One of the biggest ways in which you can boost your Shopify profits is by honing in on customer retention. By some estimates, it can cost between 5 and 25 times more to reach a new customer than to bring an existing customer back to your store. By understanding customer lifetime value, you’ll see that keeping customers coming back is important.
Shopify store owners put a lot into bringing traffic to their store. These marketing efforts can offer a huge return on investment as you reach a wider network of customers, who come and spend money in your store. New customers are one thing, but what about getting them to keep coming back?
Conceptualizing the marketing process up to the point of sale and no further is a huge mistake in running a Shopify store.
For a moment, as a customer browses your store and clicks purchase, you have their attention.
You’ve already invested countless hours and dollars in getting them there, so are you just going to let them leave once they’ve made a purchase?
Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value (CLV, or sometimes CLTV) is an important metric for any organization. What CLV basically means is the amount of revenue you can expect to make from any individual customer over the course of your business’s relationship with them.
Through email marketing and personalization, you can turn a one-time customer into a repeat customer. Once the costs of lead generation and onboarding have been sunk into a customer, you can double or triple their lifetime value through lower cost marketing efforts such as personalization and onboarding.
And that’s not all you can do to maximize customer retention.
Focusing on CLV shows you the most economic ways of maximizing your profits. Through this article, we’ll take a look at how you can boost your CLV through customer retention strategies and keep them coming back for more.
Strategies For Customer Retention
Customer retention is hugely important to the success of your Shopify store. Here are some sure-fire strategies to help you grow!
#1 Build Your Community
The internet has revolutionized our sense of selves. Millennials are increasingly considering their own identities indistinguishable from a brand they build, and customers are more than ever looking for products and brands that they identify with in fundamental ways. Everything from social media to shopping is now an expression of identity, so consumers are looking for brands that promote the values they hold dear. Shopify store owners can capitalize on this overlap between consumption and identity by building a strong community around their store.
Embrace social causes that are close to your customers’ hearts - this could be anything from offsetting your carbon emissions to tackling homelessness in your locality - and demonstrate that your brand has heart.
Further, finding new ways to enable customers to closely identify with your brand can strengthen your community. Social media can be incredibly useful in bringing a community together, so share customer stories on your various platforms and engage in the comments section.
#2 Take Customer Interaction Beyond The Transaction
If you consider the point of purchase as the end of your customer’s transaction, you’re ignoring a lot of value! Finding ways to extend service to the customer beyond their purchase can function in two ways to boost customer retention - you’ll strengthen loyalty through these engagements as well as offering new opportunities for them to return to your store and splash out.
It’s essential to remember that post-transaction communication needs to add value to the customer, so don’t reach out without a strong sense of what you’re offering. Whether that’s educational value - such as suggesting new ways that they can use the product they’ve purchased, or promotional content that upsells add-ons and extra features.
For example, some businesses email their customers with shipping and tracking update emails that remind them to leave a review once the product has arrived, while other businesses send a message to their customer after they’ve received the item, with a coupon for them to use on their next purchase.
#3 Bring User-Generated Content Into Your Marketing
Social media is giving brands and Shopify store owners new opportunities for community marketing strategies that strengthen the connection with customers whilst expanding their client base. As a Shopify store, you’re offering great products to consumers - the stories that these products generate when being used in real-life situations can provide great marketing content for your social channels.
Instagram is hotbed for customer-generated content and tapping into this can bring your Shopify store to the wider world. Customers love it when their content is featured on your channel, so by doing so you’ll strengthen the relationships that matter in this business!
Shopify store owners can drive their customers to build and share content in a number of ways.
- Hashtags are the name of the game on social media and creating your own hashtags centered around your store will let customers link and share your products in a searchable fashion.
- Running social media competitions will inspire your customers to create their own content, showcasing the way they put your products to good use.
- Or, you could give your customers a note with their purchase, asking them to share a photo of themselves with your products, in exchange for a 10% off coupon. This is sure to motivate plenty of great selfies!
#4 Personalized Email Campaigns
In the 21st century economy, brands are driven to personalize their content because they have access to huge amounts of data about their customers. Consumers are increasingly willing to give away everything about themselves, and cookies can reveal everything from customer location to preferences. Personalizing your campaigns will enable you to hit home with customers more often, offering more value in your messages and bringing them back to your store.
Armed with this personal information, you’re going to be able to make a good guess about your customers’ needs and desires. Personalized product recommendation emails can be a huge tool for keeping customers coming back - in the e-commerce sector around 30% of sales are directly linked to such campaigns.
What’s more, you can automate these product recommendation emails based on data gathering about customer behavior. Your site can gather customer browsing data and use algorithms to make strong suggestions for products your customers might be interested in. These emails can then be generated and sent automatically on a regular basis, ensuring your customers are always coming back for more.
eBay and Amazon are notorious for their highly personalized product recommendation emails. Based on a customer’s previous browsing history on these sites, the two giants offer plenty of similar products in their emails. More often than not, they guess right, and send customers a relevant coupon just as they are about to buy the product, too.
#5 Feedback Loop
Once a customer has made a purchase on your Shopify store, you should already be thinking about how you can turn them into a repeat customer. However, you can’t jump the gun - they won’t be ready for personalized marketing content right away.
However, this post-purchase moment shouldn’t slip through your fingers. You can take this opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your customer whilst simultaneously gaining all-important feedback by asking for a review. In the digital world, social proof is an important part of running a successful e-commerce business - most shoppers, nowadays, look for evidence of others like them valuing your service. Extracting a review from your customers builds the reputation of your brand.
It also encourages customers to articulate what they appreciated about the shopping experience you provided. By asking your customers to leave you a review, you’ll reinforce the positive experience they had with your store, turning them from a one-time shopper into a repeat customer right away.
Asking them to just leave a rating right in the email will catapult them into typing up their review.
#6 Incentivizing Loyalty Through Rewards
Customer loyalty is an exceptionally valuable commodity and, when your customers show loyalty, you should be rewarding them. Incentivizing loyalty shows that you understand that this precious relationship with your customers should be earned.
Loyalty programs can work in a number of ways. Some brands offer points in exchange for dollars spent, allowing customers to redeem these points in their online store. Papa John’s, for example, offers shoppers one point per $4 spent, letting them work their way up to a free pizza. Discounting your products for your repeat shoppers is a money-making strategy - when you consider how much it costs you to earn a new customer, those discounts are more than worth it.
In your Shopify store, you could run a similar program, with 1 point per dollar spent instead, or whichever amount best matches your store’s prices. Another option is to give customers a ticket to spin a coupon wheel after each purchase.
Turning one-time shoppers into repeat customers should be a priority for any Shopify store owner.
Strategies for keeping customers coming back will see your customer lifetime value skyrocketing, as marketing costs diminish and extracted value grows in an inverted relationship.
Trying to keep customers coming back can mean setting up some specific marketing strategies such as email marketing and win-back campaigns, but it’s also creating a community around your Shopify brand. Don’t let customers slip through the net - use these customer retention strategies and you’ll see your profits soar.