No matter how you run the numbers, customer retention is paramount for ecommerce success. It’s more cost-effective to encourage customer loyalty since it can cost six or seven times as much to acquire a new customer. Loyal customers also buy more. Retail TouchPoints estimates that repeat shoppers spend an average of 67% more than new ones.
Depending on your industry, Bain & Company says a 5% increase in customer retention could deliver 25% or more in additional profit to your bottom line. Of course, there’s no magic wand for growing loyalty and retention within your existing customer base. You need to execute a strategic plan.
Here are five ways to get started:
1. Start with the end in mind. While it can be tempting to think of growth purely in terms of loyalty program signups, that’s just one of the metrics—and it’s far from the most important. A comprehensive loyalty management system will track a wide range of customer analytics, including but not limited to:
Above all, as your needs and strategies change, you also want the confidence your loyalty solution will scale as your business grows.
2. Personalize your offers. Traditional point-based loyalty programs will always be popular, but both B2C and B2B companies are evolving towards engaging customers with experiences and products that are relevant, personalized, and exclusive. A hotel chain, for example, can customize by individual markets by offering tickets to a local pro sports event or nearby wine tasting. An outdoor retailer might partner with a local resort to provide an exclusive ski trip or kayaking adventure. In the B2B world, a reward might tie into a complimentary webinar, product training, or exclusive logoed piece of merchandise.
3. Personalize your communications. Rewards and experiences are only part of the equation in building loyalty. Your regular communications play a role in making members feel valued, too. In fact, 52% of consumers say they’re likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communications to them. One advantage of a cloud-based loyalty program is the ability to incorporate geolocation-based notifications when a customer is near a store—creating a personalized touchpoint at precisely the right place and time.
4. Create a virtuous data circle. Based on the personalization needs above, your data needs to be highly detailed. But how do you accomplish that in an era when we hear so much about privacy concerns? As it turns out, that may be less of an obstacle than you realize. Nearly two-thirds of millennials and more than half of GenX consumers strongly agree or agree they’re willing to share personal data in exchange for personalized offers or discounts, in-store or online shopping experiences, or product recommendations that match their needs. As a result, collecting data and increasing engagement ultimately create a virtuous circle to enhance your personalization efforts. (Note: Baby boomers are a slightly more demanding market, in the 40% range of agreeing to share their data. So adjust your strategy accordingly.)
5. Achieve internal alignment. Growing your ecommerce customer loyalty and retention programs isn’t restricted to what your members experience. It’s also about leveraging data throughout your organization with a single version of the truth. A well-integrated loyalty program helps to remove silos and connects member data across your business systems and channels, from marketing, sales, and service to frontline operations, to increase program stickiness and customer engagement. A cloud-based loyalty program is ideally suited to aligning all the components and making information readily available to all stakeholders.
Seeing a common theme? Successful loyalty solutions aren’t purely transactional; they build relationships that lead to retention. If you are only offering rewards for purchases, you’re missing out on a wide variety of other ways to enhance customer engagement in every touchpoint they have with your business. Loyalty programs are being reimagined to serve customers better as well as providing a competitive advantage for companies. Loyalty management—leveraging data and technology to create personalized and relevant communications, experiences, and rewards—represents an enormous opportunity for retailers who want to increase customer retention.
No matter what industry you are in, building engagement and trust is important for all B2B and B2C companies. To address the rising demand, Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, launched Loyalty Management to help drive more meaningful customer loyalty experiences. Salesforce Loyalty Management, a new product for companies across industries, including retail, consumer goods, manufacturing, travel and hospitality, aims to increase customer trust and engagement. Built on the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform, Salesforce Loyalty Management allows companies to build intelligent loyalty programs for both B2B and B2C customers with a flexible, configurable, and quickly deployable solution to fit their specific needs.
OSF Digital is a leading global commerce and digital transformation company with expertise in enterprise-connected commerce, order management solutions, storefront management services, commerce consulting, and cloud application development.
OSF Digital is a trusted Salesforce Consulting Partner since 2010, being awarded by Salesforce numerous times for advancing the commerce industry. As a global company with a local presence in North America, Latin America, APAC, and EMEA, the company ensures efficient delivery in all time zones and markets.
Contact us today to see how OSF Digital can help you deploy Salesforce Loyalty Management fast.
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