The ecommerce space has exploded with options for shoppers, which means consumers are less likely to stick with brands that don't live up to expectations. On the other hand, you can convince customers to build a real relationship with your ecommerce business by optimizing and personalizing the user experience.
You'll find opportunities to create customer loyalty at every point in the buyer journey. We've developed this guide to get you started with eight easy ways to position your ecommerce business as the go-to option for your audience members.
Why Is Customer Loyalty So Important in Ecommerce?
Customer loyalty could be one of the most valuable assets for your ecommerce business. Cultivating a strong relationship with buyers encourages them to become repeat customers and spread the word through personal recommendations. They're even more likely to forgive minor issues with customer service. Benefits of a loyal customer base include:
- Reducing the marketing costs associated with attracting new business. Many ecommerce businesses say this expense poses their biggest challenge in reaching revenue goals.
- Increasing the amount customers spend on each purchase and during the entire life of the brand relationship. This can exponentially grow your business revenue. Research shows that boosting customer retention rates by just 5% can drive a 25% profit margin increase.
- Expanding your audience with positive feedback from your repeat customers. Most people say they trust product and service recommendations from friends and family members, so your marketing pipeline could be full of warm prospects.
- Setting your company apart from competitors who put less emphasis on customer loyalty and user experience. Your audience should feel like they're getting something special and unique from your business, whether that's an excellent value, unique offerings or personalized attention from your customer care team.
8 Strategies to Increase Customer Loyalty in Ecommerce
1. Reward Repeat Business
Customer loyalty programs offer incentives for customers who frequently buy from your brand. Rewards for loyalty can enhance the consumer experience, increase sales, encourage referrals, and boost customer retention.
Your loyalty program should provide real value for your audience. Common reward structures include:
- Points for purchases that customers can exchange for coupons or free products
- Free item or reward after a certain number of purchases (a punch card at a coffee shop, for example)
- Membership-based programs, where customers pay a one-time or regular fee for certain benefits
- Tiered programs with special perks based on overall spending
- Charitable donations for each purchase to an organization that aligns with audience values
More than half of customers typically agree to join a loyalty program after they buy from a brand.
2. Provide a Personalized User Experience
Customers feel connected to your brand when you give them customized product recommendations and content. Nearly 70% of consumers say they're more likely to shop with brands that provide personalized content, and many would even pay more money for this type of service. In another study, more than three-quarters of customers said they're frustrated when brands don't personalize their shopping experience.
You can give your customers the tailored content they expect by analyzing their browsing behavior, previous purchases, preferences, and other characteristics. Based on this information, you can deliver appropriate offers, product recommendations, and free resources like blog posts and user guides to connect with each person on an individual level.
3. Streamline the Checkout Process
Customers expect a smooth, friction-free checkout process. Anything that slows or stops the transaction counts as friction. It could be a product page with too many calls to action or a checkout page that looks different from the rest of the brand's website. Every element that could distract from or interrupt the purchase process can cause costly cart abandonment.
Pay.com offers streamlined ecommerce payment solutions that exceed customer expectations. Even buyers in other countries experience fast, reliable transactions with our global payment processing. You can match your existing online presence so browsers won't be thrown off course by an unfamiliar checkout page.
4. Accept Popular Payment Methods
Customers want to see preferred payment methods at checkout. When you have a wide range of options that includes debit cards, digital wallets, bank transfers, credit cards, and other popular payment methods, you'll see a higher conversion rate and fewer abandoned carts.
5. Incorporate Strong Security
Customers expect ecommerce companies to protect their private data online. If they're impressed by your online security measures, they'll trust your business - an important component of customer loyalty.
Pay.com can handle security so you can focus on running your company and serving your customers. Our full-service payment infrastructure complies with the highest level of PCI DSS.
We tokenize customer credit card data during transmission so it can't be read even if it's intercepted for fraud. We never store sensitive payment information on our servers so it can't be accessed in the unlikely event that they're hacked.
We provide an additional layer of authentication with 3D Secure 2.0 technology. This system requests ID authentication with a code or text message for transactions that raise a red flag.
6. Reach Out Regularly
A strong retargeting campaign aims to attract repeat customers. If someone bought from your brand once but hasn't returned, send them an extra incentive like a discount code. Show up in social streams with a free shipping offer for shoppers who browse but don't buy.
You should also retarget cart abandoning customers with a reward for returning. Whether they forgot to finish the transaction or haven't made a final decision, give them a good reason to complete the checkout process.
Connecting with loyal customers for feedback about their experiences provides valuable information about where you can improve. It also strengthens their relationship with your brand by encouraging interaction.
7. Make It Easy to Resolve Issues
Even a negative experience with your brand can encourage customer loyalty if you handle it well. For example, many people want human interaction when they need help with a product or service. If that holds true in your industry, you'll need to staff your customer service department with real experts who can solve problems by phone, email or chat.
To cater to the widest possible audience, make sure you have multiple channels of communication. Ecommerce companies often rely on chatbots to provide around-the-clock help for easy issues. They can also instantly elevate bigger problems so someone on your team can respond ASAP during normal business hours.
8. Start a Subscription Program
Customers love the convenience and affordability of subscription services. Adding this type of program to your ecommerce offerings encourages an ongoing relationship with your audience.
Make sure your subscription service fits your audience lifestyle and preferences. Most subscribers want control over when and how often they receive their membership benefits. It should be easy for them to upgrade, downgrade or skip a shipment.
What's the Best Way for an Ecommerce Business to Accept Payments?
Pay.com is the best way to accept payments as an ecommerce business. You can easily customize the ideal checkout experience for your audience. Advantages of working with Pay.com include:
- Industry-standard security measures so you don't have to handle compliance alone
- Fast, seamless user experience for customers nearby and all over the world
- Convenient customer features like the ability to save payment details for later reuse
- The ability to accept multiple payment methods and update with new options at the click of a button
- A robust developer API so you can incorporate our tools into your existing ecommerce site
The Bottom Line
Loyal customers will help make your ecommerce site a success. While customer retention involves building a base of repeat buyers, going beyond transactions creates a trusting relationship with your audience. These eight strategies focus on connecting with your customers and meeting their expectations for an outstanding ecommerce experience.
You can instantly improve the purchase process for your customers by signing up for Pay.com. Our easy-to-use solutions take the friction out of checkout and allow you to accept a wide variety of payment methods.