In 2020, in order to keep your brand growing and prospering you must invest in strong customer relationships, or you might lose to competitors. And the longer you can keep a customer loyal to your brand, the bigger the value that they provide to your business.
“On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10x as much as their first purchase.” -MarketingTechBlog
The 80/20 Pareto principle may be applied here - your loyal customers may account for only 20% of all of your customers but they bring you more than 80% of the total revenue. The thing is that your loyal customers trust you more as they already had a connection with your brand, and are ready to purchase more products from you.
It’s also not a secret that it’s much cheaper to invest in your existing customers rather than acquiring new customers. And not only new customers cost much more to acquire, but they also don’t generate as much money as loyal customers do.
Customer loyalty and engagement can work as a metric for your business, showing the quality of the customer experience that you provide. No matter the size of your business, a strong customer engagement strategy can skyrocket your eCommerce brand’s growth and loyalty, that’s why it’s incredibly important to create an emotional connection with your customers to keep them loyal and involved with your brand.
Loyal customers always buy more from your brand, promote more, and are the biggest asset of your business, and in order to build lasting customer relationship and brand loyalty you should follow these 5 easy but effective tips:
1. Outstanding Customer Experience
“Customer experience is the new marketing.” -Steve Cannon, Mercedes Benz USA President and CEO
The good thing is that your customers always remember if they had a positive experience with your brand. But the bad thing is that they also remember their negative experience with your brand.
Whether they were treated well or poorly, your customers will share it with their family, friends and probably will post it on their social media, bringing your business either more or less sales.
Gartner has predicted that 89% of businesses are expected to compete mainly on customer experience. For example, already half of the millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences over material things, and they are also ready to pay extra for it.
So how can you make sure you provide an outstanding customer experience? According to Dimensional Research, when asking customers what impacts their level of trust with a company, offering excellent customer service was ranked number one, and 52% of consumers also said they have made an additional purchase from a company after a positive customer service experience.
The best products in the world will become useless if the customers won’t receive excellent service and support when they buy them. It’s important to respond to every concern from your customers, no matter if the problem is big or small – it’s a call to action.
Also, try to make every customer feel like he’s special because no one really wants to feel like he is just another guest on your website. So make excellent customer service satisfaction your number one priority, and your customers will appreciate it and stay loyal to your business.
When it comes to building great lasting customer relationships, knowing their names is an important step for businesses. Customers want to be treated as individuals when it comes to their favorite brands they shop with. Even in your regular socializing experience remembering a person’s name and using it whenever appropriate is key to winning that person over, it also works the same way in eCommerce.
There was a survey of 1000 people and 90% of them mentioned that they have found personalized marketing appealing and 80% of the audience acknowledged that they would be more likely to purchase from a business that offered a personalized experience. It is a great tool for increasing your eCommerce brand loyalty.
3. Targeted Email Marketing
Email marketing is an inexpensive, but yet powerful tool to reach your customers and doing it the right way can take your business to the next level and help you build a great relationship with your loyal customers.
Constant communication via emails will keep your brand fresh in customers’ minds and lets you promote new products and attract targeted audience’s attention, giving you a great opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell to your customers. According to Microsoft, 68% of customers increased their perception of a brand after companies sent them customer service notifications.
Properly written and segmented emails can grow your brand’s loyalty and trust among your customers. But make sure they receive emails related to the products they are interested in and not something as “spammy” emails. That’s why it’s better to send targeted emails.
Know your buyer persona and handpick promotion materials to the segmented audience’s interests and shopping habits. Look after the quality of the content of your email and give them a personal touch to show your loyal customers that every one of them is important to your business.
4. Rewards and VIP Tiers
Leverage Rewards and Loyalty Programs on your website, as they let you offer value to your customers and motivate them to like and promote your brand, to repeat purchases and to increase their customer lifetime value.
We know that people love getting discounts and rewards, and they are ready to hunt for them on your website if you let them. The more points and rewards they gain the more they come back to redeem them and shop more with you.
Thank your most loyal customers by using a system of ranks or tiers, to keep the best ones engaged with your loyalty program and your business. For example, when reaching a certain condition or making a purchase, customers in addition to or instead of points gets a special status that allows them to enjoy certain privileges or get access to additional features.
Shopify Apps Store offers a bunch of apps with Loyalty and Rewards Program like Growave. So use the power of reward programs, make sure you use your customers’ love for getting rewarded and show your love by providing value to each of them.
5. Social Media
There is no better way to connect with your customers on a daily basis as social media. Social media is basically an online society today, where you can directly reach your targeted audience and improve the experience people have with your brand.
90% of brands use social media to increase brand awareness, and 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others, according to Dreamgrow.
The best customer engagement strategy for higher conversions is being real and personal with your social media audience. Make sure you post high-quality content, interesting and useful information on all of your social media pages, and answer all of your customers’ questions.
Knowing your followers on each platform can later help with analyzing who is your buyer persona, what demographic groups are interested in your products, and you might use this information in future marketing planning.
In today’s competitive eCommerce world simply offering a good product or service is enough anymore. A true sign of a successful business is loyal and happy customers. You see, when a customer completes the first purchase from your brand, that should be the start of your relationship with him, not the end.
So try leveraging these 5 tips and earn your customers’ loyalty forever, and both you and your customers will benefit from this relationship.
Aida Kubatova is a Content Strategy Manager at Growave. She believes in the power of eCommerce and loves online shopping herself. Every day she creates useful content to help entrepreneurs around the world to learn more about the latest news and innovations from the world of Digital Marketing and eCommerce in order to grow their online business and, of course, sales.