How to win customer loyalty in ecommerce
According to the eMarketer report of 2016, we can expect retail ecommerce sales to reach the impressive $4.1 trillion by 2020. However, owners of online shops face a very serious problem on their road to success, which is competition. The number of ecommerce websites is growing consistently, so winning new customers gets harder. The most efficient way to retain business in this highly competitive market is to enhance customer loyalty. It can be done by providing your customers with the ultimate shopping experience through digital solutions that allow for more efficient personalization.
The report on customer loyalty published by Access Development states that personalization is a driving factor for loyalty for about 50% of customers. 56% of people claim that they would improve their perception of the brand if provided with a personalized incentive. These stats are easy to understand as it’s in the human nature to appreciate when they are recognized and treated with respect. Therefore, making customers the focus of your ecommerce business is a sure way to turn them loyal to your brand and keep your position high among emerging competitors.
Winning Customer Loyalty in eCommerce
Strategy №1: Enhance Your Website with Real-Time Customization Features
The focus of this strategy is to make every shopping experience on your website unique. Predictive technology is the key to that, so you will need to incorporate it into your ecommerce development project. These solutions vary from custom search features offering suggestions based on the customer’s behavior to targeted on-page ads.
Predictive analysis is usually based on assessing the following factors:
- Brand interactions
- Shopping history
- Demographic group
- Personal preferences
- Market trends
Predictive solutions that can be implemented on your ecommerce website would depend on your platform and the creativity of your development team. You will need to employ professionals who specialize in custom retail solutions so that they can create a customization plan that is perfect for your specific niche.
This type of technology has the power to enhance customer loyalty not only because it makes shopping easier for the customer. Most importantly, it eliminates annoying and irrelevant ads and suggestions. These mishaps reduce the quality of the overall customer experience, and according to the same Access Development report, 79% of people immediately go to the competitor after experiencing poor-quality service. While missing or incorrect suggestions cannot be compared to a delivery mistake or bad treatment from a call center agent, they do contribute to the overall negative experience.
Strategy №2: Introduce Chatbots
In simple terms, a chatbot is a program that impersonates a real-life Internet user and can perform a variety of repetitive tasks. These are not mere automation apps, like bots that post tweets or perform other marketing-related tasks. Instead, they replace a real helper who can guide the customer through the buying process and render any assistance necessary.
For example, some bots can ask questions about the customer’s preferred options of a product or service, and you can later use this data to provide a higher quality of personalization. A chatbot can also offer suggestions, which facilitates the shopping process. Most importantly, this type of program allows an ecommerce business to offer more relevant suggestions than a merely enhanced search feature can give.
The biggest benefit of well-automated chat agents is that customers can resolve all their inquiries in real time. It is imperative, since not getting a reply right away makes customers turn to other contact channels, and every minute of delay decreases the level of their satisfaction with the service. The report from the Northridge Group states that 55% of customers had to use at least two communication channels to resolve their issues. It is unacceptable for an ecommerce business that wants to foster brand loyalty.
Integrating chatbots with mobile messengers can give you an edge on the market as this technology is just starting to become popular. Also, these programs can help ecommerce businesses reduce the costs of outsourcing customer service. It frees up the funds that you can invest in other solutions that would enhance the shopping experience and thus increase loyalty.
Strategy №3: Offer Equal Shopping Experience to Mobile and Desktop Users
In its highly detailed report on ecommerce KPI benchmarks published in 2016, Wolfgang Digital has reminded us that despite a growing number of mobile users and the traffic they generate, mobile devices provide a very low conversion rate. According to the report, 42% of traffic transform into only 21% of revenue, while desktop devices, on the other hand, generate 67% of revenue (for expensive purchases).
However, this doesn’t mean that one should neglect their mobile ecommerce platform. On the contrary, studies prove that a high level of traffic through mobile correlates with the higher level of conversions through desktop computers. It means that today’s consumers use their mobile gadgets for research, while they still prefer making the actual purchase through their computers.
Considering these facts, it becomes obvious that development of a mobile ecommerce application is vital for ensuring the highest level of customer satisfaction. As shoppers use these gadgets to learn about the product, the functionality and quality of the app would determine the final decision to convert or not.
You should aim to develop an application that would be just as good as the desktop version of your website. It must possess all the same personalization features that provide for a better shopping experience. It is essential to supply your mobile application with built-in Help and FAQ features as both of them will help potential customers to gain more information during their research.
Finally, the application itself will enhance your branding, which means a boost to winning the loyalty of its users. Seeing the logo of the app on the screen would help your business literally work its way into the buyer’s subconsciousness.
Strategy №4: Redefine Your Content Strategy to Fight the ‘Content Shock’
In his article Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy, renowned marketer Mark Schaefer draws attention to a very serious problem. Our world is currently dominated by content marketing, and top-quality content does produce results. However, our ability to consume it is finite.
Due to this marketing method’s popularity, businesses have flooded the Internet with relevant and interesting articles, and more of them are added daily. Yet, customers have only a limited time during which they can study this information. With the influx of good content from everywhere, retaining a customer’s attention on your website becomes more difficult.
The way to avoid losing your clients over this is to introduce better types of content. You will also need to reduce the risks inherent to any experimentation. The 70:20:10 model would work best in this case:
- 70% of the content that has proved to work well based on collected analytical data.
- 20% of innovative content that must vary to gather more statistics.
- 10% of ‘content experiments’.
The final type of project should be as daring as you can come up with so that you can truly grab consumers’ attention.
Win Customer Loyalty through Personalized eCommerce Service
Converting leads to customers is a hard work, but to thrive in ecommerce, one needs not only to have customers but to make them loyal as well. Repeat visits always bring more money, and people are prone to buy more from the brands they trust.
Enhancing the shopping experience through personalization is the key to winning the heart of every individual customer. Luckily, today you can do this using a great variety of digital solutions.
The evolution of the software and analytical tools used so widely in ecommerce development do not only benefit such businesses. Every type of online operation produces better results by implementing personalization solutions, which increases the interest and spurs their evolution further. The ever-growing popularity makes it essential for ecommerce businesses of today to embrace these tools, as otherwise they would lag behind their competitors.