Struggling to improve customer experience? Here’s how to implement customer lifecycle marketing.
Every business owner, marketer, and professional knows that business is more than about one-time transactions with customers.
Business is about building long-term relationships that lead to higher customer lifetime value. 76% of companies agree that customer lifetime value is an important concept in their organization.
And consumers expect a personalized experience at every step of this ecommerce customer journey. To meet these customer expectations, businesses have to pay attention to every stage in the customer lifecycle management.
And that’s exactly what we’ll talk about in this blog – how to improve your shoppers’ experience across their journey.
But first, what do we mean by customer lifecycle?
The customer lifecycle refers to the various stages customers go through before they make a purchase from your store – from becoming aware of your product, to making a purchase and becoming a longtime loyal customer. The customer lifecycle can be divided into five stages: reach, acquisition, conversion, retention, and loyalty.
Different stages in customer lifecycle marketing and how to improve shopper experience at each stage
Let’s take a look at how to address each stage in the customer lifecycle marketing to improve shopping experiences at scale.
The first stage in ecommerce customer journey is awareness.
Why do we buy products? To fulfill a need, a requirement which can solve a problem for us. For example, we buy a light bulb when the old one goes off.
So, first, shoppers become aware of a problem or a need, which they have to fulfill with a product. This is when they would look for a solution and become aware about your product.
But at this stage, shoppers look for product options from different brands, compare the different options, read customer reviews, and conduct their research to figure which option is the best for them.
Factors such as SEO marketing, social media, advertisements, inbound and outbound marketing, and your brand’s online presence can help capture new shoppers’ (as well as existing customers) attention at this stage.
Here’s how you can improve shoppers’ experience at the awareness stage:
- Ensure your SEO marketing plan is updated. As potential shoppers search for keywords in search engines, your content – website, social media, blogs, paid advertisements, etc. – should come up in front of shoppers.
- Keep your social media accounts active through regular posting along with relevant hashtags. This ensures better visibility and chances of being found by potential shoppers.
- Run campaigns that encourage your existing customers to share references so that new shoppers become aware of your brand. For example, refer-a-friend.
- Keep your content updated across platforms with regular posts, announcements, blogs, etc.
Pro tip: This is the base stage of customer lifecycle marketing and hence it’s important to keep monitoring and tracking the performance of your content and campaigns. Gather data. Discover engagement rate patterns. Make changes and optimize.
The next stage in customer lifecycle management is the acquisition stage. It is when shoppers should reach your platforms – website, social media, customer care – to know more about your product.
And this is the stage where you should capture potential customers’ contact details. For ecommerce businesses, a critical part of the acquisition stage is to get shoppers to sign up to the customer account on your site.
Here’s how you can enhance customers’ experience in this stage:
- Allow customers to reach out to you through multiple channels – website, social media, customer support, etc.
- Make it easy to sign-up to the customer account. Having multiple fields in the sign-up form will enable you to capture more customer data. However, most customers stay away from lengthy or confusing sign-up processes. Make sure your sign up process is clear and easy.
- Enable social login. 77% of customers prefer social login when signing up. It makes login faster. Besides, they’ll have one less password to remember.
- To get shoppers to share their contact details, you will need to quickly win them wherever they reach you – website content, social media posts, customer support. The faster you win their trust, the better your acquisition rates could be. Hence, show them informative and helpful content about the products they’re interested in.
- Show social proof to build trust and differentiate your brand from your competitors.
Pro tip: A comprehensive customer account page can make it much easier for you to engage shoppers. To set up the customer account, install Flits Customer Account app with the Social Login add on.
The third stage in customer lifecycle management is conversion – this is when customers make a purchase. It’s important to note that purchases can happen in the acquisition stage as well.
However, it’s more likely that shoppers would first sign up on your website before they make a purchase. Consider this statistic: Only 1.94% of visitors convert into purchases. This means, roughly only one out of 51 visits ends in a purchase.
The good thing is, by this stage, you have the shoppers’ contact details. So you can create personalized and targeted campaigns to boost conversions.
Here are some tactics to provide an engaging experience to your shoppers at this stage:
- Since you know which products customers are interested in, you could offer them a special discount on it.
- Nudge them to add the item to their wishlist. Wishlist is a feature that enables shoppers to add items they like to the list and purchase them later. 40% of shoppers think the wishlist feature enhances the shopping experience. For example, when an item is out-of-stock, shoppers could add them to their wishlist.
- Engage shoppers in real-time chat to help them make purchase decisions.
- While they’re on your website, show them recently viewed products. This helps better the recall value of your products, and boost sales, too.
Pro tip: Once customers convert, they’ve entered into a relationship with your brand. And it’s up to you to show them the value you provide. One way to do so is to incorporate engaging ecommerce features on your site.
Retention is the fourth stage in customer lifecycle marketing. It refers to the activities and actions you take to ensure that your customers keep coming back to your store. And keep buying from you.
Research shows that for 61% of businesses, retention is one of the biggest challenges. This makes it important for you to continuously come up with strategies to retain your customers who you’ve found and converted painstakingly.
There are many ways to improve your retention rate. Here are some:
- Use the retargeting strategy. Use data from your customer account page to retarget customers with personalized campaigns to boost sales. For example, offer discounts on products that are in customers’ wishlist and recently viewed sections.
- Run retention campaigns to bring customers back to your website on multiple channels – email, web push, SMS, WhatsApp, social media, Messenger, etc.
- Offer store credits. With store credits, you can increase the chances of customers coming back to make more purchases to use up their store credits.
- Send reorder reminders to customers for products that they buy repeatedly from your site. For example, monitor patterns of the intervals at which customers reorder an item. Send reminders to them closer to those dates.
- Request for customer feedback. Make your products, services, and customer experience better by addressing the feedback received.
Pro tip: Your customer account page is a goldmine of data. Keep collecting data and creating engaging marketing campaigns to enhance customers’ shopping experience.
The last stage in the customer lifecycle management is loyalty. However, it should be noted that this is not the end stage. Customer lifecycle is a cycle and an endless loop. You’ll have to keep nurturing and building on customers’ journey continuously.
Once you’ve retained your customers, you should work towards strengthening their loyalty. You want them to:
- Keep buying from you
- Advocating your brand to their friends
- Be a part of your community
- Help you spread awareness about your products
Here’s how you can enhance the loyalty stage in customer lifecycle marketing:
- Improve personalization by digging deeper into data collected from the customer account. 71% of consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal. Customers expect personalization across channels, whether it’s over email or on your website.
- Keep customers happy by offering incentives – discounts, free shipping, early access, etc.
- Prioritize customer service. Poor customer service experience costs ecommerce businesses more than $75 billion.
- Create a customer loyalty or rewards program.
- Develop retargeting, upselling, cross-selling campaigns for your most loyal customer.
Pro tip: Keeping customers engaged and excited about your brand is an ongoing process. You snooze, and you could lose your customers forever. Hence, keep your loyalty-building campaigns active at all times.
The answer is – absolutely yes! Customer lifecycle management is one of the most important factors for online stores. And it is an ongoing one.
To support you with your campaigns and activities to keep customers engaged and satisfied, you’ll need to start from the customer account.
Get started with the best customer account apps – Flits.