Customer retention is all about keeping customers in the loop, irrespective of if a purchase has been made or not. You need to stay in touch with them to keep their interest in your product and brand cemented. The only way to make it happen is to map out customer retention strategies.
If you are well-read about eCommerce customer retention, you must have come across this for sure – ‘It is easier to retain customers than to acquire a new one.’ This statement is easier said than done because most eCommerce companies out there are unaware of how to execute customer retention strategies to increase the customer retention rate.
Fret not! Help is here.
This blog post is an insight into what is customer retention along with some of the best customer retention strategies and the impact they can have on your online business along with some strategies to help you improve customer retention.
Table of Contents
What is Customer Retention?
Customer retention definition is a marketing activity performed by eCommerce stores to make their existing customers continue shopping at their place and prevent them from switching to other store. It is quite different from customer acquisition because here the customers are already converted.
Also, customer retention is quite cost-effective when compared to acquiring new customers and that is why customer retention is important for your WooCommerce store.
One of the major customer retention tactics is to increase your engagement and create a better relationship with the customers to foster loyalty through which you can drive repeated sales. Loyal customers can also increase your Word of mouth marketing by becoming your brand advocates.
Why is Customer Retention important for your store?
These statistics will tell you why Customer retention is important.
- Data show that the chances of selling to an existing customer are 60 – 70%, whereas with a new customer it gets reduced to 5 – 20%.
- 82% of companies agree that the expense of customer retention is way lesser than customer acquisition.
But, here is the downside.
- Companies spend 11X more on customer acquisition compared to client retention.
If you are one among them, time to take a detour and tread the right path.
Why do customers switch brands and how to increase customer retention and growing revenue?
Similar to reasons for cart abandonment, customers do have reasons for opting out from your brand which affects customer retention. This also indicates how to increase the customer retention rate.
Take a look at this graphical representation by SuperOffice.
It is not quite alarming to know that 68% of customers can leave if a company doesn’t care. You or I, anyone who feels neglected would do that.
The message is clear cut that you need to strike a conversation with customers to curb client retention.
The necessity of this is intensified when it comes from one of the brands like Chubbies – an epitome of success in building a community around a product. One of the Co-founders of Chubbies, Tom Montgomery says, “Your audience becomes your advertising if you can create a conversation.”
With conversation, relationships are built with customers and this acts as rocket fuel for increased customer retention rate.
How to calculate Customer retention rate?
Before we go on to discuss how to increase customer retention, we should know how to determine them in the first place.
So, here is what you need to calculate your customer retention rate,
1. Total number of existing customers from the beginning of the time period(B)
2. Total number of existing customers from the end of the time period(E)
3. Total number of new customers added in between the time period(N)
Once you have these data in your hand, use this formula to calculate your customer retention rate,
Customer Retention rate = [(E-N)/B] X 100
This will give your customer retention rate percentage from which you can employ new strategies to increase customer retention and growing revenue.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer retention rate
Customer Relationship Management and customer retention are directly proportional. If CRM is faulty, the customer retention rate takes a hit. On the other hand, when CRM is handled professionally, then you reap more sales from your existing customers than from the newly added ones. Eventually, the customer retention rate spikes up.
Customer retention is the outcome of CRM. This also means that CRM strategies double up as WooCommerce customer retention strategies.
WooCommerce Customer retention is a tricky phenomenon of holding back the customer but it can do wonders when done the right way. If this is your goal to better your WooCommerce store, then read on – customer retention strategies coming up.
10 Methods to Increase Customer Retention Rate In Your WooCommerce Store
Perfection is when you can achieve a 100% customer retention rate but the hard truth is that it is no mean task. It is nearly impossible.
But you can almost get there with your WooCommerce store, at least up to 85% with the right customer retention strategies.
Keep up with the product quality
Of course, product quality is the first factor to look into when running a WooCommerce store. Considering the fact that the business is online, product quality is crucial to increase customer retention and growing revenue.
This is because unlike in a brick and mortar store, customers cannot specifically choose the product that they want to own. So, customers blindly trust what they see online and place the order. Customer retention rate drops drastically if that trust is taken for granted by delivering a product of poor quality.
30% of customers simply leave if the product quality is bad, according to SuperOffice.
Do the following to ensure product quality
- Invest in a good quality testing team to maintain consistency.
- Make sure each and every product is tested, rather than going for random checks.
- Act on customer feedback and complaints.
Talk it out immediately when in need
Customers expect the fastest response when they need help. The faster the response, the higher are the chances to improve customer retention. The best way to implement this is via live chat.
Here is an example of live chat in an eCommerce store for SaaS products.
Sales are likely to increase by 10% by implementing live chat in your WooCommerce store. This implies better customer satisfaction. Harvard Business Review says a 12% increase in trust or customer retention can be garnered with a 10% increase in customer satisfaction. The relation between customer retention and satisfaction is proportional.
Benefits of live chat
- Immediate response
- Pain points are addressed without delay
- Sale happens satisfactorily
- Impress with good customer service
Make good use of WooCommerce next order coupons
To ensure customer retention, it is your duty as a WooCommerce store owner to see that the customer at hand never detests shopping.
The interest to shop again must be rekindled every time a purchase is made and with this the customer comes around again for the next buy. This creates a big chain keeping the customer hooked and thus increasing customer retention rate.
Now, what element can be used to reassure that the customer revisits your online store very soon once again?
The answer is WooCommerce Next order coupons.
WooCommerce Next Order Coupons from Retainful get added automatically to a transactional order to be sent to a customer. The message in the coupon can be customized as per your needs.
An expiry date can also be set for the next order coupon which triggers the customer to action without much delay. The whole process is completely automated once set and you will see your customers coming back for more.
Provide next order coupons in WooCommerce store to increase customer loyalty and retention.
Omnichannel marketing is the key
Customers are all over the internet. You will hardly find few people with just one social account. It is not the new normal to have an email ID, Facebook account, Instagram account, and a Twitter account.
A study says that an internet user has an average of 7 social media accounts. Definitely not astonishing in this digital era.
Given this scenario, it is absurd to concentrate on one medium for marketing your store and products or even to stalk your customers (not literally though).
Spread out and go with omnichannel marketing.
Market the same idea on all platforms. Of course, by optimizing the message as per the demands of the particular platform.
Let’s check out an example.
Koala, a mattress company, successfully combines both email and Facebook marketing.
This is one of their abandoned cart emails.
The same message is shown on Facebook too.
Sending out the same message across all platforms reinforces the purchase intent. It also ensures that the message reaches the customer because you never know which platform the customer is using actively.
This way omnichannel marketing becomes a great driver to increase customer retention rate.
Segment and provide personalized discounts
Special attention is what every customer expects. They would only be happier if a personalized discount offer is given. This gives you a better chance to increase customer retention and growing revenue.
What are the occasions on which a personalized discount can be given?
- When bill exceeds the average amount
- For winning a contest
Personalized discounts sow the seeds for customer loyalty and retention but you must segment your email list to do it right.
Personalized means special, which means it is not applicable to all. So, email list segmentation comes into play here.
Choose customers from your set of audience using a specific criteria to send out personalized discount offers for customer retention. Treat them well and in return they remain.
Use emails to promote your brand and products consistently
Email is the best medium to send product and sales information for your WooCommerce store from time to time. With the fact that nearly half of the world’s population has an email ID, why not utilize email marketing for customer retention?
Honestly speaking, each and every email that you sent is a cue to spike the customer retention rate. The kind of email does not matter here, be it welcome email, abandoned cart email, promotional email, sales email, or order confirmation email.
The secret to customer retention with email marketing is consistency.
You need to remind the customer about your presence every now and then.
Take a look at the screenshot below.
All of the emails in the image are from Chubbies after a cart abandonment on March 3, 2020.
Did you notice the frequency at which the emails have been sent?
March 3 – abandoned cart email
March 4 – New product introduction email
March 5 – Limited edition restocking email
March 6 – Favorite prints email
March 9, 11, 12, 13, 19, 20, 22, 25, 27….till date
Chubbies made sure to send emails every day for 3 days after the cart abandonment email. Then, the frequency reduced to alternate days or every 2 days but there has not been a further decline. They simply keep sending mind-blowing email content and stuff.
This consistency in sending the emails is about keeping the customer informed of all the available products, a sale, a contest, and even for sending a discount to guarantee customer retention.
Here is one email from Chubbies with a discount at the end.
The email starts off with an image of the new product.
Then, the email talks about the speciality of the new product.
Finally, ends the email with an offer.
If the offer is a captivating one, people would obviously buy the products. Email frequency is vital for customer retention and when accompanied by a discount, customer loyalty and retention is assured.
Get customers involved with membership programs
Amazon’s Prime membership program is what comes to the mind when thinking about how to increase customer retention by asking customers to become members. There are about 105M Prime members in the US alone as of June 2019.
Membership programs must offer something special that is not accessible by other customers. What does Amazon offer in that case?
- Faster delivery
- Special offers and discounts
- Video content
- Ebooks, and more.
On the whole, it is a customized and tailored user experience.
Over time, customers of the Prime membership program have only increased steadily. The customer retention rate for Amazon Prime membership program stands at 93% after the first year and at 98% after two years.
Beyond promising special treatment for members, it is about delivering the promise that makes Amazon stand apart as the world’s best eCommerce customer retention program.
Promise special perks for getting more referrals
Asking customers for referrals is one of the best customer retention strategies to implement. Stats say that customers who come in through referrals have 37% or higher customer retention rate and an 18% lower churn rate than other customers.
Referrals are successful because of the perks that are given out. Earlier on, only the referrer was rewarded. With time, most WooCommerce stores have adapted the strategy of rewarding both the referrer and the friend to make sure that people do not feel hesitant to join.
Here are some of the examples of referral programs implemented.
Invite a friend and you each get 10% off. Pet Mountain
Give 10% off and get a $5 coupon for yourself. Primal Food
Refer a friend and get a free product. Flintobox
All of these referral programs have been successful but why not think beyond this scope?
Harry’s did it with their shaving subscription service.
Harry’s had a referral program, as a launch campaign, which gave away freebies for referrals but with a difference.
The freebies differed with the number of referrals.
5 referrals – shave cream
10 – shave blades
25 – shave set
50 – one year of free blades
With 50 referrals, you will have the whole shaving set in hand, along with free blades for a year. The friend gets a 10% off the first purchase. That was very clever marketing and yes, it worked. Within a week, 100,000 leads came their way.
How to choose the referral program strategy?
If you have too many products in your WooCommerce store, simply give a discount or coupon for your referral program. If your store focuses on a specific product like Harry’s, give away a freebie without much thought.
Customer retention is at your doorstep. Invite it with a referral program.
Bombard your marketing strategies with social proof
Social proof is a powerful indicator of trust and satisfaction that customers have in a brand or company. These two are the driving factors for a higher customer retention rate. Use social proof in your marketing tactic and you will learn the game of how to increase customer retention.
Social proof for eCommerce stores is all about numbers sold and experiences from customers.
In exit intent popup for cart abandonment
100+ nos of this product has been sold! Only a few left. Make it yours now.
In email for product promotion
I have been looking for a while for such an amazing product. Couldn’t have been happier. Easy to handle and works perfect. – Robert
Use social proof sensibly and you will see the changes happen.
Lend ear to customers’ woes
Problems are inevitable when running a WooCommerce store. Every customer is different and so are the problems. It can be anything related to payment, delivery, product quality, shipping, website navigation, and the list goes on.
It is only natural that customers reach out to the customer service department to solve the issues. When timely help is given, the probability of customer retention is higher. On the other hand, if customers are subjected to poor service, don’t even think about customer loyalty and retention. That would be a far away dream.
Retainful, a WooCommerce plugin for abandoned cart recovery and next order coupon, has an excellent customer support team to guide customers. Problems seem like stardust with their help. Here is proof.
What should you do to nail customer service?
- Be patient and available.
- Reply as early as possible, probably within minutes.
- Listen to your customer and understand the issue rather than assuming it.
- Help the customer walk through the process if needed.
- Go a step ahead with extra support to delight the customer.
- Get back and check if the issue has been solved.
Bonus Customer Retention Strategies
Check out two more advanced WooCommerce customer retention strategies to ponder.
Create an audience whose mindset align with your mission
An eCommerce company with a mission is not easy to find. If you have one, you are unique. That is because you have a long-term goal to achieve and you work towards that rather than simply onboarding customers and thinking about customer retention.
Bombas is one such company.
Bombas donates a product to the homeless with every product that is purchased. That is a one-on-one strategy.
When this mission of the company is marketed in the right way, it magnets like-minded customers. Customers, by purchasing products, work alongside the brand to serve the needy for a lifetime.
With such a solid philosophy that the company backs, customer retention rate will soar higher and higher.
Teach and educate
Knowledge is wealth and by sharing it you become wealthier. Considered as one of the superior strategies for customer retention, knowledge sharing in the form of blog posts is a must-try.
Canva Design School shares guides, resources, and videos with regard to design. Customers find it useful to be taught by the makers of the design tool themselves. There need not be any other reason for them to stick around.
Similarly, there are various other eCommerce stores that run blogs to educate the customers about their products. Vinebox, organic wine seller, does this. The brand puts up information that customers must know regarding their wines.
Content like the one shown above in the image gives a reason for customers to come back for more wine and turn into a loyal customer.
First, get to know your customers regarding their expectations and needs to stick to your brand for a longer period of time. Conduct a survey for this using an exit intent popup or an email.
Second, set up customer retention strategies such that they help overcome the customers’ insecurities. Makes the customers comfortable with your brand.
Last, experiment and reinvent customer retention as per the changing needs and desires of your audience.