The main reason customers stop engaging with a business is that they no longer see them as relevant.
Relevant, in this context, is a broad term. It can include anything from they don’t like your products to your prices being too high.
Customers could have also experienced bad customer service, a poor user experience or a clumsy checkout process.
To fully understand why you’re struggling to retain customers you need to understand the reasons why.
Your website analytics should give you some of this insight. High bounce and exit rates, combined with low conversion rates are a sure sign something is wrong.
Equally, if the customers are existing from basket pages or during checkout then you need to know why. Testing is an obvious place to start as it could be something has broken without you realising it.
However, if time on site and other key indicators are trending down then you’re losing customers.
Customer Data Platforms
Before you can hope to boost customer retention you need to gain insight. Not only insight into the challenges you have but how your customers behave.
This is where a customer data platform can help.
Due to the nature of business, there are specialist tools to achieve a specific function. Stock management, content management systems, email marketing and more.
The problem is all of these systems sit in silos. While you can compile reports manually, it’s time-consuming and the data is old by the time you present it.
As a result, it’s hard to make informed decisions about what you should be doing. A problem made worse because you can’t access all your data. Or pull it together in a way that makes any kind of sense.
Walls of numbers on a spreadsheet may look impressive but it doesn’t help you drive engagement. Or boost your sales.
Customer data platforms are an integral part of your ability to visualise, analyse and respond to actionable data.
Without it it’s guesswork.
A customer data platform pulls all of your data into a Single Customer View so you can get a clear picture. You will have everything from how long each customer has been shopping with you to average spend and what they’ve bought.
You’ll know how frequently they buy, what size garments they wear and even if they pay for next-day shipping.
Consolidating your data in this way is the foundation of any customer engagement strategy.
Your customer data platform is the all-knowing oracle of your business. Any time your customers respond to an email, read a blog, place an order or contact customer service, it will know.
Having this level of insight available to you means you can engage with your customers in the way they want.
The Shifting Expectations of Online Customers
One of the biggest challenges around retention is due to customer expectations have dramatically changed.
While price and delivery are considerations, increasingly customers want more from the websites they shop with.
Personalised communications and even personalised online experiences are at the top of their wishlists.
It’s easy to understand how this change in attitude came about. For years customers have been bombarded with generic emails, SMS and push notifications. Almost all of them are sales focused and offer little real value.
Customers have become inured to these generic communications and as a result, engagement is falling.
Your customers want to receive an email about products relevant to them. They want an SMS about products they actually buy. And a push notification with a promotional code unique to them.
Essentially, your customers want the kind of experience they’d get from a high-end brick-and-mortar store, online.
The good news is, just as online beats high street retail on price, it can do so again with a personalised customer experience.
Leverage your Data
Because you have all of your customer data, sat there in your customer data platform, you can create custom experiences.
Everything from a new season’s fashion email to abandoned basket push notifications can all be personalised.
Used as part of a multichannel, multi-stage customer engagement strategy, you can start to interact with your customers.
Moreover, you can tailor your communications depending on which segment your customers sit in.
Customers who haven’t shopped with you in a while, or whose average spend has been declining, are at risk of churn.
As touched on above, there can be lots of reasons why customers churn. The advantage of having the Single Customer View is you can identify these customers and re-engage with them.
There’s no definitive way to approach how you re-engage with your churned customers. The objective is to get them engaged with your brand and spend with you again.
Depending on what you sell and how you approach retention, aggressive offers, free next-day delivery, and an exclusive gift are all recognised ways of luring customers back into the fold.
The ability to identify and interact with customers before they churn is a major advantage and one most of your competitors will lack.
Remember, it’s all about relevance. If you present your churning customers with products, helpful content or offers that are relevant to them, the likelihood is they will spend with you.
Turning Repeat Customers into Loyal Customers
Repeat customers spend between 50 and 69 per cent more than new customers. They also spend more frequently. So your ability to retain these customers is directly linked to the long term success of your business.
Engaging these customers in ways they respond to has a number of benefits.
- They’ll spend more – loyal customers will find reasons to shop with you.
- Loyal customers are more profitable. It costs up to 25 times more to attract a new customer than it does to attract an existing one. Loyal customers make you more money by virtue of the fact that you don’t need to sell to them.
- Loyal customers advocate for you. Around 60% of all promotion happens without any input from businesses. It’s happy customers sharing their experiences with friends, family and their social network.
Loyal customers are significantly more likely to share their experiences compared to first-time buyers.
User your customer data platform to identify your most loyal customers and build a loyalty programme around them.
There are plenty of loyalty programme models you can base yours on, but it doesn’t need to be complicated.
You have all the data you need in your CDP so you can create a reward system that they will respond to.
Use your customer engagement suite to create campaigns that make your loyal customers feel special. Send them sneak peeks into new ranges, exclusive content and early access to sales.
Do everything you can to make your customers feel like part of the team. Don’t forget, that humans are a fiercely tribal species. Any sense of belonging you can create with your customers will be rewarded time and time again.
Build Long-Term Campaigns
All of these ideas are only as good as the execution.
Build customer engagement campaigns that deliver the most value possible to your customers across the channels they use.
With the right tools, you can create personalised messages across all major channels including web push, app push and even chatbots.
The more information available to you, the more personalised these can become, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
- The more first-party data you collect, the more personalised your communications.
- The more personalised the communications, the more your customers interact with you.
- The more they interact with you the more first-party data you collect.
Repeat ad nauseum.
Whether it’s email campaigns, abandoned basket campaigns, sales, promotions, exclusive offers or a loyalty programme, the more effort you put in at the start, the greater the rewards (and retention) at the other end.
The personalised customer experience isn’t the future of eCommerce. It’s the present. Increasingly customers are moving away from faceless entities to spend their money with businesses who ‘get them’.
It’s a trend that’s growing with no signs of slowing down.
A robust customer data platform with customer engagement functionality is the very beginning of that journey for your business.
To learn how you can use a customer data platform to engage with your customers, get in touch today.
Xtremepush is the world’s leading customer data and engagement data platform. We work with various top brands within the eCommerce industry. Schedule a personalised demo of our platform to learn more about how we can help your brand drive repeat customers and increase revenue.