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Customer Retention Software: A Guide For Ecommerce Brands

customer-retention-software:-a-guide-for-ecommerce-brands
Customer Retention Software: A Guide For Ecommerce Brands

There are many tools and software applications that can help ecommerce brands improve customer retention.

Different kinds of software support you in different ways. Some might help you make sense of your customer data. Others might improve your customer service. Some make it easier to send effective emails. (Some tools do all those things in one.)

To make the most of them, you need to fit them together like parts in a machine. Tools and software are only as good as the retention strategy they support.

In this guide:

Loyalty program software

What it is

Loyalty program software helps you offer your customers rewards for making repeat purchases (or other desirable actions, such as referring their friends). 

Typically, this software integrates with your ecommerce platform and point-of-sale (POS) software.

How it helps with customer retention

A good loyalty program can massively boost your customer retention. CitiGroup found that 86% of shoppers are more loyal to brands that have a loyalty program. 

More specifically, loyalty programs can:

What to look for when choosing one

Loyalty program software can have a wide range of features to help you retain customers. For example, beyond the nuts-and-bolts of customer rewards, LoyaltyLion enables:

  • referral programs
  • various types of loyalty program — including tiered and paid programs
  • personalized emails
  • SMS marketing
  • personalized help desk responses based on your customer’s loyalty data
  • comprehensive analytics
  • customizable loyalty program landing pages

If you’d like to learn more about what loyalty program software can do for you, book a demo with LoyaltyLion.

Cost

Loyalty program software prices range from free basic plans with limited features to premium plans costing several hundred dollars per month.

Higher-priced plans often include advanced analytics, increased customization, multiple types of loyalty programs and more robust integration options. Premium plans often include priority customer service, too.

Email marketing platforms

What it is

Email marketing platforms (ESPs) help you create, send, and analyze email campaigns to engage customers and prospects.

How it helps with customer retention

Email marketing is one of the most powerful customer retention channels. Marketing emails are easy to set up and highly personalizable. And with the wealth of analytics offered by most email platforms, you can quickly and constantly refine them.

People tend to be particularly responsive to retention-focused loyalty emails: they typically have a 20% higher click-through rate.

What to look for when choosing one

  • Advanced segmentation and personalization capabilities
  • Automation features for behavioral-based triggers and drip campaigns
  • Robust analytics to measure performance and ROI

Cost

Pricing ranges from free for basic services to thousands per month for enterprise solutions. 

Higher tiers typically offer advanced automation, segmentation, and integration features.

Customer relationship management platforms

What it is

Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms help you manage your brand’s relationships and interactions with current and potential customers.

How it helps with customer retention

CRM platforms give you a detailed, unified view of your customer data. This can help you:

  • segment your customers to identity those who are at risk of churn
  • cross-sell and upsell based on preferences and behaviors
  • improve customer service by drawing on your existing knowledge of a customer during your interactions

What to look for when choosing one

  • Integration capabilities with other tools and platforms your business uses
  • Flexibility and customization to match your business processes
  • Scalability and ease of use to accommodate growth

Cost

CRM platforms range from free basic versions to over $100 per user per month. Premium options offer extensive customization, deeper analytics, and more sophisticated automation and integration capabilities.

Customer feedback tools

What it is

“Customer feedback” software refers to a broad set of tools that help you collect, analyze, and act on customer feedback across multiple channels.

How it helps with customer retention

The better you know your customers’ likes, dislikes, preferences and frustrations, the better you can adjust your product and customer experience to keep them happy. The happier they are, the more likely they are to make repeat purchases.

So far, so straightforward. But less obvious is that simply by asking for feedback you can improve customer satisfaction: Microsoft found that 77% of customers favor brands that ask for feedback.

What to look for when choosing one

  • Ease of use for collecting and managing feedback
  • Integration with your existing CRM or customer support software
  • Advanced analytics for actionable insights

Cost

The cost of these tools varies widely, from free to premium services costing hundreds per month. More expensive options usually offer extensive customization, advanced integration capabilities and premium customer support.

Personalization software

What it is

Personalization software helps you gather and analyze customer data to deliver personalized experiences across websites and mobile apps.

How it helps with customer retention

80% of customers are more likely to buy from a brand that offers personalized experiences. 70% of them would stick with that brand, too.

Not only do shoppers value personalization, they increasingly expect it — with 74% feeling “frustrated” when websites aren’t personalized.

What to look for when choosing one

  • Advanced AI and machine learning capabilities for real-time personalization
  • Seamless integration with your e-commerce platform and CRM
  • Ability to personalize across multiple channels and touchpoints
  • Technical compatibility with your other tools and content management systems

Cost

Pricing ranges from modest monthly fees for small businesses to thousands for enterprise solutions, depending on the level of sophistication and scale.

Social media management platforms

What it is

Social media management platforms help you manage, evaluate and refine your social media marketing. 

Typically, this involves features like post scheduling, mention tracking and performance analytics.

How it helps with customer retention

There are two big ways that social media channels support customer retention:

  1. It’s an increasingly popular way for shoppers to seek out customer service. Zendesk found that 67% of shoppers consider social media a convenient customer service channel. They have high expectations, too — according to Sprout, 76% expect a reply within 24 hours.
  1. It’s an excellent way to incentivize referrals at scale. 88% of Americans are interested in promoting products on social media in return for incentives. And we know that both customers who refer and who are referred tend to stick with you longer, spend more often and have a higher average order value.

What to look for when choosing one

  • Support for all the social media platforms your audience uses
  • Social listening and brand tracking features (if this is important to you)
  • Comprehensive analytics for tracking engagement and campaign performance
  • Collaboration tools for team-based social media management (if you need it)

Cost

The price of social media management platforms ranges from free basic plans to premium plans costing hundreds per month, with cost differences generally reflecting the number of accounts, posts, and advanced features like analytics and team collaboration tools.

Chatbots, and other customer service tools

What it is

“Customer service software” refers to a broad set of tools that automate, measure and refine your customer service offering.

These tools can include:

  • chatbots, which provide automated responses to common questions
  • live chat support integrations, which make it easier for you to communicate with customers
  • knowledge base hosting, which gives your customers a self-service option for common questions, such as those about shipping and returns

How it helps with customer retention

77% of customers think good customer service is as important as product quality. But for owners of small ecommerce brands, it’s an easy thing to neglect.

Customer service software can significantly reduce the time you spend on customer support, and it can give you more flexibility in responding to your customers in a way that suits them.

And, as your happy, retained customers refer their friends, the self-service option offered by knowledge bases will help you maintain excellent service as your customer base grows.

What to look for when choosing one

  • Customization, to ensure responses align with your brand voice and customer needs
  • Integration with your CRM and existing customer service platforms
  • Scalability to handle peak volumes without diminishing the quality of service

Cost

Chatbot solutions range from $50 per month for basic services to over $1,000 per month for advanced features like AI capabilities, integration options, and comprehensive support.

Ready to get started with loyalty marketing?

Loyalty marketing is crucial to developing long-term relationships with customers who spend more with you. 

With loyalty program members generating between 12 and 18% more revenue per year than the average guest shopper, it’s no wonder so many brands are investigating how to leverage loyalty to their advantage. If you want to do the same, book a demo with one of our specialists. 

This article originally appeared on LoyaltyLion and is available here for further discovery.
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