How to keep customers loyal

In a world full of adverts, offers, and incentives, it’s hard to cut through the noise. But there is a better way to get attention. No shouting. No expensive campaigns. No wasted time. You can instigate an effective marketing campaign for your eCommerce business by targeting the customers you already have. How? By talking to your existing customers. 

It may surprise you to learn that customer retention can be far more profitable than new customers. Talking to existing customers can help build your eCommerce business in more ways than one. After all, great communication helps build trust and loyalty, and it can give you priceless insights to help you deliver exactly what they want. Most importantly, it recognizes that customers also talk to each other. In fact, customer recommendations can be the most powerful marketing tool out there. 

That’s why retention is the secret weapon of many successful eCommerce companies. It’s not only cheaper than traditional marketing, but it’s also more efficient. On average, every $1 spent on retention brings in four times more return on investment than new leads. That’s a veritable gold mine you’re sitting on. 

Use it to upsell, to remarket and to grow a profit faster than traditional marketing tactics. Here’s how to do it: 

How to talk to existing customers 

Be consistent. Stay personal. Two rules of authentic conversation. The eCommerce world is more customer-centric than ever before. You want to make each and every customer feel special. You could handcraft every email, text or letter for every person. But realistically, we all know that there aren’t enough hours in the day. So, the next best thing is to segment your customers, so that you can write for the right audience. eCommerce platforms like Shopify make this so easy for store owners, which is perhaps why so many are migrating to Shopify. It has a whole host of partners and apps that help segment and organize customers, making your whole eCommerce business more profitable and easier to manage. 

Once you’ve organized your customers based on things like their site interaction or purchasing history, you can craft your conversations to respond to those needs. 

Always remember to keep the tone personal, so your customers feel safe to share their details and data with you. Be open and ask for reviews and feedback, and keep the incentives open. If they feel like they are being treated well, then they can help support your growth with vital information, as well as being loyal purchasers. 

Remember ‘talking’ doesn’t have to be wordy or lengthy. Give customers the information they need and get their attention fast. Short, snappy sentences that get to the point work best. 

Where to talk to existing customers 

Email is a safe, cheap and easily automated way of keeping in touch with your audience and maintaining engagement. As it turns out, we are pretty happy with email marketing. MarketingSherpa discovered that 72 percent of buyers prefer to receive promotional emails, as opposed to 17 percent who would rather see it on social media. 

Emails allow you to personalize content, and automate it. So your customers get a great service, and you can use it to upsell products, send offers, and information without it taking up valuable time. 

If you haven’t already considered migrating to Shopify, you might want to check out the multiple ways it can enable smooth conversation. Shopify Flow, for example, can help connect and automate different business processes. This means you can keep the conversation going as each customer interacts with your brand. 

It’s great if you want to do things like recognizing when a customer has made a purchase and automatically send them a discount code to their mobile. Or perhaps you want to tag a high-spending customer as a VIP so you can automatically trigger the right email sequence. A store migration to Shopify can help with seemingly complicated processes without you having to input any code. 

How to keep them coming back for more 

We are feeling creatures, and so we are best engaged by stores and products that create an emotional connection. Keeping up the ‘feelings’ is crucial post-sale. After all, your customer has successfully bought into your brand. So, just like a relationship, this can be nurtured to maintain a lifelong brand advocate. 

There are several avenues you can utilize for this, and they are similar to your traditional marketing channels. Use emails, handwritten notes, social media and encourage reviews and feedback. The key to keeping your post-purchase attention smooth is how you manage this. A scattered, insensitive approach may have the opposite effect and put them off any further purchases. But a well-planned email automation sequence, for example, can gently nurture continued sales, while still freeing your time up to concentrate on running your business. 

You can make your existing customers feel special by inviting them to exclusive discounts, early-bird deals or insider previews. Remember, it’s more than marketing products, you want them to buy into your whole brand. That way you’ll encourage repeat business, reviews, and referrals. 

Rewards and referrals 

Have you considered a loyalty program? Consistent rewards schemes can help you to keep in touch with customers. It allows you to constantly remind them of your presence while giving them ample incentive to make more purchases with your tempting rewards and offers. For example, you could offer bonus products following specific purchases, preferential rates for loyal customers, multiple order incentives like buy two get one free or even a points system where customers accrue points to use against purchases or for special gifts. 

We know how powerful word of mouth and reviews are – well, referrals go the extra step. They can keep looping customers to your site, with barely any effort on your part. This is just how you get your existing customers to work hard for your store. Referrals are almost like rewards in reverse. They are a gift to your company from your customers, so make them easy. 

Firstly, you need a referral reward. This is the carrot that will get your customers to take action. For example 20 percent off their next purchase or a free subscription. Work out what is important to your customers (read more on understanding customer data) and then offer them things that matter to them. Secondly, you need an easy method for them to follow. Use something fast and easy like a referral code. Thirdly, make it obvious. You might want to include the referral offer on your website or through an email campaign or both. Get the message out there loud and clear. There are many apps that make referrals easy on Shopify (such as CandyReferral for example). With just a few clicks, you’re able to integrate a referral app of your choosing, and many offer free trials.  

If you haven’t considered migrating to Shopify before, it’s worth it to make rewards and referrals a breeze. 

Relevant content builds trust 

Another way to create lasting relationships and continue the conversation on an emotional level with customers is to create value-added content. You can organize your email sequences (again, Shopify makes this easy) to deliver specific information that may be relevant to the customer’s purchase. Let your imagination take the reins here. This could be anything from how to care and wash if it’s a garment, to delicious recipes that might look stunning in your set of hand-crafted bowls. Remember it’s always about the ‘feelings’ and understanding how a customer uses your product to enhance their lifestyle. 

Retaining existing customers is still marketing, but your aim can be more precise and profitable. 

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