Traditional commerce and ecommerce have different rules when it comes to attracting customers. Here are 5 tactics you can use to get new customers and turn them into regulars.
A focus for many businesses is expanding their customer base, and continuing to grow, but is that really boosting your revenue? It costs a business an average of 5 times more to gain a new customer than to get repeat purchases from your existing customer base.
Existing customers are also likely to spend more money, in fact, twice as much on average, making them the most important group to target in your sales strategy.
In this post, we look at 5 things you can implement into your ecommerce strategy to get regular customers.
1. Email! It’s not dead…
We’ve been told time and time again that email is a dying format, and yet the statistics around its efficacy for ecommerce tell another story. 80% of retail professionals say that their biggest driver of customer retention is email marketing, making it an essential part of your strategy.
Creating a customer base that keeps coming back is about keeping your products and your brand front of mind. Email marketing is a great way of sending relevant reminders to your contacts and piquing their interest ahead of their next purchase.
In order to keep your emails relevant and interesting, follow a simple rule; make it personal, or make it too good to ignore. Here are some examples:
Send special discount codes to your customers to keep them coming back. You could send these codes around birthdays, special holidays such as Valentine’s Day, or ‘just because’.
We know that personalization works, so use the data you already have to send segmented emails to your contact list. Whether it’s age, gender, interests, location, or any other information you may have stored in your CRM, use it to create a personalized email campaign showing off the products most relevant to them. Consider what data you might want to collect from future customers and incorporate these fields into your purchase page.
Follow up on previous purchases
Another way of personalizing content, aside from using personal data, is to tap into previous purchase data. This can be used to send your existing customers recommendations.
Who doesn’t love a sale? Make sure your existing customers are aware of when it’s happening, or perhaps offer special ‘pre-sale access’ to previous customers. If they made a purchase at full price, there’s a good chance they’ll want to see what they can get at a discount too.
2. Get personal
Personalization in ecommerce works a treat. By getting to know your audience, you can cut through the noise and show them exactly what they want to see.
80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when offered a personalised experience from a brand.
From search engines to social media, we have become accustomed to being shown exactly what we are looking for, so it makes sense to seek a personalized approach when shopping too. Amazon does this very successfully, with a reported 35% of purchases coming from product recommendations based on algorithms analyzing data trends and purchase data.
AI (Artificial Intelligence) is having an increasing impact on marketing, particularly in the ecommerce space. Businesses want to know more and more about their consumers in order to provide them with the most personalized experience.
This can be achieved at various touch points along your website visitor’s journey:
For completely new visitors, you won't have any personalized data to base your recommendations on. In this case, showing the most popular products works. As you build up a ‘story’ about your visitors (the more they visit, click and purchase), you can show them even more tailored recommendations.
Product and category pages
This is where you can take advantage of a site visitor’s activity so far. If they are looking at a camera, you may want to show them similar types and styles within the same price range, or from the same brand. As shown below, you could also add a ‘frequently bought together’ section, to recommend other items to go with their purchase.
Here’s your chance to apply cart recommendations. Pull in data from your new users’ sessions to try and convince them to take another look at the products they viewed, but didn’t ‘add to cart’. For your logged-in users, mine data from previous purchases as well as any ‘in-between’ visits.
3. Interactive content
We know that a personalized approach works, but if you aren’t yet ready to venture into the world of AI, consider interactive content. It’s really just about getting to know your potential customers, and an effective way to do this is with online quizzes.
Online quizzes can be used in a number of ways to achieve a feeling of personalization. Like a personal shopper, your quiz can help your visitor identify what product is right for them, depending on how they respond to the questions or prompts provided.
You can also use the data you’ve gathered from the responses to your quiz to make your email marketing even more personalized. Just remember to collect their email address, and ensure your quiz tool can be integrated with your CRM.
4. Engage them on social media
95% of people online , (aged 18-34) are more likely to follow a brand they like on social media.
Social media is undoubtedly important for online retailers, and this can be broken down into three areas:
Use social media as a way to get your ‘voice’ out there. Don’t be afraid to show a little personality. 56% of people say they’d like brands to be most transparent on social media over other channels.
With such an engaged consumer audience out there, showing off the best of your business just makes sense.
Post regularly with your latest products, collections and lines to attract your social media audience.
A huge 78% of customers believe social media will become the future of customer service. Ensure you have the right people in place to monitor your social media channels, and respond accordingly. Remember, unlike calls and emails, everyone can see this interaction, so don’t miss your chance to show how great your customer service is.
5. Give them the best customer experience
An impressive 86% of consumers would be willing to pay more for an improved customer experience.
Aside from the points mentioned already in this article, the real key to customer retention is giving the best possible customer experience, at every touch point. Just because they aren’t in a physical store doesn’t mean you can’t make them feel special, and like a valued customer.
With so much choice around, creating loyal, returning customers has never been harder, but if you get the customer experience right, you’re much more likely to keep your customers coming back.
To sum up, getting regular customers is all about...
Personalization: Whether it’s an email reminding them it’s Mothers’ Day, a personal shopping experience with an online quiz, or an AI powered customer journey, a personal touch will keep your customers coming back.
A positive experience: How many times have you heard ‘I’m never shopping there again!’ from a disgruntled friend or relative who has had a less than satisfactory experience with an online retailer? It’s not just about getting it right, but getting it right over and over again.