“It takes months to find a customer, seconds to lose one”- Vince Lombardi. There couldn’t be a truer quote. The relationship between a customer and a business is as fragile as that of a couple who have gone on three dates. Anything could rock the boat.
Returning customers are gold, especially for an eCommerce store. According to the US Small Business Administration, an eCommerce store should spend 7-8% of its revenue on marketing. If there is one thing that can change the equation drastically in the store’s favor, it is to retain existing customers.
The average customer acquisition cost in eCommerce is somewhere around $45. The number varies based on the kind of products you sell. But these are significant digits, nevertheless. Imagine spending such an amount on each customer you acquire while letting the ones who are already there hop away.
The average eCommerce brand should invest in retaining customers as much as acquiring them. According to a decade-long survey of loyalty programs, it was found that memberships grew from 3.3 million to 3.8 billion from 2014 to 2016 alone. Those are staggering numbers. In case you didn’t notice properly, the numbers change from millions to billions.
Here are a few strategies on how you can incentivize your Bigcommerce customers to return:
- Provide excellent incentives:
Do you want your customers to keep coming back? Incentivize them. Oh, wait. An incentive would only work when you have all the other business aspects in place. Sending an order ten days later than promised or not having a support team to reach out to are things that will have them running for the door.
Ensure that the rewards program is created so that your customers experience the first one as soon as possible. You can make it harder as they go up. Many customers drop off reward programs because earning them takes up a lot of time.
Make your customers understand the reward components and how they can attain them. The higher the purchase, the bigger the reward. A good thing about having rewards based on different purchasing tiers is that your customers will experience the rewards even for a smaller purchase.
- Keep them coming to your site:
Do you want more customers? Then give them reasons to keep coming back to your eCommerce store. Find different ways you can pique your customers’ curiosity.
Here are a few ways you can use to make customers visit your site often:
- Would a weekly shopping guide be appealing?
- Will your customers be interested in a special hourly deal that happens once a week where they can grab products at a huge discount?
- You could have an engaging social media handle where you direct your followers to your site for a contest.
- How does a weekly giveaway sound? Or even a daily giveaway.
- Does the prospect of free samples interest them?
The above strategies are great for making your customers keep coming back to your site. Even though they might not visit with the intention of buying, it is a perfect opportunity for you to enthrall them. Each time they visit, they will check out more of your products and might eventually end up buying one.
- Make your store “a hangout spout”:
How would you react if a store in your town kept giving you freebies and an opportunity to win prizes? That too, with zero pressure to buy. Would you and your friends frequent the place? Of course.
Is it possible to make your eCommerce store that way? Let’s try.
Here are some of the things you should do on your BigCommerce store:
- Gamify the shopping experience.
- Give the opportunity to win free products.
- Offer free gift cards to customers based on certain trigger actions.
- Contests on the website and app are great ways to increase the visitor count.
- Build games that can be played on your store. Award prizes to winners.
- Create your community of users and host special “parties” for them.
You do all this, and your BigCommerce store becomes a cornucopia of pleasure and happiness!
- Appeal to your customers’ values:
Starbucks’ coffee supply chain is 99% ethically sourced. Lego, the toymaker, has committed to removing single-use plastic packaging from its materials by 2025. When someone buys a pair of Bombas socks, they donate one pair to someone in need. There are innumerable examples like this. Even though these moves have ethical concerns, they provide companies with deep financial and non-financial rewards.
With Gen Z and Millennials becoming the economy’s driving force, purchasing perspective has shifted consumer focus to social and ethical responsibility. A Nielsen poll said that 85% of Millennials and 80% of Gen Z said that they rank the environment as a major factor in deciding which companies they engage with.
If your BigCommerce store can show social and ethical responsibility, it can be a crowd-puller. Share what you intend to do and the impact it will create in your society. You don’t have to move mountains; even a small bit of effort will go a long way in getting your customers’ patronage. When they keep hearing about your commitment to causes, they will likely return again and again.
- Consistent communication:
Regular communication is the foundation of every relationship, including the one between a business and its customers. Also, there is a huge difference between being pesky and communicating properly. Bombarding your customers will push notifications, calls, SMSes, and emails are not a good example of it.
Get in touch with your customers and ask them if you could be of assistance, especially the ones who haven’t purchased from you. It may or may not open a door for conversation. But it will help you stay on top of your customers’ minds.
Ask your customers what they think about your latest product line. Make sure that the request for feedback is genuine. Close the feedback loop by responding to them. If you make any changes based on their responses, effectively communicate that as well. It will earn you brownie points.
- Use rewards software:
Loyalty programs are an effective tool in the hands of an experienced marketer. Instead of attracting new customers alone, a loyalty or rewards program is great at bringing your existing customers back to your BigCommerce store. It not only reduces your marketing costs, but it can also offer a huge fillip to eCommerce stores during slow seasons.
Rewards software helps you track your customers’ order history and spending behaviors. It can be used effectively to push the right content in front of them.
Getting your customers to return is an intense and time-worthy exercise. The above strategies will surely help you get returning customers, but do not limit yourself to these alone. There are so many more strategies that can be used. You need to find the ones that will perfectly align with your goals and the resources at your disposal. The best way to amp up your retention strategy’s effectiveness is by using referral program software.
For BigCommerce stores that want to incentivize their customers to return, you are in the right place. 99minds is a plug-and-play platform that helps you create coupons, discounts, and gift cards, send referrals, location-based promotions, and loyalty programs. It is exactly what you want if you want to superpower your customer retention efforts. Get in touch with us, and we will show you how exactly we can help you.