6 Ecommerce Customer Retention Strategies to Get More Loyal Customers

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 customer retention rate. This refers to the percentage of customers who make (at least) one more order after their first purchase. 

The higher your 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

What’s the average ecommerce customer retention rate?

Wondering what’s the average customer retention rate for online stores? Well, Metrillo checked that out. They found that, on average, about 28.2% of customers make a repeat purchase.

So, if you’re hitting or beating that 28.2% mark, you have a good customer retention rate.

But there’s always room to bump it up and turn those new customers into returning customers.

The best customer retention strategies to use in 2024

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

If you wanna get started with this customer retention strategy, try these sticky bar templates:

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 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. 

For visible results, you need to get hands-on with different ways of correcting feedback, and not just analyzing it, but responding as well.

Ecommerce customer service outsourcing companies have a wide experience in this area, and if you feel the need for additional assistance, this is the option worth considering. 

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


Why is having a customer retention strategy important for ecommerce businesses?

Having a customer retention strategy is crucial for ecommerce businesses because it’s more cost-effective to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones. Returning customers tend to spend more over time, boosting revenue and profitability. Plus, loyal customers are more likely to recommend your brand to others, driving additional sales through word-of-mouth.

How can I calculate my customer retention rates?

To calculate your customer retention rates, you’ll need to track the number of customers who make repeat purchases over a specific period, divided by the total number of customers you had at the beginning of that period. Multiply the result by 100 to get the percentage. For example, if you started with 500 ecommerce customers and ended with 600, with 150 repeat purchases, your retention rate (or repeat purchase rate) would be (150/500) * 100 = 30%.

What are some common challenges in retaining existing customers?

One common challenge is competition. With so many options available online, customers can easily switch to a different brand if they’re not satisfied. Another challenge is maintaining relevance and customer engagement over time. Ecommerce businesses need to continuously provide value and positive customer experience to keep customers coming back.

How can I improve my repeat customer rate?

There are several strategies you can implement to boost your repeat customer rate, such as offering a loyalty program, providing good customer service, personalizing the shopping experience, sending targeted email campaigns, and incentivizing referrals. Experiment with different tactics to see what resonates best with your audience.

How long does it typically take to see improvements in customer retention?

The timeline for seeing improvements in customer retention can vary depending on the strategies you implement and the nature of your business. Some tactics, such as launching a loyalty program or improving customer service, may yield results relatively quickly. However, building long-term customer loyalty often requires sustained effort and ongoing optimization. Keep track of key metrics and adjust your approach as needed to maximize retention over time.

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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