3 powerful customer retention strategies that work

3 powerful customer retention strategies that work

Effectively managing customer retention is essential for the sustainable growth of any ecommerce business. But that’s not all.

Due to the current economic climate, acquiring new customers has become more challenging - and more expensive - making it more appealing than ever to work towards retaining existing customers instead.

Customer retention strategies encourage your customers to come back to your business time and time again. Here are 3 that work.


What is customer retention?


Before we get started, let’s first establish the basics. What is customer retention anyway?

Customer retention is the process of engaging existing customers to encourage them to continue purchasing your products. There are various different customer retention strategies ecommerce brands can embrace to make that happen, but the ultimate goal remains the same: to turn one-time customers into repeat customers.

Your customer retention rate is the percentage of your customers who buy from you again within a given time frame. This metric measures customer loyalty and the success of your retention efforts.


The importance of customer retention


It’s difficult to overstate the importance of customer retention because it’s a strategy that saves ecommerce businesses money, increases the loyalty of their customers and creates some much-needed stability going into difficult financial times.

Customer retention is important because it maximises the lifetime value of your customers. It costs 5-25% more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, which is why customer retention is an area many businesses choose to invest in.

On top of this, repeat customers spend 67% more on average than first-time customers, making customer retention efforts a financially savvy move too.


3 powerful customer retention strategies that work


We asked Harvey Hodd, CEO and Co-Founder of Relo by Blueprint, about the customer retention strategies he recommends brands embrace to encourage their customers to come back for more. This is what he said.


3 powerful customer retention strategies that work


Harvey Hodd, CEO and Co-Founder at Relo by Blueprint



1. Curate a seamless customer experience


When it comes to customer retention strategies, people tend to put too much emphasis on tactical things you can do to boost retention, such as by sending out more marketing communications.

However, before you get to this stage, you need to satisfy certain elements of the customer journey. This is ultimately what will encourage your customers to come back and buy from you again.

A seamless customer experience involves:

  • Your product satisfying the use case it was bought for
  • The delivery experience being smooth
  • The purchasing journey leaving your customer with a positive impression of your brand

After these crucial elements have been perfected, then - and only then - should you get in touch to encourage another purchase.



2. Look for signals that suggest what a customer is going to do next


Effective customer retention strategies should be founded on data. We advise that merchants utilise data to get an insight into what a customer wants to do next to guide their retention efforts.

For example, if a customer has ordered a certain product, and you can see from your data that this product is usually re-purchased very quickly afterwards, this opens up an opportunity to get in touch with that customer and align your comms with that message.

Or, if you can see that customers who purchase one product often go on to purchase another similar product, this gives you an opportunity to reach out to those people with a personalised, data-backed product recommendation.

Gaining insights into the buying habits of your customers will help you develop tailored customer retention strategies that encourage customers to explore your wider ecosystem of products and discover new items they’ll love.


3. Offer flexible subscription options to repeat purchasers


Following on from that, utilise your data to establish the purchasing patterns of your customers. This will allow you to offer subscription options to those who have expressed a repeated interest in a product or set of products.

If you discover through your customer data that someone is ordering a particular product over a given cadence of time, it’s really effective to try to upsell them to a subscription.

Once you’ve established a rough purchasing pattern, it’s beneficial for you as the business, but also the customer, to introduce a subscription offering. This is another instance in which a data-driven approach can inform effective customer retention strategies that keep your customers coming back for more.

To supercharge your customer retention strategy, you need a tool like Relo. Relo is the most powerful way to increase repeat revenue - enabling customers to seamlessly reorder, try new products, start a subscription or manage their current subscription.

Relo does this by syncing with Shopify to predict which customers are ready for their next action, and then sending that data over to Klaviyo to enable easy SMS and email comms. Learn more about it here.


This blog post features insights from "How to turn one-time customers into repeat customers", an episode from our Setup for Lifetime Value podcast series featuring CEO and Co-Founder of Relo by Blueprint Harvey Hodd and Head of Growth at Underwaterpistol Nathan Abbott. You can watch the full episode here