My father used to buy his medicine from a local small medicine shop who didn’t have enough medicine stored on their shop even some of my father’s medicine too. But he didn’t stop visiting that medicine store every time he needed to buy his medicines. Once I asked why he goes to that shop knowing they probably don’t have what is he looking for, my father replied that the receptionist of that store asks about his health with a cordial smile every time he entered the store. I might not understand that day how a simple smile and a cordial welcome had made my father one of their loyal customers.
This may be a good example of understanding the power of making a customer loyal to your business. Local brick and mortar shops do understand the value so they try to make their customer loyal. It is basically easy for them to influence loyalty among customers through providing excellent customer service or products directly to them. But when you are selling online through your ecommerce website, it is much more important and as well as hard to make your customers loyal to your business.
Customer loyalty can be defined as the satisfaction level of customer perceived through his/ her behavior according to the act of business owners. It is basically the result of consistently positive experience, intention and action of choosing a certain brand or business on the basis of perceived satisfaction.
Simply speaking, customer loyalty is the behavior or perception of a customer toward a brand and the action he/ she takes after first purchase.
Customer loyalty is way different than customer satisfaction and customer retention. While retention is the behavioral indicator of loyalty, loyalty can be influenced by level of satisfaction. All of these three elements may have different meanings, but still are the most important things to consider the improvement of conversion as they pretty much have impact on each other.
Why does it matter?
Let’s start with numbers.
Customer loyalty is the crucial element for your ecommerce success. While customer retention is the only possible way to run your ecommerce business fully operational and functional, making customers loyal to your business is the ultimate way of customer retention. While 25-40% of the total revenue comes from returning customers, a just 5% increase of customer retention could increase up to 95% profitability. Furthermore, loyal customers make up 55-70% of sales, and 78% of loyal customers like to spread the brand message about the brands they love.
Other statistics show that, there has a 27% chance of returning of a customer to your store after first purchase, but if you can make that customer to purchase for second or third time, there is a 54% chance to make them purchase one more time from your store!
Here is why customer loyalty is important for ecommerce retailing-
How to optimize your customers’ loyalty? Customer loyalty is not just a single element rather it is a collective form of customers’ behavior which is induced by your attitude towards them. Here is some best way to optimize your attitude to make your customers loyal to your brand.
It is better to understand what a customer wants or needs putting yourself in their shoe. Think like a customer and obviously you too purchase products like other customers. Find out what you prefer from your sellers, or do you have a specific brand or retailer from whom you shop most? If the answer is yes, then ask yourself why?
This step will help you to determine customers’ behavior and to modify your actions according to their behavior. Most of ecommerce brands don’t think from customers’ perspective. This is not good for your business when you are selling online.
Ecommerce is all about making good impression as you may not want to lose potential customers after selling to them first time. The better you understand your customers the better you can make them loyal to your brand.
Wherever you are, whether on your website or on your social media, be there for your customers when they need you most. It is critically important to be present when your customers want you to answer them.
That doesn’t mean that you have to be online 24/7 or hire staffs for providing customer care or even redirect your customers to your customer care page every time. Simply answering their question or solving their problems by proving them enough information or showing them who can help is enough to retain your customers.
If you are not capable of hiring people for providing assistance to your customers, then train yourself and interact with customers more and more. Remember, people remembers the lacks more and like to share their “bad” experience with others.
Your customers are your hero. Keep that in mind and treat them like you are nothing without them!
Poetic, right! Online customers like to be treated better and to be featured on social. This is actually human behavioral fact which you need to turn into profit.
When customers knock you to ask or show interest about your products or services, show them that you care. Treat them as a part of your brand not just a random customer. Give them discounts, special deals and upgrades and ask them to be connected with you to get such lucrative offers.
If they are on social media, then ask them for permission to share their posts about your brand and products. Mention your most loyal customers in your social posts and let them know you actually care about them. This will in one hand play as social proof and on other hand will be a good marketing gateway.
Another great way to treat customers to make them loyal is to send them unexpected gifts.
Track down what your fans and customers talking about on social media and if it is about your product and brand then appreciate them by sending that specific product or product related services as gift. This will help you to market through them. This tactic is also helpful to create brand image among fans and followers over social media.
“hello!” would be great to retain a customer believe it or not! It is simple, effortless but really converting way as it implies your cordial response and appreciations to customers’ action.
As your first and last move is counted, saying hello to start a conversion and goodbye at ending is definitely what you need to reconsider to make some customers your loyal lifetime customers.
Customers’ buying behavior is largely modified how you greet them at the beginning of your conversation and how you end it. Many brands reveal that they successfully retain a customer even not selling a single product at first time but they sure cordially accept their failure and said “thanks”.
It is actually human behavior that get ignited with emotional influence and when you welcome your customers saying “hello! How can we help you” or, “hi! Good to be with you” will help customers to picture a humanize form of your brand.
It is not all about money! Sometimes try to build friendship or two-way interactional relationship with individual customers rather than selling to them.
Selling products and making profit is what for you are doing your business. We get it. But if you only interact with customers or get connected with them only for the selling purpose, you will be able to make some sales but for long run you will definitely lose a huge number of loyal customers. That is not definitely good for business.
Interact with your customers and ask what they like you to do for them. Ask them for feedbacks, reviews, and send them updates, information, promo mails, and even complementary gifts for getting closer with you. Host contests and events to amplify connections and your concerns to them.
Thus you may not sell products but you can enlarge your list of loyal customers who will eventually buy anything from you in future.
Make sure your product is absolutely different and superior than of your competitors in terms of features, services, benefits or whatever your customers will like to purchase from you.
Make your contents excellent enough to resonate customers’ problems and make them be able to solve those problems. You don’t need to ensure every aspect of your products, rather emphasize on any one of them and work with it to make it much efficient and effective.
For example, you can emphasize on product’s feature or quality, or on image that you use, or even on customer service. The main point is that, you must be unique in term of providing services or products, so that your customers will find reason to trust you.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money or even time to optimize your loyalty program. Customer loyalty depends on how you execute your CRO strategies and also how you interact with your customers.