by Ankit Dudhwewala, founder and CEO of SoftwareSuggest
The eCommerce marketplace is already highly crowded. Getting customers to buy your product or services is not an easy ride. Besides, retaining the customers to your business is much harder. For you to stay on top, you need to do all you can to differentiate yourself from the sea of competitors. You need to get your creative juices flowing.
What should businesses owners do to keep their customers glued to their products or services?
1. Offering rewards and points isn’t enough.
Go beyond points and rewards. While you might be tempted to offer points and rewards to inspire loyalty to your brand, that’s not enough. If you want to build a true and lasting customer loyalty for your brand, try to incentivize them to:
- Spent as much time as possible to your site
- To return to your site as often as possible. That’s what a loyalty program does to continually inspire the customer to come back.
That means brands should work harder to broaden their thinking. Why is it important? While the traditional loyalty programs that offer perks ad free shipping are a good idea, that is not the only thing businesses can do. For example, you need to think beyond the usual offerings. You could also think of doing something a little different like offering a branded app that helps draw customers in. As a result, it keeps them from coming.
According to Hansen, “offering a branded app that centralizes the customer experience” is a great way to help “streamline the customer experience.” It also helps establish a trusted customer touchpoint. As a result, businesses can use the trust that follows to makes upsells that are purely targeted to a particular group of customers. It also allows promotions and easy purchasing of products that appeal to customers.
2. Aim to offer a personalized experience.
You already have to contend with a sea of competitors. For you to build a loyal customer base for your brand, you need to find a way to cater to the customers’ desire for attention, understanding, and care. A good loyalty program is always aimed at bringing value to the customers “offers that feel tailor-made.”
To achieve that, eCommerce retailers need to leverage the prospect and customer data they obtain from tracking customer’s online behavior. Such information helps them to communicate with the customers in a personalized way.
A personalized customer experience is one of the most powerful perks out there. Why? Because it helps present to the customers the products they need whenever they visit the site. As a result, it inspires customer loyalty.
3. Make better use of data.
It pays to be data savvy. Your CRM software will collect and interpret customers’ data that related to their past purchases. It also keeps track of their behaviors and thus helping you tailor their experience when they visit your site.
For example, by collecting data on customers past purchases, preferences and recently browsed items, you can reward frequent shoppers. If your customers don’t have to search for a product they are looking for and feel that your company personally knows them, they will be less likely to go elsewhere in look out for the same products.
4. Provide good, tailored content.
The more engaging, educative and helpful your content is, the more likely your customers will shop there and return. Purpose to include downloadable manuals, in-depth product listings, comparison guides, and videos. While this might not sound like your traditional loyalty program, it goes a long way in building the trust between you and your customers.
5. Improve their social experience.
Another way of building a sense of loyalty is by enhancing the customers shopping experience. It not only helps them stick to your site but also attracts new faces to your business. According to Hansen, the customer of today places a huge premium on a sense of belonging. And, loyalty programs that nurture that kind of desire have a lot of success. Besides, customers are social. That means they would be very happy to see their social lives mirrored in their shopping experience.
Summing it up.
For you to retain customers to your brands, you need to go beyond the traditional loyalty program offers. You need to go up a notch with your offerings. Focus on implementing loyalty programs that allow the shopper and friends to interact on your website. Besides, the programs should not only let them see recommendations based on their purchases but also based on friend’s preferences.
Ankit Dudhwewala is the founder and CEO of SoftwareSuggest, an online software discovery and recommendation platform. He envisioned SoftwareSuggest as a tool to help businesses, especially SMEs, to meet their software needs without breaking the bank. His other tech startup, CallHippo, is a virtual telephony service which provides local support numbers to businesses and startups worldwide.