We all shop online on a regular basis, ordering anything from a coffee mug to furniture from various online stores. Do you ever wonder why people keep going back to the same eCommerce stores to buy things again and again? It’s because shoppers are looking for factors such as trustworthiness, value for money, convenience, or just because of a positive experience when shopping online. And when they come across a store that checks all of these boxes, they go right back to it. This is called customer retention.
Impact of Customer Retention on Revenue Generation
Customer retention is a major part of eCommerce marketing (or any other type of marketing for that matter) solely because it is so important. A study by Adobe shows that while repeat customers are only 8% of the total customer base of any business, they make up 40% of the total sales. Other surveys like those conducted by SAS and Loyalty360 estimate that existing customers and clients account for 68% of a company’s business.
Clearly, although organic growth is essential, a major part of your revenue could be generated from retained customers. And who wouldn’t want a piece of that pie?!
Who is a Retained Customer?
A retained customer would be someone who repeatedly avails a service or purchases a product from your website. Although this definition varies depending on the product or service, the underlying principle is basically the same.
For instance, a customer who renews their Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription regularly is a retained customer. This shopper is a loyal customer who keeps coming back irrespective of the options available to him/her. This article hands out some effective tips on customer retention for your WooCommerce Store.
Getting Your Website On Board
First things first, decide what you want your customers to do. Do you want them to make repeated purchases from your website, renew their subscriptions, or maybe avail your post-sales services for fixtures and maintenance? Once you have that down, you can use a variety of WooCommerce tools to increase customer retention. Here are some tips, or the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of it.
#1. The What – Data Collection.
The first thing to do is get some stats and metrics to work with; primarily, customer retention metrics. The following are some of the important ones –
Customer Churn Rate
This is the percentage of customers that don’t return to your website again, don’t renew their subscriptions or cancel their memberships. This is an important metric if you have a WooCommerce website that runs on a recurring payment model, like subscriptions.
Revenue Churn Rate
This is a measure of the revenue lost because of customer churn. You can calculate the actual figure or assign a normalized value to it.
Repeat Purchase Rate
Simply put, this is the percentage of repeated purchases on your website or renewed their subscriptions/memberships.
Return Website Visitors
Tying into the repeat purchase rate, this metric calculates how many people returned to your website to purchase a product or renew a service.
Customer Lifetime Value
This value is the predicted net profit value assigned to the entirety of a future relationship with a customer. This means that you can estimate how much net profit you can make from a customer in the entire course of your future collaboration with each other.
There are numerous free and premium plugins that help you collect this data. The most basic ones being Google Analytics and your CRM software. Tools like Hotjar, MonsterInsights, and conversion optimization services like Kissmetrics help you to measure the necessary customer retention metrics. The relevant statistics and figures will guide your way towards the next step – Marketing.
#2. The What – Identifying High-Value Customers
High-value customers offer more value to your brand than simply coming back and making repeat purchases. They are influencers for your brand and talk about it on the internet. They regularly post reviews, share social media posts, participate in giveaways, and basically generate more awareness about your brand.
It is important to cater to these high-value consumers. Why? Because they influence other people. People trust people; if someone has used your product or service and posted a positive review, then the credibility of your brand automatically increases.
Here are some ways to engage high-value customers for the long term –
Referral programs are ones where you give your customers some perk or benefit if they can get more people to sign up, subscribe, make a purchase, or avail a service. Such programs encourage customers to refer people and you get more customers.
People perceive brands as entities and expect that they engage with them on a personal level. If customers feel that a brand cares about them, they will engage with it further. Asking customers for regular feedback on their experience so far makes them feel heard and cared for.
Your WooCommerce site must have a review option for every product that you sell. This is the best way to understand how products are performing and whether customers are getting value for their money. It also helps you understand the problem areas and work on them.
You can consider giving special offers or discounts to your high-value customers. For example, the WISDM Customer Specific Pricing plugin for WooCommerce can help you set different prices of the same product for different customer groups. Similarly, the WooCommerce Points and Rewards plugin allows you to identify your high-value customers and accordingly set up some special discounts and rewards for them.
WooCommerce offers a variety of plugins for the aforementioned techniques. You can set these plugins to run on your website to engage your high-value customers. Here’s a list of some that you might want to take look at:
- WooCommerce Product Reviews Pro – Allows you to accept reviews from your customers along with photos and videos of the products they’ve purchased.
- WISDM Product Enquiry Pro for WooCommerce – Enables you to cater to all the product inquiries that come your way and also serves as a great quote request plugin as well.
- Recommendation Engine – Automatically recommends more products based on the user’s purchase history, product views, what others have viewed, and products that are often bundled and purchased together.
#3. The What – Reactive Campaigns
The next step is to switch focus to customers who are currently not engaging with your brand at all. The customer churn value will help you understand how many customers have not re-engaged with your brand.
A reactive campaign involves getting in touch with these customers and encouraging them to engage with your product or service through a series of messages. Track abandoned carts and re-engage these customers through social media posts or sending an email reminding them to complete their transaction.
The best way to run reactive campaigns is to create a communication plan and set up a calendar for the same. You could make use of solutions like Hubspot Marketing, or tools like MailChimp and Automate Woo to help you with this process.
Plan out the frequency of your messaging activities and set up emails or messages to go out at those particular times using the automation software. These plugins become all the more useful if you have customers across various time zones.
#4. The What – Offering Premium Memberships
You can offer premium memberships to customers at a price. Offer extra perks like free shipping or 24-hour deliveries. Amazon Prime is a good example of premium membership. Members get access to prime video facilities, free shipping, instant home deliveries, extra discounts, etc.
Membership plugins. WordPress offers numerous options for creating memberships on your website. MemberPress is a free plugin that is compatible with WooCommerce, can process payments, run WooCommerce affiliate marketing programs, and so much more. There are plenty of free, paid and premium membership plugins like Restrict Content Pro, aMember Pro and Paid Members Pro that offer an array of features and functionalities. Some solid research will help you find the one that best suits your needs.
#5. The What – Providing Exceptional Service
Customers have a certain set of expectations from a brand or company in terms of quality of service. To effectively retain your customers, you need to provide exceptional service and exceed their expectations.
Some of these strategies include providing quick service, instant or timely responses, addressing issues, offering perks or extras to aggrieved customers, etc. Your customers need to feel heard and acknowledged. When you show them that you genuinely care for their requirements and not just for your profits, you’ll end up forming a bond that keeps them coming back.
Make use of FAQs, live chatbots and helpdesk tools like LiveChat or Crisp, and automated emailers like Sendy or MailChimp, etc. to ensure quick responses and timely resolution of queries or grievances.
WooCommerce offers plenty of marketing tools for retargeting, promotions and for affiliate marketing, enabling you to automate tasks and target both types of customers – those who are and those who aren’t coming back to your website.
However, it’s extremely important to keep track of whether your strategies are working out for you and accordingly perk up your strategies from time to time.
This formula, given by Inc. is a great way to measure the outcome of your efforts. It says,
Customer Retention Rate = ((CE-CN)/CS) * 100, where:
CE= number of customers at the end period
CN= number of new customers during the period
CS= number of customers at the start of the period
While using these tools smartly will help you to retain your customers and enhance your revenue, in certain cases, these ready-made tools may not suffice. WooCommerce has a vast community of developers and technology partners that could definitely help you out.
What are you waiting for? Go on, and get marketing! Happy Retention!