With all the technologies available today, rolling out an ecommerce store is not a daunting task as it used to be. All you need to do is to create a product, choose a platform and start selling to your customers.
When it comes to choosing a platform, many entrepreneurs prefer choosing the popular one so it becomes easy for finding developers whenever any assistance is needed. If that sounds like you, you may choose a popular platform like Magento, a highly flexible and customizable self-hosted ecommerce platform.
As there are two different versions of Magento, you can either choose the community edition or the enterprise edition as per your needs.
Alternatively, you may choose a hosted platform like Shopify, so you don’t have to worry about the technicalities of starting a store. All you need to do is to take a deeper look at a Shopify review, compare its features with your requirements and decide if the platform is a good fit for you.
Once you picked a platform, it’s the time to start selling your products to customers.
Selling Products: Customer Acquisition Vs Retention
We all know that customer retention is cheaper than acquiring and even 70% of businesses agree it.
Though most ecommerce entrepreneurs and marketers agree, many companies still rely solely on customer acquisition while undervaluing the possibility of retaining and nurturing their existing customer base.
According to RJMetrics, only 32% of customers actually order second time over the course of the first year as a customer, which clearly indicates that most of them are leaving your store once they made their first purchase.
Without a doubt, if you’re undervaluing customer retention, chances are you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.
However, if you can learn from your existing returning customers, you’d be able to apply the lessons to reactivate the rest of them.
In this post, let’s look at a few strategies that would help you retain your existing customers.
1. Understand why your customers are leaving
Your lapsed customers are a valuable source of information that existing customers can’t give.
Having an insight about why your customers leave lets you weed out the loop holes in your retention strategy and reduce future churn rate of your ecommerce business.
For example, Rite Aid reaches out to their lapsed customers and conducts an incentivized survey to get insights about their inactivity. By asking your customers, you can identify the reasons for inactivity and come up with measures to reactivate them.
2. Offer great customer service
According to Customers That Stick, poor customer service is the reason why 82% of U.S customers leave a business.
The study even gives you detailed insights about why customers leave a business and how related customer service is to customer retention.
- 55% leaves a business due to issues not being resolved in a timely fashion.
- 51% leaves as the result of unknowledgeable staff.
Providing proper training to your staff and solving issues in a timely manner are sure-fire methods to offer a great customer service experience.
With tools like Time Doctor, you’ll be able to track how productive your employees are, and where they spend their time while working. By learning the data, you can identify the loopholes in their productivity and improve it by offering necessary training, which can eventually help solving the issues in a timely manner.
This comes true especially if your support team is working remotely.
3. Offer customer service on social media
If you’re offering support through email only, it may take a bit longer to solve an issue, which can frustrate your customer. One way to tackle this is by offering customer service through social media.
In fact, according to a Gartner study, refusing to communicate through social media can be harmful to companies and found that companies who ignore support requests on social media see an average churn rate that’s 15% higher than companies who don’t.
Below are a few tips you can use to offer great social media customer service…
- Be where your customers are: KLM Airlines knows that many of their customers are professionals using LinkedIn. So they launched a LinkedIn group specifically to offer customer support 24/7 to their passengers. Though KLM Airlines isn’t in the ecommerce business, the same strategies of identifying the platform where the customers are and responding to their queries in a timely manner are totally applicable to your online business as well.
- Make use of Twitter’s new customer service feature: Twitter now allows businesses to add a send a private message button to their tweets. This would be appealing to companies who’d prefer to discuss customer issues and complaints privately.
- Provide quicker response: Speed matters when it comes to offering customer support on social media and your customers expect it, so make sure you provide quicker response to their social media queries.
Remarketing allows you to target your existing customers by displaying customized ads tailored to their needs.
Using remarketing, you can encourage your customers to return to your store by many ways.
- Cross-sell: Cross-sell related products by remarketing customers who have recently purchased your store.
- Dynamic remarketing: With AdWords, you can promote the most relevant products from your Merchant center feed based on the exact products your users already showed an interest on your website. You can learn more about dynamic remarketing here.
- Reduce shopping cart abandonment: Create a remarketing list of customers who have added products to the cart but haven’t purchased it. If you’re on WordPress, follow this guide to install Facebook remarketing pixel in WordPress.
Which one is your favorite ecommerce customer retention strategy? Share your thoughts by dropping a line below in the comments section.