With the ability to connect and power a number of your marketing initiatives, customer loyalty is crucial to forming long-lasting customer relationships. Ones that encourage repeat purchases and build a loyal customer base.
As experts in marketing, with eons of experience in what makes an ecommerce brand snowball to success, Reload Digital were the perfect people to ask eight questions about the part loyalty plays in a well thought out marketing strategy.
To jump to answers to specific questions click the links below:
Or, keep reading to learn what we found out.
What’s the top loyalty strategy you recommend your clients put in place to draw existing customers back?
With Amazon and large etailers using their hefty budgets to continue to dominate online channels, we’re seeing ecommerce brands struggling to get in front of their customers. And, this is partly the reason acquisition costs are rising.
It’s now so important to create a seamless and personalized shopping experience. Then, once customers have bought into the experience, it’s about continuously offering them something of value to turn them into loyal customers.
We also think that content really is key for retention. You need to give customers something of value for being a part of a brand community, in order to keep them engaged. & Other Stories do this well with weekly email edits that include a different theme and product spotlights.
Interesting that you touch on email marketing there when some people say that its impact is declining.
Can you recommend how retailers can refresh their email marketing strategy to drive conversions?
We see a lot of articles stating “that the impact of email marketing is declining”, but we question who’s saying this?
We’re seeing email actually driving the highest conversion rates at the cheapest price points! The technologies available via ESP platforms such as Klaviyo, Dotdigital and Ometria (to name just some) give brands the opportunity to deliver a personalized shopping experience. At the same time, automation and segmentation can bring back loyal customers.
Sure, if people are sending newsletters for the sake of it then possibly email marketing has declined for them. It needs a purpose. A good strategic email plan will tie in with your content plan, loyalty plan, involve A/B split testing, segmentation and automation and will drive revenue. Email is absolutely not dead, and it’s time to wake the sleeping giant if you haven’t already.
We couldn’t agree more that marketing always needs a purpose. That’s why we’re firm believers that loyalty begins with an emotional connection.
Yet, with more and more marketers focusing on the customer experience, retailers might worry that their messages get lost.
How would you suggest large-scale ecommerce merchants maintain the personal touch?
Customer experience and loyalty should go hand in hand. While smaller ecommerce stores can create emotional connections by adding personal elements to the shopping experience – like a handwritten thank-you note – it may become less possible when businesses start to scale.
Enter automation and segmentation (a common recurring theme here). With the help of smart tools, we’ve seen our clients capture data and trigger automations (such as a birthday email) to remind customers that they care.
User-generated content is another way to build connections. For example, encouraging customers to share their unboxing experiences on social with the #unbox hashtag and then re-sharing. Over time, this maintains the personal touch and builds brand advocacy.
Many merchants we speak to say that they struggle with high volumes of guest checkouts. Can you suggest how a retailer can encourage a shopper to return and create an account?
Incentivising account sign-ups with loyalty points and other incentives are always a good idea. By clearly communicating all the benefits you get for signing up – whether it be, extra loyalty points or exclusive access to pre-sales – you’ll motivate customers to become members.
LoyaltyLion’s campaigns are a great way to encourage a guest shopper to sign-up. They display a notification to customers post-purchase. It explains that if they create an account they will earn points that can be redeemed against future purchases.
Remarketing campaigns can also play a part here because you can advertise sign up benefits across platforms. By targeting website visitors who have completed a certain set of actions, you’re able to get in front of these potential guest shoppers.
All these tactics are well and good, but with so many things to do, marketers are finding that they’re time-poor. How can merchants make their marketing more efficient while maintaining a high standard?
Really can’t say this enough but…automation!
High growth brands are already using ecommerce automation to optimize their operations and save time on manual tasks. The new Shopify Flow templates are a perfect tool for this. They assist you with manual tasks including; tracking and rewarding your top customers, creating centralized views of low inventory products, and even assigning customer support tickets for negative product reviews.
What KPIs and ROI calculations would you recommend a merchant sets out when measuring the impact of their loyalty marketing?
It really depends on the loyalty approaches that are being undertaken, however primary metrics to look at include:
- Email Subscriber/Account/Loyalty Member sign-ups should all be increasing over time
- CLV should also increase over time as more of your customers become repeat customers
ROI can then be calculated by: Revenue of repeat customers / cost of email service provider, cost of loyalty program, cost of discounts and cost of ads and promotions.
For brands that also operate through etailers, they should hopefully be seeing their D2C slice of the pie becoming larger.
1️⃣ The theme of this interview has definitely highlighted the need for automation! Jump on board to automate some of those manual tasks that will not only allow you to focus on growth but will also allow you to create a better, more personalized experience. Check out Shopify Flow along with email automation platforms such as Dotdigital, Klaviyo and Ometria.
2️⃣ Beat the experience of shopping on Amazon. Find a way to create an experience online that they can’t compete with. For example: Are you a sustainable brand? Amazon’s one-day shipping is terrible for the environment and might not be right for your customer base who care about carbon emissions. Instead, take this option away from your shipping.
3️⃣ Leverage your owned databases to communicate and provide relevant content to your customers. By arranging your database into segments – for example, “purchased vegan products” – you can then provide them with meaningful content – such as when “cruelty-free” products launch – to increase conversion and create loyal connections.
Before you go, tell us about Reload Digital and the services you provide for ecommerce merchants.
Performance-driven, Reload Digital is one of Europe’s highest-rated digital marketing agencies according to Google. Partnering with hundreds of brands across the globe including Wrangler, Emma Bridgewater, Philip Kingsley, ZOEVA & Harper Collins, our purpose is simple: to provide digital growth for our clients.
A strategic team of 12 specialists, Reload is a full-service digital marketing agency for ecommerce and lead generation brands. Whether it’s email automation, paid media, social, SEO, UX, CX or digital tech, we provide a range of skills and thought leadership to global brands and businesses across 20 countries.
This article was originally published by our friends at LoyaltyLion.