4 Things Online Retailers MUST Master to Keep Customers Coming Back

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For any online retailer, increasing traffic and sales is always a priority, as it should be. However, many neglect to focus enough effort on customer retention strategy. Repeat customers are a huge benefit to any business. Not only do repeat customers add to sales for a tenth of the cost of attracting new ones, but they also spend as much as 18x more money!

On top of all their personal repeat business, they'll bring in new business for you as well. More people rely on recommendations from friends and family and social proof from online reviews and social media than ever before. Word of mouth is the most useful and cost-effective marketing strategy, and repeat customers spread good word of mouth more often.

With customer retention being so useful and profitable, it deserves to be a priority in your business. There are things every online business can do to improve their customer retention strategy. Here are the 4 most important things to do right to keep customers coming back time and time again.

1.) Create a Seamless Shopping Experience

These eCommerce stats make a powerful argument for making sure your visitors have an easy, seamless shopping experience:

  • Long load times can increase abandoned carts by 75%
  • 61% of people think more highly of brands with mobile-optimized sites
  • Almost 30% will leave a site if it isn't mobile-friendly
  • 37% will leave a site due to poor navigation
  • Optimizing your checkout process increases conversion rates by 35%
  • There are more than 286 million active PayPal users
  • 39% of consumers prefer to pay via PayPal but 42% prefer using credit
  • 34% would abandon a purchase if they couldn't check out as a guest

To make the most of your customer retention strategy, make sure your load times are up to par and your site is mobile friendly. Navigation is a huge factor in positive user experiences so make your menu easy to understand. Showcase a variety of product categories on your homepage so visitors can understand your catalog. Also, prominently display the search bar on every page. Giving many payment options at checkout makes people more likely to buy as well.

2.) Make the Most of Product Descriptions

Good quality images and detailed text is a good start, but buyers appreciate an interactive element. In fact, 40% of customers will pay more for items they can experience first. Many online retailers use virtual reality features that allow consumers to see clothes and makeup on and furniture in their homes. This helps customers buy more confidently and reduce returns.

Virtual fitting and fit quizzes to find their perfect size can help reduce returns by up to 23%. Customers also appreciate increased inclusivity. For example, clothes that come in a wider range of sizes, makeup with more skin tone options, and a diverse range of models with different body types and skin tones in product images.  

3.) Deliver a Great Shipping Experience

Getting a visitor to make a purchase is only half the battle. If you want them to buy again, your fulfillment and shipping services must be top-notch too. Customers have come to expect options for free shipping and 2-day shipping as well as the ability to track packages. They expect to get the right item, on time, in good condition and have an easy return process.

  • 88% are more likely to buy if shipping is free
  • 80% want a same-day option
  • 51% avoid retailers with poor return policies

4.) Provide Stellar Customer Service

Customer service is often a paramount concern. When it comes to customer service, focus on providing the best customer experience rather than simply fixing the problem or making the sale. An omni-channel approach is also best. The ability to reach out to a brand through many different channels is a huge plus. Make sure each customer leaves the interaction feeling like they got what they needed, the interaction was pleasant, and your brand really cares about their needs.

Here are some stats to show the importance of customer service:

  • 51% of Americans remain loyal to brands that engage via their preferred communication channel
  • Loyal customers are 5x more likely to buy again, 4x as likely to recommend a brand, and 7x more likely to try new products
  • 74% of millennials who have a bad customer service experience with a brand will switch to a competitor
  • 39% of customers won't return to a brand for 2 years after a poor experience
  • 86% of consumers would pay as much as 25% more to brands that provide a better experience
  • This year, customer experience will surpass price and product as the reason a brand stands out

Bottom Line

An effective customer retention strategy is crucial for business success and an all-around pleasant experience for customers. From homepage to delivery and beyond, ensure you're doing everything you can to increase repeat customers. Going out of your way to provide an exceptional experience for your customers every step of the way pays off huge in the end!

If you're looking to improve your fulfillment and shipping services, Rakuten Super Logistics can help! We have 15 distribution centers to allow for flexibility and cost-efficiency, nationwide 2-day shipping for increased customer satisfaction, reverse logistics services for returns, and we stand by a 100% order accuracy guarantee. We'll work with you to ensure that your customers are happy with their delivery. Contact us for a free quote today!

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