Customers value their time and have many options when surfing the web. What reasons do they have to come back to your site?
What Are the Benefits of Retaining Customers?
Putting effort into designing a product and marketing to new customers without retaining customers is like trying to fill a leaky bucket with water. You prime the pump, only to have profits slip from your grasp. If you can convert individual consumer encounters into long-term business relationships, the potential windfall includes:
- An increased return on your marketing investment
- An enduring bond that can survive occasional product failures and negative publicity
- A customer base familiar with your website and product line
- A source of referrals, leads, and testimonials
Why Do Customer Retention Strategies Work?
Shopify marketing services by Bear North Digital take a multifaceted approach to customer loyalty. We use Shopify customer retention strategies singly or in conjunction to grow a business’s customer base.
Our proven methods include the following:
- Transactional customer retention strategies that focus on costs and benefits.
- Emotional customer retention strategies that cultivate an association between your brand and positive feelings such as security, belonging, and excitement.
- Social customer retention strategies that build on the customer’s connection with other people.
- Value-expressive customer retention strategies that rely on a connection between the company or product and the customer’s self-image.
A comprehensive Shopify customer retention strategy will incorporate multiple motivators as part of a smooth customer experience. It will leave your loyal customers feeling satisfied, in control, and already anticipating their next visit.
Customer Retention and the Shopify Platform
One reason Shopify is among the most popular e-commerce platforms in the country is the resources that it provides to merchants. Shopify can help you set up a loyalty program, find apps to manage a referral program, engage with customers, and manage customer data.
Users of Shopify get the most out of the platform if they develop strategies that leverage its capabilities without taking their eyes off marketing fundamentals. The following tips are goalposts you can work toward as you become familiar with Shopify tools and tailor them to your business model and brand.
You might find some of these tips more applicable than others, but you cannot afford to neglect any of them. Take time to consider how to adapt them to your needs.
Tip #1: Reward Loyalty
Human nature makes us sensitive to rewards and a sense of empowerment. If your customers know they can earn discounts, get complimentary gifts, save on shipping, and so on, they will be more likely to sign up for a customer loyalty program. Once your customers are in the habit of visiting your site first, they’ll keep coming back to you when they need to shop.
Tip #2: Provide Extra Surprises
Besides the expected rewards, customers often respond well to pleasant surprises. An extra gift added to an order, a discount, a free shipping promo, or a personalized message on a birthday or holiday can impress customers. They’ll cultivate a lasting feeling of goodwill toward your company.
Tip #3: Don’t Rock the Boat
While positive surprises will delight your customers, negative surprises can send them to the competition. Whenever a product is out of stock, a customer service representative is unhelpful, a shipment arrives late, or prices go up, customers have the motivation to go elsewhere.
Tip #4: Stay Connected to Your Customers
Customers will drift away if you don’t remind them of your company and its value from time to time. Encourage your customers to sign up for an e-mail newsletter and keep them updated about new product offerings, promotions, and company news. Don’t overdo it, and let customers choose how frequently they want to receive messages from your company.
Tip #5: Contribute to the Community
One way to stay in the minds of consumers without overwhelming them with advertisements is to become part of their lives in other ways. Sponsor events that matter to your consumers. Let them know about upcoming events and help them build connections with other customers with similar interests.
Tip #6: Be a Trusted Resource
A company blog with informative articles (like this one) gives customers reasons to visit your website even if they don’t feel like shopping. If customers feel confident that the information on your site is more relevant, helpful, and accurate than content on competitors’ sites, they will regularly flock to you.
Tip #7: Encourage Customers to Create Accounts
Customer accounts provide an online space that consolidates and reinforces your other Shopify customer retention strategies. By logging onto your site, customers can track their loyalty rewards, receive updates, receive promotional offers, and streamline their shopping experience. Invite new shoppers to create an account through an easy and rewarding sign-up process.
Tip #8: Support Your Customers
Shopify websites are easy to use, but no merchant can deliver a perfect shopping experience every time. When your consumers can’t find what they’re looking for or express frustration at some aspect of your site, you have an opportunity to improve the situation and demonstrate to consumers that you prioritize their interests.
One highly effective Shopify customer retention strategy is to use the Shopify online chat feature. This app connects shoppers in real time to a customer support representative, providing them with immediate assistance.
Tip #9: Offer Perks
You can use your Shopify website to inform your customers about the benefits of doing business with your company. If you offer free shipping, holiday sales, hassle-free returns, and other services, let your customers know throughout your site.
Tip #10: Make the Shopping Experience Easy
One of Shopify’s advantages as an e-commerce platform is its ability to offer a secure, efficient shopping trip. Make the most of Shopify’s features to benefit your customers, and your customers will reward you with loyalty.
- Support a variety of payment methods
- Provide a searchable inventory of products
- Allow customers to conveniently apply promo codes during checkout
Tip #11: Give Your Customers a Voice
One of the benefits of online shopping and a core element of many Shopify customer retention strategies is two-way communication between consumers and merchants. If customers have positive or negative feelings about your site or your products, they will share them on social media platforms, blogs, and online review sites. Make your website a place where feedback, suggestions, and sharing ideas are welcome.
Tip #12: Give Your Product Meaning
The connection between your product and your consumers should be at the heart of your marketing and Shopify consumer retention efforts. As you design and update your Shopify e-commerce site, ask yourself how every element of the site, from the images to the layout, highlight the elements of your brand that resonate with consumers.
Tip #13: Accentuate Unique Benefits
If your product or company has a unique selling point, make it a prominent part of your site. Once you make the case to consumers that they can find something on your site that they can’t find anywhere else, they will gravitate toward your site.
Unique benefits do not necessarily have to be product features. Positioning your brand as socially responsible, environmentally friendly, authoritative, or empathetic could differentiate your brand from the competition in your customers’ eyes.
Tip #14: Reward Customers Who Spread the Word
Your satisfied customers can be your greatest asset for online commerce. Not only are your customers a source for testimonials and positive online customer reviews, but they can also provide leads by referring their friends and relatives to your site. A referral rewards program is a time-tested strategy for generating leads with a high potential for becoming loyal customers.
Potential customers trust the judgment of the people they know in their lives more than they trust salespeople or marketers. If your customers are willing to recommend your products to people in their social circle, they are staking their social standing on their faith in your product. If you can deliver on that promise, your product and brand will form part of a bond of friendship or a family connection between two loyal customers.
Tip #15: Measure the Effectiveness of Your Customer Retention Strategies
No marketing campaign will be flawless from the moment you implement it. Some efforts to reward or connect with customers fall flat, or worse, drive customers away. A robust and targeted plan should quantitatively and qualitatively assess each new promotion or change to your website as you deploy it.
You don’t need to be a large corporation to benefit from marketing research and consumer behavior analysis. Some crucial data about your customers, such as purchase frequency, website usage, browsing history, and product ratings, are available to you through your e-commerce website. You can obtain more detailed information about your customers’ frustrations, hopes, needs, and expectations through web surveys and other research methods.
Ultimately, you should clearly understand how each of your business’s marketing initiatives affects customer retention rates. You can leverage that information to create customized, effective Shopify consumer retention strategies moving forward.
Lastly, consider one Shopify customer retention tip that will enhance the effectiveness of all the others:
Tip #16: Understand Your Customers and What They Need and Want
Often the difference between a marketing campaign that falls flat and one that attracts a following is the extent to which the consumers feel that it matters to them. It is not enough that a product or service has meaning, value, and relevance. It must be meaningful, valuable, and relevant to the specific individuals that comprise your audience.
The time you take to learn from your customers and get to know them, as individuals as well as market segments, will provide you with invaluable insights and opportunities to make personal connections.
Grow Your Business and Expand Your Reach with Bear North Digital
As you look through all the Shopify customer retention tips on this post, do you have questions about how to integrate them and use them effectively for your business? Don’t worry. The Bear North Digital team has the skills to create outstanding websites to suit your needs and delight loyal fans and potential customers alike.
Call (218) 216-8692 or fill out our online form to speak with us about Shopify customer retention initiatives and social selling tips. Click the link on our website to request a free growth plan today.