Retention

3 ways to retain customers to see growth in 2021

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Although a difficult time for many, 2020 has seen a huge boom for ecommerce. Experts have predicted that retail ecommerce sales should top $4.13 trillion before the end of the year.

This is good news, but you’re currently facing a predicament. Black Friday has been and gone and you’ve acquired a whole host of shoppers who are discount-driven. 53% of customers said they would be actively looking out for deals and discounts over the 2020 peak period. 

During the moment after Black Friday and before the new year, it’s harder than ever to retain customers based on brand loyalty. This is why you need to work hard to retain seasonal customers and re-engage them well into the new year and perhaps even beyond.

Learn more ways to engage your seasonal shoppers in 2021 by downloading our Crunch time guide

Retaining seasonal shoppers

When we asked customers about their spending habits during the first half of 2020, 58% said they spent more time and money online. 42% said they would keep up this habit in the future. We also found that shoppers returned to their most trusted, favorite brands:  68% of customers said they preferred to return to the comfort of the brands that they already knew and trusted

So customers want to return to their trusty favorites. But how can you encourage them to return to you even when your products are priced back to full?

💕 Align with your customers

Conscious consumerism reached an all-time high this year with environmental disasters, such as the Australian wildfires, putting global issues at the forefront of consumer thought. Ethical goods and services rose to a value of £83.1 billion in the UK alone, with 8 out of 10 surveyed customers saying that the sustainability of goods was very important when making a purchasing decision. 

We also found that 44% of shoppers said they preferred to shop with brands that they thought shared their values. This highlights the importance of shared ethical values between brands and their customers.

To better align yourself with the values of your consumers in 2021, think of ways to publicly support charities and causes that are important to your consumer base. 

Put a portion of each purchase towards an important cause, or reward customers when they do purpose-driven actions such as sending back packaging to be recycled. Edgard and Cooper donate 1% of their total sales to the Dog Care Clinic in Sri Lanka. This aligns with both the brand and customers’ concerns about canine welfare.

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This kind of shared cause helps build a community. By helping like-minded individuals who all shop with you come together, it shows your customers that you truly care about your common interest. 

With a loyalty program, you can invite members to a shared community space where they can interact and chat with one another about big-picture challenges. Annmarie Skin Care sends their loyal customers invites to a private Facebook group, where they can share beauty tips and discuss living eco-friendly lifestyles. Uniting their community in one space means that Annmarie Skin Care’s customers keep returning to spend and engage with their brand. With 31% of shoppers saying they engage with brand communities if given the option, it’s easy to figure out why.

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📩 Double down on email marketing

During the first half of 2020, 44% of shoppers said that they were more likely to open brand emails. This trend continued on into the peak period, with only 25% of shoppers saying that they wouldn’t be opening brand-related emails. This just goes to show that email marketing is still as relevant now as it ever has been, but the challenge is giving customers an incentive to open the emails once your sales are over.

Personalization is one of the most important ways to connect with your customers: 65% of shoppers say that they’re more loyal to brands when they receive offers personalized to them. Adding in a customer’s name or including loyalty information such as a points balance reminder or members-only discounts is a great way to make your emails unique for each customer. 

Monthly points updates keep up inbox engagement and adding a catchy subject line such as “$$$ towards your next purchase” is a sure-fire way to increase open rates. 

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If your shoppers don’t look like they’re going to return, try a surprise-and-delight email campaign. This would involve adding a surge of loyalty points to your new customers’ accounts and sending them email reminders to spend these points before they expire

📬 Boost subscriptions

Recently, McKinsey reported that subscription ecommerce has grown by over 100% per year for the past five years. In the first half of 2020, 30% of customers said that they signed up for subscription-based products. However, this wasn’t universal – 73% of over 55s said that they didn’t sign up for more subscription products.

Getting more subscribers over the peak period is a great way to lock in your newest customers. Using a loyalty program, put your subscribers into different tiers and give them rewards such as double points or a free gift with every order. This can also entice other seasonal shoppers to subscribe to your service, as they’ll see the benefits they’re missing out on.

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Right now you’ve got a small window of opportunity reserved for retaining your seasonal customers. You need to convince them – quickly – to return and shop with you in the new year. When done correctly, your ecommerce business will see an increase in revenue and a robust, loyal customer base sticking by your side in 2021. 

For more ways to secure your business in the new year, download our Crunch time guide

Download The Crunch Time Guide

About the author

Mollie Woolnough-Rai

Mollie is a Senior Content Marketing Executive at LoyaltyLion. After graduating from UCL in 2016, she has worked both in-house and at marketing agencies providing expertise in content for both B2B and B2C clients. At LoyaltyLion, Mollie manages our content, making sure our readers get the best quality resources about customer loyalty and retention.

Special thanks to our friends at LoyaltyLion for their insights on this topic.