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5 strategies to boost customer retention in eCommerce

In the fast-paced world of eCommerce, customer retention stands as a crucial pillar for sustained success.

Businesses must deploy a strategic approach to keep customers coming back. Through personalised communication, loyalty programs, effective email marketing, exceptional customer service, and the impact of cause-marketing, businesses can forge strong bonds with their audience, fostering customer loyalty beyond purchases. 

Let’s delve into these five strategies, designed to not just retain customers but to create a lasting impact that resonates with your audience’s values and beliefs.

What is customer retention?

Understanding customer retention

Customer retention refers to the ability of a business to keep its customers over time. It’s a measure of how well a company maintains its customer base, and it’s essential because it costs less to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. 

Retention strategies are key to building a loyal customer base and improving the profitability of your eCommerce business. It’s not just about repeat sales; it’s also about creating an environment where customers feel valued and choose to continue doing business with your brand.

In eCommerce, where competition is a click away, understanding and improving your retention rate becomes a top priority. By focusing on customer retention, businesses can create a sustainable model for growth that leverages existing relationships, rather than constantly seeking new ones.

Benchmarking retention rates

To truly understand the effectiveness of your retention strategies, you must know how your rates stack up against industry standards. 

The average retention rate can vary widely by sector and business model, but in eCommerce, it’s around 38%. Benchmarking against average rates allows you to gauge the health of your customer relationships. 

It’s important to track this metric over time, as fluctuations can reveal the impact of changes in your business strategy or market trends. By benchmarking your retention rates, you can set realistic goals, drive strategic decisions, and ultimately, secure the loyalty of your customer base.

Customer retention strategies for eCommerce businesses

Personalised customer communications 

Personalisation is a powerful tool in the realm of customer retention. In a digital landscape flooded with generic advertising and impersonal shopping experiences, personal touches make a significant difference. 

By tailoring communications to the individual needs and preferences of your customers, you can make them feel seen and valued. This could be as simple as addressing them by name in emails or as complex as offering recommendations based on past purchases. 

The key is to use customer data ethically and effectively to create a more engaging and relevant experience. Personalised communication fosters a sense of connection and trust between the customer and the brand, encouraging repeat business and customer loyalty. In essence, treating customers as unique individuals is not just good manners; it’s good business.

Loyalty programs that reward

Loyalty programs are a staple in the customer retention playbook, offering a tangible incentive for continued patronage. These programs reward customers for their repeat purchases, creating a compelling reason for them to choose your e-commerce store over competitors. 

The key to a successful loyalty program is to provide real value that resonates with your customers’ desires and needs. Whether it’s through points, exclusive discounts, early access to new products, or special members-only events, the rewards must be attractive enough to encourage continued engagement. 

Additionally, simplicity and ease of use are critical. The easier it is for customers to understand and benefit from your loyalty program, the more effective it will be. By rewarding customers for their loyalty, you not only thank them for their business but also encourage a long-term relationship that benefits both parties.

Go for Zero's loyalty program

i=Change brand, Go for Zero’s, loyalty program that rewards their customers when they shop their sustainable Aussie owned products.

Email marketing with precision

Email marketing remains a powerful tool for eCommerce businesses to retain customers. The key lies in its precision and personalisation. 

By segmenting your audience and tailoring messages to specific groups, email marketing can address the unique interests and needs of recipients. It’s about sending the right message to the right person at the right time. 

For instance, a well-timed email about a product related to a previous purchase can remind customers of your brand’s relevance to their lives. Moreover, emails that inform customers about upcoming sales, new inventory, or exclusive deals help maintain a connection beyond the initial transaction. 

It’s crucial that these communications provide value, not just in terms of promotions but also valuable content, tips, or insights that enrich the customer’s experience with your brand. Done right, email marketing can transform a one-time buyer into a lifelong customer.

At i=Change, you can identify the consumers who selected a project and re-market to customers who care via email marketing. This can help your business move the re-purchase decision from head to heart and, in doing so, unlock a new opportunity to drive sales, personalise messaging with segmentation, boost engagement and loyalty.

i=Change brands email marketing examples

i=Change brands who give back and plan impact marketing campaigns communicate their commitment to giving back via EDMs. This lets their customers know, when they shop with them, they are also involved in the brand’s giving back journey.

Customer service excellence

Exceptional customer service is vital for retaining customers in the e-commerce landscape. It’s about creating a supportive environment where customers feel their concerns and inquiries are heard and addressed promptly and effectively.

Quick response times, multiple channels for support, and friendly, knowledgeable service representatives are all aspects that contribute to a positive customer service experience.

Additionally, it’s important to gather and act on customer feedback, showing that your business is committed to continuous improvement. By resolving issues with a customer-centric approach, you not only salvage the immediate sale but also reinforce the customer’s decision to stay loyal to your brand in the long run.

Good customer service turns potential negative experiences into opportunities for positive engagement, laying the groundwork for a relationship built on trust and satisfaction.

Cause-marketing with i=Change 

Incorporating cause-marketing into your eCommerce strategy can significantly enhance customer retention. 

By partnering with platforms like i=Change, businesses can make a real difference and resonate with the values of their customers. The concept is simple yet impactful: after each purchase, a small donation is made to a cause chosen by the customer. This not only gives customers a sense of contribution but also aligns your brand with positive change. 

Transparency is key; customers should be able to see the direct impact of their contributions and they can see just that with the live-giving pages set up by i=Change.This kind of authenticity in giving back creates a deeper connection between your brand and your customers, fostering loyalty that goes beyond the products sold. 

Example of an i=Change impact marketing campaign

i=Change brands participate in impact focused campaigns throughout the year. For example, Shop for Change is an online shopping event where brands give back $3 or 3% for 3 days for International Women’s Day. This enables their customers to create extra impact simply by shopping with the brand during this key calendar day.

Engaging in cause-marketing with i=Change isn’t just about philanthropy; it’s about building a brand that stands for something more, inspiring customers to return not just for what you sell, but for what you stand for.

With over $10 million raised and counting, i=Change presents an impactful opportunity for eCommerce brands to make a difference and boost customer retention.

Learn how i=Change can work for your business today to harness the transformative power of cause marketing and drive positive change in the world.

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Shop brands giving back to the environment

  • Of Note gives from every sale to:

    • Restore the Reef
    • Rewild Australia
    • End the marriage of girls
    Of Note
  • Zeally Herbs gives from every sale to:

    • Clean the sea
    • Provide a safe birth
    • Empower with literacy
    Zeally Herbs
  • Synergie Skin gives from every sale to:

    • Educate a girl
    • Clean the sea
    • Support mental health
    Synergie Skin
  • Recycled Apparel gives from every sale to:

    • Clothe the vulnerable
    • Clean the sea
    • Restore the land
    Recycled Apparel
  • Woosah Blankets gives from every sale to:

    • End violence against women
    • Mentor our youth
    • Create a safe home
    Woosah Blankets
  • The Very Good Bra gives from every sale to:

    • Clean the sea
    • Restore the land
    • Protect a woman
    The Very Good Bra
  • Lovestruck Lou gives from every sale to:

    • Restore the land
    • Continue her education
    • Support mental health
    Lovestruck Lou
  • Mossman gives from every sale to:

    • Protect a woman
    • Clothe the vulnerable
    • Clean the sea
    Mossman
  • CUT Store gives from every sale to:

    • Clothe the vulnerable
    • Protect a woman
    • Clean the sea
    CUT Store
  • Scotch & Soda gives from every sale to:

    • Restore the land
    • Prevent women dying
    • Teach healthy masculinity
    Scotch & Soda
  • White Earth Essentials gives from every sale to:

    • Support a child to recover
    • Clean the sea
    • Teach healthy masculinity
    White Earth Essentials
  • Valére gives from every sale to:

    • End hunger through gender equality
    • Restore the Reef
    • Educate a girl
    Valére
  • Pared Eyewear gives from every sale to:

    • Protect a woman
    • Restore the land
    • Feed aussies in crisis
    Pared Eyewear
  • Sunset Lover gives from every sale to:

    • Clean the sea
    • Empower with literacy
    • Clothe the vulnerable
    Sunset Lover
  • LUA gives from every sale to:

    • Rewild Australia
    • Restore the land
    • Restore the Reef
    LUA
  • St Soleil gives from every sale to:

    • Empower survivors
    • Clean the sea
    • Empower women in the Pacific
    St Soleil
  • Bianca Spender gives from every sale to:

    • Restore the land
    • Feed aussies in crisis
    • Dressing for success
    Bianca Spender
  • Saint Lucia Swim gives from every sale to:

    • Empower women
    • Clean the sea
    • Prevent trafficking with education
    Saint Lucia Swim