Five Effective eCommerce Customer Retention Tips

As an online business owner, you probably understand that it’s not only important to attract first-time customers — it's also crucial to entice them to come back again and again.

eCommerce customer retention

While it might be easier for brick-and-mortar store owners to encourage repeat visits with friendly face-to-face shopping experiences, by offering in-store freebies and other superb customer service tactics, it's more than possible to inspire your online customers to return to your website for more purchases. Check out the following five proven eCommerce customer retention tips:

Follow up with Customers

In some cases, customers will make an online purchase and the company and never hear from them again. But as New North notes, some of the more successful e-retailers use email marketing and other tactics to help bring customers back. Follow up with customers to thank them for their purchase, use the order to suggest future purchase recommendations, and check in to be sure the product was received in a timely manner. Customers appreciate these personalized gestures, and if they liked your products, chances are they will return.

Create a Cloud-based Contact Center

Online businesses that move to a cloud-based contact center often see an increase in customer retention. As Aspect explains, the cloud streamlines the entire process of providing up-to-date services to customers, while making it easier to offer personalized services that match their needs. Moving to a cloud-based service also offers a seamless transition between self-service and live agents to avoid repetition. This service can also improve handle time — and tends to be a budget-friendly and extremely reliable option for business owners.

Make Shipping and Delivery Practical

While some shoppers might be willing to wait for their items to arrive, many have a I-really-need-this-now attitude. As Econsultancy notes, offer quick delivery options, including overnight and two-day service delivery. Also, keep customers informed about delivery status by either providing them with a link to track their packages, or if you can, send them email updates that tells them when the order will arrive.

Add a Goodie or Two to the Box

Everyone loves a free surprise, so make it a policy to add a goodie to each customer’s packaged delivery. It can be the same type of freebie each time, which customers will appreciate and talk about with their friends, or it can be tailored to whatever they order. For example, you can add a delicious wrapped cookie with your company name painted in icing, a few mini lotions to a customer’s beauty order, or some guitar picks when customers order any guitar-related gear.

Offer Terrific Customer Service

If a customer has a question about a product, a back-ordered item or their order, be there to help them. Provide them with a link to your website for questions and concerns, and then send an automated email, like the following: “We got your question and will reply as soon as possible." Then, follow up as soon as you can with a personalized email.

If you list your phone number on your website, be sure to also list your business hours when someone will be there to answer — and make it a point to catch those calls before they go to voicemail. Providing top-notch and friendly customer service will put you on a par with brick-and-mortar stores. Plus, people always remember the nice manager who helped answer their questions — and will inevitably order from you again.