LATEST HOST REVIEW: SUNNY HQ TURN-KEY WP HOSTING

5 Effective Ways to Increase Online Customer Retention

By    Last updated September 17, 2017   Marketing

If you’re thirsty for a glass of milk, would you rather go to the store and buy a gallon, or open one that’s already waiting in your refrigerator? Naturally, you’d go for the one in your fridge first, before it spoils. But when it comes to online businesses, some owners don’t quite seem to grasp this logic.

 

It’s an age-old adage that appealing to old customers is much easier than finding new ones. Far too many businesses are so busy trying to attract more customers that they ignore the ones who are right in front of their noses—and after a time, those customers will slip right through their fingers.

 

This is where customer retention comes into play—making small changes that keep customers coming back. It’s a lot less complicated than you might think. Here are just a few of the strategies you should keep in mind.

 

 

Optimize your website’s performance

 

Optimize your website’s performance

 

 

E-commerce differs from conventional brick and mortar stores in that it’s facilitated through technology. That gives it many advantages, but it also comes with a major weakness: if the technology isn’t working properly, the customer’s experience worsens and they’ll be more likely to take their business elsewhere. Even a one second delay can have dramatic effects, including a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

 

This is why it’s vital to optimize your website’s speed, performance and accessibility. Make sure you do your research and identify the best web host for your particular needs. Remember that using too many widgets, plugins or ads can create slowdowns. Ensure that the images on your website (especially the ones that don’t need to be really high-quality) are suitably compressed. You can always run a speed test tool to identify any load time issues.

 

 

Encourage registration

 

encourage registration on your website

 

 

Convincing a customer to sign up for registration on your website is one of the best ways of fostering a long-term relationship with them. Having their information in your system will make the purchase process much simpler, especially if they place an order from their mobile phone.

 

For most businesses, making registration mandatory is far more annoying than convenient for customers; you don’t want anything to act as a barrier, especially not a wall of paperwork. Instead, explain the benefits that registration provides: speed, security and convenience.

 

To further encourage registration, make the process as simple as possible. Only ask for the bare essentials, and if you ask for more minute details (such as gender or date of birth), be sure to explain why. Customers will feel more secure if they know precisely how their information is being used.

 

 

Keep it personal

 

keep it personal customer retention

 

 

The more you can personalize your customer’s experience, the better. Try setting up your website so that each user sees the information, products, and other elements that are most relevant to them. If they have a lot of plaid shirts in their purchase history, for instance, you’ll likely want similar products to be easily accessible on the customer’s home page.

 

You should also consider adding a personal touch to your deliveries, such as a handwritten thank-you letter or a custom business card with your customer’s name on it. It’s those little flourishes that make customers feel as though they’re buying from their favorite local mom-and-pop store, even when they’re really just visiting a website.

 

 

Keep customers in the loop

 

To ensure repeat business, it’s essential that you follow through on your promises, especially when it comes to delivering your customers’ orders on time. That said, it’s a good idea to manage expectations; better to overestimate the amount of time a task will take than miss your deadline and disappoint a customer. You shouldn’t be deceptive and tell customers that their delivery will take much longer than it actually will, but err on the side of caution.

 

Even more importantly, make sure you give customers regular updates regarding when their products will be delivered. Consider setting up automated texts that will notify customers at each stage of the delivery process (including any delays or setbacks).

 

 

Create a loyalty program

 

It can be difficult setting yourself apart from the competition; why should customers choose your business when you offer basically the same thing as other companies?

 

This is where loyalty programs come in. Offer customers some sort of incentive for their repeat business. This could be a discount, a free product, or some other reward. Allow purchasers to track the number of points or credits they’ve earned and how many they have left to go until their next reward. Consider taking advantage of the psychology of gamification and using tiers of achievement to encourage multiple purchases.

 

 

Improving your customer retention is often as simple as putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. If you were making a purchase from your website, how would you like to be treated? Think about the things that keep you coming back to your favorite stores, and replicate those same things for your business.

 

Do you have more tips for retaining customers? Please share them in the comments below!

 

Candace Morehouse

Candace has helped many businesses build a better online presence via blog writing and web content. She is a freelancer and ghost writer who has written over 20 books for professional clients

Like What You've Read?

If so, please join our subscribers who receive update from Bitcatcha. We send out exclusive online business tips and tricks. Subscribe now!