Retailers and eCommerce stores are notorious for having high cost and time expenditures associated with returns. Unlike physical retailers, eCommerce stores must pay for more aspects during the return process.
To that end, learning how to reduce the rate of return at your eCommerce store should be your first priority. Businesses around the world are learning to optimize online sales using experiences and personalization in their business models.
With this in mind, below are three poignant strategies that can help you increase customer retention through personalization. Before diving into the thick of it, covering what exactly customer retention is can help you understand why reducing your return rate is important.
What is customer retention?
In short, customer retention is all about maximizing the purchasing and searching abilities your current customers have to create a customer base that sticks around and stands by your product.
After you begin picking up sales in your eCommerce store, customer retention should be one of your top objectives. Once you have reached a rate of ten sales or more per day, it’s best to focus efforts on 60% retention of current clients and 40% acquisition of new clients. Having repeat business is integral to the survival of any company.
Losing customers happens, though, when you do not personalize your business or advertise in the right way. For perspective, digital marketers utilize social media to drive conversions by taking advantage of the algorithms these platforms use. It’s why all the advertisements you see on Instagram, Facebook, and other outlets seem to line up with your interests.
That’s one example of a personalized marketing strategy. Here’s three more:
1 – Increased product information and interactive capabilities
On your website itself, what is the one thing that may turn someone away faster than anything else? A lack of information.
Nobody is going to buy a product they know nothing about. And even if they do, there’s a high likelihood that the customer doesn’t fully know what they are purchasing, which may result in a quick return.
This is why providing accurate information that helps visitors understand how your product can help better their lives is a great strategy for helping with product personalization. If a consumer can envision the product and picture it in their home, there is a great chance that they understand what they are purchasing and what they will do with it.
Building off of this, try to include an interactive component within your eCommerce store. For example, 360-degree views of a product go a long way in helping a consumer better understand what that product is.
2 – Custom product lines
Provided you have the funds, investing in custom product lines is a fantastic strategy for improving customer retention. Simply reselling the products of other companies can result in negative financial performance. Additionally, customers are less likely to purchase other suppliers’ products through you simply because you are not the source.
However, there is a way around this. Try to create a custom product line in addition to the other products you sell. While it may take some time, the customers choosing to buy your custom products actively made the choice to purchase that line.
Adding features to your website such as custom product lines or payment services that offer fast processing times (and make sure you advertise these on your site so visitors are aware of them) can also improve customer retention and reduce return rates.
Another common, yet effective, strategy is integrating hot streaks into your website that show customer activity to other customers. This provides an incentive for the customer to purchase an item after seeing the success other customers have had with the item. Additionally, consider clearly showing reviews of your products to help in the persuasion process.
3 – Optimize the shopping experience
Besides simply providing features, creating a more personalized site means making your consumers feel comfortable. Locate protection for your website and proudly display the results of that protection on your website for all customers to see.
Additionally, respond to your customers. If there has been a negative review of one of your products, respond to the comment and respectfully apologize. It’s never a bad idea to tell the person leaving the bad review that you are more than willing to discuss the problem further. This will show potential customers that you are receptive to feedback and quick to respond to questions.
Overall, creating a personalized shopping experience is one of the most effective ways to reduce return rates and increase customer retention. Features, tracking, and site speed should be at the forefront of any designer focused on creating a positive shopping experience for any consumer.
These three evaluation metrics will help guide your website development process. The good news here is that most of the major eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce make it very easy to adhere to these metrics thanks to the fact that they offer numerous personalization, product review, and in-depth inventory management functions.
Ultimately, a generic eCommerce store isn’t likely to attract attention from potential customers.
Look at it like this: You have two options. Shop from an eCommerce store that is bland and works like every other site on the Internet, or shop at a new and unique store that offers customization features and in-depth information for improved shopping accuracy.The answer should be clear.
Having the ability to maximize sales is the dream of any company, and that’s why so many are choosing to invest in user experience companies that create conversion lifts and work with thousands of clients around the world. Improving the return rate of your eCommerce business means you can begin to compete with physical retailers. In a world like our own where technology is overtaking physical retailers, being successful online is about retaining your customer base.
Once established, your focus can shift to maximizing your existing customers. Taking your company to the next level is all about increasing customer retention and reducing your return rate so that your sales can grow exponentially.