You know that feeling when you walk into a local coffee shop or restaurant that you frequent, and are instantly greeted with a smile from a server who knows what you like to order upon walking in?
Well, It turns out that it’s human nature to be more influenced by people you like, a social psychological principle that we experience everyday. This principle applies to your friends and family, but also to the brands and businesses that you choose to give your business.
You could get your coffee from anywhere, but you choose to continuously buy from this coffee shop because you are treated better than an unfamiliar, first-time customer. Your frequent patronage to this coffee shop admittedly began by virtue of coincidence via proximity, but with every visit you feel better and better giving this retailer your business because you are recognized as a loyal customer.
This is a small example of how powerful rewarding loyalty is at a brick & mortar retailer, but the same social psychology applies to prospective customers who are shopping online.
Here are 5 Strategies to Reward Customer Loyalty:
1) Understand and respond to the intent of a returning visitor. There is a lot of information that can be captured about returning visitors in order to create a more personalized experience. Using historical and real-time data attributes like a specific page view, geographic location, past product purchase, discount utilization, device type, time interval since last visit, and amount spent can be leveraged to create very specific visitor experiences through behavioral targeting via visitor segmentation.
For example, lets say you sell clothes online. A specific visitor comes back to your site who you know likes to buy a specific brand of t-shirt in bulk. Giving her a targeted, real-time offer – “Buy 2 shirts, get 1 shirt half off” – if she spends over a certain purchase threshold will increase your conversion rate and average order value. Because online shopping lacks the personal touch that brick & mortar stores can offer, purchase incentives and other real-time engagements remain the predominant method to reward loyalty.
This real-time targeting of offers – delivering the right offer to the right visitor at the right time – will improve your storefront’s customer experience, making the likelihood of bringing customers back higher.
2) Flash sales. Using visitor segmentation to deliver time-sensitive, relevant offers to repeat customers who sign up for your newsletter or email list is a great way to bring customers back to your online store. This can be as simple as giving select customers early access to new products, or you can take it a step further by giving loyalty points to customers that place an order immediately.
3) Keep content fresh. Constantly keeping the content on your site new and exciting gives visitors a reason to come back. This can be done by creating and maintaining a blog that features up-to-date content that is relevant to your visitor traffic (relevant content always depends on what vertical you are in, so make sure to analyze your visitor traffic to understand what content your visitors like). By doing so, it makes coming back to your site exciting and addicting – the goal is to make visiting your site a part of your customers’ daily or weekly routine.
4) Demonstrate customer appreciation. Telling a loyal, repeat customer “thank you” should cost next to nothing. Similar real-time engagements can be targeted for birthdays, New Year’s, Mother’s Day, and other holidays. Customers, no matter the vertical, want to feel appreciated for giving you business and taking the time to engage with you. Use visitor segmentation to identify those loyal customers and show your appreciation – this can go a long way and will create a positive customer experience that will result in future purchases.
5) Communicate with customers via social media. Social engagement platforms allow eCommerce companies to connect with their current and prospective customers on a more personal level. Those that have taken action to follow, like, and connect with your brand are most likely to become your most active brand advocates and loyal customers. It is important to engage with these people on a regular basis to keep them excited about your brand and/or business.
Loyal eCommerce customers buy more, and more frequently than new visitors. They also cost less to convert. A 2014 RJ Metrics Report stated that the top 1% of a typical eCommerce retailer’s customers spend as much as the bottom 50% over time. Looking at these top tier customers, the report states that a site’s most loyal customers will spend approximately 30x as much as an average customer in the long run. Given this reality, it is extremely important to optimize your customer loyalty eCommerce campaign to make the most out of your visitor traffic!
Written by Fanplayr Account Manager, Zach Feinberg
LinkedIn: Zach Feinberg
What have been some best practices that work for you to optimize your eCommerce customer loyalty campaign? We are interested in hearing your experiences – please leave your comments below!