Business & Bucks ~ Customers & Cart. Indeed, customers are the ones who keep the business ahead in the curve. Without a doubt, they are number one. But, is it always good to run after the prospects or is it, valuable to maintain the hold on the existing ones this is the important question that arises here. Consumers who are loyal and have been associated with the brand are easier on the marketing front rather than the new consumers who are skeptical and have to be convinced of the purchase.
The game plan should always focus on customer retention, which is more effective and easy on the budget as against the customer acquisition that requires a pretty penny to create a pull. Large figures and expanded consumer base is great any day, but that does not mean you undermine your success and run after new at the cost of old. Yes, it is true that in the case of consumers, there is no limit. More is never more. But burning your money just to allure and acquire the prospective users is not business-friendly at all.
It tosses the success aside that was achieved through the initial investment made on the basic acquisition. By spending a decent amount on customer retention, you can make the most of this primary investment as such an endeavor can generate loyalty and increase the customer lifetime value.
Even market surveys stand evident to the fact that the conversion rates show a better percentage in the case of repeated customers as compared to the new pool. Also, these sections of people generate maximum revenue on the eCommerce stores and constitute a fair proportion of growth for startups and small businesses. So, spilling the beans here, we will surely say that customer retention is the trick and will do wonders for your business. Keeping the hold, did we say? Use these tips and you don’t have to worry on the ‘stay’ factor ever-
1. Pitch Through Emails
Marketing is all about communication and what is better than an email? Besides being cost-friendly, it keeps the user in the loop about the latest products and innovations. Also, consumers feel special and valued being a part of the list and connect better. Email marketing plays a major role in the eCommerce market as it acts as a constant reminder to the customers. Also, it keeps the business and products alive in the minds of consumers as they think over the scope of the brand and then makes the purchase.
Such emails act as a good way out at the time of boredom and tempt the user by creating an air of curiosity. If it creates a spark, further, the user will definitely go for the purchase and this, in turn, will rocket your brand high. These purchases, although impulsive prove very fruitful for the business. Email marketing is a sought after a method as it strengthens the relationship with loyal consumers and develops a familiarity with the brand.
Additionally, sending the consumers competent articles creates an impression of an expert in the market. Email marketing creates a positive vibe for the brand which is quite helpful in lead conversions. At the time of drafting emails, keep in mind to include both the new and existing consumers and let them be in the loop by sending them messages on a regular basis. One sure shot way is to select the entire list and send newsletters to them so that no one is left out.
2. Score For Your Loyalty
Consumers follow a brand if they are rewarded for their loyalty. So, if you want your consumers to stick to the brand and come again for the purchase, create a loyalty program for them. This method is very useful if you want to retain your users through offline mode. Awarding loyalty points or making user signature special are some ways to win their hearts. By scoring more points, they can use these points and get discounts on their next buy.
Loyalty reward help in customer retention to a great extent as the customer who is trying to achieve a particular loyalty reward will not switch to any other brand till the target is attained. Be it a free coupon or loyalty points, the customer, know the results of leaving their loyalty reward by opting for some other brand in the market. So, they stick to the brand they have been with.
3. Checkout Gets Easier
Consumers like things fast and quick. They do not like the hassles during their course of the transaction, especially at checkout as it wastes a lot of time. So, the key ingredient to enhance sales is to ensure a smooth checkout process. Now, that does not stand in the case of first-time purchase where a detailed procedure has to be undergone that is asking for an email address, mailing address and payment details. There is no way to avoid it as it goes step by step.
But in the case of repeat purchases, the whole thing can be more quickly and automated as the system already has the main details of the consumer, of course, after the grant of permission. All the e-commerce websites have this feature and they have streamlined the process at one click step for the repeat purchases. This helps in increasing the rate of sales tremendously.
4. Offers As Good Deals
Customers like deals that are a good bargain for them as that is the time when they can go on a shopping spree. Along with promoting the brand and attracting the customers, offering the best deals to the existing consumers has its own advantage. The chances of them going for these deals are always high as they tend to fall for such bonuses and are prompted to buy. Also, by giving such offers to the existing customers you can give the impression that their loyalty is being appreciated and they are being valued more.
This is will make the brand an obvious choice for them and it will undoubtedly be the first preference. This can be easily done by sending the special promotional coupon code to the enlisted consumers at their registered email addresses.
5. Shout For Subscriptions
If you want your business to prosper go for the subscription model. This model is a hit amongst the online retailers and they are involving it in a wide range of products. Calling in for subscriptions also retains the customers as the customers go on for the purchases time after again thereby adding on to the lifetime value. Although some customers might cancel the subscriptions after one month, the majority like to continue considering their association with the brand.
But is there a guarantee here? Well, for that you need to first apply it and see the results. This model works best for the products that are our necessity and are required by us regularly, such as toiletries, food, coffee, clothing, pet supplies, etc. It is all about how you implement the subscription strategy and you might not even know the leap it gives to the business.
6. Whenever Wherever
Time plays a very important role in marketing, especially in the case of perishable products where the lifespan is limited. Timing matters a lot here and it is important to strike while the iron is hot as then only the marketing can come best to its advantage. As these products are governed by time, it is best to estimate the average lifespan and then circulate the promotional campaign as per the nearing end of this life-cycle of the product.
This will generate maximum benefits out of the efforts that are being made and will hit the target in the right manner. If it gets too soon or too late, chances are that the consumer either won’t require the product at all or would have opted for some other brand. So, remember, time is the key and if you are planning to target the consumer be sure to be at the right place at the right time.
7. At Your Service, Customer
The relationship between the customers and the company is just not restricted to sales. In fact, there is an added responsibility of the company to make sure that the customers are satisfied with the product and are happy with the brand. Thus, make it a point to value their feedback and offer them the best customer service so that all their grievances are sorted and they do not have any complaints left. Want customers for a lifetime? Serve them well. Take care of their needs. Just make them happy.
8. Let The Receipts Flow
It is important to make your presence felt to your consumers and what better way that generating automated email receipts. Yes, kind of an email marketing that will keep the customers in hand as it will enhance their credibility towards the brand. Customers fear frauds and duplicate purchases, but sending open receipts to their inbox will reassure them of their purchase and restore their faith further.
It sounds a small move, but can add tons to the reputation of the brand and help the proceeds grow. "Receiptful" is a good website that can solve your purpose as it keeps a tab on the customer coupon codes, upsells and other related products on the receipts on your behalf. Also, it personalizes the receipts to make them more attractive to the customers. This service is free and can be accessed to get the most out of customer interaction. You can also take benefit of the premium features by upgrading the service to a paid version.
9. Quality At Its Best
No matter whatever schemes are implemented, there should never be any compromise with the quality of the services that are being provided to the customers. Customers are smart and will give you another chance only if they get really awesome service. Designing different products with stylish packaging and providing efficient customer service goes a long way in customer retention. The customers want value for money and this can happen by maintaining a good standard in the product and services. It is all about fulfilling their expectations and giving them the best of the deals in the market so that they do not have to flock around other brands.
10. Optimize Well
In order to retain the converted customers, it is essential to work on the optimization of the website as the customers if you are navigated to your website while trying to fix their needs will definitely opt for your brand based upon their past experience. It will be a reminder for them to go for the tried and tested and they will not risk it by not going for the brand again.
11. Community That Shares
Build a community of the users that have been with the brand so as to celebrate their relationship in a group and encourage their contribution through their experiences. Making a forum and getting their comments and opinions can be a great tool to keep them in line with the upcoming products and making them stick with their choices again. Such forums build a chain of thoughts that add to the reputation of the company and further attract potential buyers by way of relative conversations.
12. Social Media Wins
Social media is one platform that has become quintessential for the success of a business. Promoting and sending messages to the customers by way of the pages dedicated to the product or the brand can create a huge impact. Even regular status updates can keep them in the flow. Customers should be asked to like the pages and follow the brand as this will keep them updated with the latest launches and promotions and hence they can use this opportunity to make their next purchase. The power of social media can be used very well to create a widespread campaign and harness maximum benefits.
13. Pinterest In-Store
E-commerce has made quite a grip on the people. The latest add-on here is the Pinterest buy button which is taking the hype altogether to the next level. If you wish to keep your customer retention rates high, make sure that it is available in your store. But how can it drive traffic? Well, Pinterest is the most personalized social medium that revolves around images that form different boards as per the self-selected categories. The Pinterest buy button helps to buy the favorite picks in the form of selected pins and even make you notice more by making your pin buyable. Be it perfecting the images or keeping in touch with the latest trends, Pinterest is here to say and what’s more, your sales will soar manifold!
14. Spotlight: What’s New
Featuring what’s new in-store is a great way to capture the consumer’s attention. This will not only boost the sales of the products in light but also the other products which promise to be a great buy in itself. Users who have had earlier purchases are on the lookout of the products that are a great buy and do go for these new arrivals going on their past experiences. Place these premium products in such a manner that they entice the customers and have a will to buy them instantly.
15. Relative As It Gets
E-commerce stores can encash maximum on the relative purchases that is a sauce with pasta, tennis balls with rackets etc. as the users cannot make the use of one without another. So, it is best to market the related products together so that the user can purchase the items conveniently and in turn also result in additional sales for the company. Certainly, the display can do a great trick here!
16. Branding It To The Top
Customers often relate to the brand with the image that is created. Now, who creates this picture? Of course, the store. While designing the website, bring the best forth through high-quality images, detailed product descriptions, complete FAQs, timely customer support, etc. as these features cast an impression on the customers based on which they go for their purchases. Innovate your website regularly as it is important to refresh the look and feel and intrigue the users with these changes.
17. Speed It All
Sales-based websites need to be very particular regarding the speed so as to minimize the drop off rates as it is the loading time, which can actually change the mind of various customers in hand. If things move at a slow pace, it can actually annoy the consumers as they do not like taking things that are complex and at a stretch. Unnecessary steps with drag time can make it worse!
18. Check The Cart Drop Outs
Even though customers, add items in their carts but do back off at the time of checkouts. It is important to keep a check on these abandoned carts and persuade the customers to complete their purchase. Try to find out the reason for leaving their cart and work on the cause accordingly. Perhaps, they left because of a computer crash or system error, but they can be easily enticed again by offering them discounts or free shipping so that they can complete their purchase. Draft emails that prompt them to return to their carts.
19. The Wishlist Reminder
Wishlist reminder emails are kind of abandoned cart emails as it to convince the customer to make the final purchase especially if there is an intention to buy. A customer who has added items on his wishlist, but hasn’t checked it for long or is not aware of the sales that are on these items or does not know that there is limited stock should be sent an email to inform him just as a reminder. This will pull the trigger and definitely make him buy the items he wished for.
20. Review That Clicks
Customers tend to be influenced by reading the reviews as these personal experiences can help them to make up their minds better. For instance, Amazon with its wide range of products has customer ratings and reviews that clearly display where the product stands. These testimonials are kind of a proof that a product is worth a purchase or not. Further, it also makes the content more readable at cites personal takes on the products. Thus, if by any chance customers are double-minded and think of switching to the competitor then by reading these reviews they will stay and go to their original choice.
21. Showcase Through Videos
Besides working on the good quality images that can be zoomed for finer details, it is better to go for short reviews and feature-rich videos that do a fair share of promotion through this interactive medium. Although it is time-consuming, still it will create great impact on the minds of the customers and will increase the profit margins. Choose the best products that are top league and excellent to showcase and then make a video of fewer than two minutes. Such a strategy will work well as the user can examine the product more closely.
22. Smooth With Shipping
E-commerce market has a major parameter and that is delivery. The faster the product is delivered the better it is for the store as it is given more preference over others. Along with speed, the packaging and service matters to a great extent as it grants customer satisfaction. Also, giving customers rewards such as free delivery will work in your favor as after all the money they are spending on the purchase; it surely makes them worthy of it. Online retailing and e-commerce stores are using innovative technologies so as to avoid any delay and get the products delivered at your front door just in time.
23. Headers Get Noticed
The customers may arrive directly on the product pages through the links in email or social media. Here, they do not see the e-commerce homepage and thus cannot make a note of the unique features the store offers. By highlighting the risk reducers on the header they get to know the key benefits which somehow increase their trust and make them purchase the product without worrying about any risk. Including words and icons such as free shipping, price guarantee and many others can do great marketing through your sticky bars.
24. Kill The Dead Ends
Having dead ends on the websites is a big no-no as it tends to confuse the consumer. Dead ends leaves a question mark in their minds as to what to do next which creates a gap in the process of conversion. Even if they had known the brand earlier, but find themselves lost on the page, they can leave the page being directionless. It is better to include ‘continue shopping’ call to action so that they are in line and can navigate through easily.
25. Market Through Customer’s Footprints
Product reputation can boost the conversion rates significantly as it helps to make a comparison with other products and give a thorough insight to the consumer. Stating how many users viewed this section or department and made the purchase will leave the user considering his options in favor of that product. By showing off the customer feedback and footprints, you can encourage and change the consumer behavior to a great extent.
In the End
Want your e-Commerce store to spell more sales? Work on making your strategies for customer retention so that the maximum can be reaped from the existing users rather than running after the new customers. Allocate your funds in keeping the existing rate intact as it will not only incline the business but even nurture the relationship that these users have with the brand. By studying their behavior and searches, you can take steps to increase their engagement and interest in the products. Regular communication and loyalty privileges will act as a booster in purchases and will reduce bounce rates and shifts to other brands. So, is increased product purchase on your mind? Think out of the box. Make the most of what you have.