Whatever industry you’re in, understanding your customer lifetime value is essential to the long term health of your business. Improving customer lifetime value is essential to the growth of your business.
You should have this number already worked out. Without it it’s impossible to accurately measure a change in customer lifetime value, up or down.
For convenience the calculations works as follows:
Multiply the average order value by the number of purchases per year. Then multiply this figure by the average number of years a customer stays with you.
In reality, it doesn’t take much to move the needle in a meaningful way. Increasing average order value by 10% across your entire business could represent a significant uplift in revenue.
The global average order value sits at around $150. This takes into account everything from fast moving consumer goods to high ticket items like electronics and domestic appliances.
A 10% increase would represent an extra $15 per order. In this example customers order once a month, increasing the annual order value to $2,160, up from $1,800.
Where things get really interesting is creating opportunities to increase the frequency of orders. So rather than generating an extra $15 per order, you generate an increase in the number of orders your customers place.
This could conceivably boost overage order value from $150 a month to $300 a month, or more. That doubles annual spend and with it the customer lifetime value.
But first you need to determine effective strategies to do so.
Give Customers what they want
When it comes to improving customer lifetime value, one of the most effective ways is to give them the experience they want.
Customer expectations have been on an upward trajectory for sometime. Investing in the technology required to meet them will drive traffic and sales as a result.
Within your business you will hold a considerable amount of customer data. Used in the right way you can gain considerable insight into what your customers want.
Everything from how they engage with your communications to what products they buy is all within your reach.
Consolidating and analysing that data will help you to improve customer service, product offering and more.
Similarly your website analytics will help you understand how your customers are engaging with your website.
Or more to the point, where they’re not. User experience is an integral part of growing customer lifetime value. If your customers find the website difficult to navigate they are more likely to exit without placing an order.
While there are strategies to offset that, the user experience needs to be a positive one to begin with.
Analytics will give you an indication at which points your customers are dropping out. Bounce rate is a useful measure of the overall impression users get of your site.
If bounce rate is unusually high then the design of your site or how you’re presenting your products is putting users off.
Reviews and Net Promoter Scores are a useful way of gauging customer satisfaction. Gathering this feedback will identify problem areas that you may not be aware of. Or confirm your suspicions in some cases.
Regardless it gives you something to act on in terms of improving the customer experience.
Consolidate your reviews, NPS scores and other feedback and use it as the basis for improvement planning.
As you work through the feedback, contact your customers to let them know what steps you’ve taken to address their issues. Aside from making them feel heard and valued, it serves as a great way to drive those users back to your site.
The more information you gather about your website performance, sales data, reviews etc, the better a picture you’ll get.
This data allows you to make swift and significant improvements to your business that can drive an increase in sales. Both in terms of average order value and frequency.
It comes as no surprise that the better a user experience a customer has, the more likely they are to complete the purchase.
Cross-sell and Up-sell
Cross-selling and up-selling are classic approaches to boosting sales. They have always been highly effective in classic brick and mortar stores.
This is due to the fact that customers are effectively a captive audience, surrounded by a wide range of products. The other factor is there are often shop assistants on hand to encourage the purchase of the next model up. Or add on sales and extended warranties.
For eCommerce customers this isn’t the case. There is no sales assistant to tease a better model for only a little more money. Or to recommend upgrading the sound system.
However, you can leverage your customer data to make recommendations based on:
- The products they have viewed
- Products they have purchased
- The products in their basket
You need to be able to dynamically make relevant, targeted recommendations to your customers throughout their shopping journey.
Synchronisation between your website, CDP and stock management platform gives you the capacity to deliver real time product recommendations. As your customers navigate through the site it will intelligently offer cross-sell and up-sells.
The functionality even exists that you can offer personalised discounts if the customer purchases the recommended cross-sell product.
Alternatively, if you have your products’ life cycles mapped out, you can create triggers that the latest model when the product they purchased is reaching end of life.
This can apply to anything from high ticket items like televisions to FMCG like health and beauty products.
Reminding customers they need to reorder, before they run out, is the kind of value add they’ll remember.
Customer lifetime value is directly linked to how relevant your customers perceive you to be.
The more relevant you are in terms of your products, pricing and service, the longer they will shop with you.
As relevance decreases the less likely they are to shop with you and the harder it will be to re-engage with them in the future.
Loyalty programmes engage with customers on a deeper, more personal level. There are many different ways to run loyalty programmes but at their core they need to achieve two things:
- Increase retention
- Increase sales
Repeat customers are more profitable than new customers. Not just because you don’t have to spend as much to win the sale. But because they spend around 69% more than a new customer.
Going back to our average order value of $150, an increase of 69% would increase your average order value to $253.50.
Loyal customers, however, not only spend more than new customers, they spend more frequently than repeat customers.
Keeping loyal customers engaged with your brand is a highly effective way of extending customer lifetime value.
The more data you have available to you the more you can do to sustain their interest.
Personalised product recommendations, promotions offers and gifts all go a long way to make them feel valued.
Exclusive content, advanced previews, early access to new season products and early access to sales all build trust.
The stronger the emotional connection your loyal customers feel towards your business, the longer they will stay loyal. And the more they will shop with you.
One thing that turns your customers off quicker than anything else is bad communication.
Whether it’s generic emails, slow response from customer services or dimwitted chatbots, they frustrate customers.
Considering the wealth of data you have on your customers, there’s little excuse for taking a scattergun approach to your communications.
The more personalisation you put into your communications the more your customers will respond.
This goes beyond making sure emails have the right name.
Using a customer data platform you can create highly personalised communications across multiple channels. You leverage everything from demographical data to purchase history to craft unique messaging.
As with your website you can leverage the data to send communications that offer relevant product recommendations or offers.
Using web push or app push notifications, you can send your customers personalised discounts based on products they’ve bought before.
You can also use your consolidated data to re-engage with lapsed customers and capture abandoned baskets.
The ability to communicate with these customers in a personalised manner is a great way to increase customer lifetime value.
Remember, lapsed customers stopped spending with you because they didn’t see you as relevant. If you can demonstrate to these customers that you understand them and their interests then you may just win them back.
Leveraging a Customer Data Platform
A customer data platform will give you a considerable edge when it comes to driving customer lifetime value.
The ability to pool your data into a Single Customer View allows you to understand your customers. With every relevant piece of data at your disposal you will have the ability to tailor everything from your user experience to your emails.
The ability to demonstrate this deeper understanding to your customers, and deliver meaningful value, will directly contribute to improving your customer lifetime value.
To learn more, book a demo 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.