Steal These 4 Proven Customer-Retention Strategies
Top ecommerce businesses thrive because they successfully cultivate repeat clients
Did you know that only 32 percent of customers are likely to place a second order in their first year as a customer? That means you’re losing most of your customers after their first purchase. Unless you create a strategy to retain them, you’re wasting valuable marketing resources.
Here are just a few reasons you should have a retention strategy for your ecommerce business:
It's easy to sell: Selling to your existing customers is easier. In fact, an existing customer is three to 12 times more likely to buy than a new prospect.
You can double your revenue: Adobe has reported online retailers that retain just 10 percent of existing customers end up making twice the revenue.
Compelling stuff, right? Still, most ecommerce companies still rely solely on customer acquisition. They undervalue the possibility of retaining and nurturing their existing customer base. Developing and implementing a retention strategy is vital to creating a sustainable business. Here's how to make it happen.
Most of your first-time customers are filling an immediate need. They're not necessarily interested in a long term relationship with your brand. That means you must figure out how to encourage your customers to return more often, spend more time on your site and ultimately purchase from your store.
Publishing useful content on a regular basis is one way to demonstrate value. NewEgg uses videos to engage consumers and ultimately convert them to customers. These posts range from product reviews to in-depth tutorials. On a related note, ensure your product descriptions not only entice visitors to buy but make them remember your brand after the sale.
Under-promise and over-deliver.
Nothing destroys your credibility faster than bailing on a promise you made to your customers. If you offer same-day delivery but can’t realistically uphold that standard on a consistent basis, you're creating dissatisfied customers.
Instead, try this: Estimate how long it will take to deliver the shipment and then double that time. Zappos promises delivery within five business days, but the majority of orders are shipped overnight. This exceeds customers' expectations, making a positive impact and fostering trust in the brand.
Create a win-back email campaign.
Email marketing produces a conversion rate nearly twice that of organic search, and it also outperforms nearly all other marketing channels. But an average of 60 percent of email lists are full of "dead" subscribers? A roster filled with inactives hurts your conversion factor and leads to reduced deliverability as messages are routed to spam.
Creating a win-back email campaign is the best way to make re-engage leads with your email, boost deliverability and increase conversions. According to an analysis of win-back email campaigns of 33 retailers, the average open rate of win-back emails is 12 percent. That’s a respectable number considering all the recipients were identified as inactive leads before.
Define inactivity: The majority of marketers define an inactive lead as anyone who hasn’t opened or responded any email sent in the past six to 12 months.
Tweak the subject line: Emotionally charged subject lines such as "We miss you!" will outperform neutral subject lines.
Send a series of re-engagement emails: A win-back is not a one-time event. Create an automated series of emails, and allow recipients to change their email preferences. Keep in mind that three-quarters of inactive subscribers could re-engage within 90 days, so don’t cull lists too early.
Start a subscription-model business.
The subscription-model economy is rapidly becoming the norm across industries and particularly in ecommerce. Amazon Prime and Sightglass Coffee have supplemented their revenue with this tactic. The subscription model helps ensure revenue from repeat customers. This gives you more control over revenue prediction so you can optimize your expansion plan and set a marketing budget accordingly.
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