With the surge in online shopping, competition amongst businesses is on an all-time high. Every business is looking for ways to improve customer acquisition and hence offers several promotional schemes. However, retaining your current consumers can be done quite effortlessly if your company has strong customer retention techniques. Through this blog, we will explore what is customer retention, its importance, and a few customer retention strategies to adopt for your business. Let’s start!
What is Customer Retention?
Customer retention can be referred to as an act of retaining your current customers and preventing them from moving to a new brand or business. The retention process involves various brand loyalty initiatives and customer loyalty programs.
Though it is crucial for businesses to acquire new customers, customer retention plays an equally important role in sustaining businesses’ growth. As a matter of fact, the cost of customer retention is much cheaper than that of customer acquisition.
Why Is Customer Retention So Important?
Customer retention is often seen as a better alternative than customer acquisition, and there is a reason for that. Customer retention is a more efficient process as it involves selling a product to a customer who has already experienced the quality of your product or service. Unlike a new customer, selling your new products to customers you already have a relationship with is much easier.
Statistics show that a company typically spends five times less money on customer retention. In addition, the probability of selling a product to an existing customer is 40 percent higher than selling the same product to a customer who is new to your store. Usually, a customer gains trust in the brand when they shop and like your products and services. Furthermore, they are more likely to try new products from the store. This signifies why customer retention is important and how it can impact the growth of your business.
Indian eCommerce has seen significant growth in customer retention in the past decade. But what is the reason behind the surge? Raam Nayakar, the Co-Founder of Marvellent, talks about the top factors contributing to the increase in customer retention in the country
Check out the below video to know more about Customer retention in detail
Customer Retention Metrics
Customer retention rate can be measured through some of the below-given metrics. These metrics are immensely crucial to help craft effective customer retention techniques that can increase your store profitability. Let us examine these metrics in-depth:
1. Repeat Customer Rate
It denotes the percentage of customers who are willing to make a second purchase from your store. Higher the repeat rate, better the impact of your customer retention strategy. To calculate your repeat customer rate, you need to have:
- Data about the number of customers who have purchased from your store more than once in a specific time period.
- The number of customers who have purchased from your store only once in the same time period.
Repeat customer rate = Number of customers who shopped more than once / Number of customers who shopped only once
2. Purchase Frequency
Purchase frequency is another imperative metric in the customer retention process. Purchase frequency determines how often a customer shops from your store. To figure out the purchase frequency of your store, you need to divide the total number of orders in your store by the number of unique customers.
Purchase frequency = Number of orders placed / Number of unique customers
3. Average Order Value
Average order value generally refers to the average amount of money spent by a customer in your store. The more the average order value of a customer, the higher revenue gets generated for your business.
Average order value typically grows with retained customers as with time, they are likely to purchase more products and spend higher amounts at your store. To calculate the average order value for your store, you can refer to the given formula:
Average Order Value = Total revenue earned / Total number of orders placed
Customer Value: The Ultimate Goal of Retention Marketing
While these metrics are highly valuable for your business growth, they lead to the ultimate goal of improving customer value. Knowing the customer value is important for a business as it can distinguish which customer is likely to spend the most on your products and services.
When you have the insights for the highest valued customers of your brand, you can easily develop strategies to help retain those customers. To find out the value of your customers, you can leverage this formula:
Customer Value = Purchase Frequency x Average Order Value
Customer Retention Strategies that Actually Work
What is customer retention strategies?
Different businesses adapt different customer retention techniques and strategies considering their specific business goals. However, the given retention strategies are developed from a holistic viewpoint and can bring success and growth to your business. Here are some of the retention strategies you must adhere to:
1. Offer Gifts and Discounts
Offering your customers gifts and discounts is one of the most traditional ways of doing business and is still highly effective. Customers have a tendency first to check out the stores that offer discounts on their services and products.
A consistently provided promotional offer and discount can encourage the customers to shop again from your store. Besides, it elevates your brand awareness as people who benefit from the deals ordinarily suggest your store to their friends. This is one of the best ways of customer retention.
2. Improve your Customer Service
Customer service plays a huge role in your customer retention strategies. Modern customers want quick fixes and solutions to their problems. If your customer service strategy is not working to its optimal level, you will end up losing some of your valuable customers. Customers typically are not afraid of paying more, but they demand excellent customer service from the brand.
In case they have some query or problem related to their order, they want their problem to be solved at the earliest. Consumers will go to some other service in an eye blink if not satisfied with your service resolutions or methods. So make sure to always provide exceptional customer service so that your customers stay happy and loyal to your brand.
3. Begin a Customer Loyalty Program
Customer loyalty programs are essentially designed to increase the purchase frequency of a customer. Loyalty programs offer customers valuable rewards on the purchase of different product items. The deal becomes profitable for both parties as the customer buys items at a discounted price, and the store can sell more of its products.
A good way of initiating your customers to this program is by offering them free welcome points when they join the program. This encourages the customers to revisit your store and shop more.
4. Analyze your Customer Churn Metrics
Effective retention strategies not only get created from the positive metrics of the store but also from the failures of your store. That is why you must collect and track the data of customers who did not shop from your store again.
Find out why these customers chose to shop from another store and their reason for not coming back to the store. You can find this data through customer feedback, surveys, and the personal brand account of the customer. Analyse these metrics and then figure out the ways and measures to counter them.
5. Send Engaging Emails
Many people may feel that emails are an outdated form of marketing now. However, several statistics prove that email marketing is still prevalent and an excellent customer engagement tool.
Emails provide you with the opportunity to engage with your customer before and after their purchase. Every message you send adds a certain experience to the customer that they can relate to for future shopping.
Engagement with the customer through emails is a process. You can start by thanking the customer for transacting with your brand. After a few days, you can send customers product recommendations based on their previous buys. This technique produces results more often than you think and must be practiced by businesses.
6. Start a Customer Feedback Loop
Feedback is a source of information that can help bring your business on the right track. For successfully retaining your customers, collect the feedback of your customers to know how they actually feel about your brand. Customer feedback can be collected using customer reviews, surveys, quizzes, etc.
Gather sufficient information from the customers for a specific time period and analyze the data to figure out areas of improvement. Make it a habit to regularly collect feedback as it can eventually improve customer experience and your sales.
7. Maintain a Communication Calendar to Manage Customer Engagements
Customer retention can only be successful if you have consistent engagement with your customers. When your customers constantly hear about your brand and engage with it, only then will they return to buy another product. Reestablish your relationship with the customer if you have not heard from them in a long time.
You can create a communication calendar to track when and what communication you had with particular customers of your brand. The calendar can notify you when the time gap of communication becomes more so that you can reach the customer and offer some promotions to them.
8. Use Automation
Automation is one of the driving forces in all industries, and why not. The work processes it can do with high efficiency and less time, making it suitable for all operations. Your store can use automation to re-engage with the customer and improve customer engagement.
Engaging with each customer takes a lot of time, and a dedicated person needs to be appointed to carry out the activity. However, when you build an automated application for your store, the app can effortlessly take care of all these activities. Besides, it will help generate insights from customer data that can be used to build strategies for all kinds of operations.
9. Win your Customer’s Trust
Building trust for your brand with your customers can reward you with their loyalty. Adage suggests 81% of customers only buy the product from a brand they trust. To build the trust of your customers, the only way is to be consistent in delivering value to them.
Fulfilling your brand promise along with exceptional customer service will help earn the trust of your customers. Remember, trust is not gained overnight and might take time for different consumers.
10. Perform Corporate Social Responsibility Activities
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to a company’s commitment to maintaining the social, environmental, and economic effects of its work operations. CSR and quality of service have a deep-rooted relationship with customer retention.
In a world where everyone is thriving for their own success, a brand that chooses a comprehensive approach to conduct its business is preferred by many consumers. Indulge in various social activities, and you will notice, it will substantially impact the growth of your business.
11. Keep your Customers up to Date
A great way of building customer engagement is keeping your customers informed about your brand’s new services and products. Whenever your brand launches a new service or product, make sure the message reaches every customer.
Furthermore, you can also notify your customers when your company achieves new milestones. Make your customer feel that they are a crucial part of your organization. This will definitely add a space in their hearts for your brand.
12. Customer Onboarding and Educating
Educating the customers about your brand, its aim, values, and products can be highly beneficial in retaining them. Leverage a customer education program to illustrate the benefits of investing in your brand.
Develop and supply customer service tools that can be used to provide easy and fast service to the customers. Also, you can create a community of your brand and start it with some of the most prestigious customers of your business. This strategy is proven to optimize customer retention success.
13. Offer a Personalized Experience
The modern customer wants the best experience, whether they are shopping online, offline, or providing their feedback or grievances. This can be achieved only if you personalize your communication with the customer to help you understand their needs and demands in real-time.
You can add personalized notes and messages to customers when they shop from your brand. Another way is to add a purchase history of the customer along with their currently shopped item. Little things done in the right spirit often bring high-yielding results.
Check out the below video to know more about in detail
Your current customers are the biggest assets you have. Therefore, you must put sufficient energy and time into retaining them back to your brand using the right customer retention techniques. These strategies will power up your store revenue and build it up for success.
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