It is seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, and it is only getting more expensive. As more and more ecommerce stores enter the market, the demand for PPC goes up. Simple economics tell us that these prices are on an upward trend.
Today’s top ecommerce sites are using retention to battle increasing digital marketing costs and stagnating growth. There are a number of retention tools at your disposal, but it can become tough to manage those tools. The solution is to use a loyalty program as a hub for your retention marketing tactics.
Loyalty as a Retention Hub
Here are a few examples of how a loyalty program can make your retention marketing efforts much easier by centralizing everything in one place.
Incentivize Other Efforts with Points
Shoppers often take a “what’s in it for me?” approach when deciding whether they will complete an action on your site. It is incredibly valuable to get a customer to share your store over social media, but very few ever do. You can reward this behavior by providing points for the completion of marketing activities that are both retention and acquisition focused, whether that's sharing your store on social media or referring a friend directly.
As soon as a customer realizes that your points have real monetary value, they're motivated to earn them for easy requests like sharing on social media or referring their friends, or sharing user-generated content. A loyalty program ties all of your marketing efforts back into your retention marketing strategy. More retention gets you more repeat customers, and repeat customers are valuable online!
One of the pitfalls of ecommerce is discounting your store to death, and reducing your average order value, customer lifetime value, and bottom line. Many online retailers will try to get more referrals, sales, or shares by offering a straight discount. These discounts set an expectation that a customer will never have to actually pay full price.
“If you are always offering discounts, your shoppers will never consider paying full price.”
You might see discounts as a necessary evil to get the ball rolling, but it can actually do some serious damage to your brand image and sales. This is especially true if you consider yourself a luxury retailer.
Using a loyalty program allows you to reward points to incent action rather than offering straight discounts. Points do not have the same associations as $15 off or 20% off. And, they encourage users to continue to purchase full-price items from you. This allows you to kick start marketing effortsand avoid the negative effects of discounting.
The more tools you're using, the higher likelihood that your communications have a fragmented look and feel. A tool for retention emails might send emails that look one way, and a referral program sends emails that look totally different. Using a loyalty program as a hub can help solve this fragmentation issue. After all, your customers only think they're working with you -- a single store.
When all your retention efforts are being conducted with the same tool, you get a customer experience that is on brand, engaging, and effective at driving repeat purchases.
There are not enough hours in the day for an online store owner or ecommerce manager. The last thing you want to be doing is checking multiple retention tools to see how effective your efforts have been.
A loyalty program can bring all these tools into one convenient location. Instead of looking at revenue from loyalty members, number of purchases from referrals, and repeat customer rate in three separate places, you can look in one spot.
And, using a central hub for retention marketing efforts makes it easier to see if your retention efforts are making you some serious money, or if they need to be tweaked.
Centralize Retention with a Loyalty Program
Retention marketing is a long term strategy, so to truly invest you need to set yourself up for success. Invest in the right tools, treat the strategy with the respect it deserves, and start things off right.
If you are planning to take your retention marketing efforts seriously, you should consider adding in a loyalty program. They lead to some amazing results, and create a central hub for your retention efforts.