In this fast-growing digital world, mobile applications are the key to the online commerce strategy. Why? Because these applications cater to a more practical online shopping experience owing to the customer behavior getting more and more mobile-centric. Today, it is essential for any brand above the beginner level to have a mobile app to amplify user engagement and achieve higher user retention and increased sales.
Customer retention in a simple language can be defined as the potential of a company or a product to turn customers into frequent buyers and prevent them from switching to a competitor. In other words, you are increasing brand loyalty and commitment amongst the users. It can be considered a benchmark of whether your product and service quality satisfy your existing customers. It's also the driving force of most subscription-based companies and service providers.
Customer retention is different from customer acquisition. How?
Customer acquisition means gaining new customers, whereas customer retention means nurturing and maintaining the relationship with current customers so that they continue using your products and services.
According to a Business Review from Harvard, acquiring a new customer can be 25% more expensive than retaining an existing one. You don't need to pay out a large amount on marketing, sales outreach, or promotion with existing customers. In addition, it is easier to switch existing customers into repeating ones since they already like on your brand or service from previous purchases. New users, however, often require more convincing when it comes to that initial sale.
Customer loyalty will give you repeat business and provide you with positive word-of-mouth marketing. In addition, a loyal customer will help you gain more strength in the market by offering free recommendations to their friends, family, and colleagues. Long-term success in a business can only come when more and more people trust you and your brand, and that can only be done by retaining customers and then using their records as a testimonial of your excellence.
Simultaneously, it imparts you with a better bottom line because if you manage to increase your retention rates by just 5 percent, your revenue may increase by 25 percent to 95 percent. Isn't that eye-opening?
So we've been going on and on about retention, but how do we implement it? Well, here's a list of potential strategies that can help you retain your customers and increase your ROI in the long run.
Customer support is integral and can have a tremendous impact on the bottom line of your business. It helps you to effectively communicate with customers and provide them with the right level of support. The significance of customer service is not limited to a simple 'it boosts sales'. The actual achievement is a client base that trusts you and is loyal to your brand. Moreover, a customer support department is as essential as other teams within a company.
Setting up a help desk or live chat tool in your app can help you enhance your product and services according to the customers' needs. Chatbots can be a great way to quickly provide your customers with answers and are cheaper to install and maintain than hiring workers. In addition, 63% of people would prefer messaging a chatbot to communicate with a business or a brand.
Another benefit is that chatbots are always available as they don't need shifts and breaks. However, despite all this, they are better suited for limited applications, while in other situations communicating with a human provides a far superior user experience.
You can set up live chat and increase customer retention by using tools like Tidio and Gorgias. Tidio is a Shopify live chat app that lets you set up a live chat widget on your store and even automate responses for common questions. Gorgias is also a good option if you are looking for a complete customer service solution.
If you answer customers' queries or resolve their complaints quickly, it can turn unhappy customers into loyal, repeat customers. Here are some quick facts that can inspire you to improve your customer support strategy -
Thus, we can conclude that fast customer support is one of the major strategies to improve customer retention.
Customer retention programs, or commonly known as customer loyalty programs, are reward programs especially planned by brands and companies to encourage loyal customers. These programs inspire customers to buy more and win rewards. As a result, 84% of consumers say they're more apt to adhere to a brand that offers a loyalty program. Generally, these loyalty programs have four categories - points, tiers, social media, and paid programs.
Many growing companies like MamaEarth, Boat, etc., launched different loyalty programs to boost sales and retain their customers. This also helped them in fast growth. Even well-established companies like Starbucks and Amazon come up with innovative rewards programs and inspire customer loyalty.
There are several benefits of customer loyalty program-
Some of the standard loyalty program models are points program, tier program, free perks program, subscription program, refer a friend program, and cashback program. Companies with effective customer retention programs grow revenues 2.5 times faster than their competitors. You can start your loyalty program with Smile.io, a Shopify loyalty app used by brands like Inkbox. There are other options as well like Antavo, Growave, and Appvirality.
Having a retention program is profitable to both the company and the customer. Customers get more value on each purchase they make, while the company receives loyal customers and repeat purchases. For example - Initially, you can offer some joining offers, welcome points, or reward your customers on regular purchases. As a customer becomes frequent, you can automate some loyalty features and reward them for specific actions taken on your app.
Working with each customer is essential for building long-term relations with them. Your approach may be different, depending on your needs, but personalization can change your retention rates to a great extent. It's crucial in running an email campaign, proposing a product pitch, or offering customer rewards. For example, constructively personalizing your loyalty programs benefits you to a 5.2 times boost in word of mouth reveal. You must measure essential data insights for a better engagement strategy, including the number of product page visits, wishlist items, add to carts, and other tactics. One way to collect all this important data related to your user is to use shop quizzes by octane.ai.
The shop quizzes and conversational pop-ups help you know your users and personalize their shopping experience. Add facebook-powered pre checked checkbox below your ‘Add to Cart’ buttons. Save shopping information for people who click that button and automatically send them abandoned cart campaigns via facebook messenger.
This was just one example of how octane.ai can help you retain customers. You can also use automated conversations and responses to frequently asked questions. Use the AI revenue dashboard to track conversions, volume, recovered revenue and more.
With these insights, you can show the shopper's previously viewed items and even set up 'Inspired by your Browsing History' recommendations, just like Amazon. With such relevant offers on your storefront, mobile app, or checkout, you can get customers to purchase something as soon as they land on your Shopify store.
You can set up personalized recommendations using Wiser. Leading brands like Kappa use the Shopify personalized recommendations app, helping them increase conversions by 17%.
Personalized email marketing has been a significant point in the retention maze. After all, research says 65% of shoppers are likely to stay loyal to brands when they receive personalized offers.
Customized emails also reinforce customers' experience with your brand, making them feel like a valued individual rather than just another customer. For example, if the emails are relevant to the person opening them, he or she is more likely to click and open them and engage with your brand on a long-term basis. This will eventually lead to deeper relationships and a better overall customer experience.
You can always use winback emails to remind your customers why they loved you. Talk about the previous purchases of your users and their good shopping experience with you. Discuss the benefits they can avail being an old customer and how much you miss them. Offer them irresistible deals, even if initially it puts you in loss. If you are able to retain an old customer then you’ll be able to attract a lot of new ones.
If we talk about sales and retention at the same time, then that email would come under replenishment email category. Just like the word ‘replenish’ suggests, these emails remind the customers to restock a recently purchased item. For example, a Matcha customer who is a frequent buyer of one of their products - Organic Superior Matcha, is reminded about refilling his stock. Once a purchase is made, an email can be sent out after 3-4 weeks for restocking that product before the customer runs out of it. This creates a necessity in the users' heads and also signifies that your company actually cares about them and is aware of their shopping behavior.
Personalized email campaigns include emails such as the following-
Klaviyo is an email automation tool that allows you to send targeted and relevant messages to customers based on their shopping and purchase behavior. Top e-commerce brands like Living Proof, Beardbrand, and Chubbies have seen an average 67x increase in ROI using Klaviyo's segmentation and predictive analytics tools.
Approximately 97% of your dissatisfied customers will leave silently. This is why you need to stay proactive and avoid losing customers without knowing the reason. Make use of social media, surveys, testimonials, etc., to get information on the challenges causing the churn of the customers.
Here's some good news! You can enable automated surveys on your mobile app and discover the issues with your existing user experience. Then, if you swiftly react to problems, you can diminish the adverse effects on your customer relationships.
Leverage social media listening tools such as Hotsuite or Mention to monitor your customers and deduce insights from them. You can produce valuable app feature ideas merely by paying attention to your customers. Track all social media activities, discussions, and reviews related to your company, services, and products frequently to plan your retention tactics.
Websites and mobile apps are the future of any business. You need to add features in your app which are user-friendly and eye-catching. Let's get this straight, customers don't buy things based on your choices or preferences. They demand services and products when they want, at the location they are comfortable with, and at the prices, they dictate.
Most e-commerce stores are known for mediocre and cluttered customer interfaces, which is not suitable for their reputation in the long run. So, it is crucial to focus on improving user experience to increase repeat customers. You must design the required features for your precise business niche. 13% of customers will tell 15 or more people about their bad experiences. 72% will tell six or more people about good experiences.
There are some inevitable features your Shopify store app should contain. Features like search and filter, push notification, order tracking and history, reviews and rating, and payment gateway simplify things and pave the way for higher profits and customer retention.
Another vital thing to keep in mind is that all your essential call-to-actions should be clearly visible. For example, if your customer has to dig deep for your sign-up or login buttons, they might very well skip it. Additionally, the number of links on the homepage should be limited. Observe and use customer location, order and search history etc., to recommend products that are likely to be bought.
While designing your Shopify store pay equal consideration to both the looks and functionality of your app, i.e., UI and UX. Try not to deviate too much from existing web conventions. After all, the patterns and practices that exist today are the results of constant trial and error. For example, today, we have analytics and heat maps that we can use to identify and remove red flag areas.