It takes a lot of time, money, and effort to direct the right traffic to your site. While getting new customers is okay, they are not the only ones who will boost revenue for your online store. When you get those new customers, the strategies to attract customers must also include how to retain them.
For instance, data shows that when you improve customer experience; the returning customers are more likely to make purchases than existing ones.
Create a Loyalty Program
If you are in need of a strategy for how to win customers from competitors and retain them, one way to achieve this is with a loyalty program. All customers are always in search of a store that rewards them for buying from them. If customers are getting rewards, the more they buy, it could help to increase the purchase amount per customer.
One way to reward customers is with a discount coupon code or cash-back offer. It could be a tiny gift or a discount once they hit a certain target. People are naturally competitive, and they will try to hit the set target as soon as possible and move on to the next one. In short, the more important you make them feel, the more likely you are to win their loyalty.
Include a Coupon with Each Shipment
When you ship an item, include a free shipping code. This is a pleasant surprise for new customers, who will be more likely to shop with you in the future. With such a surprise, it helps to keep your store at the top of customers’ minds.
Offer Exemplary Customer Service
If you wish to get new customers, you need to have positive reviews online. This will only happen if you offer customer service that is beyond the expected. When people end relationships with an online store, it is usually because they do not like how their issue was handled.
When an online store may try to limit expenses by offering limited customer service options, it will come to harm the store in the end. Have a service team that responds to issues and other concerns from the customers. It is important that your customer service department reply to customers’ issues. Besides that, they have to reply in a timely manner. If you take too long, customers do not feel valued. No one wants to feel just like any other buyer; they want to be convinced that they are special to your store.
Always maintain a professional tone. Never make customers feel stupid or make them feel like they are irritating you with their questions. If they are reaching out, it is because they need a bit of clarity to help them make the final purchase decision. You have to value that they took the time to send you a question and come up with a good response.
In some cases, even when you have not done anything wrong, the customer will still be irritated if you do not respond to their minor issue or show them that they are an irritant. At the minimum, you will gain insight into what is affecting the customer satisfaction for your site. This gives you a head start on dealing with an issue before you lose customers.
One way to offer exemplary customer service is to send them a handwritten note of gratitude with each purchase. A handwritten note will feel more personal and will be a good surprise compared to just typing a note. Keep in mind that good customer service will lead to good word of mouth ads.
Give Customers Free Returns
When customers are making a purchase, they want to ensure there is as little risk as possible. A great way to ensure this is by offering free returns. If customers are not happy with an item, they do not want to be charged to send it back. It is especially a great way to attract new customers that are not sure of the quality of items offered on a site.
Free returns mean they do not have to restrain themselves when making their first purchase at a store. Once they get a product and it satisfies their needs, they are more likely to buy from you again. Knowing that there is a free return option puts you at the top of their list for online purchases. This feature is important if you sell clothes. The fit is a tricky issue when buying online. Buyers do not want to end up with an item they can never use.
Create a Referral Program
This turns your customers into your advertisers. After each purchase, give customers a code, which they may share with friends. When these friends buy something and use the referral code, the customer who referred them is rewarded. This reward can be credit, free products, or even cash. People have a lot of faith in their friends and their ability to recommend items of value to them. Thus, a referral program is an easy way to create new customers and retain existing ones.
Offer a Customer Account Feature
Creating a customer account when one can save their payment preference, address, and create a wish list will make it easier to shop. This will help to make the checkout experience much smooth since they do not have to include new details each time.
When a customer knows that all they need to do is click on buy and head to checkout, they are more likely to make more purchases since it takes such little time. However, signing up for an account should not be mandatory. Nevertheless, ensure that they know of the benefits of signing up for an account. If you have a loyalty program, this is the perfect time to mention it.
Make your Site High Quality
One of the factors that will cause customers to run from your site is website speed. If the store takes longer than a few seconds to load, customers are not that patient; they will quickly find an alternative site that offers similar products at faster speeds. To improve speed, look for a good web host. Web hosting is an important factor for running an online business. Avoid using free web hosting services since they usually offer only the bare minimum.
If you have an online store, remember to have a strong online presence. After all, your customers can only access you online. Invest in targeted advertising and have a good social media presence.
About the Author
Maryn Mcdonnell is a creative content writer. She spends her days working closely with many entrepreneurs and creative thinkers from various fields.
Her interests include travel, self-improvement, and technology. Find Maryn on Twitter @MarynMcdonnell