Getting a converting customer onto your website can be costly and not to mention time consuming. When you add up the costs of all the advertising and SEO work you put into gaining them it can all become incredibly expensive. But This spend starts to become a little less worthwhile the longer it goes on for at the same rate. If you’re having to put the same amount of money and effort into your advertising year after year just to get the bare minimum of sales then it may be time to realise that part of your strategy or even service, isn’t working for either you or your customers. The key to stopping this spending cycle is to not lose the customers you worked so hard for right after their first purchase.
This is where customer retention comes in. The goal of this strategy is to keep already existing customers interested in your brand after making a purchase. Whether this may be with the simply standard of service you provided through their last shop with you, or the way you communicate with them afterwards. Customer retention is crucial in a long term strategy to build a customer base, this is because it builds up a loyal pool of customers that will always return when done right and it is a lot cheaper to carry out than regular campaigns to find new customers. The increase in traffic from these returning customers added onto your fresh traffic isn’t bad either. So how exactly can you go about retaining your customers without annoying them with constant emails and irrelevant product advertisements.
Make sure service lives up
The first way to make sure your customers come back to you is to give them the best service you possible can. Bad service will put anyone off, no matter how good your marketing strategy was to get them to make a purchase with you in the first place. To avoid this, make your website and service as seamless as you possibly can. Give them some help by making methods to contact you clear, keep your telephone number and customer service email address in both the header and footer of every page and make sure there is some good customer service waiting on the other side of both of them to help with any problems or questions. Also take the time to create a page to show them your delivery options, tell them if you charge for delivery before they reach the end of checkout and get put off by the sudden added cost. Even offer them a time estimate if possible as to when they can expect their purchase to arrive with them and then actually deliver within these times to live up to expectations you set of yourself. Be sure to communicate with them through the entire purchase, sending them a confirmation of purchase email, a product reminder email, a dispatch email and finally a quick email to ask how their experience was with your company. Put simply your website needs to be as clear as possible, contact information needs to be easily found, you need to keep them as updated as possible and most importantly make your website layout as clear as possible. Nothing can conceal information like a messy website, which can lead to misunderstandings and unexpected costs for a customer that were actually fully explained on a site page they could not find.
Offer newsletter sign up
Whether you offer it within your customer checkout or in banners throughout your website a newsletter can be a great way to let customers optionally choose to har more from you. Forcing people into subscriptions will only annoy customers so try not to have a sign up as a necessary step of your checkout, as they will likely sign up and never come back due to annoyance or not bother signing up for the purchase at all. Instead to offer it in checkout, try putting it on the landing page customers end up on after they make a purchase, offering something along the lines of parcel tracking as incentive to sign up. Getting people to sign up is difficult, but the work does not end there. You need to keep all sign ups engaged and interested in your brand through regular emails. Doing this can be achieved by sending them weekly or monthly emails featuring news, deals, exclusive discount codes and even a first look at any new products. Make sure whatever you send is realistic for your business. Not only can you use these emails as a way to update them on your brand, but also to ask about them, after all an email is a form of contact information. Try asking them how their purchase was, if they were satisfied with the service they received from you. Personalise these emails as much as possible by including their name and a reference or image of their purchase to show them you know who they are specifically.
Promote blogs and social media
Do this wherever is possible and noticeable, have the icons linked to your company’s profiles in your emails or even in the corner of your final checkout page. Once you have customers clicking through to your page you can then use it as a way to communicate with your customers and answer any questions or queries they may have about your products, services or even their particular orders. Take the time to reply to conversational comments and give advice, building up strong personal relationships with customers in a friendly and approachable way. You can do this with both existing and possible customers to reach as much of your following as possible and to let them know who you are as a brand other than a logo and some products. Overall just be as friendly as possible, let followers know that you will be there to help with anything and show that you solve problems quickly by taking action on negative comments by offering a solution. This way you start to appear trustworthy as well as approachable, pairing this attitude with good service will leave your customers with nothing else to look for in an eCommerce store then maybe better prices. Take care of this by offering exclusive social media deals and discount codes that can only be found through social platforms. Another benefit of communicating with your customers this way is that in entices more people to get involved, whether to leave comments for reviews on your social page. Reviews from happy customer will tell others you are a good company to shop with, potentially getting you some more sales from those who were undecided before seeing such positive reviews. Also, customers that are praising you so highly are more than likely to come back next time they are in need of a product you offer.