It was brick and mortar; it was offline shopping; the borders were there as stumbling blocks, you must cross the shores; bringing in goods was difficult; purchasing anything from a distance was a nightmare; customers were having it rough and tough; marketers were practically dictating the tune, but the internet came, and it became new dawn. The dawn of eCommerce; the dawn of online stores and online customers.

The projection that there will be over 2.14 billion online customers worldwide in 2021, is something any organization must take seriously. People may want to posit that this astonishing figure is due to the pandemic, but you mustn’t forget that in 2016, we had 1.66 billion online customers.

What should be the focus of any brand is how to catch in on this transformation. As a brand, you must do everything possible to ensure that you are relevant and that your customers do not churn your products or services.

You need to take the following five effective steps to ensure that you can retain your online customers.

1. A highly functional website

An eCommerce store must make very good use of its website since that is the first way online customers get to know the brand. Any online store that does not have a website is losing out on a lot of opportunities.

You can leverage your website to accomplish many marketing strategies that will ensure you retain your customers and grow your business. It’s the era of technology, and it won’t be overemphasizing issues to say that the web has a wider and greater reach than any form of advertising you can think of.

As your website will be pivotal to your company’s online presence, you can leverage it for ads about your business on social media platforms, forums, and through pay-per-click advertising. Your website helps you to create brand credibility, which is very important for an online business.

It’s the way your online customers can locate you because they are not coming to any physical structure. And understand that online customers are becoming more tech-savvy. They can easily access brands, products, and services.

2. Customer loyalty program

What do you have in terms of appreciating your customers? How do you incentivize them to keep on coming? This is very important to keep them buying from you and to ensure brand loyalty.

You need to ensure that your online customers cherish your brand, and that can only be possible if they are properly motivated. Do they get the appropriate value from their purchases?

eCommerce is growing, and the competition is becoming stiffer, you must ensure that your customers are loyal to your brand, you must prioritize customer loyalty.

An effective customer loyalty program serves as a marketing strategy that aims at rewarding your customers for their unswerving belief and trust in your brand. How you go about the rewards depends on what you prioritize as a brand, but you must focus on what differentiates and gives an edge over the competition.

Why would you want to lose your online customer when you know that a brand ambassador will feel more comfortable trying your new products and spending 31% more than a new customer?

3. Email and SMS list

You must know your customers, and the best way to do that is by sending personalized messages. To achieve this, you need to build subscriber lists. Studies have shown that email marketing can deliver about $42 for every $1 you spend, and if you combine that with text messages in your sales funnel, you will not have problems retaining your online customers.

With SMS, you can easily send time-sensitive information, while you use emails to send newsletters and product updates. Sending SMS can give you the necessary edge in marketing your online store since it has still not been widely adopted by brands.

SMS messages may prove difficult based on the fact that it’s a one-on-one situation, but it’s a win-win model for your brand and online customers. Your customers will cherish the fact that you know them intimately, and you also have the data you need to build a strong connection and retain your customers.

4. Make good use of search engine optimization (SEO)

Almost everybody goes to Google to find out what is happening, and that’s why you must work on SEO. Your placement on search engines determines how good your brand is and how online customers see your business as credible.

Even prospective customers make use of search engines to determine where they purchase. To ensure your customers still see your brand as relevant, your visibility on search engines is very important.

The best way you can get your website to be ranked by Google or any other search engine is by creating content that brings value to your audience. You must ensure that you use the right keywords in your content to enhance your chances of earning backlinks.

You also need to understand what the competition is doing rightly, as this will go a long way to enhance your SEO.

5. Leveraging customer review data

The voice of the customer has become a great weapon and when you allow your customers to contribute to how your business is run, you are indirectly making them brand loyalists and ambassadors. Online businesses survive on information they can gather, data is your only source of understanding your customers’ sentiments.

To find out how your online customers feel about your brand, you can ask them for reviews. You can also gather the information you need from sites like Capterra, G2Crowd, Trustpilot, and others that collect public reviews about different products.

However, you may need to deploy sentiment analysis to interpret some of these reviews, since they are basically in an unstructured format. Where you don’t have the requisite skills necessary for this, you can outsource to reputable companies.

If you can analyze and interpret your customers’ sentiments, you’ll know their pain points and how to address them. Businesses are becoming more customer-centric, the more you listen to the voice of the customer, the better chances you have to survive the global competition.


In a world where everybody is focused on digital transformation, your business can’t afford to lag. Your store is literally the number of online customers you have.

Your ability to retain your customers determines your chances of survival and relevance. Knowing what to do and effectively doing so gives you the necessary leverage to beat the competition.