When you focus on growing your e-commerce business, it seems logical to spend all the time looking for new ways to attract buyers to your site and convert. However, now that a shopper can so easily go to a competitor’s site and find another place to buy the same products, it´s crucial to have a retention strategy in place.

According to the Harvard Business School, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. In addition, with the rising cost of customer acquisition, increasing customer retention and decreasing churn rate is an area you should focus on. With the best practices and insights from working with hundreds of retailers, we are here to help you drive more revenue. Here are a few of our retention strategies that you might want to consider:

Automated Marketing Campaigns

We know that most retailers have the basics down, such as optimizing email for mobile and segmenting customer lists and everyone seems to have basic personalization covered. However, there are still a few common mistakes that are crucial to e-commerce success. Automated campaigns are some of the lowest-hanging fruit when it comes to retention marketing.

There are dozens of easy-to-implement campaigns that can do a great job helping to retain customers. According to the Windsor Circle study, 125 retailers reported having more than 50% of their product catalog consisting of consumable products, perfectly suited for replenishment email. Yet 63% of retailers did not run replenishment campaigns. Here´s a perfect and simple example of a retailer selling dog food:

Other examples of easy-to-implement automated campaigns are shopping cart abandonment (if someone already added an item to their shopping basket, it´s highly likely that at one point or another they are would be interested in that product) and out-of-stock email updates.

Facebook Lookalike Audiences

Social Media is starting to prove itself as a great retention tool. Only in 2015, over $24 billion dollars were spent on social advertising. If Google is more focused on purchase intent and turning the signals like specific product searches into traffic to retailers, Facebook user behavior is very different. Facebook users are not actively looking to make a purchase – they are passively scrolling and don’t have intention on buying products.

Therefore retailer’s main focus is on retargeting messages – giving them a chance to get back in front of the website visitors. By using lookalike audiences retailers can target specific demographics, upload a list of previously opted-in email addresses from customers and find similar audiences that are the high-converting users. While it is pretty easy to create an audience of all the customers, segmenting the target audience can become pretty complex. For example, women´s apparel brand may have very different segments such as “Style brand lovers” who will be chasing the latest new collection items, “deal-seekers” who will buy only low-priced items and “browsers” who take a lot of time before completing the purchase. Carefully refined segmentation and social media integration can definitely boost sales and help retain customers.

Leveraging Predictive Analytics

As part of adopting more sophisticated retention practices, retailers are still not fully investing in making better use of their data and leverage predictive analytics to outpace their competition. According to the research done by Windsor Circle, 29% of retailers were not sending welcome emails to new subscribers, 29% are not running welcome emails to consumers who buy for the first time, 32% are not running post-purchase thank-you campaigns, 76% are not running birthday campaigns.

Post-purchase Campaigns

You might be thinking that effective e-commerce marketing ends with a purchase. That´s a big mistake many retailers make because retaining a customer is much more valuable than trying to chase a new one. At the moment of purchase, you should actually start the retention process. Post-purchase transactional emails actually provide a great opportunity to engage with the customer again and cross-sell to them based on the first purchase. Amazon is winning this game and does an amazing job with the post-purchase conversion.

Final Thoughts

Customer retention is the future of e-commerce. It does not give overnight results on instant gratification with your digital buyers, but it´s a long-term tactic that will improve your business´bottom line. Do you have any tips or success stories? Share it with us today.

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