Customer retention is crucial to the long-term success of online businesses. With so much competition on the internet as well as a lack of personal, face-to-face communication, it can be difficult to keep customers loyal to your company. Use these ideas to form stronger connections with your online customer base.
Improve Your Online Presence
It’s important you have a strong online presence beyond just your e-commerce site. Populate your website with new content regularly. A blog is a great way to accomplish this. Not only does a blog give people a reason to visit your site, it also helps increase your site’s ranking in search engine results pages. You can also connect with your target demographic via social media. Promote your blog content on your social media pages regularly and join in on the conversations in the comments. You may even want to use targeted, sponsored ads to reach a broader audience.
Implement a Customer Loyalty Program
Incentivizing your customers with rewards is often an effective way to keep them interested. Many e-commerce platforms include loyalty points systems that credit customers with points based on their purchases that they can redeem for discounts and other rewards. Other options include providing free shipping or coupon codes for frequent shoppers or big spenders. This is a long-term customer retention strategy that may cost you some money initially, but in the long run, the results are often worth the investment. Stay focused on the big picture.
Reach Out Through the Mail
Just because you’re not interacting with a person face-to-face doesn’t mean you can’t offer a physical token of your appreciation. One of the easiest yet most cost-efficient ways to boost customer loyalty is to include a personalized thank-you note in all of your shipments. This simple gesture makes customers feel special and valued. You could also give out freebies such as branded products or samples. Even if it’s a low-value item, online shoppers love getting free things, and you can be sure they’re going to remember your gift next time they’re doing some shopping.
Offer Bonuses for Referrals
A referral program is a great way to expand your customer base as your loyal customers are often your most effective brand ambassadors. People are much more likely to patronize a business that a friend or family member recommended than a random business they discovered from an ad. The great thing about referrals is that you can make sure you’re not losing money in the deal by only offering rewards for completed sales. Once the money has landed in your bank account, a small portion goes to the person who referred the customer, and the rest is profit.
Offer Human Customer Service
One of the most effective ways to build customer relationships that last is simply providing exceptional customer service. Many online shops only offer an email address for customer service, which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in potential shoppers. Give your customers the option to talk to a real person by phone or online chat. While you or your customer support team is assisting people, always go above and beyond to be as friendly and helpful as possible. At the end of the day, customer retention is all about treating your customers well, and that means being available. Go that extra mile, and it may surprise you how many people come back for more.