Scale your business and retain customers using loyalty
Dit is een gast-artikel van Loyaltylion door Mollie Woolnough-Rai.
Providing outstanding service through every touchpoint on a customers’ journey is key to scaling and retaining loyal shoppers. In this post, we give you the tools to improve your customers’ experience, every step of the way. All so you can capture and keep the customers who grow with you, increase your revenue and recommend you to others. Firstly, let’s recap what the ecommerce customer journey looks like from start to finish.
- The journey begins with acquisition: the process of introducing new people to your brand
- At the point those browsers make an online purchase from you, they have converted. An ecommerce conversion rate is the number of website visitors who purchase something from your online store within a set period of time
- After the customer has placed an order, there’s a fulfillment process that must happen. This involves storing inventory, picking and packing products and shipping those orders out
- The final part of the ecommerce journey is the post-purchase stage. This is an opportunity for you to increase the lifetime value of your customers by finding ways to encourage them to return and purchase items they weren’t originally planning on buying. An up-sell works best after a customer has completed a transaction
Nurturing customer loyalty helps brands scale because it encourages customers to return and spend with a business they know they can put their trust in.
Acquisition isn’t about high sales figures, nor is it about acquiring Joe Bloggs who happens to walk through your digital doors. Acquisition should focus on bringing in the right kind of customers that are a good brand fit and will return to shop with you again.
It’s important to communicate your point of difference and stand by the things that make your business unique to attract the right customers for your brand. In fact, shoppers are attracted by brand pride. 68% of consumers we asked said they return to stores that share values with them, while 71% of younger shoppers feel passionate about corporate social responsibility.
Edgard and Cooper, the natural pet food brand, use their loyalty program to showcase their point of difference effectively.
Beyond rewarding customers with discounts, their custom rewards let shoppers exchange their points to plant a tree or donate a meal to an animal in need. To attract new, like-minded customers, Egard and Cooper advertise this perk on social media too.
Egard and Cooper’s loyal members have a 70% higher average order value than guest shoppers and their loyalty program members make up 62% of their total revenue, despite only making up 14% of their customer base.
What you can learn from Edgard and Cooper is that owning your identity and effectively communicating who you are at the acquisition phase is how to capture the customers who are aligned with you. With a loyalty program, you can continue to communicate that point of difference with like-minded shoppers who will return, giving you the profits you need to scale up and stay on top.
As a merchant that’s growing, it’s important to optimize your store for conversions through improving the user experience. Don’t forget: conversions can be sales but also key engagement activities on-site (such as signing up to your newsletter or becoming a member of your store).
Poor UX could be pages that load slowly or poor navigation and the design experience. 85% of UK adults said loading time impacts whether they shop with a business, while Adobe found that 38% of online shoppers will leave a website if they find the design unattractive.
Combat any potential deterrents by making your site exciting. Add features that are visually engaging and resonate with your audience – nudging them to interact with your store and to buy what’s in their cart.
Ancient Nutrition – a popular health and wellness website – needed to convert their browsers into customers. They launched an integrated loyalty page that was on brand and interactive. It acts as a destination for shoppers to explore the rewards they can claim if they complete a purchase.
Optimizing your conversion rates by paying attention to the on-site experience will ensure your site design keeps up with your growth. Meanwhile, you’ll secure impressed shoppers who recognize your attention to detail. In the end, they’ll thank you for the extra perks you’re offering by returning and converting more often.
As your business grows, you need to make sure your online and offline experiences are cohesive and unified. To stand out, make every shopper feel like your most treasured customer when they interact with your digital storefront and when they interact with you in-person.
Online, a tier-based loyalty program is the place to start. Tiers allow you to place shoppers at different levels depending on how much they spend and engage with your store. At each level, the VIP perks (such as advanced customer service or discounted shipping) should become more desirable. This way, you're showing your most valuable customers that you care about their individual shopping experiences.
To make customers feel valued offline, pay close attention to the unboxing experience.
I recently ordered a new yoga mat and immediately shared the brand with my friends as I was impressed by the experience I got when the order arrived. This is because the brand included a freebie with the order (cleaning products for the new yoga mat) and a heartfelt thank you note.
In ecommerce, first experiences count. When a customer receives their order, this is often the only in-person engagement they have with your brand. Woo them with that, and they’ll return more often as you’ve left them feeling positive about your brand.
Ladieswear brand, Never Fully Dressed, is all about making their most loved customers feel special. First, their loyalty program page is hyper-personalized. Once members sign in, they’re welcomed with a personal greeting and their loyalty points balance.
Shoppers get additional points for inputting their birthday with the promise that they’ll get a special gift once the day rolls around. Their tiered loyalty page is also personalized, showing shoppers which tier they’re currently in and the amount they need to spend to move up.
By making your shoppers feel special both on and offline, you’re building up the emotional connection they have with you. Over time, you’ll build up a cohort of loyal shoppers who will return and spend again as you scale.
As you grow, it’s easy to lose that all-important personal touch with customers. This is where you can use your customers’ data to provide a personalized shopping experience.
61% of millennials today are happy to share their data if it leads to a more personalized shopping experience and 78% of shoppers say that if they were individually rewarded for their loyalty, they would return to the brand.
With a loyalty program, you can pair loyalty data with your store statistics to build a picture of your customers. This helps you decide how to re-engage them post-purchase before they churn.
Start by segmenting your customers into three buckets:
- Loyal customers – the ones with a high lifetime value and engagement rates
- At-risk customers – the ones who have not purchased again within an expected timeframe
- Churned customers – the ones who have never returned and don’t engage with your store anymore
Once you’ve identified your segments, personalize their on-going experiences. Emails are a good place to start. You can use them to send hyper-relevant, tailor-made content to each customer’s inbox.
Automated loyalty emails have a 2.5X higher open rate than the industry average. This is because they have useful information inside that shows customers they matter and that they’re not “just another shopper”.
Beauty Bakerie runs three loyalty campaigns for different customer segments.
- The first one, keeps their loyal customers feeling positive about the brand post-purchase, encouraging them to return as they know they’re appreciated
- The second one reminds at-risk customers that they have points waiting for them, making them come back sooner
- The final one prevents churned customers from completely losing touch as it tells them their points will be expiring soon.
By treating the post-purchase experience as an opportunity to stay in touch with your customers and keep the conversation alive, you’ll secure long-term emotional connections with them. Over time, you’ll be able to encourage them to return, repeat purchase, and become your biggest advocates. In the end, unlocking long-term growth that lasts.
As you scale your business, it’s crucial to consider every part of the customer journey to secure long-term success and growth. From the first acquisition stage to the post-purchase consideration, there’s always an opportunity to go the extra mile and secure customers. In the end, you’ll be able to ensure that they remain loyal, shopping with you for months and years to come.
Want to learn how to scale your business effectively? Sign up to access our series of ebooks and webinars all about scaling your store without compromising at any stage of the customer journey.
Or, if you want to talk about how to get ahead with loyalty, book a one-to-one demo with a member of our team.
LoyaltyLion is a data-driven loyalty and engagement platform that powers ecommerce growth. A loyalty program is about more than points and rewards. It is about unlocking real insights to increase customer lifetime value. With LoyaltyLion, you can build a better understanding of what drives longer-lasting customer relationships, and use those insights to connect and accelerate your existing marketing efforts. Proven to increase retention and spend, LoyaltyLion is trusted by thousands of fast-growth ecommerce merchants worldwide.
Author the author
Mollie Woolnough-Rai (LinkedIn) is a Senior Content Marketing Executive at LoyaltyLion. After graduating from UCL in 2016, she has worked both in-house and at marketing agencies providing expertise in content for both B2B and B2C clients. At LoyaltyLion, Mollie manages our content, making sure our readers get the best quality resources about customer loyalty and retention.