In the previous post, we talked about winning digital customers by retailers. After winning customers, comes the subsequent and perhaps the most critical step of retaining them. The focus area of this blog will be retaining customers for sustainability and consistent revenue generation. Thinking long-term and incorporating effective strategies to keep your customers happy and loyal are likely to have a cascading effect on your business. Let’s take a look at the crucial customer retention strategies.
1.Incorporate a Customer Loyalty Program
The increasingly competitive digital retail industry calls for robust strategies to build customer loyalty that make them stay for long. The main objective of a customer loyalty program is to reward customers for their consistent purchasing behaviour. Some of the benefits or rewards that loyalty programs offer are store credit, convenience, prizes, and redeeming reward points. In addition, initiating a loyalty membership is another way to increase conversions from your existing customers while rewarding them for their repeat purchases.
Creating a loyalty program can be as simple as rewarding customers on their second purchase at your store or website once they spend a specific amount. If you’re too busy or your customer list is too long, you can automate this process by installing simple, economical, and cost-effective software that can automatically email your customer a discount coupon when your customers make repeat purchases. In addition, you can also reward your customers for taking certain actions such as creating an account, making purchases, and referring friends.
2.Surprise & Delight Your Customers
Depending on your product or service niche and the marketing mix, sending small gifts to your loyal customers periodically may prove to be a great way to remind them to re-visit your digital or physical store. Besides, such gestures also add the element of surprise and delight. Giving an unexpected gift also leverages the law of reciprocity that triggers by responding to a positive action with another positive action.
You can send various gifts on the occasions such as customer’s birthday, anniversary, or during festivals. The types of gifts can be as simple as a digital gift certificate, coupon or special discounts on customers’ preferred product categories. You can even go an extra mile and send your customers a gift along with a note through courier or postal service, appreciating their loyalty to your company and how important they are to you.
3.Improve Customer Experience
Digital retailing is a dynamic world, and providing excellent customer experience is an effective strategy to ensure frequent brand recall. Customers would always remember the positive experience they had the last time with a certain retailer, and are likely to return. In this context, it is important for retailers to remember that they should be able to anticipate and offer the products or services customers wish to buy.
Some of the key components of ensuring a positive customer experience are below:
•Design, colour scheme, layout, and fonts on your site should encourage customers to navigate
•Your website loading time
•Mobile device compatibility of your site with smartphone, laptop, and tablet
•Relevance and effectiveness of your marketing communication
•Time taken for shipping and delivery — does it reach to customers when they expect
•Quality of product packaging
•Quality of the product or service
•Customer service – after-sales service and follow-up
The elements mentioned above are pivotal to retention success as applying these consistently and flawlessly will enhance the reliability quotient, and make customers stay with you. Moreover, existing customers are more cost-effective. A research conducted in March of 2015 by analysing more than 100,000 online businesses shows the following results:
•The total percentage of returning shoppers was 14.77 percent (of all the customers)
•Returning customers spend three times more than one-time shoppers
•Existing customers account for approximately 33.3 percent of the total money spent on shopping.
The data above confirms the fact that investing in customer retention pays off quite well in the long run.
4.Implementing a robust delivery system
The Asia-Pacific region has witnessed an exponential growth of the digital consumer base in the recent years alongside rapid urbanization and higher standards of living. However, infrastructure improvements have not been keeping up with the fast urban population growth. A lack of adequate infrastructure, especially logistics has come in the way of the retail industry. For example, if we consider India, the growth of the online retail business has been phenomenal, yet diverse population, widespread areas, and inadequate infrastructure have been pulling back companies from achieving their true growth potential.
Delivery continues to be an arduous task for most e-commerce companies and the associated logistic providers. In order to meet these increasingly demanding logistics requirements, and staying relevant to changing customer needs, retailers are adopting automated parcel lockers. Although, Europe and North America have been leading the way when it comes to seamlessly implementing parcel lockers in their supply chain, India is also catching up fast. Some of the leading e-commerce giants have already embraced parcel lockers. These retail giants, by getting into a partnership with Smartbox, have streamlined their product delivery system. Smartbox has installed parcel lockers at the strategic locations such as metro stations, shopping malls, community centres, and office premises post offices. Such collaborations have resolved the ‘Last Mile’ woes for retailers, and provided convenience to consumers as they have complete flexibility to collect their parcels.
The Way Forward
The new-age consumers seek greater flexibility and more control over their package delivery and returns. This is why eTailers need to focus on providing more convenience, better customer experience, and higher value for money. In this context, parcel lockers seem to fit the bill. Besides delivery fulfilment, these lockers have emerged as highly secure alternatives in terms of both transactional and physical security. While collecting their parcel, consumers need not carry cash as they can pay on the spot by taking advantage of Card Swipe on Delivery (CSOD) payment method. Overall, parcel locker services have the potential to smoothen customer’s purchasing journey by making last mile fulfilment a pleasant experience for them.
The pointers discussed in this post are smart customer retention techniques that are likely to produce sustainable results. Contact us to learn how Smartbox can help your business weed out delivery loopholes and implement a fully integrated e-commerce or omnichannel logistics solutions. Our advanced parcel lockers backed by advanced technology and round-the-clock customer service, can enhance delivery by 10 times without having to worry about failed delivery attempts. Contact us today to deal with the heavy parcel delivery workload triggered by the shopping frenzy during the festive season.