As an eCommerce merchant, your ultimate goal is to increase your sales and revenue. Who cares if a customer never returns to make another purchase from your store—you got the sale, right?

Wrong.

Sure, a quick sale can be considered a win for your online business, but most business owners know that it’s their existing customers who are key to growing their brand and driving more sales to their online store.

It’s no surprise that an increasing number of business marketers are focusing on retention marketing. By improving your relationships with your current customers, you can build a loyal and profitable customer base that will help you achieve long-term success.

What Is Retention Marketing?
Retention marketing simply refers to marketing techniques used to strengthen customer relationships and keep them returning to your business. It’s by no means a new concept, but it’s quickly becoming a popular strategy for eCommerce marketers as of late.

Why the sudden buzz? With customer expectations rising and the eCommerce marketplace growing more competitive, both large and small brands are seeing the need to nurture their existing customer base to increase their sales and build brand loyalty.

Repeat Customers—The Key to Better Profits
It’s not uncommon for business marketers to spend more effort on luring in new prospects and less on retaining their existing customers. If you ask us, this is the wrong strategy.

Yes, customer acquisition is important to your online store, but before you spend hours upon hours creating promotions for a quick sale, consider this fact. A whopping 40 percent of revenue comes from returning or repeat purchases, and this revenue only comes from 8 percent of customers!

Think about what would happen if you spent more time nurturing your existing customers. This 8 percent could increase significantly, along with your revenue. One Harvard study found that increasing your customer retention rate by just 5 percent can increase your profits by 25 to 95 percent.

The bottom line? Work on building strong relationships with your current customer base to get the best return-on-investment.

Building Brand Loyalty for Long-Term Success
Growing loyalty toward your brand should be a priority if you want to grow a successful online business. Not only are loyal customers profitable, but they have the potential to turn into powerful brand ambassadors for your eCommerce store.

Retaining customers and inspiring brand loyalty goes hand-in-hand. Though it takes time to gain a customer’s trust, you can speed up the process with a powerful marketing platform. With marketing technology, personalizing their experience and beating their expectations is a breeze.

Once you have won them over, you will have loyal customers who may even earn you some new customers. Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most effective forms of advertising there is, and loyal customers are often more than willing to refer others to brands they enjoy.

Quick Tips for a Successful Retention Marketing Strategy
It’s not difficult to convince marketers of the benefits of retention marketing. However, taking the time and effort to implement a successful strategy is another story.

Keeping valuable customers will be work, but these quick tips will help guarantee your success:

Leverage Your Data
Like any digital marketing strategy, you need to establish your key metrics and monitor them closely. In addition to average order value and repeat purchase rate, a common metric to track for eCommerce marketers to track is the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).
CLV is the projected amount of dollars a customer spends over their life. By segmenting your customers based on their profitability, you can increase your conversions and stretch your marketing budget.

Ask for Feedback
To keep your customers returning, it’s important that you listen to what they have to say about your business. Consider leaving a suggestions box on your website for visitors to fill in at any time or simply ask for feedback through a survey.

Some criticism may sting, but it may be vital to improving the customer experience and keeping them coming back for more.

Deliver on Your Promises
Customer loyalty can be tricky to gain and devastatingly easy to lose. The quickest way to lose a customer’s trust and loyalty is by failing to deliver on your brand’s promises.

Think carefully about your value propositions and make sure that they don’t promise something that isn’t realistic. Consistency is key to satisfying your customers and building brand loyalty.

Provide Superior Customer Support
Good customer support is expected. Amazing customer support is what wins over one-time buyers and turns them into loyal customers.

How important is customer service these days? According to a Walker study, customer service will overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator by 2020.

For many consumers, exceptional customer service trumps all else. Go above and beyond by writing thank-you notes to your customers or offering timely responses to their inquiries. Doing this will increase their retention and satisfaction.

Optimize for Mobile
If you aren’t already, your online store needs to be mobile-friendly. According to a Pew Research study, 77 percent of people in the U.S. now own smartphones.
Not only are these consumers making purchases on mobile devices, but they are also reading your content on them as well. Your website needs to load quickly, and content should be easy to read if you want to improve their experience and keep them engaged.

Final Words
Adopting a retention marketing strategy doesn’t mean that you should stop trying to bring in new customers to your online store. After all, that’s how you gained your current customers in the first place.

However, it is important that you begin engaging with the customers you already have. Not only will this boost brand loyalty and increase your store’s profitability, but it will pave the way for long-term success.

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