Many retailers underestimate the cost of acquiring a new customer. But, when you consider all of the dollars spent in advertising and marketing with the hope of luring customers to your store over the thousands of others they have available, it’s no surprise that it’s cheaper to retain existing customers. Happy customers are repeat customers, so here’s how to keep people coming back to your eCommerce store:
1. Simplify Account Creation
Customer accounts simplify the checkout process on return visits by storing shipping and billing information. But, you can’t just throw an account login process on your site. First, make the login/account creation process simple. Customers don’t want to spend a ton of time filling out line after line of information. Consider AddShoppers’s Social Login app which automatically pulls customer information from their social network account and generates a new account login. This process eliminates all the typing for the customer and the account is created in just the simple click of a button.
When motivating new customers to create an account you will also need to ask them to do so at the right time. For example, they may not want to create an account before making a purchase so you might try asking them on your checkout success page. Test the different possibilities (and be creative!) to see what works best for your store. It may also be beneficial to provide customers with personal recommendations based on their purchase history and preferences. This will entice new customers, who may be hesitant, to create a new account due to the benefits of doing so.
2. Reward Them
A simple enough concept: loyalty programs reward returning customers for making more purchases. Even better, the reward can be whatever you’d like it to be for whatever criteria you set! Free Shipping when your second purchase is over $100. $10 off when 2 referrals make a purchase. The possibilities are endless! AddShoppers’s Refer-a-Friend app will help you get started with just one simple install code on your site. Then you can start monitoring customer referrals and watching your site grow.
3. Be Available
Call centers are one of the most frustrating customer service devices, probably for everyone involved. They are usually plagued with long wait times and worn out service representatives which makes it difficult to provide outstanding service time after time. If you’re going to attempt using phones as a service channel be sure to have well trained staff that can remain friendly while resolving issues quickly to keep wait times short. Needless to say, that’s easier said than done, but more power to you if you can do it.
A more likely and manageable option is to provide a customer service email address or messaging system. Just be sure this information is easy to find as customers will become frustrated if they have a problem and have trouble seeking assistance. You should aim to keep email response times to 24 hours maximum and make this standard known to your customers through automatic responses so they can know when they should receive a reply. This will keep frustration at pay and manage expectations.
4. Keep in Touch
Don’t just be available to customers in more traditional ways like phone, email and instant messages. Try engaging with customers on various social media platforms. This will make your brand feel more approachable and will likely increase your following on those networks. Social media plays a big role in the retail landscape these days, so make sure you aren’t missing out on a huge opportunity for growth.
Different forms of email marketing will also help keep your company fresh in customers’ minds. However, if you’re going to send a marketing email to customers don’t be dull! A dull email might be worse than no email at all. Try sending reminder emails to customers who haven’t made a purchase recently featuring products that customer might be interested in. Send exclusive offers and event notifications to those customers who meet certain criteria: signed up for emails, created an account, have a birthday this month, are a part of the age demographic that may have just graduated, etc. Get creative with your criteria and offers!
5. Surprise Them
If you haven’t caught on yet, you don’t want to be just another faceless company to your customers. The more comfortable and valued you make your customers feel, the more likely they are to keep coming back. So surprise your customers with out of the box thinking. Try upgrading your packaging so your not another boring brown box on their doorstep. Send handwritten thank you’s to loyal and valuable customers (maybe even include a coupon for a future purchase). Small touches like these can help set you apart from everyone else and make your customers keep coming back for more.
How did these strategies work on your site?