Customer retention is often lost in the online retail space. It’s honestly a frightening habit. I call it a habit because it typically occurs with small business owners. They quickly learn it’s a lot of work to generate traffic, especially organic and end up turning to advertising. They start to see traffic but notice hardly any sales. This is where most simply quit, but some will actually figure out they need to actually work to figure out why traffic isn’t converting.
When they finally get the formula down and get that first sale, a business woman or man is going to do what any business person would do… invest it back into the business. Over time, this becomes their new formula, but they forget one important data point, one additional ingredient needs to be added to the formula.
If this is never added to the equation, you’re missing out on additional revenue. There are many ways to target existing customers for your online shop. All of these ways can be free or at least affordable if you have the time to devote to it. It’s why we offer these services.
What’s the best way to gain returning customers for my eCommerce site?
There are many ways to retarget existing customers such as retargeting ads, but I’ll save that for a future article. Today it’s going to be for those businesses on a budget.
This is probably the most preferred way for small businesses because it’s cheap. Some email marketing providers such as MailChimp, provide their services for free, but very limited. This is perfect for starting out, because chances are you don’t have any contacts yet, so why pay for a service until things pick up?
Anything your customer does on your online store is considered transactional. This means if you had a new customer purchase something, you can send them an email a couple months later asking them to leave a review, offer them a discount for being a valued customer, or see if they “Forgot to restock” if you have goods that are tangible.
Leave a Review is an excellent automation because it targets customers who previously purchased and puts your business in the back of their minds. Sometimes they’ll think… “Ohh, that reminds me! I need to buy this or that.” Other times, they’ll simply leave a review, which will help build knowledge and trust in your product. Abandon Cart actually pairs really well with Leave a Review, and this type of transactional email targets both new and existing customers. Essentially if a customer adds an item to their cart, then leaves the site for a few hours, the automation will trigger an Abandon Cart email. This can even have follow-up emails, potentially offering savings if the customers check out now. There is specific software available such as AutomateWoo for WooCommerce, but most lack eye-appealing designs, so you’ll have to put in the extra work to make it look nice.
Email Marketing is a powerful tool that is surprisingly, still being used today. You can pretty much visit any major retailer’s website and join their email list through their Lead Capture popups. The cool thing about automations is they don’t require a subscriber to opt-in to receive these emails. You do have to be careful to make sure the emails being sent are actually transactional and not marketable. Otherwise, you’ll tank your email reputation. Yes, email reputation is a thing. In fact, Google has a tool to help you monitor it called Postmaster Tools. Ignoring this will lead to horrible inbox ratings and an increase in emails going to spam. It’s very difficult to recover your email reputation once it drops too low.