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Encouraging customer retention is an effective way to increase revenue while protecting your profit margin. Many retailers choose to focus the majority of their marketing efforts on acquiring new customers, however it costs around five times less persuade an existing customer to place an order.

Here are a few tips on how you can delight your customers and keep them coming back for more.

  • Post Purchase Communication:

Immediately after the customer has placed their order you should send them a confirmation email. Within the email, include a thankyou message to show that you care and are grateful for their custom. This simple touch can have a huge impact on how your customers view your brand.

The email should then go on to reassure the customer, with details of the products they have ordered – including pictures, colours and sizes – the delivery method and address they’ve chosen, and an indication of when they can expect their order to be dispatched and received. Without this reassurance the customer may feel unsure about their order, which could in turn cause them to associate negative feelings with your brand.

Including contact information and details of what to do if there are any problems is essential. It is also a good idea to include some FAQs at the bottom of the email to reduce the number of customer service calls you receive.

  • Loyalty Rewards:

Offer a loyalty scheme that stands out from the competition. Make sure that any incentives and discounts that you offer are personalised, based on your customers’ previous purchases and interests. Tier based loyalty schemes where the customer can achieve VIP status after a certain number of orders can help customers to feel special and appreciated by your brand. Sending out birthday gifts or offers can also make your customers feel valued – keeping them coming back for more.

  • Reviews & Referrals:

Here at Venditan we recommend that all our clients request reviews from their customers. Not only are they highly beneficial for SEO, but they also provide new customers with the reassurance that your site is trustworthy and safe to buy from.

Receiving feedback, both good and bad, will allow you to nip any issues in the bud, do more of what customers like, and ultimately provide a better experience for your customers in the future.

Many of your customers will have friends with similar interests to them. Create advocates for your online store by offering a referral program that gives customers a discount when their friends place orders using unique codes. People are far more likely to buy from you if they’ve been referred by a friend.

  • Follow Up Content:

To make sure that the customer is keeping your brand front of mind after receiving their order and leaving a review, send out personalised follow-up content. The aim of this content should be to help the customer make the most of their purchase. If they are new to their craft hobby, the last thing you want is for them to become frustrated and give up without ever completing another purchase. Content can be in the form of how-to guides, video tutorials or product care tips. For example, if the customer has bought calligraphy pens you could send them an article on Tips To Resolve Common Calligraphy Issues, or if they’ve bought a set of paintbrushes, send them an article on How To Keep Paint Brushes Soft.

  • Encourage Repeat Custom:

From their previous purchases you will know the kind of products that the customer is interested in. Use this information to send them tailored offers, replenishment reminds for essentials, and recommendations for complementary products.* If you offer services relevant to the products they bought, such as sewing machine servicing, send out automated reminder emails.

  • Keep Learning:

Don’t forget to set aside marketing budget to develop your customer retention strategy. It’s important that you keep on learning from and getting to know your customers better. Request feedback and hold focus groups with your top customers to get ideas on how you can improve your service and keep your customers shopping from you instead of your competitors.

*To ensure that you are GDPR compliant, always make sure that you’ve received the customer’s consent to send them anything other than transactional emails. Consent is usually collected at the point of purchase by asking the customer if they’d like to be kept up to date with special offers and project inspiration.

Stephanie Fenton, Venditan Limited,

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