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Jan

Best Customer Retention Practices for Improving Ecommerce Sales

Posted by Joy

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With the increasing popularity of ecommerce businesses over internet, the customer’s experience with the marketplace is getting more social, visual, and mobile. This phenomenon is improving the customers’ online shopping experiences, whereas it is also complicating the process for retailers and online store owners to maintain and keep up with the hottest developments in the ecommerce domain.

Appealing new customers towards your online store for making a purchase can cost five times more than retaining the existing customers. Here are some important stats that exhibit the significance of maintain the existing customers:

Important Customer Retention Stats

  • You will be surprised to know that 41% online revenues are contributed by the returning customers that claim just 8% of all visitors. Isn’t it astonishing?
  • Moreover, a mere 5% increase in the customers’ retention can help an ecommerce website to increase its profit by 25% to 125%. These figures reveal the importance of customer retention practices for the ecommerce businesses.
  • The probability of making sales through an existing customer is 60%- 70%.
  • 71% customers put an end to their relationship with the retailers or store owners with poor customer services.

From the above mentioned stats of customer retention, it is clear that instead of focusing on devising innovative tactics for attracting new customers, it is equally important to maintain the existing customers on your online store for ensuring boost in sales and revenue. For doing so, it becomes vital for the online businesses to remain aware of the key practices to retain the existing customers for assured success.

1. Make use of Customer Accounts Efficiently

Suppose you are a customer and you have already made an account on an online store. Now, whenever you want to make a purchase, you don’t have to put your shipping details and other information again and again because all your mandatory details will be saved in your account once it has been created. You can simply place an order by logging in your account with your login details. On the other hand, as an online store owner, you can keep a check on the loyalty of new customers by checking the number of customer accounts created on your website, since most of the customers prefer to checkout as a guest only if the option is available on the website.

Hence, it becomes important for you to successfully persuade your customers to make customer accounts without encumbering the conversions of new or the first time customers.

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Moreover, accounts also make repurchasing very convenient for the returning customers as it provides them the ease to access their previous orders and also saves their time involved in entering their shipping details again.

2. Deliver Your Product Timely

Delivery is yet another important factor that every ecommerce store owner must emphasize to ensure customer retention on their websites. Delivery could become a pain for the customers if it is not done timely. You might sell good products by offering an impressive online shopping experience to your buyers, but all your efforts will go in vain if you have failed to deliver your products timely.

Being the owner of an online store, you must choose a trusted and loyal courier partner for ensuring that your customers will get complete information about the status of their products until they are delivery safely at their doorstep.

Kiddicare’s SMS service is one of the finest example of excellent delivery service to the customers as it keep its customers informed about the status of their products via texts and they can easily rearrange their delivery if they want because an option for doing so is also available.

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Other important points that should be taken care while successfully delivering the product to your customer are listed as follows:

  • The packaging of the product should be done appropriately to avoid any damage to it.
  • Fast delivery options should also be offered by the ecommerce store owners.
  • Set and meet your customer’s expectations

3.Offer Great Customer Service

Great customer services help the customers in avoiding the waiting queues of the call centers and it also helps in adding a more personal touch. Only the design of your ecommerce website and your wide product range is not sufficient to lure the customers but you must offer great customer experience to them for ensuring improved customer retention percentage on your online store.

For example, if a customer ordered a product from your store, and you have provided all the essential details to the customers about the product without any hidden cost, it will help in developing a long term relationship between you and your customer.

Here is an example of Oasis, which opens an online booking service for offering in-store advice to its shoppers:
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Other significant ways of offering great customer services for ensuring customer retention are:

  • Enhance your email customer service
  • Enhance your website with effective ecommerce conversion optimization strategy
  • Satisfy your customers with their queries
  • Offer them easy and free returns
  • Offer them refundable schemes

4. Execute Customer Loyalty Program

It seems to be one of the perfect ideas for retaining the existing customers on your online store. Rewards are always considered as one of the most effective way of improving online marketing experience. You can offer rewards to your customers based on their loyalty and for implementing this strategy, you can develop a loyalty membership option on your online store. This is a very successful way of guaranteeing improved conversion rates and revenues through repeat purchases.

Here is an example of an online Pizza store that offer a Free 2Z pizza to its customers on purchase of any two items listed on its website:

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You can reward your customers for their second purchase from your website or you can also present them rewards on a set dollar figure spent while purchasing from your website. It will encourage the existing customers to make purchases from your online store again in future.

5. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a successful way of boosting return shopping on your ecommerce store. Email is measured as the perfect medium for contacting your existing customers and reminding them of your ongoing offers. If you have a customer retention focused email marketing tactic, you can send emails to your target customers about the ongoing discount and offers on your website to encourage them to generate leads and sales on your online store.

If a customer has not made a purchase from your website for long, you can use this strategy to generate tempt within them to return back to your store.

Ebay.co.uk sends an email to one of its customers reminding the winter offers running on its store. This is one of the perfect examples of implementing the email marketing strategy effectively by an online store:

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6. Improve Social Engagement

Social media platforms not only help in improving the traffic on your online store, but it is also an ideal way of enhancing your customer retention.

There are two reasons as to how social media engagement helps in retaining your existing customers for ensuring repeat purchases:

It offers a platform where you can interact with your customers on daily or weekly basis, which is important for reminding the customers about your brand and offers.

It helps in revealing your loyal customers as the people who have liked or followed your Facebook business page have chosen to connect with your brand in personal way.

Now, you can use both these points to encourage your customers to make repeat purchases from your store by telling them about your latest and ongoing discounts and offers.

7. Keep Record of All Customer Interactions

Keeping a record of your customer interactions is important because it helps in evaluating the channels that contribute leads to your websites. Now, you can focus on these channels for bringing back the existing customers by reminding them of their purchases through emails and offers. You can understand what customers have purchased from your website and you can suggest them similar products or can also send offers and other lucrative appeals to drive them back to your online store. If you were successful in offering great experience to your customers with their first purchase, your offers and appeals will definitely bring them back to your site.

These practices are considered as just the beginning to the efficient customer retention for an online shopping store. Customer services are very vital to the success of your ecommerce business. Therefore, thinking out of box and implementing these strategies will surely help in retaining your existing customers to your online store.


Jyoti Mali is the Head of Digital Marketing at TIS India, a Digital Marketing agency in India focused on SEO, digital analytics, online advertising, CRO, web design & development. She leads strategy for multi-channel digital advertising for in-house accounts & agencies globally. Being a Google Analytics Certified (IQ) Professional & Ecommerce Analytics Qualified Consultant, she loves playing with Analytics & helping clients with actionable insights.