Merchants know that it’s more expensive to acquire new customers than retain existing ones. Plus, loyal customers do more than make repeat purchases. They talk about the business and its products, driving more shoppers. So it makes sense to shift some of your marketing efforts to retain the buyers you already have.
Here are five ways to do it.
Offer subscription-based purchases. The subscription-based industry has been on the rise for years.
With “subscribe and save” options, companies can retain more customers at a lower cost. Monthly or quarterly shipments need only arrive by a certain date. Knowing that date far in advance, merchants can ship the products using the least expensive methods.
Subscriptions make sense for both consumable and occasional products. As the number of subscribers increases, merchants have more leverage to negotiate with manufacturers and suppliers.
Launch a referral program. Once you’ve obtained a customer, reinforce the relationship by offering kickbacks when she refers others.
For example, Adagio Teas has a robust rewards program. Aside from earning loyalty points on purchases, account holders can share $5 gift certificates with friends and earn points for each one redeemed. Points can be applied to purchases, including exclusive or discontinued items.
There’s no better marketing tactic than word-of-mouth advertising. Offering referral options helps entice first-time buyers to return while minimizing the costs of acquiring new ones.
Prompt for registration after the purchase. Don’t interrupt the checkout process with prominent calls to create an account. It can confuse shoppers to think an account is required. It also gives them more time to reconsider the purchase. A subtle link is sufficient.
Better & Better, makers of organic toothpaste, minimizes checkout interruptions by including only bottom-of-page links to log in or create an account.
A better option is placing the call-to-action on the post-purchase confirmation page. Better & Better puts it front and center on that page, encouraging account creation so customers can manage subscriptions. A prominent CTA after the purchase typically increases registrations. Be sure to include the benefits of an account, such as exclusive offers and discounts.
Welcome customers to the family. Family is a powerful word. Any time you can make a customer feel like part of yours is a win because emotion drives loyalty. Personalized content that reminds buyers that their voice matters and their money supports important causes increases retention.
Use both the confirmation page and email to convey your appreciation and welcome them to the family. Inject your company’s personality so it’s unique and sincere.
Follow up orders with engaging content. The order follow-up email is a prime place to remind customers of your support options. Spruce it up with compelling graphics, simple details on getting assistance, and an invitation to shop again.
Asking for reviews shouldn’t take priority. Instead, focus on instilling happiness and providing detailed service. For example, a crafting store may provide links to video tutorials. A site selling organic foods could refer customers to its blog posts about healthy cooking.
Conditional emails based on the products purchased are the best way to personalize the experience. A sporting goods store wouldn’t want to promote new kickboxing items to those who purchased skiing equipment. Products relevant to the sport or season would fare better.
Finally, ask for real feedback. Link to a conditional form to report a problem or offer praise.