In 2018, retail holiday season sales in the United States exceed $1 trillion! And experts predict this trend will continue into the foreseeable future. The experts also predicted that U.S. ecommerce sales alone would reach $134 billion in 2018. That’s a rise of 22 percent over the previous year!
For ecommerce store owners, the peak shopping season represents an opportunity to boost revenues and win over new customers. While gaining new customers is a key component to a successful ecommerce business, studies have shown that retaining them is a far more effective strategy. Below we will discuss the benefits of keeping customers; as well as tips on how to retain ecommerce shoppers after Christmas.
It’s a Numbers Game
Professionals are always pointing out how to continue increasing customer retention, sometimes by rates of 5 percent increases, driving profits by 25 percent to 95 percent depending on the industry. As market analysts and seasoned ecommerce veterans will point out, it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. All of these figures mean that the peak shopping season is not only the perfect opportunity to win over new customers, but also to build long-term loyalty.
Ecommerce pros have noted that the average repeat buyer spends 33 percent more than a new customer. So, if retaining customers leads to a higher return on investment, and a potential increase in profits, how should you prepare your business to boost this desired retention?
Leveraging Tools to Increase Retention
When a visitor comes to your site for the first time, it’s essential that you offer him or her a positive impression. The average conversion rate of ecommerce sites stands at just under 3 percent. However, if you sell cosmetics from home via Shopify or something similar, you could do better than that 3 percent by using a tool like GrooveJar to boost your conversion rates.
GrooveJar allows you to create customizable pop-ups, triggered when the customer takes specific actions, like scrolling or hovering over the “back” button. You might think pop-ups are annoying, but they work. As one response test found, pop-ups in one study led to 1,375 percent more email signups on one site than did a sidebar.
If you too employed pop-ups, you would be able to send targeted, personalized content to your subscribers. Remember, email can be one of the most effective forms of marketing, often generating an ROI of $44 for every $1 spent, according to experts.
Most successful ecommerce businesses embrace personalization to some degree. Given that 48 percent of customers spend more online after a personalized experience, you should be embracing some of the more useful personalization tools available to you.
One way of getting ahead of your competitors is to offer customers the chance to personalize their products. Tools like ShopStorm’s Product Customizer enable you to do just that. It could prove particularly handy during the holiday season, as shoppers look to add a personal touch to gifts for loved ones. But will also stick in buyers’ minds as they shop for anniversary, birthday and holiday gifts year-round. By taking personalization to the next level, you can deliver a more memorable experience for your shoppers.
Create a Community Around Your Brand
People don’t actually connect with your brand; they connect with the other people that connect to your brand. This notion is a healthy reminder of the value of community, whether the term describes your niche, products or brand.
In order to build affinity of any type, you need to enable your customers to connect with one another. So, encourage your customers to create content on your site and to engage with your forums, social media and blogs.
Product reviews are one such form of user-generated content. There’s plenty of evidence to support the claim that product reviews are the number one factor driving customers toward higher-priced products. As a business, you should engage with customers who leave product reviews, particularly negative ones. By being proactive and sincere, you’ll be giving yourself the chance to resolve that negative reviewer’s issue – and show that resolution publicly.
Then, even if you don’t manage to solve an individual case, other customers will see you care and feel more confident about making purchases from you.
The end of the Christmas season doesn’t mean the end of great profits and traffic for your ecommerce website. Follow these tips and research to keep the growth going into the new year!