Feeling valued as a customer is the best part of the buying experience. There are a variety of ways to make a customer feel special but each one enhances the buying process greatly. I recently ordered some samples from one of our suppliers and to my delight found a couple of bags of 10p sweets included.
Now I hope I haven’t broken any anti-bribery laws by eating those sweets, but that little touch has made me remember that supplier a lot more than any other. So I started thinking about the ways e-commerce businesses could make their customers feel without outlaying 1000s of pounds on expensive gifts and customer appreciation campaigns.
Why focus on repeat business?
For many companies, their most profitable customers are their repeat long term buyers. By having a large group of these repeat customers, which have low acquisition costs and high buying power businesses can grow their business along with a number of other great benefits.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing shows that customer acquisition can be 5 times more expensive customer retention. So why not take advantage of those customers who already know about your company.
Free gift inside every order
Starting with a classic, everyone likes free stuff. So why not give your customers something for free. A 10p bag of sweets or a free pen are cheap options that will give your customers that positive feel about your company and make them more likely to buy from you.
o Do not make it conditional/ value based – All customers are important, that customer buying a low value item, could return next time to buy your highest value product!
o Keep it changing – Don’t always send the same thing, by regularly changing the free gift. Customers will keep returning to find out what the next new thing is.
o Make it useful – Sweets are great, but something the customer will use every day and rely on will really make a great impressions. For example, I recently bought a bike helmet and received a free multi-tool. I remember this company and go to them anytime I want to buy any bike equipment because the multi-tool reminds me.
No-one likes being called sir/madam so why should you call your customers this in their emails? With the range of automated tools out there to help with this, there really is no excuse from companies to not send personalised emails. Call a customer by their first name, reference their most recent purchase and suggesting some further purchases based on their buy history are all great ways to build customer loyalty and ensure repeat business.
There are a range of tools out there to help with this but at Linnworks we use:
o Survey Gizmo
Extra tip – Spend a bit of extra time correctly formatting your customer emails and add an image as well. It will be worth it in the long wrong. For more tips on email marketing check out Huffington Posts 11 top tips on email marketing.
Listen to their feedback
Customers love to give feedback but they hate to be ignored. Use your feedback tools on your channels or website to gain valuable information from your customers. By listening and analysing the feedback you’ll quickly discover weaknesses in your current business practices and also you’ll uncover new revenue streams that you may not have considered before. I recommend tools such as Trustpilot and Survey Gizmo to find out what your customers are thinking. Remember, getting feedback is half the battle making sure you analyse and act on this information is crucial.
Keeping in touch with customers keep your business at the front of their mind. There are so many great ways to do this with the rise of social media and email marketing. Why not start a twitter account and encourage all of your customers to follow you by offering discounts and promotions exclusive to existing customers? Or start a blog so customers can keep up to date with your company. There are a lot of great ways for small businesses to keep in touch with their customers without outlaying
Reward customer loyaltyOnce you’ve built customer loyalty, make sure you reward it. By offering loyalty schemes, customers will not only become repeat customers but will start recommending you to their friends and family, so very quickly one customer can become five. By offering long term customers discounts or encouraging referrals by providing incentives your existing loyal customers can become your biggest marketing asset. For more ideas, check out Hubspots 7 favourite brand loyalty programs.
If you would like some further advice on how to increase your customer’s loyalty and long term value contact one of our e-commerce specialists, Remember companies cannot survive on existing business alone, so why not check out 5 ways to generate new business.