5 Practical Customer Retention Strategies For e-Commerce Sites

Retention Strategies for eCommerce Sites

June 25th, 2018   |   Updated on April 10th, 2023

Ecommerce and online shoppers often have a love-hate relationship. On one day, customers would keep shopping until their credit cards are maxed out or bank accounts are reduced to a bare minimum.

On another day, they might avoid the website like its a plague.

It is common sense for eCommerce businesses to ensure that the latter does not happen. They have to ensure that their customers love shopping at their online store at all times. Why?

There are tons of studies which prove that the cost of acquiring a new customer is manifold the cost of retaining an existing customer.

Let’s put the cost of acquiring a new customer anywhere from 5 to 25 times of retaining a loyal customer. Sometimes, it is easy just to keep one customer happy.

A study, done by Bain & Company, even found that increasing customer retention by 5% would yield a profit increase of 25% to 95%.

What is the underlying reason behind this phenomenon?

Why is retention better than new customer acquisition?

Turns out, loyal customers are heavy buyers. Their initial purchases could be so small that you might not even notice them. But, with time they tend to buy more since they have got habitual to the convenience that your store provides.

As a result, serving such repeat customers is cost-effective, since they incur lesser operating costs like marketing, logistics, delivery, promotional codes and much more.

If your store has been battling to retain customers for long, the following customer retention strategies could prove to be of help.

1. Provide Personalized Recommendations

This is the age of personalization. Customers want every product and service offering to be tailor-made to their personal preferences.

Hyper-personalized offerings are the primary reason why Amazon and Facebook are able to stay ahead of the game than their competitors.

So, the next time you see the difference in the kind of products that Amazon displays on your friend’s account and your friend’s account, don’t be surprised. It is personalization at play.

And it can make your customers feel special and well-attended to. Focus on delivering a digital shopping experience that comes close to a shopping experience assisted by a store assistant.

2. Deploy Targeted Drip Email Campaigns

Drip email campaigns help in keeping a constant connection with your customers. You can use drip email campaigns to offer special discounts, promo codes, alert customers about price drops for products in their wish lists and so on.

Pinpointe reports that well-deployed drip email campaigns can deliver as much as 20% increase in sales. They have the potential to bring in 18x more revenue than generic emails sent to customers.

If you are confused about how to get the best out of a drip email campaign, follow these best practices:

  • Begin with the basics. Say ‘Hello’ before trying to sell
  • Nurture leads by providing high-quality content on a regular basis
  • Offer free trials, special discounts, free shipping, etc.
  • Build excitement and a sense of urgency through creative content
  • Use automation software to ensure regular campaigns

3. Offer Service Upgrades

To build a customer relationship that lasts long, you have to keep offering them freebies and some value add-on benefits that they would cherish.

For instance, if you are an online store that charges shipping for all orders, offer free shipping for loyal customers. You can even try providing same-day delivery or pickup from select locations for such loyal customers.

It will create buying habits that will turn them into regular buyers. They get so accustomed to your offerings that there is no time or opportunity to check what competitors are offering.

That is the best way to retain your customers for a lifetime.

4. Engage With Them Socially

Today’s customers share stories on Instagram, snap their daily routine on Snapchat and update their daily life on Facebook. Social media has become the favorite ‘hangout’ for everybody without age or gender discrimination.

Connecting and engaging with them socially on platforms where they are most active will help create a lasting bond.

You can use your social media handles to broadcast the latest products, offers, special event deals and so on to retain your customers.

5. Care For Their Digital Security

It is common sense for any business to take care of their customer data. Today, with GDPR becoming applicable to EU entities as well as global businesses servicing customers in the EU region, data security is something that you cannot afford to ensure.

As a responsible business, you must ensure that your online store offers the maximum security in the form of encryption. The best bet is to configure an EV SSL certificate that will secure all transactions and data exchange between the web server and the customer system.

Customers who are concerned about their online security are sure to take note of such precautions taken by a business. This indirectly will help them become more trustworthy of the online store.
Final Thoughts

Acquiring new customers is an expensive affair. It drains the resources of a business unnecessarily. Of course, your business needs to acquire new customers over a course of time.

But, there should also be an equivalent focus to retain customers who are already shopping from your store.

Customer retention is always achieved through high standards of service, keen attention to their wants and servicing them in a commendable fashion.

There are proven ways that help retain your customers for a long time to come. We have discussed some such strategies above.

They will help you create a bond with customers that will bloom into a long-term relationship.Like we said in the initial stages of this article, retaining customers is very cost-effective and beneficial for a business.

They will help improve the health of your business bottom line without having to incur any heavy marketing and promotional expenses.