Returning customers are the holy grail when it comes to eCommerce. They often spend more, buy frequently and have the potential to become loyal advocates for your brand. For some online retailers, increasing customer retention rates by as little as 5% could lead to a 25-95% increase in profits.
So how do you ensure that your customer’s experience is so great (both online and off) that they’ll gladly come back for more?
We say this often at James and James Fulfilment, but customer experience is absolutely vital not only to creating loyal customers, but to the success of your brand overall. As many as 83% of consumers say trust is the number one factor that makes them go back to a store or brand, so getting it wrong could have serious consequences.
1. Ease of purchase
Don’t make your online store complicated. It should be quick and easy for web visitors to find the product they want, get information on delivery and sail through a simple and secure checkout. If products or delivery/returns policies are not easy to find or you don’t offer their preferred method of payment, you could be putting consumers off and sending them elsewhere.
2. Order tracking
Tracked delivery is fast becoming a global standard for eCommerce, with many brands now able to offer location data as the order makes its way to the customer. The very best in class fulfilment providers will also give both you and the customer order status data not only after the package leaves the warehouse, but before, from the moment the order is placed and on through each stage of the process. This level of tracking eases that “Where’s my parcel? Has it even been packed yet?” anxiety, as well as relieving pressure on your internal customer service teams. Your customer will feel informed and best of all, valued.
3. The grand unboxing
When it comes to the overall buying experience, there is no moment as important as when that parcel is opened by an expectant customer. Your packaging should look the part, and ensure that the items arrive in one piece. Your fulfilment team should have also picked the exact items required – it sounds simple, but incorrect or damaged orders are a sure fire way to receive negative feedback and lose customers. Getting it right however can mean great reviews, returning customers and even the unboxing experience being documented on social media. The rise of blogger and vlogger reviews on networks like YouTube means there’s plenty of exposure to be had.
4. Returns, returns, returns
Perhaps by their very nature, returns are often something of an afterthought for many online brands. But getting this wrong can leave a bitter taste in a customer’s mouth. Not having a clear returns policy is a surefire way to confusion. Making the act of sending back an unwanted item too costly or difficult could even put your customer off bothering and leave them out of pocket. If you sell in sectors such as fashion and accessories where return volumes are often high, consider making easy and free returns part of your core offering so that customers know there are options available if they change their mind.
Remarketing is an important part of converting one-time customers into lifetime customers. Getting your brand back in front of them and using tools like email (which is still as popular as ever among all generations of consumer) to build trust could reap dividends. From “We’ve missed you” discounts to points schemes, referral credits and more, there are so many ways to incentivise customers to choose you again and turn them into advocates for your brand. UK fashion retailers Asos and New Look have taken loyalty one step further by offering unlimited next-day delivery through annual membership schemes that require a small one-off fee of under £10, encouraging continued engagement and purchases throughout the year. Our client Sugru also uses content marketing brilliantly, with tips and tricks videos and newsletters providing extra value and persuading customers to buy more and get creative with the product.
If you only do one thing to promote repeat business, be consistent. As an online brand, your customers expect the same accurate service, the same company voice, the same level of knowledge and the same amount of helpfulness whichever channel they purchase from or reach out to you via. From your live chat feature to your call answering team and social media channels, your support staff should all have access to the kind of live reporting tools needed to provide instant order updates for your customers. Being able to get real-time info means no waiting for impatient customers, and less time wasted by your team. And if you’re using James and James’ ControlPort system, that part’s a doddle! Your customers will be left feeling happy and well looked after, and will surely come back for more.
What do you think of our strategies for getting more repeat business through your online store? Do you have any of your own? Let us know in the comments below.
More to discuss? You can also get in touch with our team of fulfilment consultants to chat about your unique eCommerce needs.