What is customer retention, and why should I care?
Customer retention involves activities designed to nurture new customers into loyal, repeat customers for your business. Though many companies focus on strategies to gain new customers, investing in customer retention can be even more rewarding since it is often much more cost-effective than acquisition. Some of the advantages of focusing on customer retention include the following:
- Increase profits– A 5% rise in customer loyalty has resulted in a 25-29% increase in revenue, according to ThinkImpact. Many businesses see half their income generated by just 8% of their most devoted customers.
Increase customer advocacy –Happy customers create more happy customers. Yotpo has reported that around 60% of buyers discuss brands they often use with their family and friends, and Loyalty360’s survey shows that 68% of new clients come from existing ones.
- Earn recurring revenue –
Studies have found that returning customers typically spend around 67% more than new customers, and up to 80% of profits come from just 20% of the customer base.
- Minimize customer attrition – In conclusion, by emphasizing customer retention, you can better measure customer satisfaction and commitment. This way, potential problems can be identified and dealt with quickly, ultimately reducing customer attrition.
How do you calculate customer retention rate?
Your customer retention rate (CRR) is the proportion of customers your business has held onto over an extended period. You can work out your CRR with this easy equation:
[(Cost of Equity – Cost of Debt) ÷ Cost of Debt] * 100.
To better comprehend your CRR, it is essential to identify who would be categorized as an active or current customer. For example, this could mean someone that has placed an order within the past month for a particular product. Otherwise, if you own a subscription box business, this could refer to subscribers that are still active. To evaluate CRR correctly, make sure to set the proper criteria that are suitable for your business.
What is a reasonable customer retention rate?
Achieving a CRR as close to 100% as possible is ideal, but realistically, an eCommerce seller should aim for a CRR of 30% or above. If the CRR is significantly lower than this, it could point to issues with customer satisfaction or deficiencies in the sales process.
Strategies to improve your customer retention
Following are the different strategies to improve your customer retention
Provide exceptional customer service
Surpassing customer expectations and demonstrating a bit of kindness can have an immense effect on your profits. According to Salesforce, 80% of customers assert that the experiences provided by a brand are just as essential to them as the goods and services they offer.
To boost your customer service, you can look into a variety of options:
- Deploy strategies for conversational commerce – consider options like live chat, social messaging apps, and SMS messaging that provide customers with real-time assistance while shopping.
- Ensure that your return and exchange policies are easy to find and clearly stated on your website. This way, customers will know what to expect when they purchase from you. To give customers added assurance, it is also beneficial if your policies are generous so they feel confident shopping with your brand.
- Provide precise delivery times by having a reliable system for allocating orders to the appropriate carriers and ensuring that stock levels are accurately reflected on all your sales channels.
- Follow up after each purchase to keep customers informed. Send out order confirmation emails (or texts) and emails containing the tracking number once the order is shipped. Additionally, proactively ask customers about their experience with their recent purchases, making sure to develop a plan of action for addressing any complaints.
- Don’t wait for customers to come to you! Reach out to them with any questions they may have about an item in their cart or to politely request a review of your brand. If a customer has not contacted you recently, take the lead and make an effort to reconnect.
Make your brand values known
Customers are more likely to build a connection with brands that show they share similar values. Monica Sharma-Patekar, an eCommerce mentor, explained to Shopiroller “the importance of making sure customers have the opportunity to get to know your brand before they make a purchase decision,” adding that communicating the purpose and values behind it.
Your brand is “highly effective” in creating emotional connections with your shoppers. By emphasizing your shared values and communicating them to shoppers, you can foster lasting relationships.
Kait Stephens, CEO, and co-founder of Brij (a software platform that enables brands to create QR code-based digital experiences), believes in the importance of sustainability. She states: “Brij aids customers in tracking the lifespan of their items, allowing them to have faith in what they’re purchasing. Brands are rewarded for an ethical supply chain, and consumers can have faith in the brands they patronize.” With this technology, Stephens believes that it is possible for brands to “show that their products are what people think them to be.” In other words, customers can trust that a brand’s offerings are genuinely genuine.
Papier Papate embodies its commitment to giving back throughout the entire shopper journey. Their slogan, “We recycle, we donate, and we’re never done,” proudly greets visitors on their homepage. This is an excellent example of how easy it is to bake your brand purpose into customer interaction.
Personalize the customer experience
These days, personalization is becoming an increasingly popular concept. However, many businesses still need help to make the most of eCommerce personalization and keep up with customers who constantly switch between different channels. Furthermore, data privacy regulations have made it even more challenging for companies to obtain the information they have yet to collect directly.
Surveys from Sailthru indicate that despite the privacy concerns, 80% of shoppers are willing to provide personal data in exchange for personalized offers or discounts – confirming what other specialists have termed a switch to customer-oriented data (often referred to as zero-party data).
Consumers prefer to receive personalized messages from brands that they have granted permission to communicate with them. As Tracey Wallace, director of the content strategy at Klaviyo, suggests, customers not only grant permission for their data to be used for personalization but also expect it. Failing to deliver a tailored experience can lead to a negative customer experience.
To bring the best experience to your customers, consider incentivizing them to share their information with you. This could include personalized product recommendations (including relevant upselling and cross-selling opportunities), special discounts, and other perks.
Provide local pickup options depending on the customer’s location, or tailor your marketing to different stages of the buying cycle. To gain a deeper insight into your customers, consider incorporating quizzes, polls, and customer chats into your strategy. Doing so can help you to understand their needs and preferences better. The key to success is understanding your customers. Gathering data from them will enable you to create more personalized experiences and build deeper relationships.
Loyalty programs can be incredibly advantageous for companies, yet they come with two significant obstacles.
- Getting customers to enroll in them
- Convincing customers to remain enrolled
One way to encourage customers to sign up is by giving them rewards immediately instead of only offering incentives when making their next purchase. Prizes can range from free shipping, discounts, loyalty points, and more – whatever your customers appreciate the most.
Gamification can be used to encourage repeat purchases. Take a cue from Sephora, which offers loyalty tiers based on customers’ yearly spending. Customers may receive unique benefits such as complimentary gifts, extra points, and access to special promotional events for each story they reach.
Cultivate emotional connections
It’s natural for people to want to feel appreciated and connected to something bigger than themselves. Make your customers feel part of a more prominent family by following these tips:
- Be transparent, vulnerable, and honest -Share the story of how you got to where you are today with your followers in a friendly and authentic manner. Include all the details, both the good and evil, for an inspiring and engaging experience. Use social media, email, video, and blog posts to tell this story and show customers the growth of your brand.
- Celebrate wins and special days with your customers – Invite customers to join your brand in celebrating momentous occasions, special days, and anniversaries. For example, Coal and Canary encourages its followers to honor its staff members’ birthdays by offering one-day discounts on the employee’s favorite candle scent. Likewise, Fendi marks 25 years of its Baguette line with creative posts on TikTok.
- Leverage social proof – Encourage shoppers to spread the word about their positive experiences with your brand by sharing reviews and testimonials on social media. You can even take it a step further by collaborating with influencers or micro-influencers to keep your brand in the public eye. These strategies can help build trust, as well as inspire purchases from both new and returning customers.
- Surprise and delight your customers – Include a “welcome” gift or thank you note with every first purchase to show your appreciation for your customers trusting you with their business. Make the unboxing experience treasured and memorable by celebrating special moments in their lives like birthdays, customer anniversaries, or achieving spending goals. Check out this TD Bank campaign to see how an unexpected gesture can impact people.
Offer a subscription service
Through subscriptions, everyone benefits. They provide businesses with recurring revenue and customers with convenience and savings. In fact, according to McKinsey, those who subscribe to services tend to spend 2.5 times more than those who do not. Subscription models come in three primary forms:
- Curation: A subscription service that delivers a box of items tailored to a specific theme, style, or customer preference.
- Replenishment: An easy way for customers to buy regularly required products.
- Membership: Subscribers enjoy exclusive discounts, pricing, and other benefits akin to loyalty programs.
You’ll need to ensure all the operations are in place to offer a successful subscription service. There are a lot of critical elements that must run smoothly, such as making sure there is enough stock of an item or avoiding any shipping mistakes. It’s essential to evaluate your procedures, as well as determine what kind of features best suit your offerings model.
Shopiroller for eCommerce makes it easy to manage product subscriptions and subscription boxes. It provides the power behind MightyNest’s subscription services that combines the convenience of a monthly box with added benefits like free shipping and discounts of up to 35% on every item in the store. Customers get double the reward with this service – they receive their monthly boxes plus the extra perks.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q: What are some customer retention strategies?
A: Some customer retention strategies include offering discounts or rewards to loyal customers, celebrating special days and anniversaries with customers, leveraging social proof, surprising and delighting customers, and offering a subscription service.
Q: How can businesses leverage social proof?
A: Businesses can leverage social proof by encouraging shoppers to share reviews and testimonials on social media or by collaborating with influencers or micro-influencers to keep the brand in the public eye.
Q: What are the three forms of subscription services?
A: The three primary forms of subscription services are curation, replenishment, and membership. Curation is a subscription service that delivers a box of items tailored to a specific theme, style, or customer preference. Replenishment is an easy way for customers to buy regularly required products, and memberships offer exclusive discounts, pricing, and other benefits akin to loyalty programs.
Q: What is Shopiroller?
A: Shopiroller is an eCommerce platform made to help businesses manage product subscriptions and subscription boxes. It provides the power behind MightyNest’s subscription service, allowing customers to receive monthly packages plus added perks such as free shipping and discounts of up to 35% on every item in the store.
Q: What is the benefit of offering a subscription service?
A: The primary benefit of offering a subscription service is that it provides businesses with recurring revenue and customers with convenience and savings. According to McKinsey, those who subscribe to services spend 2.5 times more than those who do not. Subscription services also allow businesses to build long-term relationships with customers, which can help increase customer loyalty and trust in the brand.
It’s no secret that acquiring new customers and establishing long-term relationships requires effort. That being said, the initial sale is usually the most challenging part. After creating a great first impression, you’ll find it easier to keep in touch with your customers and win their loyalty—all thanks to the helpful customer retention strategies mentioned above. If you’re ready to grow your business, get started with Shopiroller for eCommerce today!