From One-Time Buyers to Loyal Customers: 6 Ecommerce Customer Retention Strategies

6 Ecommerce Customer Retention Strategies

Building a base of loyal customers is incredibly important for any ecommerce business. 

When you’re able to rely on repeat customers making multiple purchases, you’ll see benefits like increased customer lifetime value, more brand loyalty, and more positive reviews and word of mouth.

In this article, we’ll go over six great strategies that can help ecommerce brands retain customers and build their existing customer base.

Let’s get started!

What is customer retention in ecommerce?

Customer retention is all about convincing your existing customers to make repeat purchases from your ecommerce store. 

Rather than primarily focusing on bringing in new customers, ecommerce brands that use a customer retention strategy try to build a loyal customer base that will give them repeat business over a long period of time.

There are a few different customer retention metrics to pay attention to, but the most important is the average customer retention rate. This refers to the percentage of customers who make (at least) one more order after their first purchase. 

The higher your average customer retention rate, the more new customers are becoming repeat customers.

A few other important customer retention metrics are:

  • average order value
  • purchase frequency
  • customer acquisition costs
  • average customer value
  • customer churn rate

The best customer retention strategies to use in 2023

Building customer relationships is essential to retaining customers beyond their first purchase. An ecommerce brand can do this by directing their marketing efforts towards their existing customers.

Here are six ecommerce customer retention strategies that can help you boost customer engagement, improve customer satisfaction, and increase each customer’s lifetime value.

1. Help them continue where they left off

Most customers will visit an ecommerce website multiple times before deciding to make a purchase. This applies whether they’re new customers or existing customers. 

New customers are often still doing their research, while your recurring customers are probably looking around to see your new products and current discounts.

You can make the user experience for them as smooth as possible by helping your returning customers continue where they left off last time. 

With a simple popup, you can show your current customers their previously viewed products, allowing them to continue with a single click.

Improve the customer experience by helping each repeat customer pick up where they left off

This tactic can boost returning visitors’ conversion rates by at least 3-5%.

2. Personalize homepage messaging with first name

You have lots of customer data about your repeat customers. Leveraging what you know about them is a crucial part of customer retention, helping you increase your return customer conversion rates and keep them coming back for more.

For example, you could welcome your customers by name in the above-the-fold section of your homepage. 

You can also use this strategy for landing pages from your email marketing campaigns, creating a smooth, consistent customer experience.

It’s also a great idea to present relevant information and/or recommendations. Personalization can help new customers feel more connected to your brand and more likely to purchase from you in the future.

Keep existing customers engaged by greeting them by name on your landing pages

3. Remind them of their active coupons

If giving coupon codes to your repeat customers is part of your customer retention strategy, you want to make sure that they don’t forget about them. That’s why it’s a good idea to use a follow-up sticky bar.

A sticky bar is the perfect way to keep an active coupon at the top of your customer’s mind, since it’s always on screen but doesn’t interrupt the shopping experience. 

This simple move is a great way to remind your visitors about their unused codes and push them to finalize their purchases.

Improve customer retention by reminding existing customers about their active coupons

4. Promote new arrivals

Drawing attention to your new products by highlighting them on the homepage or using a popup is a great way to raise your customer retention rate. 

When someone is a real fan of an ecommerce brand, they’re excited when new items become available.

Check out this example from Vegetology that promotes a new product bundle with a special discount for returning customers:

Ecommerce customer retention strategies example

5. Create a customer loyalty program

Offering a loyalty program is an effective way to retain customers since you give them something valuable in return for their devotion to your brand. When ecommerce stores focus on customer loyalty, they can grow revenues roughly 2.5x as fast as their competitors.

So, which type of loyalty program should you choose?

Depending on the nature of your product or service, you can choose one of the following types of customer loyalty programs:

  • Points-based programs: These loyalty programs are widely used because they offer a greater competitive advantage, as the system of earning points and rewards can be easily adjusted.
  • Spend-based model: These loyalty programs award credits for every dollar a customer spends on your products. A spend-based loyalty program can exist on its own or become a part of a points-based program.
  • Tiered loyalty program: These programs offer customers rewards based on different subscription levels. The more a customer pays for a subscription, the more benefits they get.

6. Use customer feedback

Your customers know what they want to get from a brand in terms of their overall shopping experience. 

70% of all purchase decisions are based on how customers are treated by brands. It’s essential to gather and listen to their feedback so that you can improve in a way that actually helps you retain customers. When you get valid customer complaints, it’s crucial to fix those problems promptly.

If you want to start meeting customer expectations and generating more repeat sales, using popups to gather feedback is a great place to start. 

Here are some great OptiMonk customer feedback templates you can use:

Wrapping up

Customer acquisition costs are a huge expense for any ecommerce business. When your customer retention strategy is on point and you’re generating repeat sales, those additional purchases help you offset the marketing costs that brought in each customer in the first place.

Each of the ecommerce customer retention strategies we’ve gone over can make a huge difference to your bottom line. 

Whether you decide to prioritize creating a great customer loyalty program or improving your customer experience using personalization, you’ll see your customer retention rate improve in a big way.

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