We talk a lot about the importance of high-intent shoppers around here.
But that doesn’t mean loyal shoppers aren’t equally as valuable. Quite to the contrary, in fact: customer loyalty is the backbone of most businesses.
To illustrate this point, let’s review some statistics related to customer loyalty and retention and your ecommerce business:
Another reason to cultivate a loyal customer base is so that it can act as a buffer for when your business operations fall short. According to KPMG, 46% of loyal customers will remain loyal even after a bad experience.
So, as you can see, promoting customer loyalty will do wonders for your bottom line and may even save your business during hard times.
But, most importantly, you should value your loyal customers because they inevitably become champions of your brand. In effect, they’re unpaid advertisers. So treating them right works both to the advantage of your brand identity and business.
Read on to learn 7 steps that your ecommerce business can take to increase customer loyalty.
1. Implement personalized communication channels
Communication is key in relationships.
Whether it’s a friendship, a romance, or a business relationship, you won’t have much of anything if you don’t know how to communicate effectively.
A simple trick for fostering customer loyalty is to personalize your communications. Gestures, such as addressing emails and newsletters to individual customers and sending notes of appreciation on occasions, will go a long way.
In fact, Canadian researchers discovered back in 2002 – the beginning days of widespread internet usage – that emails addressed to a namesake were more likely to get replies.
Later research by Experian confirmed this: personalized emails triggered 6-fold higher transaction rates than impersonal emails.
A personal touch like this is an easy way to keep your loyal customers engaged.
2. WooCommerce loyalty programs
Rewarding loyalty is one of the best ways to encourage it.
A 2018 study on the efficacy of loyalty programs resulted in 77% of consumers polled saying that they would be likely to make repeat purchases at a company that has one.
Implementing a WooCommerce loyalty program for your business will encourage customers to take specific actions in your store.
A points system, like the one in the WooCommerce loyalty program, is designed to incentivize customer loyalty and retention. With each purchase a customer makes, he or she accumulates a certain number of points. When that number reaches a designated threshold, the customer is entitled to a discount or a free item.
But are points systems worth the investment for ecommerce businesses?
Harvard Business Review reports that “loyalty leaders,” or companies that excel at implementing loyalty programs, increase their revenues at a rate of 2.5 times that of their competitors who don’t implement such programs.
Translation: loyalty programs work.
They make customers feel like they’re investing in your company for a long-term reward. The result is that they keep coming back to your brand instead of going to your competitors.
3. Ask for feedback
Asking your customers for feedback sends a clear message: we value you.
That’s why it’s important to not only be available for customer feedback, but actively seek it out.
Checking in with your loyal customers periodically will help you to take the pulse of the relationship. It will also give you a sense of what can be modified about your business operations to appeal to a broader customer base.
Take a look at this article from Indeed on creative ways to ask your customers for feedback.
4. Respond to your customer reviews
We’ve already covered the importance of collecting customer reviews. But did you know that responding to them is just as important?
Why does replying to customer reviews matter?
A public response tells your customers that their time wasn’t wasted and their comments, whether good or bad, did not fall on deaf ears.
80% of consumers believe that businesses care about them if they respond to reviews.
The solution: never ignore customer feedback – even if it’s negative.
5. Make sure your basic customer service is on point
Does your site have live in-app chat?
Can your customers speak to a human representative easily if they need help?
These are some of the questions you should ask yourself when doing an audit of your ecommerce store’s customer service quality.
One of the best ways to reward your loyal customers is to ensure that you’re providing them top-notch customer service.
6. Offer discounts
Encourage repeat buying behavior by holding promotions that are targeted at your loyal customers.
It can be as simple as a flash sale for your best customers. Or you can even offer freebies.
These types of gestures will promote continued customer loyalty and keep them coming back.
7. Have a clear shipping policy
Clear shipping policies, and store policies more generally, ensure that there’s no miscommunication that will translate into a bad review and deter loyal customers from staying loyal.
In general, your customers want to know the following:
Being crystal clear about each of these dimensions will be a reward in itself for your loyal customers.
After all, studies show that 69% of consumers won’t do business with a store again after a package is delivered late.
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Whether you’re just starting out or you want to take your existing ecommerce business to the next level, Kliken makes the process of syncing your store with the Google Shopping & Ads platforms seamless. So you can start running Google Smart Shopping campaigns almost immediately — we'll deal with the onboarding headaches.
As the world’s #1 Shopping and Ads marketing platform, Kliken has helped over 1,000,000 small businesses worldwide grow their sales on Google and get a return of up to 7x their original ad spend. Its proven marketing solutions can help you to unleash the potential of your ecommerce business.
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Author: Michael Arnold
Michael is a freelancer from New York City. When he isn’t writing about how Kliken unleashes the marketing, you can find him reading, writing for pleasure, or traveling the globe.
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