Certified Marketing Expert
Fiona Stevens | Ecommerce Loyalty
Understandably, a lot of resources are spent trying to acquire new customers. It takes time for them to discover you and even more time getting them to trust you enough to purchase.
And this is important work! You’re growing your brand’s customer base and receiving more orders. But, if this is where the relationship ends, it’s not as much of a success as you may think. You’ve spent money and time marketing to these customers, which is particularly costly during a sale period since your profit is already decreased on discounted orders. Therefore, it’s important to offset some of these acquisition costs by driving new customers to repeat purchases and become loyal customers.
Let’s look at some numbers:
We’ve put together a list of 10 easy tips to turn new shoppers into lifelong customers so you can boost revenue and grow your brand.
Once you gain a new customer, it’s crucial that you get them back for a second time. After an initial purchase, there’s a 22% chance of a customer returning a second time. But then, the likelihood jumps to 43% for a third purchase. And this number keeps going up as the repeat purchases increase. This domino effect is worth putting in extra effort to drive customers back to your store after their first order.
To do this, offer an incentive in your post-purchase communication such as a free product, free shipping, or a discount code. Make this incentive immediately valuable for a better chance of it leading to a conversion. Once the second order is completed, your customer will be on their way to becoming a loyal member of your brand community.
The next tip is to encourage your new customers to sign up for your loyalty program. Loyalty program members buy more often and spend more than non-members. Being part of a loyalty program creates a more engaging and positive brand experience for shoppers. Plus, converting them from a guest checkout to a loyalty program member opens up a lot of doors when it comes to personalization, marketing communications, emotional connections and more.
In your post-purchase strategy make sure to include your loyalty program and its benefits to encourage new customers to sign up and start their journey towards becoming loyal.
Whether it’s following you on social media, leaving a review or even just visiting your site, use loyalty points to incentivize shoppers to engage with your brand. Leading cosmetics brand, Mirenesse, uses all three of these approaches to gain new followers, gather more reviews and encourage site visits. This rise in visibility keeps their brand front-of-mind when customers are considering shopping again.
78% of consumers say they want to be individually recognized and rewarded for their loyalty. Turn your customer journey into a personalized experience using methods such as product recommendations, welcome messages and birthday gifts. This will solidify the emotional connection between brand and customer.
Furthermore, 50% of marketers argue that tailored messages are one of the most effective methods of delivering unique experiences. Personalize your email comms with loyalty data such as points balances or tier statuses to make the messaging hyper-relevant. This relevancy will positively affect the open and click-through rate of your emails. The increased engagement will keep your customers on their way towards becoming loyal.
According to Edelman, 81% of consumers say that trust is an important part of their purchasing decisions. A new customer will always have some hesitation before they decide to purchase from you. There are several questions that require answers before they can trust you. How you build trust with customers, before, during and after they purchase is crucial in order to build a long-lasting relationship.
After a customer completes their first purchase, optimize all of your post-purchase communication to build trust. For example, if a customer has an issue with their order, how your customer service handles this will affect whether a shopper will purchase again and become loyal. Clear, honest communication and a customer-first attitude will result in a more trusting, long term relationship.
When asked what makes them loyal, 74% of customers say they are motivated by working towards a goal or reward. Aspiration is key to building connections with customers. Giving them a goal of better perks and rewards shows shoppers that the more loyal they are, the better they will be rewarded.
An effective way to give your customers something to aspire towards is to use loyalty tiers. This way, you can separate new loyalty members from your long-term customers and reward these groups differently. New members can get basic benefits, while loyal customers can receive more and better perks. New members can see the higher tiers as a goal to aspire and work towards. This will encourage them to continue shopping with you rather than switching to a competitor and missing out.
70% of emotionally engaged consumers spend up to two times or more on brands they are loyal to. Emotional connection is an effective tool for increasing the lifetime value of your shoppers. This emotional bond will result in larger, more frequent orders, while also preventing churn.
One way to create an emotional bond is to display company beliefs front and center. Make it clear what your company stands for when a consumer visits your site. Whether it’s sustainability or animal welfare, have something on your homepage that lets shoppers know where your principles lie.
Another method is to incorporate company beliefs into your loyalty program. Give members ways to earn points by completing positive actions, such as recycling empty product bottles, like Pacifica Beauty does. Or offer them charitable rewards such as planting a tree or donating to a charity - an approach taken by Edgard & Cooper. This will strengthen customers’ emotional connection to your brand and ensure a long-lasting relationship.
The usability of your website and your loyalty program will affect how many people engage with it. 78% of consumers felt encouraged to join a loyalty program if the sign-up process was easy. This means that if you have a complicated loyalty experience, it’s less likely shoppers will create accounts and engage with the program enough to become loyal customers. Keep your user experience simple and hassle-free in order to turn new visitors into lifelong customers.
New customers need reasons to stay loyal instead of trying out a competitor. One effective way to do this is to share valuable content in your marketing comms. Give customers access to free useful content, such as recipes or beauty tutorials, via your emails and social platforms so customers can see the value in continuing the relationship.
To drive new customers to sign up to your loyalty program and accumulate points that they can use later, your rewards must be valuable and desirable enough for them to make the effort. Find out what experiential and content-based rewards work for your customers and watch as metrics such as reward redemption rate and repeat purchase rate rise.
Not every customer is going to be engaged right from the start. And, as customers move along the loyalty journey, it’s possible they’ll start to participate less. When a customer hasn’t purchased or engaged with your brand within the expected time frame, then they can be labelled as “at-risk”. These customers will need winning back and you need a strategy in place to do this.
Reach out to your at-risk customers with a special message encouraging them to return to your store. You can do this with incentives such as a discount code, free shipping or bonus points. Another method you can take is to remind customers if they have a redeemable reward or their points balance. This will show them what they’re missing out on by not returning to your store and you’ll be more likely to win them back.
It costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. In order to build a sustainable and successful ecommerce business, you must offset your acquisition costs by encouraging repeat purchases and increasing the lifetime value of these customers. Use these 10 tactics to turn your new shoppers into lifelong, loyal customers and you will positively impact your revenue and take your brand to the next level.
One of the software/tech solutions you can use to improve loyalty in your store is LoyaltyLion. LoyaltyLion is a data-driven loyalty and engagement platform trusted by thousands of ecommerce brands worldwide. Merchants use LoyaltyLion when they want a fully customized loyalty program that is proven to increase customer engagement, retention and spend. Stores using LoyaltyLion typically generate at least $15 for every $1 they spend on the platform.
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