential customers. That’s like a win-win situation.
2. Ask for feedback from customers
Want to show your existing customers that they matter? Start with building a two-way communication process. Ask for customers’ feedback, reviews, ratings to make them realize that you care about their opinion.
Asking for customers’ feedback is a form of engagement loyalty strategy where brands try to engage customers with feedback emails. That way, customers can become more invested in a brand and this can gradually build a loyal customer base.
Apart from sending feedback emails, brands can also arrange 1:1 interactive sessions with customers. Such sessions are more intense and can help brands to go to the core of what issues customers are facing and how they can resolve those issues. But then again, eCommerce stores have numerous customers and it can get challenging to interact with each one of them over 1:1 sessions. So, the feedback email is a more feasible solution.
3. Stay authentic
If building a loyal customer base is on your priority list, ensure that your eCommerce website sends out authentic messaging across the home page, product pages, and cart page. By “authentic messaging” we mean staying real. There’s no point in overselling a product or adding false information on product pages.
Here are some tips to keep the messaging authentic on your eCommerce store:
- Use real product images. Before selling a product, you must ensure that the customers trust your brand. A great way to achieve that is through HD images that help the customers gain clarity over the brand’s product.
- Use real testimonials. Newbie eCommerce stores may have fewer client testimonials since they have only started. But that’s better than adding tons of unreal testimonials. To build credibility, you need to stay real first.
- Overselling is a strict no-no. We encourage eCommerce stores to capitalize on the strength of their products, but overselling could come down as pushing the customers to buy from you.
While writing product pages for your eCommerce store, just think of answering three main questions:
- What is the product?
- Who is the ideal buyer for this product?
- How does it benefit the customers?
If your product pages reflect customers’ pain points, there’ll be limitless purchases and re-purchases.
4. Focus on post-delivery experience
One of the critical areas where eCommerce stores must invest in is the post-delivery experience. If one-time transactions are not your priority and you’re looking to build long-term customer relationships, the post-delivery experience must be on your priority list.
Some of the best ways to create an excellent post-delivery experience are:
- Offering free shipping to the customers from time to time
- Keeping the customers notified from the order placing phase to the delivery phase
- Having a clear return policy
- Forming a helpful customer support team
A software that can help you create an outstanding post-delivery experience is called – ShippingChimp. Here’s how:
- It can create branded live tracking page
- It can keep the customers in the loop with timely notifications
- It can help eCommerce stores create a frictionless shipping experience
- It can create an efficient return center with the scope of converting returns into repurchases
Want to know more? Start your free trial now.
5. Build a responsive support team
Build a dedicated, top-notch customer support team. The customer support team is the cornerstone of your eCommerce store. Efficient customer support activities will result in higher customer satisfaction and frequent purchase. Before building a loyal customer base, brands must build a robust customer support team.
A customer support team is not all about hiring large numbers of employees. It is more about staying responsive and meeting customers’ expectations. Here are some of the must-have qualities of a responsive customer support team:
- Taking fast actions to each complaint and queries
- Using chatbots and live chats to automate common customer queries
- Staying actively available on social platforms for customer interaction
- Help desk integration for faster query resolution
6. Write personalized emails
Make emails a primary communication mode for eCommerce stores. Emails are affordable and effective. eCommerce stores should send different emails to build a loyal customer base. An ideal eCommerce email sequence must include the following elements:
- A welcome email to give the customers an overview of your products and services
- Informative emails on the latest products, discounts, loyalty programs, and other interesting information
- Cart recovery emails to retarget users who abandoned carts, with exciting discounts and promo codes
- Transactional emails with invoice details, tracking information, order confirmation, delivery confirmation, etc.
The best way to create loyalty in eCommerce is through personalized emails. Check out this personalized email from premium fashion brand Ralph Lauren:
There are three personalization elements in this email that stand out:
- It builds an emotional connection with the customers
- It offers the customer a special discount
- It values the customers by informing them that they’ll be the first to know about all the latest product updates
These small personalization elements can take an eCommerce store’s email marketing campaigns to the next level and create more loyal customers.
Marketing is a consistent process. eCommerce stores are always looking for new ways to satisfy customers and boost loyalty. So, if you can’t master customer loyalty just yet, hold on. It will get better. Also, use these strategies to make sure that your repeat customers are thoroughly engaged and get converted into loyal customers ASAP.