WHY READ THIS BLOG POST?
In this post, I’m going to teach you about the importance of customer loyalty and how to create it for your e-commerce store. I’ll tell you where many stores go wrong and what you can do to grow your sales by adding a few simple strategies into your business.
“Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.”
Chip R. Bell
Grow Your E-commerce Sales By Loving Your Existing Customers
One of the biggest reasons why e-commerce businesses fail to grow and even, ultimately go out of business is their inability to grasp the concept of customer loyalty.
Almost every business owner I’ve ever met is focused on bringing new customers on board by whatever means, instead of thinking about how they can drive revenue from existing customers.
In the majority cases, they don’t even know who their target customer is (but that’s another story).
Yes, it’s true you need to keep filling the funnel with new fresh leads to keep your business fueled but, whilst you’re spending a ton of cash on ads, investing time in SEO, hammering out social content at a rate of knotts (that only 5% of your audience actually sees), there’s opportunity that is constantly overlooked.
That opportunity is your existing customers.
The Customer Loyalty Failure
Let me ask you a question. When was the last time a company made you feel truly special?
Go on, think about it. Think hard.
I bet you’re struggling to put your finger on it.
This question is difficult to answer because very few companies give a hoot about you once they have your money. They simply don’t care. This short-sighted view is why their businesses will struggle to grow.
When you’re a small online business you have the ability to do great things. There’s no politics, you’re agile, you can test new marketing strategies, talk directly to your customers and get down in the trenches to learn what makes them tick.
Never take this freedom for granted.
Whilst there are lots of shiny objects and ‘hacks’ in the online world (#hatehacks), the one area you should be investing time and effort into is loyalty.
“Don’t spend 5 times more to attract new customers, nurture existing ones” – Forbes
A few years back, a wise old marketing owl, called John Jantsch (Duct Tape Marketing) taught me that you have 60 days from the point they buy to make a customer feel special. In that period, they have the ability to make them hugely loyal to you, your products and your business. If you put the work in and show them you care, they will reward you with more sales and higher spend.
According to Paul Farris’s book, Marketing Metrics, repeat visitors have a 60-70% chance of buying again. Invesp CRO research says that it is 5 times more expensive to win a new customer than to retain an existing one. With stats like those, it’s worth investing.
In the article, ‘1,000 True Fans’ by Kevin Kelly, he illustrates the theory that you can be incredibly successful by winning and nurturing a small, ‘hardcore’ group of fans or customers. You don’t need thousands of customers. You just need a team of super-fans.
These ‘super-fans’ are low in number but they are hugely active and spend more money, more often. They will also do your marketing for you via word-of-mouth a.k.a the most powerful marketing you can have.
Tips for creating loyalty and driving your sales using existing customers
On-board customers to your brand with an Email Welcome Series
You can have the first 60 days to turn your customers into super-fans. They have already committed to the sale (which is the biggest obstacle) so you now need to make it count. Make them feel important, educate them, inform them and add value from day 1 to day 60.
Build a relationship with them like you would if you were dating them. Don’t just throw them on your email list. Show them care and attention. A great tool for onboarding customers is the video welcome app, Bonjoro. Check our my Bonjoro review write-up & video here
Treat your VIPs to a personal experience
Get to know them and reward them. Send them small gifts without expecting anything in return (these are called ‘SWAG Bombs). Birthdays and pre-Christmas are effective. You need to keep nudging your high / regular spenders to show them you care about them.
Make them feel part of your business
- Invite your customers to events or ‘product development’ sessions – online or off-line. Get their feedback and truly value their opinion. You’ll be surprised at how they respond and how involved they will be. This is worth its weight in gold.
Pick up the phone to say thank you
This simple gesture will create a ton of goodwill and it will plant a seed of positivity in their head. It doesn’t matter if you are an e-commerce business. You can still use the phone can’t you?
Pick up the phone to say thank you
It doesn’t take much to truly care about your customers. It just takes some thought. Take your mind away from the money side for a moment and truly learn what your customers want.
You need to think like a subscription business. Instead of chasing sales from new customers, you should be thinking about how you can continue to keep your existing ones happy, engaged and wanting to own more of your products.
I’m not saying to take focus away from attracting new customers. I’m telling you to focus on your existing ones.
If you make your customers feel special, they will become loyal. If they become loyal super-fans then they will tell others who will buy from you.
Your customers will take care of you and help you to generate more online sales.
Want to learn more about e-commerce and how to grow loyal customers?
Make sure you also check out my e-commerce course. It’s perfect for e-commerce beginners and e-commerce businesses who need proven strategies to convert more orders and scale their sales.