Customer Retention

A loyal customer offers stability, consistency, and predictability for your bottom line. Any business with repeat customers understands that. 

But the deeper you dig into the numbers, the more profound the differences become. Consider the measurables of retaining customer loyalty:

  • It’s cheaper. And we’re not talking about mere “coupon-clipping” cheaper, either. Acquiring new customers can be as much as 25x more expensive than keeping the old ones.
  • It’s profitable. You can’t put a price on loyalty, but you can find it on the bottom line. In fact, statistics suggest that if you hold to just 5% more of your customers, you can nearly double your profit.
  • It’s effective. Customers are 4x more likely to buy something referred by a friend. Loyal customers are happy customers. And happy customers talk. The right referral marketing program can have a big impact.

Whoever said that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence? There’s plenty of green to be had on this side. But there’s still one lingering question I should address…

When you do want more repeat business, what can you do to improve customer loyalty? How do you encourage customers to become repeat customers?

Become “stickier” with post-purchase engagements

At a grocery store, the customer is gone once they push their cart out the front door. But if you sell products online, you have a distinct advantage. Your interaction with the customer doesn’t end the second they charge their credit card.

It begins with the order tracking process

On average, shoppers like to check their order 3-4 times. Every interaction is a unique touchpoint between that customer and your business. Are you doing anything to engage them here, like recommending similar products? Offering discounts for placing another order? 

With order tracking, every touchpoint with the customer is another opportunity. But it goes deeper than that. Order tracking helps you manage customer expectations. 

94% of customers will blame retailers for poor delivery, even if you had nothing to do with the logistics. By opening up order tracking, you make the process transparent and inspire loyalty. 

You should also consider the unboxing experience. 

For starters, this is your first impression with a customer. Is the product easy to use? Do they pull out their hair in frustration just to get the dang thing open? Does your brand include a personal touch that humanizes your company?

Even more important: unboxing videos. One out of five consumers has watched an unboxing video. 

Every time you send out a box, you have the potential to create hundreds—if not thousands—of first impressions.

Finally, think about the product use lifecycle.

That’s a fancy term for following up with a customer throughout a product’s lifetime. 

For example, applications like Coinbase offer bonus cryptocurrency to customers who watch informational videos, incentivizing them to use the platform. 

This does more than remind your customers to use your product. By educating them, you also improve their experience with it. That leaves them more likely to buy from you in the future.

Second-purchase initiatives

How can you get customers to make a second purchase? Call them the “three Rs.”

  • Reach. Is there another product you offer that makes their first purchase even better? Reach out to customers with upsell opportunities.
  • Replenish. Amazon offers subscription-style purchases for frequently-bought items. If your product can be “consumed” in short order, consider offering the same.
  • Replace. Have you “built a better mousetrap”? If so, a customer who’s had a good experience with you might consider repeating themselves when it’s time to upgrade.

Rewarding customer loyalty

So far, the strategies focus on giving customers a reason to buy from you again. But it’s just as important to reward those customers who already choose to do so.

First, find your happy customers. You can incentivize product reviews and surveys. You can also reward customers for recommending or sharing products with their friends and family.

This even worked on us. 

We use to send emails. They once sent us an NPS survey and we left a glowing review. But they went a step above and beyond. They took an innocent joke of ours literally, and then executed on it with their own creative spin.

For, it was just one moment. But that’s all it took. They now have a loyal customer for a long, long time.

That’s what keeping customers is all about. It’s the ultimate lever in business: a little bit of work in keeping existing customers happy will take you a long way. 

Even if it’s just the price of some bubblegum.

Ryan O’Donnell
CMO @ ShopPad

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