Customer retention strategies

Increasing Customer Retention and Loyalty

1st July 2020, 11:07am in Business by Eva Malpass

Did you know that, according to recent studies, it's five times more expensive and time-consuming to convert new clientele than it is to sell to existing ones? This means that marketing strategies that focus on selling to existing customers can significantly improve revenue, with minimal effort.

The most common way brands build customer loyalty is through a scheme of the same name. We've all had a coffee shop loyalty card and traipsed across town to buy our cappuccino to make sure we don't miss out on those points - it's rewarding! 66% of consumers have stated that these types of loyalty schemes have changed their spending behaviour.

However, building customer loyalty doesn't always have to be so blatant. Consumer retention is built through experience and satisfaction with your brand; by improving every corner of your business, from website navigation, checkout process, shipping options, and post-purchase etiquette, your client base will love what you offer, and keep coming back for more! Let's have a look at some effective methods for achieving this…

Prioritise customer service

Customer service for retention

As expected customer service has a big effect on whether or not buyers will stay loyal, but maybe not in the way first thought. A Harvard review study found that while brand services have a moderate effect on increasing customer retention, they have a very high effect on losing loyalty if done poorly.

Whether a shopper makes a call about a faulty item, returns a product, or asks a question, your business should always make them feel appreciated and valued.

Make sure your business has:

  • Multiple communication channels
  • Fast replies when existing customers contact you
  • A consistently positive and friendly attitude when communicating with buyers

At Interparcel we've put together a team of parcel experts that are available from 8 am - 8 pm to answer all of your questions. Our customers are able to contact us via live chat, telephone, or email, so there's always a communication channel to suit them.

Customer retention rates and loyalty come from creating options and removing obstacles so that they can get to the checkout page without a hitch!

Deliver excellence

Effective shipping solutions

People love to shop online, and although fast gaining on typical brick-and-mortar retailers in popularity, unreliable or lengthy shipping options are a real dampener!

Shipping is undoubtedly one of the most influential factors in eCommerce shopper retention. Your loyal customers will want your lovely products, and they'll want them ASAP! So having fast and affordable shipping options are a must.

Many brands find it hard to maintain their customer retention strategies, shoppers are often deterred as shipping costs drive the overall basket price higher than they can justifiably pay. But by using our cheap shipping options you can keep costs low and keep loyalty high!

At Interparcel, our cost-effective shipping solutions have helped many businesses with customer retention, providing a range of nationwide and international services so they can send for less. We can send almost anything, from bikes to booze - and you don't even have to leave the house to send with us!

You could even look at building free shipping into your brand for some or all of your products. You'd be surprised how free shipping really catches the eye and again with the prices Interparcel offer, this may just be possible to achieve, even if only on a promotional basis.

We have also created our Shipping Manager to make small business sending efficient - integrating with all the major eCommerce platforms like eBay, Etsy, Shopify, and more. We can save you time and money so that you can focus on improving and increasing customer retention strategies to solidify consumer loyalty!

With our Shipping Manager, you have access to:

  • Advanced shipping solutions: collect orders from your store and multiple other sites in one area
  • In-built address collection and correction, no more manual errors
  • New branded tracking, create a seamless brand experience when tracking orders
  • Despatch orders in a few clicks and carry on selling!

Integrating your store with our Shipping Manager is free and don't worry, we'll stay loyal to you!

Follow up!

Customer follow-ups

Sending a follow up after buyers interact with your brand is a very good idea. Doing so via email is the best and most common means of doing so. The average person, however, doesn't go rifling through their inbox to open that one email you sent at the start of the month. You need to be sending a few!

A study carried out by Omnisend found that companies that send one email per month had an average of 7 orders, but companies that send 10 emails per month had an average of 18 orders - that's a 250% increase!

Although 10 emails is a massive amount, small businesses should be aiming for at least once a week, these could be:

  • Automated welcome/thank you emails after purchases
  • Abandoned cart emails (perhaps offering a discount if they resume purchase)
  • A follow up with purchasers a month later to encourage repeat buyers
  • A brand newsletter advertising new products
  • Marketing emails promoting sales now on, discounts, free shipping, and other rewards
  • Feedback requests surrounding website/proudct experience after recent purchases

Sending follow up emails can be a great way to increase customer retention by making sure they don't forget about you! So stand out and start emailing.

Go the extra mile

Unique packaging

A great way to improve your customer retention strategies is by paying attention to detail. Often brands show this through their packaging and unboxing experience, creating a surprise treat for recepients to open.

Going the extra mile via your brand packaging experience can be done in a great many ways, but here are some of the best:

  • Using branded exterior packaging or interior filling (tissue paper)
  • Including a 'thank you' card within the package
  • Adding little branded stickers, coasters or sweets (to remind them of your brand)
  • Making your packaging reusable or sustainable
  • Shareable packaging

That last one can be very useful - creating Instagram worthy packaging that customers can share on social media in return for discount codes is a cheap but effectively way of letting your customers do your marketing for you! This way you can reach new clientele at the same time as increasing retention via your unique unboxing experience. Using services like Swave can help you register these shares and send out automated coupons! Very snazzy.

Give customers a reason to be loyal

Loyalty programs

Last, but not least, loyalty schemes. Abstractly gaining customer loyalty through improving services and experience is important, but sometimes it pays to be a little more direct.

McDonald's excelled with their customer retention scheme when they introduced Monopoly. It works like this: customers will find stickers with the names of properties on their meals. If they collect say, all of Park Lane, then they win the prize advertised on their stickers. Millions take part in this every year and it's proved to be a very effective loyalty program. McDonalds include extra stickers on the 'large' portions of their food and on additional sides - creating an easy upselling opportunity.

For small businesses, loyalty programs needn't be such a huge operation, but simply a fun incentive for shoppers to return. Here are some ways even a small business can run a scheme:

  • Make it fun: offer a discount code after purchase every time if they snap a picture with the product and tag your brand online
  • Make it rewarding: offer long-time customers discounts on their favourite products from time to time
  • Make it a points game: create points to gain after every purchase that they can redeem on later buys (like a Nectar Card)
  • Make it valuable: create a charitable program that offers a portion of the price to a good cause
  • Make it a community: show returning buyers using their rewards to encourage others to follow suit!

You have to be loyal to get loyalty in return - giving an incentive to purchase from you again, be it discount codes or little surprise gifts, can be the difference between a one-time buyer and a customer for life.

It's great to try and attract a new swath of clients, but don't forget about the old-timers! Make sure you pay enough attention to your previous purchasers and you'll start garnering genuine customer loyalty in no time.

Try to put as many of these points into action, so no one will be forgetting about your brand any time soon!

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