The existing customers are the most powerful resource of any business. Among the busy preparations for the huge holiday sales of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, many eCommerce store owners forget their existing customers. You may be tempted to ask, “Why would anyone ignore their customers?”, but you might be doing it as well.
Do You Actually Forget Your Customers?
Well, in a way. Nobody ignores their customers completely. But the online store retailers, in the pursuit of gaining new customers, do not realise the potential of what they already have. The process of gearing up for the big sale seems to be on a never ending loop when the holidays are approaching. We send out a lot - Newsletters, offers, coupons, discounts, social media posts and what not. Here’s a little summary of what online store owners generally do while preparing for the sales:
- Come up with lovely offers
- Give a makeover to their website
- Create landing pages with keywords
- Send out newsletters to existing users (See, I told you they’re not completely forgotten)
- SEO optimisation of the site and blog posts
- Wait for the big day
Finally, when the day arrives, there is a high chance that the sales you make during the festive season are one-time sales. Meanwhile, you may also lose one of your existing customers. Gaining a new customer and losing another does not keep you neutral because you have the same number but lower margin (from the marketing costs for the new customer).
How To Retain Existing Customers
Retaining your existing customers is pretty simple because you have already managed to gain their trust and build a connection. Whenever there is a new product or service you launch, target your existing customers first. Make sure you prioritise the customers/members you already have so that your business curve goes upwards. Simply put, all you need to do is to keep in touch. How?
- Get feedback - Customers are the best critics.
- Act upon the feedbacks - Feedbacks are not just for reading.
- Keep them posted - Remind them about your presence personally.
- Ask for customer success story - Get them to talk about how your product helped them.
- Be inclusive - Include them in your marketing strategies.
How To Keep Your Customers Engaged
You can keep your customer engaged by being in touch with them. Being in touch does not mean a one-way communication. When there is interaction, there is going to be more productivity. Here are a few ways to keep your customers engaged during the offer season:
Run A Customer Referral Program
Engaged customers tend to be loyal and purchase more. They are the ones who are most likely to recommend you to their friends. You get more than just a one-time sale here. However, you need to remember few things before asking for a referral, such as:
Heads Up For A Referral Program
- Ask for referrals at the right time - when they are most satisfied with your service.
- Save your customer’s reputation - be good to every customer.
- Follow up with a genuine thanks - be grateful for their loyalty.
- Reward them with the right incentives - give more than just a “Thank You” email.
Reward Your Customer
Rewarding your customer when they refer someone is part of a referral program. The reward could be anything such as:
What if you are not running any such program and you still want to go the rewarding way? Then it works the other way around. Provide awesome deals and a seamless shopping experience. It will bring you customer loyalty and a high probability for a referral among the customer’s circle.
Send Your Good Wishes
To be in the good books of your customer, be the first to wish them on occasions. Be it their birthday, anniversary, the day they joined you as customer or any other festive day, go ahead and send them a wish. A little personal touch can reflect back in the form of customer loyalty - or better yet a purchase if there is a discount or any reward attached to the wish.
Provide Gift Vouchers
Vouchers are a form of making sure that your customer will come back for more after a purchase. It keeps them engaged by putting a simple thought into their mind - there is an assured offer in the future. According to me, it is the best marketing strategy for any business. The customer carries out the current purchase for sure because the voucher makes the deal look great. In addition to that, the customer does any or a combination of these three actions on receiving a voucher:
- Makes another purchase to use the voucher.
- Gifts the voucher to someone else because he/she cannot use it (a purchase is made anyway).
- Recommends your brand to friends/family because you give good deals.
- Does not take any action and lets the voucher expire.
The last one may not sound as good as the first three. But from my experience of being an online buyer, I can tell you one thing. The expiry of a voucher makes the customer wonder if there is any other offer available and thus visit your store again. Engaging them further is upto you.
Make Them Renew And Resume
There are always few customers who exist but actually they do not. I mean, some customers do not come back. They are in the list of your existing customers but they are static. Similarly, there are customers whose subscription has expired. You do not want to put them in the list of “customers you lost”. Engage them by providing:
- Fresh content
- New renewal policies
- New subscription plans
- Upgradation offers
While you need new customers to grow your business, you also need to retain the existing customers of your store. This way, you can ensure that the growth curve of your business is actually growing and not remaining flat or going down. Apart from the ideas to engage your customers we just discussed, if you have any different ideas which you have incorporated in your store, or are planning to incorporate, do let us know in the comments below!