Customer retention tactics

Customer retention, what exactly is it? Simply put, it is about keeping your existing customers, so they can perform repeat purchases. And here is a more elaborate definition: the actions and campaigns companies implement in order to retain as many customers as possible, thereby reducing the number of customer losses or defections. When customer retention tactics are mentioned, generally the first thing that comes to mind is saving costs. This is in fact very true. Cost saving is one of the major advantages and drivers for customer retention tactics to be implemented.

This blog will explore a number of tactics you can implement within an ecommerce business environment to retain your existing customers in an online space. Before you delve into the tactics in detail, let’s just take a moment to expand on the benefits of customer retention. Besides the major benefit of saving costs as previously mentioned, building customer relationships and higher customer profitability over time are also notable advantages.

As the saying goes, happy shoppers make a successful business. So it makes sense to plough time and a bit of your budget into ensuring your shoppers are and remain happy. If you think about it, acquiring shoppers is quite a tough job. It takes months and years to establish your business reputation and customer base, so make sure that all that effort doesn’t go to waste.

Without making you wait any longer for the juicy part of this blog, I know tactics are what you really here for. Below we discuss each one in detail as well as how you can go about implementing this in your own ecommerce business.

1. Customer loyalty programmes and incentives

Reward repeat purchases. How? Discounts, specials, promotions, a customer loyalty point system, these are all things that make your shoppers come back. Rewarding shoppers through the above-mentioned methods is a very efficient and effective tactic. An array of payment options like internet transfer, credit card and especially shopping on credit, makes it easier to transact. Specifically in the ecommerce world, free shipping is a huge benefit that entices shoppers to come back time and time again. These tactics can be used to bring back customers that have not shopped in a while; it serves as a reminder and bait to entice shoppers to purchase for the sake of a discount, for example.

2. Regular emails

If you wondering how, well think about this: you need a new shirt and suddenly you receive an email with a number of fashion items. “Are they mind readers?”, you might be thinking. Emails target a large variety of different interests and allow you to re-engage with shoppers time and time again. These days, you can take personalisation to a whole new level by including your shopper’s name in the subject line. It is a proven fact that emails increase sales, just ensure you have a large enough database to make an impact. From there, it’s easy to attract your shoppers’ attention and then satisfy their needs.

3. Element of surprise

Depending on your budget, surprises can be gifts to loyal shoppers; realistically speaking, this is very rare. Budget constraints are experienced by even the biggest and most successful companies. That doesn’t mean you can’t surprise your consumers, anything is possible. Surprises will just need to be less elaborate. Consider sending an email or press release every now and again to thank your shoppers for their loyal and devoted patronage. A little bit of time and effort to string together a few paragraphs can make a huge impact by converting an occasional shopper into a loyal one. You will be surprised at the impact a few words can have.

4. Social media engagement

Social media is a great tool to build relationships; this can be achieved by encouraging your shoppers to engage with you on various social media platforms. Shoppers who have taken the time to follow and like your social media platforms are obviously interested in your company and brand. Social media gives you an opportunity to convert ordinary shoppers to brand ambassadors. Use this as a platform to drive existing shoppers back to your online store and to allow them to communicate with you, so that you can engage, improve and satisfy.

5. User experience

Ensure that all your online selling platforms are easy to use, for example your website and your app. Ensure that the navigation is simple so that shoppers feel at ease when purchasing online. This is especially important in South Africa, because many people may be new to the whole experience. If you do have an app, ensure it is smooth and simple, as the purpose of mobile applications is to create ease and convenience while shopping at the click of a button.

6. Sturdy customer support

Any complaints, questions or queries need to be acknowledged, handled promptly and thoroughly and, most importantly, be resolved. This is the only way shoppers will come back to shop again. Poor support can turn a loyal shopper to a furious one; it also has the power to turn a disappointed shopper back to a happy and satisfied shopper. Customer support is a very powerful and necessary tactic to retain your existing shoppers.

Six tactics that will surely help you keep your existing shoppers happy and coming back for more!