Spoiler alert: the first full online sale was the purchase of a Sting Album, which took place in 1994.
Yes, out of all singers it was Sting – what’s wrong with Sting?
As E-commerce sellers, you invest a lot of money reaching out to new customers and performing that initial sale, but what happens next? Did you ever stop to calculate how many resources you invest in getting new customers as opposed to retaining your current ones?
Here are some facts that might enlighten you (the data was collected by HelpScout):
- On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
- The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%, while the probability is 60-70% for an existing customer.
- Only 4% of your dissatisfied customers will actually send you feedback.
- It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
So if you weren’t sure before, now it is settled- retaining your current customers and focusing your marketing to this segment, can award you with substantial profits, by minimal investment.
Unless you are H&M or Urban Outfitters, retaining online customers is not the same as retaining offline customers, since online customers tend to have a looser attitude towards your brand to begin with.
Think about it: they did not have to go to your store, they did not personally speak to any of your employees or sales representatives, therefore their connection with your shop is probably much less concrete.
So how do you do it?
How do you convince customers who made an online purchase on your website to come back for more?
The Best 8 ways to preserve E-Commerce Customers:
1. Introduction Email
Let’s start from the very beginning- sending a thank you email is a very nice place to start; it is gracious and it will also help you connect to your customers. You can send your email right after the customer makes the purchase, or you can set an automated email that will be sent a few days afterwards. You can suggest similar items from your store or offer a discount for the next purchase in your store.
An example for an introduction email from ActiveTrail’s Active Commerce feature:
2. The delivery
the quality of the product and the service that you provide are, of course, extremely important. One major aspect of the service that you provide, which is very important to pay attention to, is the delivery. The delivery is a crucial part of the client’s purchasing experience and it can be the deciding factor for your customer whether or not to purchase your products again in the future. If you are using an external delivery company, choose it well. You should study the shipment company’s policy – times of rendering, customer service quality, etc.
The issue of the delivery can be a little tricky since factors that might be out of your control can wind up ruining the purchase experience for your customer. Take control and make sure you’re using quality delivery services.
3. Add a surprise
it can be anything from a small card to a gift or a coupon code inside the package itself – as long as it’s a surprise, it will make your customers happy. The cost of it can be minimal for you. For example, including a sample of a different item that you sell won’t cost much, and it will allow your customers to get familiarized with more of your great products. The warm feeling that you’ll give your customers will not be soon forgotten and it can be valuable both to them and to you.
If you manage to warm their hearts enough, they just might share it on social networks just like in this next example that was presented at Shopify:
4. An email survey or questionnaire
Want to know how the shopping experience at your store was and improve it? As mentioned above, only 4% of unsatisfied customers will fill you in about their grievances, which is unfortunate since receiving this kind of information on your service can help you improve it immensely. Moreover, sending the survey shows your customers that you are interested in them, that you care, and that you want them to be satisfied.
In addition to all that, sending the survey a month after the sale will give your customer a reminder of your store.
5. Follow-up email
When your customers purchased a product from you, they did not only leave their money with you, rather they left you with another asset as well, one that is not less valuable: their email address.
Don’t forget to add a check box for updates on discounts, sales and news, so that you can keep emailing your client. Use ActiveCommerce to create automated campaigns, which will be sent to your customers a few months after they made their initial purchase. Use the customer’s first name to make it intimate and think of a good line that will make them smile and want to come back and purchase more from your store, such as: “Is everything okay? In our family we visit at least once a month!” or something more heartfelt like “we miss you!” Offer items from your recent collection inside your newsletter and even add a discount.
We miss you template from ActiveTrail’s ActiveCommerce feature:
6. A discount for a special event
Do you have an end of the year sale? A Christmas sale? A summer sale? A no holiday for two months sale? Create a newsletter and give out a discount! The more details that you request from the customer (only relevant info though, you don’t want to intrude on their privacy), the more you can use advanced personalization and send them a discount on their birthday, anniversary and so on.
7. Affiliates discounts
By giving discounts for bringing in new customers, you’re not only getting new customers – you are also increasing the possibility that you retain your primary customer. You can think of creative discounts that will make your customers distribute your product while retaining them at the same time. For example, Diamond Candles offered its customers a 5% discount to give to their friends, which provides them with an additional discount of 5% for themselves (on the condition that their friends take advantage of the discount). These do not just widen the scope of your brand, but they also produce customers loyalty towards it.
Tag your customers and then remarket to them via social networks, AdWords and various remarketing tools. If they liked your product and your service, they will be happy to receive reminders about your new products and promotions throughout your network.
Now that you have all of the information, start emailing your customers in order to keep them close!
Want more tools to help increase your sales? Learn how to get your E-commerce store ready for Christmas (or for any other holiday)
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