Retailers and shoppers both look forward to the holiday season.
The last quarter of the year is a great time to gain some new customers. It’s also when you should work hard to keep your current customers.
Imagine that you could keep most of your current customers while gaining some new ones? That would increase your revenue.
In this article, you’ll learn five smart ways to retain customers for the holidays.
1. Track your retention rate
The first thing is to start tracking your customer retention rate (CRR).
Before you can track your CRR, you need to calculate it.
Calculating your CRR is easy.
Here are the three pieces of information you need:
- The number of customers at the end of a period (E)
- The number of new customers acquired during that period (N)
- The number of customers at the start of that period (S)
First, determine the period you want to track your CRR. Is it monthly, quarterly, or yearly? If your goal is to retain more customers for the holidays, monthly is the best.
Once you’ve determined the period, it’s time to calculate your CRR.
Customer retention rate = ((E – N) / S) * 100.
For example, if you started a period with 100 customers. Gained 60 new customers during that period. And lost 20 customers by the end of that period. You would finish that period with 140 customers.
Your customer retention rate would be calculated like this:
((140 – 60) / 100) * 100 = 80%.
The best practice is to express CRR as a percentage. The above result shows a CRR of 80%.
Of course, the best outcome would be 100%. But that’s nearly impossible. It’s hard to achieve because some people would churn for reasons beyond your control.
Start tracking your CRR now. It’ll tell you if your business is keeping most of its customers.
2. Introduce subscriptions
Ecommerce subscription has been proven to produce high retention rates. They’re different ecommerce sites selling subscriptions right now.
By offering subscriptions to your current customers, you’ll be able to retain them during the holidays and beyond.
Offering subscriptions will help you better predict future revenue.
The subscription business model may not work for your ecommerce business. For example, if you sell mattresses, consumers don’t change them every month or year.
But if you sell a gift-worthy product or service, don’t hesitate to try this model.
Also, if you sell products consumers have to buy again, then the subscription business model is for you.
It’ll help you retain more customers during and after the holiday season.
3. Start a loyalty program
Start a customer loyalty program to reward loyal customers.
Loyal customers will tell their friends and family about your business. About half of them will join your loyalty program. And 39.4% of them will spend more even if they are cheaper alternatives.
Whether you sell legal services, mattresses, or body cream, there’s always a way to reward customers who come back to you.
In an increasingly competitive and crowded business space, customer loyalty programs would help you differentiate your business from competitors.
Customer loyalty programs aren’t expensive to run at all. Isn’t it better to retain customers than lose them and have to pay higher prices to acquire new ones?
Reward customers who:
- Watched your product videos
- Engaged in your mobile app
- Followed and shared your social media content
- Subscribed to your blog
- Added products to their carts
- Bought new products
- Shared your product with their social media followers
- Started a free trial
- Subscribed to your push notifications
And lots more.
Ensure that you’re continuously rewarding customers whenever they do something. Rewarding them will make them do more.
There’s no limit to how you can reward customers.
4. Use email segmentation
Email segmentation means dividing your subscribers into different segments based on set criteria. You can divide your subscribers based on their geographic location, interests, purchase history, behaviors, and much more.
For example, a fashion retailer can segment their email lists based on the gender of their subscribers. That’ll prevent them from sending men clothes to women, and vice versa.
The retailer can go further by segmenting their email lists based on the interests customers have expressed.
For example, shoppers who have expressed an interest in buying footwear wouldn’t receive email campaigns promoting dresses.
Ecommerce businesses that use email segmentation sell more than those that don’t.
If you want to increase your revenue during the holiday season, promote products or services customers have expressed their interest in buying.
All your email subscribers aren’t the same. They have different interests. You can use the activities of a shopper on your site to detect what they may be interested in buying.
If a customer has shown interest in handbags, then it’s acceptable to send them an offer related to that.
When you use email segmentation, your subscribers would feel that the email is just for them.
Major email marketing software let you segment your email list. Take advantage of that feature to sell more this holiday season.
To effectively collect emails on your site use a tool like OmniKick, which allows you to create many different styles of optin such as popups, slide-ins, sticky bars and much more..
5. Adopt email automation
Before you proceed, I should point out that email automation is different from email segmentation.
So, what is email automation?
According to Campaign Monitor, it’s the ability to send time or action triggered emails to subscribers with relevant information.
Email automation makes email marketing works harder for your ecommerce business. And that’s exactly what you need to make more sales during the holiday season.
New subscribers aren’t ready to buy your product or service when they sign up. It takes time and work to make them ready. And you need email automation to make that happen fast.
Welcome new subscribers by sending them a welcome message. Use the opportunity to present an irresistible offer. If you run an ecommerce business that sells products, you can offer them a discount and free shipping on their first order.
Research has shown that welcome emails have higher open rates and click-through rates than standard marketing emails.
You can send happy birthday wishes to subscribers. That’s another email automation.
I’ve received messages congratulating me for being on a list for a year. That’s another example of email automation.
Email automation is even more powerful when combined with email segmentation. Ensure that you’re using both to sell more in the coming holiday shopping season.
October to December is the time to boost your sales and gain new customers.
By using these tips, you can reduce your customer acquisition cost and increase sales at the same time. By reducing the number of customers that churn, you’ll be able to build a profitable business your competitors will envy.