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Shehnaz Abdul Jabbar
Shehnaz Abdul Jabbar June 28, 2022

What do the top retailer businesses have in common that helps them grow and sell more?

The answer is: repeat customers.

But to get those customers, you’ll need to consider implementing one or more customer retention strategies. 

Customer retention is one of the most underrated growth tactics out there. Because even a mere 5% increase in customer retention can boost your profitability by up to 95%

By leveraging tools and strategies focused on retention, you can turn casual shoppers into loyal customers and enthusiastic brand advocates. And in an increasingly competitive retail space, encouraging your current customers to spend more tends to deliver a far higher ROI than acquiring new ones.

In this article, we will cover a few powerful customer retention strategies that you can implement in order to see tangible growth in your retail business.  

Why do you need a customer retention strategy?

The thrill of seducing a new customer is hard to beat. While gaining a new customer is good, keeping a customer is even better. 

Customer retention strategy refers to the collection of coordinated tactics that encourage existing customers to buy again.

It’s about persuading one-time shoppers to become regular shoppers and eventually brand advocates.

Successful customer retention strategies will convert first-time buyers into repeat customers to maximize their lifetime value (LTV) and expand the consumer base.

In a nutshell, having a customer retention strategy allows you to:

  • Maximize customer spending
  • Outbid your competitors
  • Increase profits
  • Sell more, with less effort
  • Create a team of customer-marketers

Customer retention strategies to drive more business

#1 Provide an omnichannel experience to your customers

Omnichannel retail empowers you to reach consumers at every touchpoint of their buying experience to provide a relevant consumer experience across all channels. 

It helps to provide a seamless shopping experience between a retailer’s channels, whether a customer is on a laptop or a browser on their mobile device, for example.

And this strategy is expected by today’s consumers: the Harvard Business Review reports that 73% of consumers use multiple channels during their shopping journey. 

When delivering omnichannel customer experiences, it’s essential to be where your customers are. And, while providing seamless service across multiple channels is a challenge, technology has made it easier to implement, track, and evaluate your retail strategies. 

#2 Use data to personalize the customer experience

There’s a reason why you shouldn’t ignore personalization. About 63% of consumers expect personalized services as part of the standard experience they get while shopping at your retail store. When a customer feels like they’re being cared for, they’re likely to stay and buy more.

Data can help you know more about the needs and preferences of your customers. Using an analytics tool, you can capture and collect crucial customer data. By gleaning the much necessary data into your customers’ preferences and past purchase history you could personalize their shopping experience.

You can develop exclusive promotions, discounts, and product suggestions based on specific buyer personas.

You can also personalize any communication with customers, whether by email, SMS, push notifications, or in-app messaging. When it comes to contacting customers, you need to sound like a human and not a faceless business to create a sense of familiarity and warmth.

#3 Implement Cross-Selling Strategies

The oldest trick in the book is to sell a customer a product and have them return to buy something that complements the original purchase, like a mobile case for a mobile phone. This is called cross-selling. You need to ensure your customers return to buy products related to their original purchase.

You could send them an email, SMS, or push notifications recommending such products to draw attention. Cross-selling strategy takes advantage of people’s impulse purchases. You need to analyze your data to find out what items complement each other and promote these to customers who have bought them.

#4 Reward customers to build loyalty

Customers respond well to incentives or rewards. Those customers who have shown time and time again their loyalty to your business deserve some recognition. 

Implementing a customer loyalty program can reward customers for their continued efforts. 

According to research done by Accenture Interactive, “Members of retailers’ customer loyalty programs generate between 12 % and 18 % more revenue for retailers than do customers who are not members of the loyalty programs.” 

Incentives for customer retention could include a points or perks system in which each purchase made amounts to a certain reward. 

Using a customer engagement tool, you can view a customer’s purchase history. This way, you will be able to figure out the kind of offer or incentive that will be most appealing to each of your customers. In Upshot.ai, you can easily create a list of customers based on their purchase history, order value, demographics, interests, etc. using its advanced customer segmentation feature. 

Reward and loyalty programs are effective in increasing purchase frequency, as they encourage customers to make repeat purchases in exchange for some incentives. You may find this a slightly outdated way to increase your customer retention rate but it’s a tried and true method to increase loyalty among customers.

#5 Build a Customer Feedback Loop

By actively listening to what your customers have to say about their shopping experience with you, you can level up your retention game.

Quick surveys ensure high response rates from customers who still have the shopping experience fresh in their minds. 

Plus, gathering extra data (like customer birthdays, shopping preferences, etc.) allows you to segment customers for sharper marketing and a higher chance of winning repeat purchases.

Also, asking customers for their opinions and suggestions, taking them into consideration, and implementing some of them, will help you build a long-term relationship with your customers.

#6 Keep in touch with your customers

The art of building long-term relationships with customers cannot be overstated. Don’t wait for customers to reach out to you. Instead, engage with them proactively. For example, check in on a regular customer who has gone a few days without making a purchase or visiting your app or website.

A “We miss you” message, an email, SMS or push notifications about new launches or exclusive offers—these small gestures will help keep the lines of communication open.

Before making a purchase, your customers undergo different phases. If you could send the right message in the right phase of time, you can monetize on opportunities and reduce churn.

For this, you can try automation for each phase of the customer journey

Let’s say that a customer adds a product to the cart, but fails to complete the purchase. In such a scenario, using Upshot.ai’s events capture feature you could easily record this action of the customer. What’s more, you can create an automation journey saying that upon a cart abandonment, a reminder mail has to follow up with the customer in 24 hours. 

You can even trigger emails for other occasions too with Upshot.ai. You can send birthday or anniversary emails, product recommendation emails, or exclusive gift vouchers and offers emails. You can even create a promotional or a referral campaign and send it out to your customer base using automation. The opportunities are endless with Upshot.ai. 

If you want to explore what Upshot.ai can do for your business, we would love to schedule a demo for you! 

The Bottom Line

Retention strategies can be implemented at every touchpoint on the customer journey. Customer retention is an ongoing process, but the important thing to remember is that satisfied customers will always return. Ultimately, customer retention is about creating a shopping experience that makes customers go ‘Wow’. 

Implement the strategies listed above and keep working on them to get a sustained customer retention rate and increase your customers’ lifetime value. 

Ace customer retention with Upshot.ai

Upshot.ai is an omnichannel, user engagement, and gamification platform that helps digital product owners and marketers improve product adoption and conversions.

With advanced features such as customer segmentation, loyalty program, journey builder, gamification, and others, Upshot.ai has naturally become the modern retailer’s number one choice. It can provide personalized insights, actionable recommendations, and contextual nudges designed to deepen your relationship with your users.

Get started today! Schedule your personalized demo here. It’s time Upshot.ai increased your customer retention rates.

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