Getting new clients for your online business is great. But, to make them come back for more purchases is invaluable. What are the ways to achieve it? Let’s learn about the best customer retention tactics you can rely on.
What is customer retention?
Nothing succeeds like success.
Have you heard this?
It means that your achievements pave the way for even greater results.
And these are the most suitable words when it comes to business.
Customer retention is all about increasing the profitability of your business by building lasting customer relationships. It refers to the actions and activities companies take to make their customers return for more purchases. The overall goal of customer retention is to retain as many customers as possible through various customer loyalty programs. It’s important to mention that customer retention starts from the very first contact a consumer has with a company and continues on through their entire relationship.
Why is customer retention important for business?
Retaining customers is the best recipe to grow your e-commerce business further.
Customer retention measures how successful a company is at acquiring new customers and also how successful it is at satisfying already existing customers.
Indeed, it’s well-known that making your existing clients buy again costs you a lot cheaper than attracting new buyers.
Besides, customers who keep coming back to your store work in your favor. They help you build a good online reputation and spread the word about your business on the Internet and to their friends and family. This, in turn, results in the emergence of new clients for your dropshipping store.
As you might be guessing, customer retention is not the same as getting new clients.
Keeping a loyal customer base is all about creating personal relationships with your existing clients. For this, you need to use special retention tactics.
And in this article, we’re going to find them out.
10 retention tactics that work in eCommerce
#1. Create your brand identity
What is the most essential part of any relationship?
Emotional connection, of course!
To keep your customers coming back, such a connection between you and your clients is a must.
Thus, you should let your customers feel that you’re on the same page as they are. They need to know that you’ve got the same values.
Let’s take Nike’s example.
This company isn’t just a network of the sport-clothing stores. The better part of Nike’s marketing campaign is built around the admiration for famous sportsmen.
So, people come to its stores not just to buy a pair of sneakers. They feel themselves emotionally connected with the idea Nike conveys – with the brand.
That’s why creating your brand identity is crucial to retain the customers. Emotional connection with your clients puts their fears to rest and instills trust.
To create your brand identity, you should find out as much as you can about your clients – their interests, attitudes, passions, etc.
Then, you need to use this knowledge to come up with the idea that will catch on with them.
And… it’s done!
If you touch a chord with your clients, they will keep choosing you over plenty of your competitors.
#2. Stay in touch
Don’t let your clients forget you!
There are dozens of online stores on the Internet. And once a customer has made a purchase from you, they could easily lose track of your website later.
That’s why you need to keep in touch with your clients. Communication is another effective retention tactic.
Besides, staying in touch is an important thing in building strong relationship with you customers.
If you receive a thank-you letter after buying something, doesn’t this make a difference?
Right, it does.
And when your clients get happy birthday wishes or Christmas greeting from you, it’s even more pleasing, isn’t it?
So, make use of it! Inform your customers about new products in your store, offer them discounts and so on.
#3. Drive loyalty
Loyalty should be rewarded!
When you know that your actions are going to benefit you, you’re more determined to take them, aren’t you?
Let your customer know that their loyalty will turn into giveaways or discounts and they will definitely come back to your store.
This customer retention tactic works perfectly.
For instance, Amazon uses this technique with its membership programs. The more its users spend, the more perks they get.
When you create customer loyalty programs, it becomes a sort of game or competition for your clients. They see the reward and they want to get it.
#4. Use personalization
Everyone says that playing favorites isn’t right.
In fact, most people expect to be treated exceptionally.
And the best way to make them feel this way is using personalization.
The simplest example of this tactic you can put to use is using your clients’ names in e-mails.
You receive loads of e-mails every day. And let’s be honest, most of them are left unread.
Yet, if you get a message starting with your name, it catches your attention and you probably read it.
When you get personal with your customers, you give them the sense of their importance and break the ice.
This simple yet efficient retention tactic could give your online business a lot of benefits.
#5. Provide great customer service
You reap what you sow.
The most important thing in customer retention is the impression you make on your clients.
Customers are sick and tired of the businesses that just want to line their pockets. They look for a honest enterprise which purpose is to help them out.
Thus, if your clients feel like getting the cold shoulder, they will leave your online store without a backward glance.
To avoid this misfortune and retain your clients, you should provide the best customer service you can possibly render.
This way, you let your customers know that they matter. And who doesn’t like this?
So, here’s what you need to do to keep your clients coming back:
- Don’t ignore them
- Handle their complaints in the right way
- Provide them with all the necessary information
- Don’t give promises you can’t keep
#6 Start a customer communication program
Starting a customer program showcases a long-term investment in your relationship with your customer base.
This means creating a variety of information centers for your customers such as a knowledge base, a community forum, or even webinars.
Having these various information centers, your customers can find a solution to their problems quicker and easier before reaching out to you.
#7 Admit mistakes, apologize and fix them
In business today, it is especially important to be able to admit to your mistakes and fix them.
Believe it or not, admitting to your mistakes can actually help with customer retention and loyalty. It showcases your human nature and demonstrates integrity. Most importantly, by apologizing for your mistake, it will demonstrate to people that you recognize something went wrong and you are willing to fix it, which in return shows that you actually care about your customers.
Moreover, this will make your company stand out from everyone else. Many companies simply try to hide their mistakes or ignore them as nothing happened. However, by trying to make things right with your customers, you create an opportunity for establishing a much closer relationship with them.
#8 Use testimonials and social proof
Oftentimes, the greatest way of advertising isn’t your own. In today’s world, consumers are more likely to trust the opinions of people who have previously had some kind of experience with a company or brand.
That’s how social proof can help you retain existing customers and bring in new ones! Using the power of testimonials, you can show the experience your customers have had with you straight from them. Better yet, find a way to highlight your loyal customers by sharing their stories on your website and social media platforms.
Fun fact: more than 97% of consumers claim that online reviews have influenced their buying decisions.
So, using customer testimonials is a very effective way to bring in new customers and convince established customers to hang around.
#9 Develop customer communication calendar
A communication calendar is what you can use to keep track of customer communication at regular intervals. It will tell you when the last time a customer has reached out to you and alerts if existing customers haven’t interacted with your brand.
The calendar is basically a programmed sequence of events, special offers, and deals, which are sent to your customers through automation software.
Companies that integrate a communication calendar into their strategies find it much easier to engage with their customers. For the simple reason that it eliminates any post-purchase doubts, boosts the overall trust, and convinces the customer to return for future purchases.
Constant communication makes the customer feel valued and connected since you’re informing them about the process.
#10 Use gamification
Gamification is when you take a simple process and apply gaming elements to make the process more fun, interactive, and enjoyable.
It’s a great marketing tool to provoke customers to come back for more, generating more loyalty towards the brand. Gamification is becoming more and more popular throughout every industry and more brands are integrating it into their marketing strategies.
Gamification triggers intrigue and excitement leading to interactions with your brand and improved customer emotional engagement. It touches upon the general desire to compete and win. Here’s how you successfully use gamification to retain customers:
Know your goals
You must understand – what you are trying to achieve? What customer behavior are you trying to drive? Most importantly, you need to ensure that your customers understand exactly what they need to do to participate and win.
Understand who your customers are
Knowing who you are targeting with this is essential. Try to research the demographics that engage with your brand the most and make the gamified loyalty program be tailored to their needs.
Make it easy to participate
The game needs to be available to anyone who wants to participate in it. At the same time, there must be a sense of challenge for the participants to get a sense of achievement.
Surprise participants with random rewards
Everyone loves surprises, so every once in a while, surprise your participants with random or free rewards. This can be time-limited promotions, special offers, etc.
Overall, a well-thought strategic approach to the gamification strategy will be a huge benefit for the company in the form of increased customer retention, engagement, and revenue growth.
If you follow these simple rules, you’ll see that providing great customer service is the most efficient thing in your bag of tricks to retain clients.
The longest journey starts with a single step. Similarly, the success of your dropshipping business lies in simple yet important things you should put into service. Customer retention is one of these things. Now, you know the tactics to retain your clients. What is left is to take a step!
Read about customer retention tactics.