Read why customer retention is important to Shopify Plus stores.
The number of online buyers increased by 900 million from 2020 to 2021! To cater to such demands, online stores, too, are multiplying by the day.
The skyrocketing number of online stores comes as no surprise, as platforms such as Shopify Plus make it so easy to start online stores. Be it a luxury brand, a lifestyle business or a small business, everyone is making the most out of the platform to directly reach their customers.
But with so many websites selling the same products, one thing’s getting difficult – to keep customers coming back to your site.
How long a store can retain a customer is the differentiating factor between stores that do well and those that shut down in a few months.
The question is: What are the successful stores doing right?
The answer: Their customer retention strategies are spot-on!
But before we get into the details, let’s understand what customer retention is.
Customer retention is a business’s ability to turn one-time shoppers into repeat customers.
If you’re an online store, it’s the strategy you use to bring your customers back repeatedly to either place a reorder or make another purchase. In short, it’s all the engagement activities that help you improve the loyalty of your current customers, keep them from walking away to the other stores, while you on the side, work on acquiring new ones.
Is customer retention that important? You might wonder. As we have mentioned innumerable times before, growing a business means having the ability to take your customers alongside your journey, instead of having them drop off as you scale it.
H&M, Decathlon or even the luxury brands like LV, Zara and many others did not just work on customer retention for no reason.
But we’ll give you a few to put things in perspective:
Acquiring a new customer can be 25 times more expensive than keeping an existing customer. Now, this doesn’t mean you don’t focus on attracting new customers. But, you have to focus a lot more on retaining your existing customers.
Imagine if you had to completely depend on new customers, who don’t yet trust your brand, day after day. Considering that the average conversion rate that most stores see on traffic driven from multiple marketing and ad campaigns, is just 2.3%, you’re going to have to spend a lot on acquiring new customers.
On the flip side, someone who has bought from you before, already knows about the quality of your products and is more likely to purchase from you.
Most of the time, we end up buying from new brands based on recommendations from our family and friends. Isn’t it?
Loyal customers are 83% more likely to refer your product/brand to others. It’s also proven that customers referred by other customers have a 37% higher retention rate. So basically, you get to build a customer base using word of mouth, which is essentially, absolutely free!
Repeat and loyal customers are likely to buy 90% more from your brand. In fact, almost 40% of customers don’t mind buying products from a brand they’re loyal to, even if there are cheaper options available.
By retaining customers, engaging them, and building loyalty, you can actually increase your profits over time by reducing the discounts you have to offer.
Customers keep coming back to you because they find value in your brand, your products, or in their relationship with you. They trust your brand and over time, build a personal connection.
And hence, your loyal customers won’t shy away from sharing feedback with you.
For your store, customer feedback is a goldmine. It can help you improve your products, your customer experience, and in turn, retain customers for a longer period of time by making them feel valued.
As an online store, you’ll have to continuously offer more to your customers by expanding your offering. It’s proven by studies that customers that are loyal to your brand are six times more likely to spend on your new offerings.
This means it’s your loyal customers that will also help you to expand your business, try new things and get feedback on them.
Now that you know customer retention benefits, let’s get cracking on the strategies to help your Shopify Plus store boost customer retention.
What do you do when you want to dig out some information about your past purchases from a particular brand? You instantly go to their customer account page. Right?
Think about how you interact with Amazon or Walmart for a minute.
The customer account page holds all the important information of your customers in one place – personal details, delivery addresses, payment methods and credit card details, and the history of all their activities, including wishlist and recently viewed items.
A customer account page with comprehensive details helps build trust with your customers. Leading Shopify Plus stores make their customer account pages as competitive and interactive as possible, by including the following information and features for customers:
- Personal details
- Payment details
- Exchange and returns
- Shipping details
- Track order
- Order status
- Reward points
- Discounts and deals
- Store credits
- Recently viewed products
Having all this information in one place essentially helps a customer pick up where they left off on a Shopify Plus store during their last visit. At the same time, it makes it 10x times easier for them to make a purchase.
Imagine getting to simply reorder a product with one click. Or make a purchase without having to fill out your delivery address all over again!
Here’s an example of what your Shopify Plus customer account page should look like if you’re focusing on customer retention:
Don’t have an Amazon-like customer account page on your Shopify Plus store yet? Install the Flits app today.
It’s human nature – we feel happy and appreciated when we receive something in return. So, when your customers shop from you and you give them something, they feel happy about interacting with you. That happiness turns into loyalty in no time.
That’s the premise on which loyalty and rewards programs work.
However, an article in the Harvard Business Reviews points to the fact that most brands use rewards programs for short-term giveaways. Whereas, these programs have to be designed to build loyalty. To put things in perspective, your first and second-year customers should be your most profitable 10th-year customers.
And how do you make that happen?
- Try to understand your customers deeper by digging deep into data; again, having a customer account page can help you with this step
- Personalize rewards and make them easy to redeem on your store; offering store credits is the new strategy to boost customer retention
- Consistently add value to your customers with proactive communication; but by no means do we say spamming is good
- Offer a personalized customer experience; 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that recognize them by name and recommend options based on past purchases – again, think Amazon’s home page
- Create loyalty programs with tiers to gamify the experience and nudge customers to participate more often; for example, 3-year, 5-year, 10-year loyalty tiers and reward them accordingly
Want to see how offering store credits in your loyalty program can boost your Shopify Plus store’s customer retention? Learn more here.
The eCommerce space is quite noisy. Consumers have hundreds of options. No matter how active you are on social media, at offering discounts and freebies, etc., your customers might still not feel the right connection.
And that’s where building a community around your brand will help.
Wondering what’s an eCommerce community?
It’s a space – mostly an online forum on your site or on your social media channels – where like-minded people come together to engage with things around your brand; or the industry in general.
Today’s customers don’t just want to know about discounts and sales. They’re interested in brands that have a larger purpose behind them, brands that care to listen to them, interact with them. Building communities is among the best ways to engage your customers and retain them.
And it’s something big brands are doing, too.
For example, Nike has been building different kinds of communities to engage its different target groups:
- Nike Trainers Hub – provides members unique insights into some of the world’s top athletes training programs and tips, real-time conversations, etc.
- NikeiD – allows members to share and vote on customized designs; in turn, gets insights into customer interests to the brand
84% of people said customer service is a key factor in their purchase decisions. And it’s no surprise.
Imagine this: You browse an online store, like a product, but aren’t sure about the size. You’re desperately seeking help, but there’s nothing – no live chat, no phone number, no FAQs section; only an email address.
You don’t want to go through that lengthy process and hence, leave the site without buying anything. But what if you had a live chat option to help you?
For online stores, here are some factors that characterize good customer service:
- Be present for your customers when they need you; you can do this via a live chat or by implementing chatbots on your Shopify Plus store
- Help your online customers by providing information and sharing recommendations throughout their browsing experience
- Ask your online customers for feedback even when they don’t make a purchase during the visit; let them know you’re there to listen to them
- Personalize the customers’ experience; right from the point they land on your Shopify Plus to after they have made a purchase
When you offer proactive customer service, you:
- Improve the chances of customer retention
- Increase customer loyalty
- Get new customers through word of mouth
- And more importantly, stand a greater chance of converting more store visitors into customers
Luxury brands or those lifestyle brands that sell high-value products have always focused on offering timely customer service to their store visitors:
When customers have pleasant experiences on your Shopify Plus store, it helps establish better customer relationships, which, in turn, helps improve loyalty and retention. And building a strong relationship with your customers is not a one-time activity.
You have to nurture your relationship continuously. Think post purchase communication.
- Send your customers a thank you email after every purchase
- Engage them by following up on their purchases, for example, ask them to rate the product or write a review
- As an appreciation for their purchase, offer them a discount on their next purchase
- Ask them for feedback on your product or the overall brand experience
- Always keep them in the loop on upcoming products, deals and discounts that may be relevant to their interests
Here’s an example of how Amazon engages customers post purchase:
But before your customers even begin to interact with your retention strategies, you need to ensure you have laid the groundwork. By that we mean, trust.
Since all the strategies focus around the customer sharing more about themselves with you, you need them to have faith in you.
Many eCommerce brands collect feedback from their customers. But not all of them address it or even make use of the data collected. When you listen to your customers, they feel heard and expect you to respond.
Addressing every feedback – no matter positive or negative – is critical.
If you receive a positive response, make sure you’re reaching out to thank the customer and ask questions about what they liked the most. Similarly, if you receive a negative response, make sure you reach out to ask what went wrong, what they expected and received, and how you can make it all better for them.
As a brand, you cannot be too rigid. You have to cater to all kinds of customers and hence should remain agile and offer options to them that suit their purchase behaviours.
For example, small things like offering different types of payment methods, including part-payment options, making returns and exchanges easy, etc., can instantly increase customers’ trust in your brand.
Be consistent in your messaging across channels – website, social media, mobile, and other modes of communication.
Imagine if you say one thing on the website but another on social media. Your customers will be confused and think it’s best not to engage with your brand, as it does not have a consistent vision and mission.
Yes, testing out your messages is a good idea. But always do it one at a time; and make sure that your Shopify Plus store branding is on-point across all channels.
Yes, customers come to your store to buy products. But more than that, they come to you because they see value in your brand.
So when you sell them products, make sure there’s some value add – inform them about how the product will make their life better, offer a tutorial and help if they need something, etc. Imagine if IKEA sold its products without how-to guides; we’d all get frustrated with our first purchases and never return to their store.
The Man Company, a men’s grooming and lifestyle products Shopify Plus brand, has become a household name in the industry. The brand has been able to boost their customer retention rate by implementing an all-in-one strategy using the Flits customer account page.
Their customer account page doesn’t just encapsulate all the information a buyer needs to make a quick purchase, but also brings in a loyalty program.
- The store offers a tier-based loyalty program. The more purchases a customer makes, the more store credits they earn and the higher they climb to get better benefits from the brand.
- The brand has also smartly incorporated gamification into their loyalty program by customizing the design of the customer account page. They offer three colors based on the level (store credits earned and purchases made by the customer) a customer is at. For example, if a customer is on the silver tier, the customer account page reflects it in the design accordingly.
With their robust customer loyalty program, The Man Company has managed to increase their orders by 41% and achieve a 91% increase in average order value by issuing store credits to their customers.
The app they used to implement it all on their Shopify Plus store? Flits customer account pages.
You may have moved to Shopify Plus after stabilising your business in the market. You may also be getting a steady influx of new customers on the store.
But in times when competition comes in many forms, no one is in the safe zone when it comes to potentially losing even their best of customers.
When it doesn’t take as much effort to appeal to an existing customer, in comparison to the one that you have been trying to attract to your store, we say, YES.
As found in a research by Bain & Company, increasing your customer retention rate by just 5% in a year will increase your profits by 25% to 95%.
Sell. Retain. Grow. Repeat.
Take the first step to boosting your Shopify Plus store customer retention rate with us.
CTA >> Get the Flits customer account page today.