As online sellers, everyone knows that it costs much less to retain an existing customer than to attract a new one. This being the case, it makes much better business sense to work on keeping the customers who have shopped with you earlier.

Last year has brought with it a lot of developments. What can you do differently this year to retain customers and build a loyal base? Keep reading to find out.

1. Make your regular customers feel special

Keep reminding them that they are in your mind. How can you do this? Send them regular correspondence. Write personalised mails to them, reminding them of things that they can buy based on their latest purchases. For instance, if a shopper has bought a full face mask for biking, suggest gloves, helmets knee and elbow guards for their next purchase. However, make sure that you don’t overwhelm them with mails.

2. Remind your idle shoppers that you miss them

If one of your regulars hasn’t stopped by in more than a month, send them a ‘miss you’ mail. Give them an offer based on their favourite purchases. You could also send them the latest catalogue of products. If your shopper is a gardening enthusiast and hasn’t shopped in a while, send him or her the latest gardening equipment in your store.

3. Remember birthdays and special occasions

Some physical stores and clubs run offers during their customers’ birthdays, anniversaries and other personal dates. Take a leaf from their books and give your customer a special day discount. If you think this can be heavy on you if you operate on a large scale, then a simple greeting card should do. Send out cards for special occasions, it makes your customers happy.

4. Keep the checkout process simple

We’ve said this many times, and we’ll say it again! Buyers tend to abandon cart if the checkout procedure is too complicated or has too many steps. Give them a reason to register with you – offer a one-step check out if your shopper registers. Mention this at an earlier level (when the shopper is adding items to the cart) so that it doesn’t look like you are holding a gun to their head when they are checking out.

5. Give incentives for referrals

If a customer really likes a shop/eatery/product, they will recommend it to their inner circle. Encourage your customers to talk about you to their friends. Most companies have a referral discount; you can create a similar program. Either give a discount, or a gift certificate, or (if you have a points system) a certain number of points for referrals.

6. Introduce a loyalty program

Amazon has nailed it in the US with Prime, and is trying to replicate the same in India. You can create a loyalty program on a smaller scale to make your shoppers feel exclusive. Shoppers who are part of your club can enjoy privileges like free shipping, freebies on festive shopping (during Diwali or other festivals), or gift packs.

If you practise any other customer retention steps, share it with your fellow online sellers. Tell us in the comments section below. For all other ecommerce needs, contact Browntape. We are India’s largest ecommerce services provider.

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