Let’s talk about your business goals for a while. As an e-commerce store owner, I’m sure your business goals do not differ from ours- they revolve around increasing sales.
Surely the goal isn’t unique or novel.
There are proven ways of achieving it.
Most of us focus on:
- Increasing website traffic through SEO
- Increasing brand awareness through partnerships or paid advertising
- Using the marketplace advantage to increase eyeballs…. and more
While these approaches are pretty effective, they are mostly targeted towards acquiring new customers.
But what about existing customers?
“A 5% increase in customer loyalty would increase the average profit per customer by 25-100%.”
Research has shown us that returning or loyal customers are worth a lot more than first time buyers. So, this one’s a no-brainer. A surefire way to increase sales would be to convert a first-time buyer to a returning customer!
Membership Programs and Consumer Psychology
Now, converting shoppers into return customers is not as easy as it seems. Shoppers do not automatically turn into buyers. You need to provide them incentives or coax them to return.
An approach companies employ is creating a loyalty or membership program.
Membership programs directly impact consumer psychology and this stat is the proof:
“40% of millennials said they joined a program for access to members-only sales, products and services”
Membership Programs work for the following reason:
- Beat the competition: Membership programs that offer member-only discounts or offers, dissuade customers from exploring different options when making a purchase. Your competition is eliminated right away because shoppers know they are getting “exclusive” deals.
- Ensure return visits: A reward or points system is bound to convince customers to return. It’s a win-win situation. Shoppers know they have something to gain by collecting loyalty points; WooCommerce store owners immediately see a rise in sales.
- Increase Average Order value: Bundling is a great way to increase order value. And when this is coupled with offers, purchases are bound to roll in. You should know, one loyalty program member on an average spends more than two non-members.
- Increase Branding: How many times have you heard people swear by xx airlines or yy stores? Your members are your promoters. A membership platform also offers you an opportunity to increase signups using referral incentives.
How to Get Started with a Membership Program with User Roles and CSP
Now, if you’re convinced that a membership program can benefit you, you must be wondering how to go about implementing one. Surely there are membership plugins available. One option is to make use of the native functionality WordPress presents to set membership levels, and to use a pricing plugin to set discounts.
Here’s a quick 3 step guide to get you started!
#1 Create User Roles
By default the Customer role is created for shoppers in your WooCommerce store. And since the customer role is used for all customers, you’ll need to create an additional user role “Member”, that receives member-only benefits and exclusive discounts on products.
There are two ways to do this, one- is to add a role programmatically, and two- (the one I’d recommend for non-programmers) is to use the User Role Editor plugin to create a new user role. The plugin provides easy an option to create a role from the admin panel.
How to create a ‘Member’ role in WordPress using the User Role Editor plugin
- Once you install and activate the plugin, head over to Users->User Role Editor, and click on ‘Add Role’
- Set the Role name (ID) as ‘member’, ‘Display Role Name’ as ‘Member’ and ‘Make copy of’ as ‘Customer’
- Click ‘Add Role’
HINT: You can create additional user roles to create a tiered membership level.
#2 Install a Pricing Plugin
Once you’ve got your roles in place, you’ll need a pricing plugin to set special discounts for your members. Sure WooCommerce offers a sale price option; but again, this is for all your buyers.
Now, as always there are two approaches you could take- the developer approach and the non-developer approach. Now, since I’m not a developer, and I know of a solution that’s apt for this very usecase, I have a plugin for you! 🙂
You’ll need the WooCommerce Customer Specific Pricing plugin.
With the Customer Specific Pricing plugin you can set different prices for different roles. So, for a product, you can set a special role for your members.
#3 Set Special Prices for Members
The Customer Specific Pricing plugin provides you three options to set prices for members. The simplest way is to set the price for each product using individual product settings.
- All you need to do, is select the user role, and set the price for the product.
Another technique is to use the import option, to set multiple product prices at once. But the quickest way and the one which provides you the most control is to use the – Pricing Manager functionality.
It provides you a intuitive user interface to set prices for multiple users at once, for multiple products with ease.
The Proof’s in the Pudding
Well, all I can do is to show you some statistics in attempt to convince you that a membership model will help you increase sales. But at the end of the day it comes down to you actually trying it out.
You’ll need to try it out to see if it works.
And the cost to you?
- Creating one or more User Roles – $0
- Using a Pricing Plugin – $35
- Setting special prices for members – $0
Certainly worth the investment isn’t it?!
So, what are you waiting for? Add a membership functionality to your WooCommerce store, and let the sales begin!!
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