In 2017, online shopping in Australia accounted for 8% of retail sales, and it is expected that by 2020, one in ten items will be bought online. If you are a company seeing increasing sales via your website, how do you maximise your eCommerce potential and retain customers for repeat business?
Retailers can use search engine optimisation (SEO), social media and online marketing to attract customers to the website. However, once they have bought an item, bringing them back easily and cheaply is key. Why? Because it is cheaper to retain customers than it is to attract new customers, repeat customers are more likely to buy more from you, and repeat business accounts for a significant proportion of sales.
Here are some top tips to improve customer retention, increase your reputation as a good company to buy from, and get the most from your online marketing activities.
A key way to encourage one-time customers to return is to use personalised emails that announce sales and discounts, crafted specifically for them so they feel valued as a customer. Attaching a time limit to the offer encourages them to act as soon as possible. The timing of your email can also have a big impact, so try various times of day and days of the week and measure the responses. Using email marketing software like TechMail can give you a good insight into how your customers interact with marketing emails.
It is important to allow shoppers to “Opt-In” to your eNewsletter, so don’t assume your emails will be welcome unless they have given you permission to send to them. Offer a special discount coupon to first time subscribers.
Have you ever noticed how after visiting a certain website, their ads seem follow you all over the internet? That’s a remarketing campaign. It allows businesses to display ads to people who have recently been on their website, using Google Ads or Facebook Ads.
Delivery that takes too long is a major reason for customers to abandon their shopping cart, with almost a quarter of surveyed customers citing this as a reason for not completing a purchase. Offering fast delivery, or a fast delivery option, can be a way for you to stand out from competitors.
If you can deliver quickly, don’t just offer it at the checkout. Promote your fast shipping throughout your website.
Likewise, offer free shipping. Expensive shipping costs, and customers being unaware of shipping costs, are both key reasons why customers abandon the purchase. By offering free shipping, you are making the purchasing path easier and customers are more likely to return to you in future.
When 92% of shoppers say they will purchase again from a company if returning an item is easy, offering free and easy returns is a good way to generate a positive impression and improve customer retention. If a customer knows that they can return something without any hassle, they are more likely to buy.
Developing an online community for your brand can be a huge positive. Unfortunately, it can also mean that customer complaints and how you handle them are on public view. The key is, don’t ignore them! Research what went wrong, respond quickly and don’t argue. By remaining professional and polite, you can learn from the mistake and maybe even impress other potential customers with your response!
Repeat customers are a significant resource for your online business. Use these tips, learn to optimise the way you service your customers and keep them coming back for more.