Sure acquiring new customers is a great and continuous goal, but it simply doesn’t cost as much to keep loyal e-commerce customers on-board. Returning customers typically have higher than normal order values and make excellent brand cheerleaders. An average 8% of online customers are repeats, totaling 41% of total revenue in retail sectors in the United States, according to the Adobe study, “The ROI from Marketing to Existing Online Customers.”
So how does your business’e-commerce website get in on all this customer loyalty? By focusing on a superior user experience and compelling rewards.
What Do Your Customers Care About?
your customers want and need. Consistently meeting those needs with every interaction and purchase will turn your customers fiercely loyal.
And once a customer is that loyal and fulfilled by a brand, they won’t look for another store for your products. Not only that, but they start recommending your brand and website to people they know.
Build a Community by Design
The feel of your e-commerce site will always first come through the design. Develop your webs
ite with user experience in mind, but also make sure interacting with it is simple and memorable. Your website is where your brand li
ves, so be creative and passionate about your products and how you display them.
Reach beyond the average ecommerce setup and create an original and surprising store experience. Just be sure to never sacrifice usability for something that looks cool, but is confusing.
Design to delight, inspire emotion — through imagery, color, typography, copy, etc. — and evoke a positive response. Your customers will be inspired to share, building a community of sorts around your brand.
Win Loyalty through Customer Service
Consistently meeting customer service expectations and serving the customer should be something in which everyone in your organization participates. This is how you consistently deliver on promises.
Train customer service reps to identify customers passionate about your brand. Flag those customers for outreach and deeper relationship building.
Rewards Grow Brand Advocates
Loyalty programs will help build a relationship and encourage brand evangelism. These help create community and build brand attachment by rewarding beneficial behavior. They should be implemented everywhere your customers are interacting with your brand.
Ordering – Reward customers for ordering, and optionally give more or less of a reward for the first order and subsequent orders. Test this carefully as your customers may not need rewards to make purchases. If you reward for purchases, some customers will only be interested in the incentive and won’t become connected to your brand. Don’t make rewards for ordering your only loyalty strategy.
Review submissions – Product reviews are a great way for others to know what’s good on your site and what needs improvement. Reviews are also a great way for you to get unique, customer driven content on your site. Giving rewards for reviews should be part of any loyalty strategy.
Inviting visitors and helping them convert to customers – Customers that are respected brand promoters are customers worth incentivizing thoroughly. In addition to giving these customers points, send them personal emails and interact with them on social channels. These customers can be fiercely loyal and are probably willing to invest time to show you how you can do even better.
Feature image credit: Tamara McRill
In-post images credit: Dell’s Official Flickr Page/Flickr