Skip to main content

Are you struggling to keep customers coming back to your online store? As the ecommerce industry continues to grow, competition among online retailers is becoming increasingly fierce.

In this article, we will discuss 10 proven strategies for retaining customers in ecommerce that will help you create a more personalized and engaging shopping experience.

How to Retain customers in Ecommerce

1. Personalization

Personalization is the key to a memorable shopping experience. It can take many forms, such as recommending products based on a customer’s browsing or purchase history, sending personalized emails and offers, or providing personalized support. By collecting and analyzing customer data, you can gain insights into their preferences and behavior and create more targeted marketing campaigns and personalized recommendations.

Recommended Lecture How to Analyze Ecommerce Data

2. Loyalty Programs

Offering rewards and incentives for repeat purchases encourages customers to come back to your store. Loyalty programs can take many forms, such as points-based systems, exclusive discounts, or free shipping. It’s important to make the loyalty program easy to understand and use, and offer exclusive perks and benefits.

Recommended Lecture What is a good ROI for Ecommerce

3. Exceptional Customer Service

Providing exceptional customer service is crucial for retaining customers in ecommerce. Responsive support, transparent shipping and returns policies, and going above and beyond to address customer concerns can create a positive experience and encourage customers to come back.

Example: Zappos’ customer service team is known for going above and beyond to address customer concerns, including sending flowers to a customer whose mother had passed away.

4. User-generated Content

Encouraging customers to share their experiences with your products creates a sense of community and loyalty. User-generated content (UGC) can take many forms, such as product reviews, social media posts, or customer photos. Make it easy for customers to share their experiences by providing a simple review system, featuring customer photos on your website or social media channels, or running a UGC contest.

Example: Glossier features customer photos and reviews on their website and social media channels, creating a sense of community and loyalty around their brand.

5. Email Marketing

Sending personalized and targeted emails keeps customers engaged with your store and encourages repeat purchases. Effective email marketing strategies include abandoned cart reminders, personalized product recommendations, and exclusive offers. Segment your email list based on customer behavior and preferences and test different messaging and offers.

Example: ASOS sends personalized product recommendations based on a customer’s purchase history and browsing behavior.

6. Social Media Marketing

Engaging with customers on social media creates a sense of community and loyalty around your brand. Effective social media marketing strategies include running social media contests, sharing user-generated content, and providing exclusive offers and discounts. Post regularly and respond to customer comments and messages in a timely manner.

Example: Starbucks uses social media to engage with customers and create a sense of community around their brand, including running seasonal social media contests.

7. Upselling and Cross-selling

Recommending related products or upgrades increases the value of each purchase and encourages customers to come back to your store. Effective upselling and cross-selling strategies include product bundles, «frequently bought together» recommendations, and product upgrades. Make sure the recommendations are genuinely helpful and tailored to the customer’s needs.

Recommended Lecture: How to increase Ecommerce Conversion Rate

8. Free Shipping and Returns

Customers are more likely to make a purchase when they know they can return the product for free if they are not satisfied. Additionally, free shipping can be a powerful incentive for customers to make a purchase. Be transparent about the conditions and limitations and make sure customers understand what products qualify for free shipping and how the returns process works.

Recommended Lecture How to calculate Ecommerce Conversion Rate

9. Gamification

Adding game-like elements to the shopping experience creates a sense of excitement and reward. Effective gamification strategies include offering badges or rewards for completing certain actions, running contests or giveaways, and offering exclusive discounts or offers to loyal customers. Make sure the rewards are genuinely valuable and worth earning.

Example: Sephora’s Beauty Insider rewards program includes gamification elements, such as earning points for purchases and redeeming them for exclusive rewards and experiences.

10. Continuous Improvement

Constantly striving to improve the shopping experience keeps customers engaged and loyal. Collect customer feedback through surveys, customer reviews, and social media monitoring, and use it to make meaningful improvements to your store, products, and services. Be responsive to customer feedback and make sure they feel heard.

Example: Apple’s continuous improvement of their products and services, based on customer feedback, has created a loyal customer base that keeps coming back.

In conclusion, retaining customers in ecommerce is crucial for long-term success. By implementing these 10 proven strategies, you can create a more personalized and engaging shopping experience, build customer loyalty, and increase repeat purchases.

Recommended Lecture How to scale your Ecommerce Business

Case Study: How Sarah Increased Customer Retention by 40%

Sarah is the owner of an online clothing store that sells trendy and affordable clothes for women. She noticed that many of her customers would buy one item and never return to her site. She decided to implement several strategies to improve customer retention and increase the lifetime value of her customers.

First, Sarah started offering a loyalty program that rewarded customers with points for every purchase they made. These points could be redeemed for discounts on future purchases. This incentivized customers to come back and make more purchases to earn more points.

Second, Sarah started sending personalized email campaigns to her customers. She would send them emails on their birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. She also sent them emails promoting new products that she thought they would like based on their purchase history.

Third, Sarah implemented a live chat feature on her website. This allowed customers to get quick answers to their questions or concerns and helped to build trust and loyalty with her brand.

Lastly, Sarah made an effort to provide exceptional customer service. She responded to customer inquiries promptly and was always willing to go the extra mile to ensure her customers were satisfied with their purchases.

As a result of these strategies, Sarah was able to increase customer retention by 40%. Her loyal customers were making more purchases and referring their friends and family to her store. By prioritizing customer retention, Sarah was able to grow her business and build a strong, loyal customer base.

Recommended Lecture Future of B2B Ecommerce

Strategy Description Example
Referral Programs Encourage customers to refer their friends and family to your store in exchange for rewards or discounts Dropbox’s referral program offers free storage space for both the referrer and the referred
Chatbots Use chatbots to provide quick and personalized support to customers, even outside of business hours H&M’s chatbot on Facebook Messenger provides personalized outfit recommendations and support
Community Building Create a community around your brand through social media groups, forums, or events, fostering engagement and loyalty Lululemon’s Sweat Collective program creates a community of fitness professionals who promote Lululemon products
Personalized Packaging Use personalized packaging to create a memorable and delightful unboxing experience for customers Birchbox’s personalized boxes include the customer’s name and a personalized message
Subscription Services Offer subscription services for products that customers regularly purchase, creating a predictable revenue stream and encouraging repeat purchases Dollar Shave Club’s subscription service delivers razors and other grooming products to customers on a regular basis

How to Retain customers in Ecommerce FAQ

Who benefits from ecommerce customer retention strategies?

Ecommerce businesses can benefit from retaining customers.

What are some effective ways to retain ecommerce customers?

Personalization, loyalty programs, and excellent customer service.

How can personalization help retain ecommerce customers?

Personalization can make customers feel valued and increase loyalty.

What is a common objection to implementing a loyalty program?

The cost of implementing and maintaining a loyalty program.

How can objection to cost be overcome for a loyalty program?

The long-term benefits of retaining customers outweigh the initial cost.

What role does customer service play in ecommerce customer retention?

Excellent customer service can build trust and increase customer loyalty.

Recommended Lecture: How to Invest in Ecommerce Business?