A customer looks for the type of product you are selling and arrives on your website. They make a purchase and then move on. It seems purely transactional. However, to really have a successful ecommerce site, the relationship should go beyond a mere transaction.
Taking things further can go a long way towards building a relationship with your customer and thus creating a loyal fan that keeps coming back for more. This is in essence, customer retention and is fundamental to having a successful ecommerce store.
In this article, I will give you several ways you can retain customers so you have a steady stream of income.
1 – Focus on the shipping
People don’t like to wait for things that they’ve ordered online. Consider it the Amazon effect. Since Amazon can get things to people in less than two days, it has become the expectation even though your site is no Amazon.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t compete in terms of shipping speed. In fact, you can outsource the shipping to a courier service like ReliableCouriers that offer same day shipping.
This is what keeps people coming back for more. If you have a unique item then they will give some leeway towards shipping times. But, if you offer fast deliveries then your customers become fans and will stay with you when they are looking to buy the same types of products next time.
2 – Offer discounts
It can be a bridge too far to cross for many to offer discounts on products that they believe are well crafted and high quality. Yet, it is a good way to reward loyal customers. You don’t want to offer up discount codes to just anybody but those that have put in multiple orders in the past.
The best way to do this that works for you and for them is to give the discount codes by email so it rewards those on your list and encourages them to stay subscribed.
3 – Be charitable
People buying from small ecommerce sites like to know that the person on the other side of the computer is a good corporate citizen. This means they expect you to operate with the best interests of your community.
If you promise a portion of the profits to a charity that people can get behind then this will go a long way towards keeping customers. This way they know their purchase is actually helping others.
4 – Easy returns
Many people ordering online are often held back by return policies that they don’t like. Before they purchase they check the terms and if it seems too difficult or expensive they may not order anything.
If you offer an easy way for them to make a return in case they received a product they aren’t happy with then they will likely make multiple orders over time. Doing things like sending postage paid shipping stickers that they can print out so they can send the item back free of charge is something most customers appreciate.