In recent weeks, online orders for primarily store-based retailers are up 56% compared to last year, and up 52% for ecommerce merchants.
Baby products also experienced a 58% increase in sales from January to March, compared to the same period a year ago.
Now is the time to focus on turning an influx of new online shoppers into long-term, loyal customers. The experience you provide for parents now, may help you to secure repeat custom into the future.
Here are our top tips for boosting retention as a baby retailer:
1️⃣ Turn guest shoppers into signed-up loyalty program members
Members generate between 12 and 18% more revenue per year than guest shoppers. Also, when your guest shoppers become a member of your program, you can access details about their unique buying behavior, such as the products they’ve added to their basket or how many times they visit your site each month. This gives you the chance to unlock insights and deliver more personalized communication based on their interactions with you.
To encourage your shoppers to create an account in the first instance, you can award them with loyalty points or offer a discount on their first purchase. For example, you might show a pop-up notification stating that by signing-up, customers can earn points and more.
78% of shoppers are motivated to create an account if the sign-up process is easy – especially those with less time on their hands. Try to use a simple form that only requires basic information – parents will hugely appreciate this! To ensure they complete the registration process, provide them with a user-friendly journey.
2️⃣ Exclusive rewards keep your members engaged and returning to shop
Our recent research showed that 79% of shoppers are encouraged to become loyal to a brand if they can access exclusive benefits or rewards. Members want to feel rewarded for their loyalty. And, to keep your customers active and engaged, your rewards should be accessible. 22% of members become inactive if it takes too long to earn points or unlock rewards that can be redeemed.
For example, to keep their customers engaged, Haakaa Maama immediately shows customers how many points they have collected and how far away they are from being able to redeem their rewards.
To drive retention further, you can enable program members to earn points instantly via onsite or offsite activities such as site visits or following on social media. This will give your customers a meaningful reason to return to your store and engage more. For instance, Haakaa Maama awards their members with a loyalty point each time they visit the site.
3️⃣ Encourage your new members to become vocal brand advocates
Referral strategies are a great, cost-effective way to acquire new customers by leveraging the customers who already love your brand. A strong referral strategy is especially important for baby retailers who are selling to parents who only want the most-trusted service for their little ones.
Consumers are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend or family member and the customer lifetime value of a referred customer is 16% higher than that of a customer acquired in other ways. To encourage your new members to make a referral, incentivize them with loyalty points.
For instance, Abby & Finn encourage their members to refer a friend or family member by offering them 1,000 points in return.
With one-click, members can make a referral through their social media accounts, WhatsApp or email. In order to convert the referred friend into a new member whilst assuring the order, Abby & Fin also offers a $10 discount if they spend over $45.
As well as a referral strategy, you can also encourage your members to act as advocates by writing a review about your store or product. Today, 88% of shoppers trust online reviews as much as they trust referrals from their friends or family. To encourage your customers to leave reviews, you can incentivize them with loyalty points.
For example, Minitotz offers 200 points to their members if they write a review about their store or product. Again, this is such an important strategy for baby brands who are interacting with parents. Trust is key.
4️⃣ Build a brand community to enhance engagement
47% of customers become loyal to a brand if it comes with a community of like-minded individuals. As a baby retailer, you can create a brand community where parents can share their experiences and knowledge.
To build a brand community, first you need to define your brand values and customize your loyalty program accordingly. For example, Lil Tulips is a baby retailer that is established by two parents to offer various “mom & dad-invented products”. To support their brand ethos, Lil Tulips created a brand community through their social media and loyalty program. First, they encourage their customers to connect with them through social media by offering them 25 points for each follow or like.
Then, they reshare their members’ posts on Instagram to enhance engagement and build their brand community. To encourage your customers to share your brand on social, you can also award them with loyalty points in return. For instance, they can earn points by sharing an image with your brand hashtag on Instagram.
With your loyalty program, you can encourage customers to engage and stay connected with your store.
5️⃣ Identify at-risk customers to increase redemption
70% of first-time shoppers do not return to make a second purchase. The remaining 30% of your first-time shoppers might return to make a second purchase within 30 days. However, to keep the repeat purchase rate high, first you need to identify your loyal and at-risk customers. Through your Customer Value Snapshot, you can directly segment your customers. The second step is to deliver a segmented communication.
For example, to remind them of your store, you can send personalized loyalty emails about available rewards or points balances. To urge them to return to your store and purchase again, you can also use points expiry emails like Evivo. In this example, you can see that Evivo also provided a specific time and date for the expiration. Such limited time appeals are rooted in the psychological phenomenon known as loss aversion. In other words, consumers prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains. This is why through points expiry emails and limited time offers, you can bring instant increase in sales.
To engage with your at-risk customers, you can also surprise them by offering them a discount on their birthday or baby’s birthday via loyalty emails. These activities will make them feel valued. Surprise and delight is the key.
👉 Key takeaways
You can use the below five tactics to turn your guest shoppers into loyal customers:
- Encourage guest shoppers to sign up to your loyalty program
- Offer exclusive rewards and perks to keep your members engaged
- Turn your new or loyal customers into vocal brand advocates to increase acquisition
- Build a brand community to enhance loyalty and engagement
- Segment your customers to increase redemption
By following the above strategies to convert one-off customers into loyalty members, you can pursue steady growth for your business.
If you’re a baby brand and you’d like to talk about any of the retention strategies outlined in this post in more detail, then get in touch with one of our team – we’d be happy to show you some more examples or talk through your store’s unique challenges.
This article originally appeared in the LoyaltyLion blog and has been published here with permission.