Welcome to the world of eCommerce, where customer loyalty can make or break your business. Research shows that loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase, which is why it's essential to focus on strategies that help you increase customer loyalty. With that in mind, let's take a look at five proven ways to do just that.
1. Provide Excellent eCommerce Customer Service
Excellent customer service is the foundation of customer loyalty in eCommerce. According to a survey by HubSpot, 93% of customers are more likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service. Conversely, poor customer service is one of the leading reasons customers switch to competitors.
So, how can you provide excellent customer service? First, make sure you're available to customers when they need you.
At minimum, you'll need to consider:
- Live chat support.
- Providing a phone number for customers to call.
- Offering 24/7 support.
Go above and beyond what customers expect. This could mean offering free returns or exchanges, providing personalized recommendations, or offering special discounts.
One example of a company that provides excellent customer service in eCommerce is Warby Parker. The eyewear company offers free shipping and returns, a 30-day return policy, and a helpful customer service team that's available via phone, email, and live chat.
2. Offer Loyalty Programs for Your Best eCommerce Customers
Loyalty programs have been around for decades, and for good reason. They work. In fact, research shows that 69% of customers are more likely to choose a retailer with a loyalty program over one without. Loyalty programs come in many forms, from points-based programs to tiered programs.
Points-based programs are the most common. With this type of program, customers earn points for each purchase they make. Once they accumulate enough points, they can redeem them for discounts, free products, or other rewards. Tiered programs, on the other hand, reward customers based on their loyalty level. The more they spend or the more purchases they make, the higher their loyalty level and the better the rewards.
Looking for inspiration creating a loyalty program? Consider the Starbucks' Rewards program. Members of the program earn stars for each purchase they make, and those stars can be redeemed for free drinks, food, and more. The program also offers tiered rewards, with higher levels of spending leading to better rewards.
Implementing a customer loyalty program is also a key step in the process of increasing Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).
3. Create Personalized eCommerce Experiences
Personalization is the key to unlocking customer loyalty in eCommerce. In fact, research shows that 79% of customers are more likely to make a purchase when a brand offers personalized experiences. Personalization can take many forms, from personalized product recommendations to personalized email campaigns. By offering personalized experiences, you can make your customers feel valued and special, which can lead to increased loyalty.Amazon's product recommendations is a perfect example of the kind of personalization eCommerce brands should strive for. When you visit their website, you're presented with personalized product recommendations based on your browsing and purchase history. This not only makes the shopping experience more convenient, but it also makes the customer feel understood and appreciated.
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4. Provide Value Through eCommerce Content & Education
By offering helpful resources and insights, you can position your brand as a trusted advisor in your industry - also known as "Thought Leadership." This can lead to increased loyalty and even word-of-mouth referrals - the Holy Grail of eCommerce marketing.
One way to provide value through content and education is to create a blog or resource center on your website. This could include:
- How-to guides
- Industry insights
- Product reviews
- Webinar or video series
You should make sure your audience knows about the awesome content you're creating through email marketing campaigns. Offer your valuable content in your emails to keep your customers engaged and loyal to your brand.
Sephora, the beauty retailer, has a robust blog that offers makeup tutorials, skincare advice, and product reviews. Sephora also sends personalized emails to customers with product recommendations and tips based on their purchase history.
5. Build a Sense of Community Around Your eCommerce Brand
Building a sense of community is a powerful way to increase customer loyalty in eCommerce. By creating a community around your brand, you can foster a sense of belonging and connection among your customers. This can lead to increased loyalty, as well as word-of-mouth referrals and even user-generated content.
One way to build a sense of community is through social media. By creating a strong social media presence and engaging with your followers, you can create a community of loyal customers who are passionate about your brand. Another way to build a sense of community is through events, both online and offline. By hosting events that bring your customers together, you can create a sense of community and loyalty that extends beyond the transactional relationship.
An example of a company that has built a strong sense of community is Glossier. The beauty brand has a large and engaged social media following, with over 2.8 million Instagram followers. Glossier also hosts in-person events, such as pop-up shops and community events, that allow customers to connect with the brand and each other.
Increasing customer loyalty is essential for success in eCommerce. By providing excellent customer service, offering loyalty programs, creating personalized experiences, providing value through content and education, and building a sense of community, you can create a loyal customer base that will continue to support your brand for years to come. Remember, customer loyalty isn't built overnight. It takes time, effort, and a commitment to putting your customers first. But the rewards of customer loyalty are well worth the investment.