Despite the ongoing turmoil due to the pandemic and the slowing down of businesses, the e-commerce industry has bounced back. Now, due to an explosion of brick and mortar stores moving online, gaining customer loyalty is the top priority for eCommerce stores.
30% of buyers state that they trust brands that they have bought previously from. Particularly, the 2020’s coronavirus outbreak has made e-commerce businesses realize that building customer loyalty has never been more critical.
If you are seeking ways to improve customer loyalty for your e-commerce business, you need to implement practical and effective ways. By rolling out the following five strategies, you can drive customer loyalty:
- Personalized recommendations
- Rewards and discounts
- Loyalty program
- Post-purchase experience
- Exemplary customer support
1. Offer personalized communication and content with product/service suggestions
Sending customized communications makes your brand relatable to customers. This is why brands with successful engagements have a cult-like following. They regularly offer relevant and useful content regarding products or services that their consumers devour.
An extensive research by Oracle reveals that customers are willing to shell out a premium price if they receive offers of personalized services.
More than 50 percent of respondents have said that they are okay with trading personal data such as names and emails in exchange for personalized content.
Keeping this study result in mind, you can recommend products or services to customers based on their preferences and their earlier purchases. You can also use the customer data to share with them resources such as interesting videos, tips, and blog posts. Personalized and relevant communications to customers outperform promotional emails and drive as much as 18 times more revenue.
The reason behind such successful communications is that brand resonates with your customer inducing them with an intent to buy. These messages also establish human connections with your customers with clear, useful, relevant, and personalized communications.
Other than sending welcome messages, send a follow-up email to customers after every purchase. Express your joy and excitement to customers for trusting your brand. By using emails, SMS, and Messenger, you can boost your customer engagement and overall revenue. Your active and personalized communication can win more repeat customers.
2. Provide special rewards to customers including discounts and free shipping
Having a loyal customer base who frequent your website and make regular purchases is great news. But how can you keep them interested and generate repeat purchases over time?
Well, the answer is giving back to those loyal customers rewards from time to time. It is an intelligent and subtle way to persuade people to become long-term fans of your brand.
You can start implementing this strategy right away. Sweeten the customers’ post-purchase experience by offering a special discount code, an add-on offer, or free shipping for the next purchase.
Depending on the type of product you sell, you may give away special discounts a few times every year to attract customers and increase repeat purchases.
A few go-to strategies are :
- Provide an excellent mobile experience with interactive videos, blog posts, tips, quiz contests, and selfie contests, which will infuse excitement among your target audience.
- Extend your brand’s reach by asking customers for suggesting designs, colors, or names of your merchandise. Such a strategy can make customers feel more inclusive.
- Offer various membership statuses, which will yield attractive rewards to customers.
Giving away rewards to customers from time to time can generate an ongoing buzz for your brand. Studies prove that rewarding customers increases online visits to a company’s site by 35%.
3. Roll out a lucrative customer loyalty program
You can evoke customer loyalty for a long period by providing incentives to customers. First, you encourage new online visitors to revisit your e-commerce store and offer them an attractive gift as an incentive to keep them interested in your brand.
Many e-commerce brands also roll out a reward point system. When customers buy a product from their store, they earn points, which accumulate on their account. Customers can use those points later for their next purchases.
Not all customer loyalty programs have a sustained impact, and they often lose momentum and become stagnant over time. This is why continuous efforts are required to mobilize the loyalty program. Offer regular incentives to your customers so that they keep participating in such programs.
Besides, you can implement non-purchase elements through the loyalty program for customers to earn reward points in the following ways:
- Asking for a review from customers.
- Encouraging family and friends to become members and get special purchase discounts.
- Offer rewards for milestones such as birthdays or membership anniversaries.
Boost customer engagement by providing them a solid reason to stay with your brand and upgrade their buying journey.
4. Post-purchase strategies to enhance customer experience
Statistics say that acquiring new customers costs five times more than retaining the existing ones. The chances of selling a product to existing customers are 60-70 percent, whereas the chances of selling to a new lead will be only 5-20 percent.
This is why you need to develop effective post-purchase strategies to enhance customer experience and drive revenue. Don’t abandon customers at the check out. The waiting time is the most anxious for shoppers. Alleviate their concern by regularly checking in with them even after check out. Assure them with timely order-delivery updates. Demonstrate your commitment by taking control of the eCommerce shipping experience.
Express Your Care
The first step in creating a post-purchase experience is starting with a welcome and thank you email within 24 hours of a customer’s purchase. This is also called the order-confirmation email.
Express to customers that you value their interest in your brand. A few simple and sincere words will go a long way to create a wonderful post-purchase experience for your customers and help develop a long-term association.
Order status emails inform the customer of the exact location of their order. Usually the order-status emails are shared by shipping partners. Although, these are critical and have a high open rate of 80%, their tone is unfriendly and transactional. eCommerce emails must start capitalising these emails to drive repeat purchases.
Customers like to stay in the know of the various shipment transit points of their order-delivery. The most important order statuses that they would like to be updated on are : Order Confirmed, Order dispatched, in transit, out for delivery and successfully delivered.
Order-status or shipment status emails can easily boost retention when eCommerce businesses include the following elements
- Promotion of upcoming product line
- Cross sell or upsell items with “frequently bought together” CTA
- Subtly nudging for referrals and reviews
- Pitches for premium membership
Simplify Returns and Refunds
Make sure to minimize your customers’ post-purchase anxiety by making them aware of your company’s return and refund policy. Having a clear and transparent policy in black & white will help build trust with your customers. Demonstrate your genuineness with a transparent refund and return policy.
Conduct a Post-purchase Survey
You may learn about the order-delivery experience by running a simple survey. You can either run an email campaign or collect their feedback on your branded order-tracking page. Your market research team can collate data about the customers’ purchase history, demographics, preferences, social media habits, etc.
Studies prove that a dissatisfied customer tells 8-10 people on an average about their bad experience. By encouraging them to share genuine feedback they are likely to feel more heard.
5. Provide Exemplary Customer Support
Similar to traditional retailing, the sustainability and growth of e-commerce businesses largely depends on top-notch customer support.
If there is no actionable plan for customer service, it is likely to translate into lost opportunities and reduced brand loyalty.
Another statistics (May 2020) reveals the following crucial data on customer service:
- Worldwide, 54 percent of consumers expressed that they expect a higher level of customer service than they did a year back.
- Nearly 40 percent of US citizens think that businesses have a better focus on customer service in recent times.
- Globally, 67 percent of consumers think that overall customer service is improving.
- Around 52 percent of people across the world believe that companies should take action on customers’ feedback.
Customer service is an ongoing process that continuously evolves along with increased consumer expectations. To improve your customer service, you can try the following tactics:
- Increase the response rates to customer inquiries and complaints.
- Keep in touch with customers via direct messaging tools such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, and Telegram.
- Deploy chatbots or chat agents to engage in real-time with customers.
By providing high-quality and empathetic customer service will not only increase your company’s credibility but will also boost brand loyalty.
Effective post-purchase strategies help increase customer loyalty and retention, which will accelerate the growth of your e-commerce business.
By implementing the listed strategies, your e-commerce business can drive customer loyalty from their first visit to your website. Collecting customers’ feedback and using that information to improve your product can also boost customer experience.
It is crucial to keep in mind that customers want attention and care. Besides, they also want additional convenience and want to be part of something meaningful and exciting.
Guest Post by ShippingChimp
ShippingChimp empowers eCommerce businesses with tools to offer a seamless post-purchase experience. With ShippingChimp, eCommerce businesses can personalize the entire order-delivery experience and provide customers with an Amazon-Esque delivery experience.