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To begin with, let’s address a trick question: What’s better than acquiring a new customer? The answer is fairly straightforward — Retaining an existing customer.

“5% improvement in customer retention rates yield between 25 to 100 times increase in profits across a wide range of industries.”
-The Loyalty Effect, Fred Reichheld

An online survey by Marketing Metrics states that businesses have a 60 to 70 percent chance of selling their products or services to their existing customers compared to new ones.

If you are looking at increasing your sales from time to time, you cannot just focus on finding new customers, but you also need to ensure that you’re getting repeat purchases from your existing customers. Also, keeping existing customers is far less expensive than acquiring a new customer.

Get your customers to buy again and again through these proven ways.

Track and benchmark

This one should be a given. If you are trying to increase something, you better be tracking it! Start with understanding where your business is right now.

Repeat Purchase Rate = Number of Returning Customers / Number of Total Customers

Keeping this rate high will do wonders for your bottom line because repeat customers are nine times more likely to convert than first-timers.

Make an email list

You don’t have to pay to reach your email list unlike remarketing ads, AdWords, or social ads. To drive repeat purchases you must keep sending regular, targeted emails to customers as it is a time-proven eCommerce strategy.

Each email you send gets your customer’s attention, and if subscribers don’t find your messages engaging enough to continue reading, they may begin to tune out your brand. The use of send frequency optimization is a great way to avoid this problem by lowering the frequency of emails for subscribers who show declining engagement.

A few examples:

  • Welcome Email Series-

    A welcome email sequence helps you in introducing to new subscribers and customers your brand’s story and other offerings. They have the highest open and click rates, so nail the content through careful A/B testing to optimize conversions.

  • Abandoned Cart Series-

    Abandoned cart emails enjoy a 4.64% conversion rate.

Discounts for loyal customers

Using discounts can always help you boost repeat purchases rate. Coupons and discounts can be a great way to encourage customers and with the right strategy can increase your revenue. You can apply exclusive discounts for customers registered as members and also customize the discounts based on customer points, membership levels, or spending.

Product Recommendations

Product recommendations account for 1/3rd of eCommerce sales. Upselling is a great way to increase revenue. A full-blown recommendation engine is not needed to suggest products. Instead, simply suggest customers check out your latest offers and frame them as recommendations.

Note: Include product recommendations as part of your follow-up email campaigns.

Building customer loyalty

Your repeat purchase rate is a great indicator of customer loyalty. The more a customer buys and spends, in turn, improves your referral rate. Implementing a loyalty program will help strengthen the customer relationship, and make it much more worthwhile for customers. Timely automation can help cement their custom, plus future-proof your business’ growth and revenue streams.

Answer all questions and comments

A happy customer is a loyal customer. Being responsive to customers should be a given. If your goal is to build long-term relationships with customers, responding promptly when they reach out is extremely important.

The long-term customers spend more and typically become more loyal with each additional purchase. Dedicating employee resources to responding to customers will likely have a higher ROI than any new ad campaign.

Wrapping Up

Customer retention may not be easy. There are numerous tactics — but no shortcuts. One simply cannot ‘hack’ building relationships. It takes time to build a lasting bond with your customers but once you’ve hit the sweet spot it will be smooth sailing ahead.

We hope the tactics above gave you some fresh ideas for approaching retention.

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