New customers are great, but your returning, loyal customers are the ones who will support your business and help you scale. Without a high customer retention rate, your business won’t be able to grow in any meaningful way.
In this blog, we’ll dive into the basics of customer retention, and then cover eight effective customer retention strategies you can utilize today. With an intentional customer retention strategy in place, your online store will be able to reduce churn and increase revenue, while cultivating a strong customer base.
- Strong customer retention strategies are integral for brands looking to increase key metrics like LTV and AOV.
- In order to increase customer retention, stores must optimize their customer experience across channels.
- Customer acquisition is important, but so is taking care of the customers acquired already—loyal customers will help your business scale and grow.
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What is customer retention?
Customer retention is the ability of an ecommerce store to keep their existing customers with their business. The opposite of retention is churn—when customers either actively or passively (without realizing it) stop buying from your company. Retention is a key metric for online stores to track because it’s a strong indicator of success and future growth. If customers continue returning to your store, it’s for a good reason.
Why is it important to increase customer retention?
For subscription brands, a strong customer retention strategy is especially important, since subscriptions rely on recurring revenue. A higher customer retention rate can increase customer lifetime value (LTV) and improve loyalty. When you retain your current customers, you can also improve average order value (AOV), another key metric for ecommerce stores.
8 strategies to create loyal customers & grow your customer retention
So, if your store would like to increase customer retention—and in turn, increase LTV and AOV—then these seven strategies can lead you in the right direction. To improve customer retention, it’s crucial to have a holistic approach that enhances the customer journey for your shoppers and makes them excited to continue shopping with your brand.
1. Offer recurring purchase options
One sure way to ensure customers keep returning to your online store is by offering recurring purchase options through subscriptions. By making it easy for customers to stay stocked with their favorite products, you can create a loyal customer base and increase key metrics like LTV.
2. Create a personalized customer experience
How a customer interacts with your brand is crucial for customer retention. If you create a smooth customer experience that leaves them happy and satisfied, you’ll have a customer for life. Ecommerce merchants who are working on increasing customer retention should focus on their customer journey—and tailor it to each shopper.
Customizing the shopping experience to individual preferences is a powerful way to enhance customer loyalty. Utilize your customer data to provide personalized product recommendations, offer exclusive discounts, and create targeted marketing campaigns. This not only meets customer expectations but also fosters a deeper connection between the customer and your brand.
3. Give proactive customer support
A robust customer support system is vital for retaining customers. Be proactive in addressing customer support queries and concerns. Implement a live chat function on your website and enable quick response mechanisms to resolve customer issues promptly. Happy customers are more likely to stay loyal, and excellent customer service can turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one to help you retain customers.
4. Collect & utilize customer feedback
When you regularly collect customer feedback from your current customers, it can become a valuable source of insights and provide your brand with a clear direction. Understand your shoppers’ expectations, preferences, and pain points to refine your offerings. Then, act on the feedback you’ve received, showing your customers that their opinions matter and fostering a sense of loyalty. Utilize feedback surveys, reviews, and social media to gather valuable insights to drive your customer retention strategy.
5. Incentivize customers to return
Introduce loyalty programs that reward repeat customers for their commitment. Offer exclusive discounts, early access to sales, cash back, or personalized perks based on their purchase history. Loyalty programs not only incentivize existing customers to keep coming back but also attract new customers looking to enjoy these exclusive benefits. With loyalty as a focus, your customer retention rate will surely improve.
6. Continuous customer engagement
Keep your customers engaged even when they’re not making purchases. Regularly communicate through newsletters, social media, and targeted campaigns to share updates, product launches, and relevant content. By staying top-of-mind, you increase the likelihood that your brand will be the first choice when your customers decide to make a purchase.
7. Monitor & improve customer retention metrics
Regularly measure customer retention rate, LTV, and other key metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of your strategies. Identify areas for improvement using your customer analytics and adapt your approach accordingly. Understanding the lifetime value of your most loyal customers enables you to allocate resources effectively and prioritize your customer retention efforts.
8. Enhance the customer experience across platforms
Ensure a seamless and enjoyable customer experience across all touchpoints. Whether it’s your website, mobile app, or social media channels, consistency is key. Streamline the purchasing process, optimize website navigation, and provide relevant content to enhance customer satisfaction. A positive, cohesive experience encourages customers to return.
Lean on your existing customers with these retention tactics
Retaining existing customers is not just important, it’s essential for long-term success. Implementing these customer retention strategies tailored for a mature ecommerce audience can help increase customer loyalty, satisfaction, and overall profitability. By focusing on personalized experiences, proactive support, and continuous engagement, ecommerce businesses can build lasting relationships with their most valuable asset—their loyal customers.