5 tips for ecommerce customer retention in 2023
The ecommerce sector is growing. In 2020, 17.8% of global sales were made through online purchases. By 2025, that number is expected to rise to 23%.
Although this is great news for the ecommerce sector in general, it means more competition among businesses. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, there has been a sharp increase in ecommerce brands around the world, especially in direct-to-consumer (D2C) businesses, whose market size in the US is expected to rise by 66% from 2021 to 2024 ($213 billion in sales).
In an increasingly competitive ecommerce market, not to mention the possibility of a recession, it’s especially critical, and challenging, for businesses to retain customers. So in this article, we’ll explore five ecommerce customer retention strategies that will give you a competitive edge in 2023.
1. Identify the root cause of customer churn
There are many reasons for customer churn. It can be poor UI, an abundance of options to choose from, lack of incentives for returning users, or simply, competitors presenting better alternatives.
Asking customers in your database about why they haven’t returned can show you the areas of improvement for your business. One way to do this is by sending email surveys or using strategic pop-ups on your website, especially during cart abandonment. SurveyMonkey can help you build customized surveys with templates and help you understand the insights from your customers.To increase response rates, consider incentivizing surveys with cashback, coupons, and gift cards.
2. Always keep up with demand and stay in stock
“Out of stock” tags on products can be a common sighting during holiday seasons. These instances push your customers away and send them towards your competitors. Therefore, it’s especially crucial to restock your inventory sufficiently and ahead of time so that you can tend to your customers’ demands at all times.
To help you keep track of stock levels, it’s critical to keep an eye on customer demands for each product on a daily basis. 8fig’s Sales Dashboard is a free tool that maps out your entire supply chain on a product-by-product basis and helps you predict future sales. Not only can this help in giving you an idea of how much stock to order, it can also indicate how much capital you’ll need in the near future to meet market demands.
3. Provide 24/7 customer support on all channels
Any roadblock encountered by your customer in making a purchase will undoubtedly prevent them from returning. In these scenarios, you have to proactively solve their problems in real-time to help them complete the order.
There are two things you need to keep in mind if you aim to provide top-notch customer service: communication channels and timeliness.
You have to answer your customers’ questions fast and on the channel they are most comfortable using. Haptik can help businesses by deploying AI-powered chatbots that support various communication channels including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger to answer your customers’ queries around the clock.
4. Create tiered loyalty programs and help your customers use it
Customers return to the businesses that value them most. An easy and effective way to make your buyers feel valued is by recommending them to a loyalty program that suits their needs. A good loyalty program will help you create tiered loyalty programs and integrate them into your sales funnel. LoyaltyLion, for example, connects you with in-house experts to help you focus on the right data to create productive loyalty campaigns.
However, your customers won’t know the true value of your loyalty program until they start to benefit from it. Therefore, it’s incumbent upon the business owner to regularly remind customers to use their loyalty points in their next purchase.
As an example, e.l.f. Cosmetics sends regular email updates informing their customers about how many reward points they have at a given moment.
Note how they provide a “spend your points” button to make it easier for buyers to take advantage of its loyalty program.
Having a clear call to action will go a long way in directing your customers to your loyalty page and reaping its benefits.
5. Build a community for your customers
There’s no better way for people to bond than by having something in common. Your customers all share at least one thing in common — being a part of your business’s community.
Building a community for your customers can benefit your ecommerce business in a number of impactful ways. In a strong business community, your customers will keep coming back to you, not just for your products but also for the values your business stands for.
A community can also help you understand the pulse of your customers by observing their conversations, which is a great way to discover what brought them to you in the first place and identify areas of improvement.
You can also utilize a community to test new ideas. For instance, if you want to launch a new line of products, your brand community is a great place to test your hypotheses.
You can use a variety of tools to help build your business’s community. Tribe, for example, helps create multipurpose, branded online communities where customers can interact, share tips, ask questions to the business, and more.
With 2023 already underway and more and more ecommerce businesses on the rise, customer retention should be that much more of a priority for store owners to address.
To improve your chances of retaining your customers in 2023, following the tips given in this article would be a great way to start. To recap:
- Use email and pop-up surveys to identify the reasons behind churn.
- Always keep your stock levels in accordance with customer demand and cash flow.
- Deliver omnichannel customer service 24/7 with the help of chatbots.
- Create tiered loyalty programs and help your customers take advantage of them.
- Build an online community to give your customers a dedicated space to discuss your brand.