Customer Retention - Set Yourself For Success In 2021General, Price-monitoring, eCommerce ·
The biggest challenge of 2020 was how to retain the customers and make your business stay afloat. Since everything moved online, the race of providing a better customer experience became fiercer. Therefore, customer retention will most likely continue to be one of the most important eCommerce factors in 2021.
Last year has proved that you can stand out by doing that “extra mile” to improve your customer’s experience. But, in challenging times like these, that’s easier said than done.
Are The Customer’s Habits Changed Forever?
Well, it’s hard to make precise predictions. During the last few years, the eCommerce sector was enjoying steady growth. However, the pandemic has accelerated it to the maximum. For example, last year’s US Cyber Monday was a record-breaker with $10.84 billion in sales!
Even though many countries are going back and forth with the lockdowns, it seems that many customers find it easier to continue shopping online. Of course, no one can predict what the feature brings - some of those customers will for sure return to the traditional in-store purchasing, but, many will stick with their new habits.
While this increases the opportunities for eCommerce businesses, it also points out the importance of customer experience. In times where everything has changed, improving customer experience has remained one of the most valuable factors of your success.
So, how your eCommerce brand can provide better customer retention in 2021?
Here are a few tips.
Embrace Live Chat
Think about how you behave like a customer. You don’t like to wait and depend on someone to get things done. Some way of self-service is much preferred. When you need more information about some product or service, you’re more likely to send an email than to make a phone call. But, using a live chat is even faster! Someone will respond much quicker than by email, your communication will go more informal and smoother.
In other words, live chat provides an easily accessible solution. 99firms has shown the numbers which support these claims:
- 41% of the customers prefer the live chat as their way of communication with the customer support
- 63% of the customers who used live chat before purchasing are most likely to return to the same eCommerce store
- 79% of the customers said that live chat is their favorite way of communication due to its fast response rate
This communication channel was not so used in the past, but as you can see, it’s the one that can make a significant difference.
Create a Personalized Relationship
Customer retention is impossible without creating a personalized relationship. Of course, online shopping may not feel as personal as chatting with someone at the store, but some things can still be done. In fact, personalization is so important that the Accenture report has found that 33% of customer abandonment was due to lack of personalization.
Understandably, there’s not much that you can personalize when a customer visits the website for the first time. However, the information that you can collect during the checkout process can be used for future reference. For example, your follow-up emails, or newsletter could be more engaging if using a person’s name instead of some generic quote.
Customer retention can be accomplished by using retargeting methods on social media channels. By doing so, you’ll make social media more personalized by adapting ad content based on the user’s prior actions on your website.
How The Customer Retention Depends On Logistics And Sales Processes
Customer retention doesn’t end on your website. Creating a personalized experience is just one of the steps. However, if there is no integration between the sales process and the logistics, all of your previous efforts were in vain. The delivery experience is also a very important part of your customer retention strategy.
Unfortunately, there is often a disconnect between sales and logistics. If a brand can not offer flexible, and cost-effective shipping options, customers will most likely decide against ordering. Moreover, if you oblige to a certain time frame or a delivery method, and then you don’t fulfill it, you can be sure that your brand image has been affected. Today’s customers want options - they want to have different payment options, to choose a delivery time and method, and so on.
The numbers are relentless - 53% of customers won’t complete their order if the delivery time can not be estimated.
Don’t Be Shy To Ask For Feedback
Everyone relies on comments and reviews when trying to make some decision. Let’s be honest, you don’t decide whether you’re going to watch a movie until you check the reviews. Whether it’s a book, a movie, or a purchase, we all rely primarily on other people’s experiences. That’s the way we build trust. And if a potential customer doesn’t trust you, they won’t make a purchase.
Customers like to rely on other reviews, so it’s important to have a review section on the website. Moreover, customers love to be asked for their opinion! It makes them feel important, and it plays a great role in creating a sense of personalization that we mentioned above. In fact, research conducted by Microsoft found that 77% of customers are more likely to leave a positive review if they have been asked to share their opinion. However, make sure not to overdo it. You should ask for their opinion from time to time, but spamming will only drive them away.
Every time has its own ups and downs. While the pandemic has caused many problems, some new doors have opened as well. This challenging period is still rich with opportunities for eCommerce businesses. But only the ones who understand the importance of customer retention can hope for maintaining the leaders’ position. Make sure you’re in that group!
What changes have you noticed in consumer behavior? How are you addressing them? Share your tips in the comments below!