When the coronavirus pandemic was announced in March, shops closed their doors and many other businesses have to permanently stop their operations. It was a huge blow to a retail industry that has been on the continued rise for the past couple of years. Never before has anyone questioned the success of the retail industry. It was only when the pandemic happened that it was put in limbo. So, what now?
Time and time again, experts keep on saying that it is more important to sell to current customers than acquire new ones from whatever marketing strategies you can think of. This is true for many businesses, but especially for the crowded industry that is ecommerce. Clicks, conversions, digital advertisements, search engine optimization, content marketing… all of these are becoming more expensive by the minute; so much so that small businesses cannot pour all their resources into them.
So what should an ecommerce business do? It needs to find a way to sell more and better to its present customers. They say that it is harder and more expensive to acquire new customers than retain your present ones. If this is true, then why not spend more time and resources on making sure you won’t lose any customers?
The first order of business is to address whatever issues that your current customers have about your business. You have a better chance of retaining them when you know how to solve their problems. Do they have issues with the shipping fee? Can you do something about it? Perhaps, you can offer free shipping every time they reach a particular amount of orders? That’s something you can include in your rewards and recognition program, which every business knows has a huge impact on customer retention.
Use Customer Accounts
You should still offer a way for your customers to check out items as a guest. However, don’t forget to encourage them to sign up for an account, too. Through customer accounts, you can see which items they ordered previously, thereby allowing you to reach out to them if you have better deals on the same or similar items. You will also be able to reward customers better if they have an account with your ecommerce store. That alone should push them to sign up for it.
Listen to Your Customers
Make sure you have a Voice of Customer (VoC) program. It consists of satisfaction surveys and customer service analytics. The point of this program is to receive and analyze feedback from your customers. Do you know that you can create a small group of your loyal customers who can give feedback on products being developed by your company? They can look at the designs and identify pain points. This will give you a better insight into what your customers actually want.
Improve Customer Service
More than listening to your customers’ feedback, you also need to improve the service you provide to them. Customers want consistently good service, proactive help about getting more out of the products, information about new products, friendly interactions, and personal relationships. These might sound and look overwhelming but putting customers at the center of your business will help you achieve them.
Build a Loyalty Program
The importance of a loyalty program cannot be emphasized enough. It is a profitable exchange both for you and your customers. The more that they buy from you, the more that you should reward them. In truth, customers don’t expect much in terms of rewards. As long as they get a fair enough incentive for their purchases, they are perfectly okay about buying from your company again. What are some examples of incentives? Discounts, free shipping, and freebies are the most popular rewards.
Focus on User-generated Content
Why should you use influencers on your social media pages to promote your brand? Your customers are your best ambassadors. You don’t even have to pay them to feature them on your page. They want nothing more but recognition for their loyalty. They are only too willing to share with you the photos and even videos of your products as they use them. Make sure to publish user-generated content regularly.
Retaining customers starts with building a good relationship with them. When they trust your brand, it’s easy to sell new products and services to them. More than that, they’ll be good ambassadors of your brand that you won’t need to partner with influencers who know nothing about your brand. Your loyal customers will even recommend you to their friends and family, which is the cheapest way to acquire new customers for your brand.