7 Ecommerce Tips to Help Keep Frequent Shoppers Loyal

Liam Burns
Written by Liam Burns
August 26, 2020

When was the last time you studied your customer journey map to brainstorm better ways to reengage and encourage more frequent shopping?

Repeat buyers can be responsible for up to 40 percent of your revenue, so it’s essential to keep this segment of your audience happy and invested in following your brand. Focusing on frequent shoppers is good for your bottom line, too. It can cost up to five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep current ones.

In the ecommerce space, having a comprehensive strategy for customer loyalty and retention is crucial.

Let’s go through a quick refresher on customer loyalty before we dive into the seven tips for encouraging frequent shoppers to keep patronizing your business.

Why Should Brands Focus on Cultivating Customer Loyalty?

Let’s talk about customer lifetime value or CLV.

In simple terms, the metric shows you the benefit of attracting and holding the interest of any given customer. You may also think of the CLV as the total revenue earned from a single customer throughout their interactions with your brand. In retail, not all customers are created equal.

Ecommerce businesses spend so much on drawing in new customers. Knowing the CLV helps justify the cost of maintaining engagement with customers, typically through enhancing their digital experience on your website and mobile apps. However, CLV is not only about the difference between new customers and repeat buyers.

Did you know that the top one percent of ecommerce customers are worth more than 15 times more than your average customer? Frequent shoppers may keep returning to your store without a change in their spending habits.

When consumers become loyal to you and become part of that top one percent, they could spend up to 18 percent more per year. That’s the type of customer lifetime value you want to develop.

7 Best Practices Brands Can Follow to Keep Frequent Shoppers Loyal 

Though many frequent shoppers are loyal customers, not all of them are. Below are seven things you can do to cultivate customer loyalty and turn repeat buyers into ideal consumers for your brand.

1. Engage and Build a Personal Relationship with your Customers

Ecommerce requires engagement. Many customers are used to having a social need fulfilled when they’re making purchasing decisions. Brick and mortar stores have practically ingrained this expectation. However, on the internet, there’s no friendly clerk that will assist them while they browse shelves and shop.

Some brands approximate the experience through offering live chat options on their websites, while others turn to email marketing. The former is often linked to customer support, which we will discuss later on. The latter, however, is part of many companies’ engagement and retention strategies.

For both initiatives, personalization seems to be the key. 90 percent of marketers in the U.S. confirm an increase in revenues after personalizing their brand’s websites and mobile apps. Nearly 75 percent of marketers report a marked improvement in customer engagement when they applied targeted messaging and personalization to their email campaigns.

Personalization can also be done on a much larger scale. Businesses with a multinational scope can create localized versions of their website, complete with unique visual assets and copy in different languages.

Shown above is a website screenshot of Nestlé’s flagship coffee brand, Nescafé – as it appears when accessed from South Korea.

2. Implement Loyalty or Frequent Shopper Programs

More than 70 percent of shoppers online belong to a frequent shopper program, while more than 50 percent consider themselves loyal to at least one brand.

As customer retention strategies go, this one is a no-brainer. It instantly provides your audience more value – no matter what your loyalty program is offering. Implementing a frequent shopper program is a tactic all ecommerce retailers – big or small – can employ.

The benefits of being part of a loyalty program can be as simple as receiving emails about exclusive discounts and promotions from time to time. Some brands set up points and rewards systems to encourage higher purchase frequency. Others intertwine loyalty programs with a referral process, which does the double duty of engaging existing customers and attracting new ones.

3. Offer Additional Freebies and Discounts When You Can

Everyone likes getting something for free.

Even with a frequent shopper program already in the works, there’s still room for one-off discounts and unexpected freebies. Consider adding free samples to customer orders or including an extra service at no cost.

Think of this as reverse tipping – a little something extra to thank customers for their business and to keep them coming back for more. It’s an excellent way to show consumers that you care about them.

In the ASOS checkout page screenshot above, we see that the brand upgrades the order and gives the customer free two-day shipping for spending over the $85 threshold. The tactic not only shows the brand’s appreciation for the purchase but also encourages shoppers to spend more. After all, what’s one more item when you don’t have to pay for shipping? 

4. Improve User Experience Through Better Customer Account Tools

Customer accounts on your website should be easy to navigate and a delight to use. Better UX design leads to better customer experiences and a significant increase in conversion rates.

As a brand, you are already risking cart abandonment when you require potential customers to create an account and sign in before checking out. Make bridging that barrier worth it by showing customers the value of maintaining an account on your website.

Make it possible for customers to access information on their previous orders to make repurchasing a breeze. Give customers a way to save products or entire carts, so they can browse now and buy later. Most important of all, create a secure environment that allows customers to store their personal and payment information. Pre-filling order forms can speed up the purchasing process.

5. Make Sure Your Customer Support is Excellent

More than 30 percent of customers will stop patronizing a business after a single bad interaction, even if it’s a brand they love. More than 90 percent will do the same after two or three negative experiences.

Loyal customers stick around because you take care of them. They won’t stay if they don’t feel valued and heard, so beef up your customer response team. Consumers expect immediate responses from companies, especially if the brand is online and on social platforms. More than 40 percent of customers posting retail complaints through social media expect a reply from the brand in question within 60 minutes.

Here’s where live chat support comes in, although it’s not the sole solution. Brands may also create comprehensive FAQs or handy how-to reference pages.

The Amazon screenshot above shows a neatly arranged set of lists linking to pages that discuss specific customer issues, such as managing customer profiles and changing language preferences.

6. Ensure Quick and Hassle-Free Online Checkouts

Did you know that almost 70 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned?

Ecommerce brands must work to make their checkout pages as hassle-free as possible.

Allowing one-click payments is a start, but businesses can do so much more. If you can, support more online payment solutions – such as PayPal or cryptocurrency. You may also remind them or even automatically apply loyalty discounts and rewards they’ve earned.

Emails reminding customers of their abandoned carts may also work. You can offer an additional discount for completing the transaction by a set deadline or attempt to cross-sell by showing similar or related products at different price points.

7. Push Purchasing Decisions by Using Social Proof

Social proof is powerful. 90 percent of consumers confirm that what they purchase is influenced by online reviews.

These reviews may be in the form of verified customer feedback or product recommendations by social media influencers. More than 70 percent of consumers will trust a business more after hearing positive things about it from an influencer.

To use social proof on frequent shoppers, you may add a hashtag-powered Instagram feed to your homepage or simply display customer reviews gathered from surveys. Partnering with influencers to market your brand is also an option, although it may be better suited for generating new leads.

The Fashion Nova screenshot above shows an Instagram feed based on the brand’s #novababe hashtag. There is also a section devoted to social media influencers and how customers can shop their looks.

How Can Decibel Help to Increase Customer Loyalty Among Your Brand’s Frequent Shoppers?

A focus on digital experience optimization should be an essential part of any ecommerce business strategy. And Decibel’s industry-leading solution makes it easy at the enterprise level.

Decibel offers a Digital Experience Score (DXS) to help enterprise brands, like Lego and British Airways, quantify user experiences and identify major revenue opportunities during web optimization. Combining DXS with modern versions of tools like heatmaps, session replay, and form analytics, you and your team can finally perfect your website or app.

Want to find out more about how our pioneering solution can generate a 449% ROI on your website? Download Forrester’s Total Economic Impact (TEI) Study to learn how Decibel can deliver millions’ worth of benefits to your company in a single quarter.

Topics: Customer Experience, Ecommerce, Online Retail
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