The Importance of eCommerce Customer Retention: Strategies to Keep your Customers Coming Back for More



One of the most important tools of growing a business is having high customer retention rates, as the cost of bringing in new customers can add up quickly over time.


For both online markets and physical stores, the cost of advertising is high, but is necessary in order to convert clicks and views into sales for your business. Having high customer retention rate means you are saving time and money in the long run, as a two percent increase in customer retention has the same effects on your bottom line as cutting other costs by ten percent.


By focusing your efforts on keeping your current customers, you will find your company growing over time, while saving on advertising and other marketing strategies.


According to eCommerce Expert Richard Lazazzera, there are seven main strategies that companies should use in order to achieve high customer retention rates:


  1. Utilize customer accounts
  2. Implement a customer loyalty system
  3. Send regular customer newsletter emails
  4. Surprise and delight your customers
  5. Reach out and connect on social media, and post often
  6. Offer a discount or credit to return
  7. Implement right place, right product, right time emails


By using these strategies when running your business, you can expect to retain customers and experience growth over time, says Lazazzera. Each of these steps works to make the shopping experience more personal for the customer, and gives them an incentive to continue working with your business rather than another company who can offer them a larger discount.


There are two parts to maintaining high customer retention rates: getting the word out, and personalization. Social media is key in maintaining customer retention, and by posting about new products or sales, you are continuing your relationship with your customers. This is the reasoning behind sending customer newsletters as well, as they are reminders sent directly to past each of your past customer’s inbox, where it can spark the interest of the buyer and persuade them to purchase again.


Informing customers about new products and sales are important to having high customer retention rates, and personalizing their experience with your business can take this to the next level. Customer accounts are a key way to keep customers coming back to your store, as they can see past orders, and create wishlists for future purchases. Implement a loyalty system into your site that encourages customers to make future purchases. Loyalty programs offer points or rewards for coming back again and again, and are a tried and true way of retaining customers. In addition, offering special loyalty discounts to customers if they return to your site is an excellent way to keep them interested in purchasing from your store, rather than trying to find a cheaper alternative elsewhere.


As stated by Lazazzera, “your current customer is the best asset your store has,” and by having high customer retention rates, you can grow your business and save money in the long run. In addition, it gives you an excellent opportunity to building your brand and establish a long term rapport with your customer, making them more likely to recommend you to others, and more likely to return to your store many times in the future.


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About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. In the early days of online commerce, he achieved Power Seller status at eBay, which then propelled him to become a founding partner of, a contact lens, and eyewear retailer. After a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus, where he is a Strategic Advisor helping brands continue to grow and scale with the Shopify Commerce Platform.

To maintain a competitive edge and life of learning mantra, Steve also hosts and produces a top-rated weekly podcast show, eCommerce Fastlane, where he interviews Shopify partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands build and scale lifetime customer loyalty.