onlineshoppingIn marketing, the focus of many businesses is exclusively on attracting new customers. It’s an appealing and exciting route that many merchants believe will lead to higher sales and profits. While true, customer retention is just as critical to long-term success, and is actually much cheaper than acquiring new customers. In fact, the cost of acquiring a new customer is 5 to 10 ten times more expensive than retaining an existing one! Unless you’re a new business just starting out, your existing customers will actually play a more critical role in your business’s success and revenue.

According to a study by Bain and Co., a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a business’s profitability by 75%. Furthermore, studies by Gartner Group show that 80% of a business’s future revenue will come from just 20% of their existing customers.

Your current customers are the bedrock of your business’s success. They’ve developed a personal relationship with your brand through their experiences, and when targeted correctly, will continue to provide your business with revenue through the years to come. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that customers should be regarded in terms of their representative lifetime value, not transactional value. Studies show that over the years, customer profitability rates will only increase over the life of a retained customer.

But in order to get your customers to return to your store, you need to re-engage them frequently, something many businesses fail to do. Let’s take a look at some of the creative ways you can get your customers to purchase from your store more often.

Adopt a Customer Rewards Program

A rewards points program is a great way to reward your customers for their continued loyalty. By offering points for every dollar spent at your store, you’re providing customers with an incentive to return and redeem their accrued points, a tactic that will increase conversions and customer satisfaction at the same time.

Setting up a rewards points program is easy and takes only a few minutes. Click here for a step-by-step tutorial.

Engage on Social Media

Nearly one-third of the world’s population is an active subscriber to one social media platform or another. Use this massive channel to your business’ advantage by interacting with your loyal customers on Facebook, Twitter, and the like to build lasting personal relationships.

Remember, those who “follow” and “like” your brand have done so for a reason – they’re a fan! Don’t be afraid to reach out on a regular basis with frequent engaging posts that highlight new, trendy products, limited-time sales and other pertinent news.

Keep in Touch with Monthly Newsletters

Email marketing is one of the most powerful and influential marketing channels at your disposal.  76% of marketers consider email marketing essential to their business’s success. With an effective email marketing campaign, you can re-engage customers on a personal level, increasing conversions on a massive scale. Remember to personalize your content as much as possible. With a more targeted email comes a higher ROI and a happier, more-likely-to-return customer base.

Remind Customers to Order Again

If you’re in the business of selling consumables or perishables, follow-up emails are a great way to promote repeat traffic. Of course, you shouldn’t send these emails out whenever. If you’re a seller of pet food and treats or skin care products, for example, you’ll want to send out emails around the time that a customer’s supply will be running low.

3dcart makes sending out these types of emails really easy. Check out our guide on Newsletter SmartLists here.

Give Customers a Say in What You Sell

Everyone loves to have their opinions heard. Give customers a say in your business’s future with a poll or survey that lets them voice the products they’d like you to carry. Not only does this method encourage a high level of customer engagement, but it also provides an incentive for customers to return. By offering the products personally requested by your customers, you’re promoting a level of loyalty that leads to a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship – and of course, a return visit to buy the products they want!

Customer Account

Make it easy for your customers to checkout by allowing them to create accounts. With a customer account, shoppers can quickly re-order their favorite products and conveniently store their account information. With everyone in a rush these days and the eCommerce waters flooded with competitive sharks, providing an easy, seamless checkout experience is an absolute must. And of course, if you’re looking to implement a customer rewards program, accounts are necessary for tracking points as well.

Reward Coupons & Return Incentives

Follow up with customers who have just made a purchase with a coupon that’ll bring them right back to your store. As a consumer, you’ve probably received these countless times before: “Thank you for your purchase – here’s a coupon for 25% off your next order!” So why is this marketing tactic so popular? Because they work! Everyone loves a good discount; you don’t need to wait for weeks to pass by to bring them back.

A similar tactic can also go a long way to appealing to dormant customers. Offering an appealing flat rate or percentage discount is an effective means of getting customers back to your store that haven’t made a purchase in some time.

Are you doing everything you can to re-engage your customers? Remember, your current customers are your easiest and most predictable source of revenue. Take steps to ensure they’re coming back to your store on a regular basis.