Four Easy-to-Fix Ecommerce Customer Retention Errors

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These days, you can’t blame the average customer from being somewhat fickle.  When you consider how many options are available for whatever they intend to buy, they’re well within their rights to expect and demand a lot. 

This is why the single biggest reason customers stop shopping with an ecommerce brand is they simply feel they’re being ignored and underappreciated.  82% of shoppers stating they’ll take their business elsewhere if they’re ignored, while 68% will cut ties with a store they feel doesn’t care about them

All of which highlights the importance of prioritising customer retention – something the vast majority of ecommerce businesses fail to do. Which is interesting, given how repeat customers spend on average 33% more than new customers.

People don’t need much motivation to take their business elsewhere, but keeping customers on-board doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s simply a case of pinpointing where you’re going wrong and making the necessary improvements.

For example:

Error #1 — Adopting a Passive Approach

What’s the point investing heavily in a marketing strategy to snare as many new customers as possible, only to then take a passive approach to retaining them? Failing to be proactive is the biggest mistake you can make and is almost guaranteed to work against you.

What’s worth remembering is that when you make no decisive efforts to keep customers happy, you’re more likely to end up with dissatisfied customers.  Dissatisfied customers have a tendency to be dangerously vocal about their dissatisfaction – the kind of negative PR you could really do without.

Error #2 — Fobbing Off Customers with Scripted Messages

The only thing worse than feeling unappreciated is being taken for a fool. Precisely how customers feel upon receiving canned and scripted messages of ‘appreciation’ without a hint of anything sincere or personal.

The moment you receive a templated response is the moment you feel unappreciated. You’re painfully aware you’re just another statistic and have no indications that the company appreciates you. 

By contrast, receive something altogether more personal and it’s an entirely different story.

Error #3 — Not Taking Social Media Seriously

By this, we mean treating social media like a one-way communication channel you use to brag about how great you are. The key to success on all social platforms lies in the “social” aspect of the experience. 

Communication lies at the core or every successful customer retention strategy. You customers need to know they’re being heard, understood and appreciated. They also need to know you value them enough to take the time to digest their thoughts and script an appropriate response.

One of the biggest benefits of social media is the way in which your communications and conversations are public in nature. Get it right and your clear demonstration of commitment to customer satisfaction will encourage others to give you a shot.

Error #4 — A Complete Lack of Incentives

Last up, it’s worth taking an occasional step back and considering things from the perspective of your customers. If a shopper decides to stay loyal to your business and keeps coming back for more, what’s in it for them? 

Is an occasional e-mail thanking them for their business really enough?

The obvious answer is no – fair incentives should be provided for those who support your business. There’s no shortage of options to explore – even the most rudimentary loyalty program with periodic deals and discounts is better than nothing.

Consider things from their perspective and think about what you’d like from the brands you’re loyal to. Make them feel valued or appreciated, or it’s only a matter of time before they find someone else who will.

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