5 Best Customer Retention Strategies for a Small Business

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Best Customer Retention Strategies

Loyal customers are the backbone of a flourishing business. If a company is focused only on acquiring new visitors and is careless about existing customers, it doesn’t make a full profit. Having regular clients means the company can spend less on winning over new buyers. Thus, the cost of retention is cheaper.

Once you guarantee your customers the convenience of shopping, you will draw new clients and successfully attract existing ones. In this article, we’ll look at five more ways you can get your audience to come back to your store for purchases.

5 Customer Retention Tips to Get More Purchases

1. Provide Free Shipping and Return Options

Free shipping inspires shop visitors like a spell. Delivery terms are decisive factors that influence the site guest when he makes a purchase decision. According to a Walker Sands report, 79% of US online shoppers cited special shipping terms as a deciding factor.

You can provide delivery at no cost for your frequent customers. However, create additional conditions to get the most out of shipping without paying. For instance, ask your visitors to register on the site and leave their contact details. Here you need to keep in mind the main ways to optimize the eCommerce store, as sometimes changing even just the checkout can significantly increase conversions.

If your company is small and cannot provide free shipping for all products, set a fixed price for regular customers. Or set a minimum order quantity as Calvin Klein does. Calvin Klein views free shipping and returns as a vital part of its marketing strategy because it helps reward customers and earn their loyalty.

For example, in the screenshot below, we see an illustration from their newsletter. They write from above that when buying more than two products, delivery will be free.

Screenshot was taken from the newsletter from the Calvin Klein official website

2. Practice Win-Win Loyalty Programs

I think everyone has come across discount cards or bonuses offered to us at every turn. This phenomenon is called a loyalty program. It is a reward system for existing customers, allowing you to increase loyalty, retain people, and cultivate repeat sales.

There are many ways to capture existing customers with various bonuses. Here are 3 major ones:

  • Good old discount programs. Discount programs can be simple or cumulative. As a rule, the client can determine the place of purchase with the help of a discount program. Of course, provided that he has already made the buying decision.
  • More creative bonus programs. They imply the accrual of points from the last purchase, which can be spent in one way or another (that is, to shop again). You can add a sense of urgency by limiting the storage of bonuses in time.
  • Multilevel loyalty program. The discount grows depending on the amount of money spent over some time (usually 365 days).

To illustrate my point, Girlfriend Collective, a store famous for its recycled plastic clothing, offers a comprehensive loyalty program. Clients can earn points in several ways:

  1. Use the hashtag #GOODJOBGF on social networks and earn 100 points or subscribe to its Instagram account;
  2. Create an account on the website and buy something. For every dollar spent, the client gets 1 point, and for five orders, the buyer gets 200 points;
  3. Recommend a friend, get a free pair, or write a review and attach a photo. A total of 60 points in the safebox;
  4. Or you can do nothing: the company will give you 50 points for your birthday.

3. Pay Attention to Important Dates

Everyone loves holidays because it is an additional opportunity to please yourself or your loved ones with a gift. Use such occasions to propose your product to a customer by giving him a discount on certain products.

An example of such implementation is the newsletter of Homesick. They remind clients about the upcoming Mother’s Day and offer personalized merchandise for that purpose.

Congratulate frequent shopping customers on a particular day for them, such as birthday or anniversary. It will allow you to connect with them on a more personal level and get positive feedback on future orders. Of course, you should congratulate all visitors, but you need to take the time to compose a separate congratulation for your most loyal customers.

What you can do to enhance your email marketing strategies for special occasions:

  • Make your greetings sincere and warm, and personalize the subject line.
  • Consider the time zones your customers live in.
  • Automate your congratulatory campaign with CRM.

4. Engage with Quizzes and Polls

Quizzes and polls are easy ways to have fun and learn new information. They are dynamic, discreet, and catch the audience’s attention. Brands use them to avoid scaring off visitors by advertising their products directly.

This format is successful since it is effortless, fast, and entertaining. With the help of the quiz, people receive individual recommendations on how to solve their problem using an advertised product, gift, or discount.

The benefits of a quiz for businesses are as follows:

  • Cost-Per-Action becomes 2–4 times lower;
  • Represents the needs and preferences of the customers;
  • Provides information on purchasing behavior;
  • The survey helps the user to make a choice;
  • Quizzes entertain people, so they willingly take surveys and share the results via social media channels.

Quizzes can work for different business niches, such as education, service industry, printing, marketing, sales. Depending on the area, it is necessary to choose which is better: showing more expertise, caring for the client, or just entertaining him.

In the screenshot below, you can see an example of a Knix email. They asked the customer for an opinion, used personalized addressing by name, and offered $15 to procure from their store.

The screenshot was taken from the newsletter from the Knix official website

5. Try Gamification

A good game is always addictive, and it’s hard to stop. It’s all about regular rewards. You pass level by level, earn points or in-game currency. The more you play, the more you win and the more experience points you accumulate.

Brands do it too. They captivate people, reward them for completing a stage and return them over and over again. This technique is called gamification.

How to utilize gamification in business? First, highlight the specific options or actions you want. It can be a subscription for a particular time, buying a new product, a more expensive plan, or using a free trial. Then think over the reward system: points, levels, ranks, and so on.

Come up with real, non-speculative rewards since the client should feel special, not as a victim of manipulation. Finally, link the prizes to the client’s actions. The more he achieves, the more serious they should be.

For example, the Costway online store used a game timed to coincide with Costway Day. The prizes were sums of money that clients could spend on orders. They were also time-limited to encourage customers not to delay their shopping.

Major Takeaways

Keeping loyal customers is much more profitable and easier for a business than finding and attracting new ones. According to Harvard Business Review, growing and retaining loyal customers by just 5% increases profits by 25-95%.

And these are pretty significant numbers to come to grips with retention for your small business. You already have a customer base with their own preferences and habits. The main thing for you is to implement ideas to create an effective system for increasing audience loyalty.

Even though it’s getting harder to retain customers than before, it’s still possible. With the correct application of the loyalty programs strategy, discounts for special dates, and free shipping, customers will keep coming back to your store repeatedly. Surveys can help you find out the client preferences and tailor offers to their needs. And gamification is another way to increase loyalty and build strong relationships with your buyers.

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