Due to Covid-19 there has been a huge surge towards shopping online, and this increased competition means that many online retailers are now focusing their attention on customer retention.
It has long been recognised that it’s easier and more cost-effective to retain customers than to acquire new ones. Here we discuss three key loyalty trends which can help online retailers to boost sales as part of their e-commerce marketing strategy.
As consumers we’ve become used to convenience thanks to the likes of retailers such as Amazon who do all they can to make the online shopping experience as easy as possible. So now, if your online shopping experience doesn’t measure up from a convenience point of view it can put consumers off.
Today’s consumers not only want retailers to make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for, they also want them to help them discover more products they might like. Retailers should look to utilise data such as customers’ purchase and browsing history to show them items that are most likely to appeal to them and encourage them to buy.
Online retailers can also utilise ‘people like you buy…’ recommendations. Using customers’ purchase history, retailers can group together shoppers who’ve also purchased or viewed those same products. A machine learning algorithm can then be used to recommend the most likely eventual purchases, and this can form recommendations to show to shoppers.
Everyone knows that it’s far easier to sell to someone who has bought from you before, which is why fostering loyalty in your customers is so important. However, retaining customers requires some effort- it’s not something that can be expected to simply ‘happen’. Today’s consumers often expect something in return for their loyalty, which is why brands need to offer incentives.
For example, loyal customers want to be in the know before other shoppers, especially when it comes to ranges that sell out fast, limited edition items, or sales. Segmented email lists are the best way to ensure that your most loyal customers (those who shop most frequently or spend the most) receive exclusive offers and advance notice of sales.
Retailers can also incentivise customers to share their own user generated content on social media. User generated content is ‘free advertising’ for brands, and often viewed by other potential customers as trustworthy and authentic. By offering rewards, retailers can encourage their customers to share user generated content.
Retailers can utilise post-purchase emails to let customers know the incentive program for sharing their own content, along with tips of how to post, and relevant hashtags. Some retailers also include a physical memo within their parcels – a postcard or similar- encouraging user generated content and highlighting incentives.
Many ecommerce retailers now make use of email alerts to let customers know immediately when their preferred items are back in stock, or when prices drop.
Out of stock products can be very frustrating for customers who are keen to purchase. But by utilising triggered back-in-stock emails, retailers have the opportunity to offer the customer a solution to the problem.
Back-in-stock emails are also extremely beneficial to the retailer. If a customer has registered for a back in stock alert they are already right down the purchasing funnel and are highly likely to buy. In fact, many customers who received a back in stock alert are usually left disappointed when they click through only to find that someone else who also received the email has already bagged the product.
Triggered price drop emails are a way to inform shoppers of discounts to their favourite products. Using browser data, retailers can email their customers to tell them that a product they looked at recently has now dropped in price. Helpful information like this can boost customer loyalty, and again this can be a really lucrative conversion tool for the retailer as well.
By offering customers a convenient experience with a personalised touch, as well as fostering their loyalty in the meantime, retailers can retain existing customers and encourage repeat purchases.