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Making new sales is great for any business owner. But a one and done shopper won’t help your long term success. The key to your business withstanding the test of time is customer retention.

The best of the best, like Apple, Nike, and Coca-Cola are all focused on getting customers to purchase their products multiple times and build brand loyalty with them. Sure, referrals are great, but before someone refers someone else to your store, they need to be willing to visit multiple times themselves.

In the summer of 2019 we released a blog that covered the essentials of customer retention at the time. But the e-commerce world has drastically changed since. So, we wanted to highlight some new strategies that became increasingly important in 2020 and will continue to throughout 2021.

Customer Service is King: Communicating With Your Customers & Leveraging Personalization

Personalization and consistency

Whether it’s through social, email, or directly on your site, consistent and personalized communication goes a long way. Getting a customer to create an account on your site will help you learn more about them, create offers and experiences that are more personalized, and will ultimately lead to more sales.

Easier problem solving

According to research, the true driver of customer loyalty and retention is the ease of getting a problem solved. Easier problem solving for customers can be achieved by providing support on the right channels, like live chats on the site or a phone number customers can call. Also, make customer support a communal effort. It’s easier to solve problems when your entire team is in the loop.

Using social media

Watching videos takes about half the time than it does to read something. In fact, 82% of people prefer to watch a live video than read a blog post (thank you for being the 18% of people who read blog posts, you have all our respect, and then some).

Ignite interest with Facebook and Instagram Live. It’s a powerful tool to engage with your customers. A couple rules of best practice for live video is to make sure your video is clutter free. That goes for audio and video. Also, reply to all the comments and questions asked by your viewers. They are more likely to stay and listen to you when they know you are listening to them.

Interacting with your customers on social media shouldn’t just be limited to live videos. Always be responding in the comment section on your posts and even be liking and commenting on other page’s posts.

Improving The Customer Onboarding Process

Your customers, just like any other person, wants to feel valued. This should be established right from the beginning of their journey with your business. The customer onboarding process can be a great way of achieving this.

A customer onboarding program will encourage customers who are new to your site to:

  • Create an account with your site
  • Subscribe to your store’s content and promotions
  • Become members of your store’s community
  • Contact your customer service team when they need to
  • Connect with your store’s social media pages
  • Download your app, if you have one.

Onboarding is important because as the old adage goes, you only get one shot at a first impression. Without a strong strategy from the get go, you’re vulnerable to losing as much as 75% of your customers within a week of their first visit. That number jumps to 96% by the end of the month.

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Integrating a SMS Marketing Campaign

Email campaigns are the most traditional forms of online marketing. However, mobile messaging results in higher clickthrough rates and better engagement than email.

This can be your secret marketing weapon because while open rates are as high as 98%, only 15% of companies are using SMS marketing to connect with their customers! The reasons to use SMS marketing only gets better. By 2025, it’s estimated that 61% of the world’s population will be using their mobile device to access the internet.

The trick to SMS marketing is to treat the texts you’re sending like the subject lines in your emails. You’re not trying to give your customers a long winded reason on why they should buy your product, you’re just trying to get them on your site. So keep it short, sweet, and make sure the promotion is impossible to miss.

Offering Subscriptions

Subscription companies like Netflix and Spotify have customer retention built directly into their business model. It’s not an easy thing to pull off, but if you can it’s definitely worth it as you’ll establish a long term revenue supply.

According to research, 15% of online shoppers have signed up for one or more subscriptions to receive products on a recurring basis. If your business sells products that people will need time after time, a subscription service might be perfect for you.

An online coffee shop is a perfect example. People always need coffee. You can entice them to sign up for a subscription by offering a one-time special promotion during their initial sign up. For example, if a customer signs up to receive a bag of coffee every month, offer them a special mug with their first bag.

Don’t forget the old tips we gave you for customer retention back in 2019, they’re still valuable and will serve you well. That being said, be sure to add these new ones to your arsenal of marketing strategies. As always, reach out with any questions, we’re always here to help. Or feel free to check out any of our how-to videos on building a perfect website.