We are living in a time when there are endless options for a customer. With the rapid proliferation of the Internet and a smartphone in every hand, eCommerce platforms are vying for your attention, more importantly- they want customers to come back to them over and over again.
Retaining your customers is a goal that every business has, especially in the eCommerce industry where customers are known to flock to the cheapest offer available unless you give them a reason not to. At this juncture, the introduction of a loyalty program for your eCommerce business can be a masterstroke if you use the right tool and have a sound strategy in place.
The basic tenet of an eCommerce business should be to keep its existing customers satisfied. It is said that there is a loss of $1.6 trillion every year in the US because of poor customer service. Only then should you think of a loyalty program. A loyalty or rewards program is employed to increase retention, Lifetime Customer Value (LCV), increase the frequency of purchase, drive referrals, etc. If your customer’s loyalty increases by as little as 7%, it can boost lifetime profits per customer by as much as 85%.
Here is how you can build customer loyalty for your eCommerce store:
1. Build trust:
The foundation of every relationship on this planet is based on trust. Your eCommerce customers are no different. If you are a relatively unknown website, the visitors on your site would be sceptical before opening their purse strings. Social proof is how you can gain the trust of your potential customers who have never purchased from you earlier.
The best social proof that you can show your customers is where they see that their friends, family, celebrities and micro-influencers they follow rave about your website.
Here are some of the social proof that you should add to your website to gain the trust of your visitors:
- User reviews
- Textual testimonials
- Video message as a testimonial
- Word of mouth
- Blogger reviews
- Endorsement by influencers
When your website visitors see all of this, they will know that you already have happy customers and there will be less doubt in their minds about the veracity of your business.
2. Introduce a loyalty program:
Your customers want to be pampered and would like to feel valued. How do you do that? By incentivizing their relationship with you by offering them more reasons to stay as your customer. Merkle Releases 2020 Loyalty Barometer Report says that 86% of loyalty program members feel that being a member of one is the most meaningful part of their relationship with brands.
There are different loyalty programs that you can choose. In fact, you can let your imagination run wild when trying to offer extra sops for your customers. Retail giant Target’s free loyalty card called REDcard helps them save 5% on each purchase, free shipping for online orders and 30-day return policy.
Barnes & Noble has a $25/year membership which gives the customer a 40% off on the price of bestsellers, 10% off on all other purchases and free shipping for every online order. There are many more offerings that a business can think of based on its target market.
3. Be sassy on social media:
Everyone loves to be around the coolest person in their circle- be that brand on social media. Have a digital marketing strategy where you not only publish content regularly related to your niche but also add a lot of wit and humour in your posts. People love humour and there are no two ways about it. Even if you are not the most loved brand, people will eventually warm up to you if you can be consistently witty on social media.
Nike, Wendy’s, Lego, L’Oreal, etc. are some of the brands that have a special fan-following on their handles thanks to being sassy. Engage with your followers, create clever campaigns, ask for ideas, use memes, and more to capture the attention of your target market.
4. Be ridiculously helpful:
Have you ever come across a brand that was so helpful that you were blown away by the experience and swore to be their life-long customer? It is hard to build a culture like that, but if you can make that happen, customer retention would be a cakewalk. There are companies that are known not to respond to CS emails. Be the company that goes out of its way to get things done for its customers and they will show their gratitude with loyalty.
5. Get their feedback:
It would be madness not to get feedback from your customers, especially when you can easily send it through emails at each customer interaction point. You will be sitting on a goldmine of data when you get customer feedback. You can ask them a range of questions about what they felt about the product, experience on the website, ease of use, variety of options available, and so on. Customers will appreciate you for taking the time and if there was a complaint from them, take immediate steps to rectify them.
Not everyone will be your loyal customer and that’s all right. You need to find your brand advocates who love your brand and enjoy doing business with you. They would be the ones who will be the best fit for your loyalty program. Your loyalty program should be structured in such a way that even your newest customer should be easily inducted into it and make sense for them to be a part of it.
It is imperative that you have a customer loyalty program in place to increase retention rate and the CLV. A loyalty program can also act as a marketing tool for you if it is created in such a way where your customers need to promote your business to get rewarded.
Are you confused over how to create a loyalty program? Leave it to the experts. Why sweat the small stuff when 99minds is there to help with creating a loyalty program for your eCommerce customers.