In this digital age, when your fiercest e-commerce competitors are only a single click away, retaining your existing customer base has become more important than ever. Online business owners not only need to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on effective marketing strategies and acquisition tactics, they are also faced with the uphill task of retaining their carefully acquired customer base. The key to gaining loyalty from fickle consumers who can hardly see the e-commerce wood for the trees, is to make your business stand out from the rest.
This sounds simple enough. But what exactly can you offer your customers that other companies are not able or willing to do?
1) Customize to the individual
Global companies like Amazon and NetFlix are already doing this and there is no reason why you can’t too. Encourage customers to register on your website and implement a personal greeting each time they visit. Or select a daily or weekly ‘products that may interest you’ list, based on data you have gathered regarding your customers’ personal needs and interests. Dynamic, personalized strategies like these will make customers feel welcome and emphasize the fact that, to your business, they are more than just a number.
2) Offer loyalty rewards
Another great way to make regular customers feel appreciated is to offer special deals or rewards in return for their loyalty. This can take the shape of returning customer discounts, special coupons or even a loyalty points system, whereby customers collect points for each transaction on your website and a certain amount of points wins them a gift or a free purchase. There are countless ways to show your customers just how much you appreciate their continued business.
3) Be personal and approachable
Remember that every market and industry is littered with competitors – including yours! To make your business stand out from this crowd, you need a familiar face and image. Customers are more likely to stick with a brand that they know and trust and, more importantly, that offers a personal touch. Addressing your customers with their first name, using a personable email style and investing in a readily available customer service team who really take the time out to listen and help are all ways to make your customers feel right at home.
4) Create “Win Back” offers
If one of your customers does decide to part ways with your company, there is no need to panic. As long as their membership or subscription has not been cancelled, you still have a few tricks up your sleeve to regain their trust and patronage. A special discounted rate could help convince them to sign on for another year. A few coupons or freebies may also do the trick. Once you have swayed the customer’s opinion in your favour again, it is up to you to show them why exactly they ought to stick around.