The final stage of the sales funnel is loyalty. This is the phase that occurs after the sale, and which consists of getting a customer to come back and buy a second time. You will see later that loyalty has interesting advantages over the acquisition of new customers. Discover 9 tools or methods to retain your customers on your online store. We will see that some are also applicable to physical sales.

Why do loyalty actions?

First of all, it is important to understand for what purpose and what interest it is useful to optimize your customer loyalty processes.

At first, it is much more profitable for you. In fact, it’s a lot easier to get someone who’s already bought to buy than it is to find a new customer . It is a fairly simple and classic principle but the conversion costs are greatly reduced in this situation. It is difficult to quantify this and to say how much retention costs compared to acquisition. It will depend on the means you put in place to acquire or retain customers, your market, and therefore your targets. It also depends on how you put it all together. If your processes are poorly optimized, there is still a chance that you are spending in a vacuum.

Then, if we continue on this principle, retaining your customers will simply allow you to increase your sales . The turnover generated by each of the customers will potentially explode from the moment you set up loyalty actions. We also know that all the other KPIs of the client are likely to increase accordingly. The average amount of the basket and the frequency of purchases, for example, have a good chance of reaching a plateau. Again, it all depends on what you’re selling but it’s often verifiable. An easy example of this phenomenon is Amazon.

Why do loyalty actions?

Indeed, as we said, you put all your chances to increase the average amount of purchases of your customers with loyalty. This may be due to a greater number of products purchased but also to a growing tolerance for price increases . A loyal customer is a customer committed to your cause who will have no problem following you in the event of a move upmarket. To do this, you still need to have a very reliable and large customer base, and also not abuse the price.

Loyalty is also an indirect means of customer acquisition . As we said, an already loyal customer is a customer who trusts you. Based on this fact, you can consider that he will have no trouble recommending you when someone around him has a need related to your business. The loyal customer becomes a kind of micro-ambassador for your company. We can start from the same principle with customer reviews. Whether it’s a positive comment or a recommendation from those around us, we are all more sensitive to customer feedback than to a company’s marketing arguments.

How to build customer loyalty online? The 9 customer loyalty tools and techniques

Loyalty methods, there are many. However, be aware that there are a number of variables to consider when using these techniques .

First, you have to think about your customers . Depending on the people you are going to touch, they will not be sensitive to the same methods. For example, we are going to talk about social networks, but they are not all suitable for all types of customers. You have to take into account age, relationship to technology, habits, etc. That’s why it’s important to know your customers well.

Then, we can make the link with the market and the sector of activity. Depending on the products or services you are going to sell, some methods will be more or less difficult to implement. Complicated to set up private sales when selling personalized training.

Finally, you have to see what you are capable of doing, or at least the skills your company has to put it in place. Wanting to build loyalty on social networks when your company does not have internal skills in community management is difficult. It’s more important than you might think. If you perform loyalty processes poorly, you risk having the opposite effect: losing customers. The most telling example would be with emailing. If, in wanting to build loyalty, you harass your client, he will just unsubscribe from your contact database.

Email marketing and newsletters

When making a purchase, chances are that you collect information about your customers. This can be done by creating an account, during the purchase process or through a form. Among his information, there is one that is of particular interest to us: the email address.

Once you have a certain number of contacts, there are a lot of things to do. Already, try to segment your database to then allow an effective personalization of your emails . Afterwards, all the possibilities of this means of communication are available to you.

The first thing to do is to welcome your new client . Thank him for buying from you and show that you can become a trusted partner. It is possible to automate this type of mail very easily with emailing tools.

One of the keys to emailing is personalization . In the context of loyalty, this is all the more important. This is also why we spoke of segmentation. If you offer a personalized experience to your customers, you put the odds on your side.

Means of loyalty: Emailing

Welcoming your client is not enough, you have to show that you are present. For example, you can reward your best customers with coupons or other benefits. There are also a whole bunch of events during which you can contact your customers and offer them discounts (example: parties, back to school, etc.).

To strengthen the proximity with your customers, you must also thank them when making a purchase. The thank you email is more important than you might think. It is also an opportunity to ask for the customer’s opinion, and feedback on the sales process and your overall service. This allows the client to feel listened to and concerned.

Thanks to the relationship that you will have with your customers, you will even be able to offer them various purchases. Obviously, sending an email on the occasion of a reduction is quite basic but still effective. You can also offer products related to the last purchases of the customer. Finally, in the context of a subscription, do not forget to notify the customer when the expiry dates are approaching so that he can re-sign.

In short, emailing is a very powerful loyalty weapon, very customizable, at a relatively low price, and which offers a fairly wide range of possibilities.

Social networks

With emailing, we had a lot of possible things to do to build customer loyalty. With social networks, we have even more choices, even if the personalization will be more complicated.

The main goal will be to develop a community around the brand to create and strengthen the bond of trust with customers. Regardless of the networks chosen, there is a way to unite a certain number of people around your business. As we said, you have to have the skills for that. We may tend to believe that managing social networks and building a community is simple. But, if you really want to use them seriously in the context of customer loyalty, you have to master the thing.

Build loyalty with social networks

What are the methods to build loyalty from social networks?

First of all, even if we have already mentioned it, we will have to build a community . Concretely, it is a space in which customers will be able to interact with the brand and even exchange with each other. It’s the first thing to do. If there is no community, no one will be involved in the actions you are going to try to put in place to build loyalty. This is surely the most complicated step.

Then, you have to share content that interests your customers . If you want to hope to make engagement on your posts and federate the community, your customers must feel concerned. For this, it is important to identify in a content strategy upstream the themes to be addressed, from which angle, etc. You must always keep in mind your personas, which correspond to the people you want to integrate into your community. One thing to remember about content is that it shouldn’t be too direct. Highlighting products in a raw way isn’t going to create much engagement or engagement, except in some cases.

After that, the relationship has to go both ways. You offer relevant and qualitative content to your audience, that’s great, but do they participate? As we said, the goal is to animate the community, and if it only goes in one direction (from the brand to the customer), it is because the latter are not engaged enough. There are ways to solve this problem. The best example is the contest, but we could also think of sharing customer opinions, questions asked to the community, etc.

Finally, you have to be very attentive to the comments and the various feedback that customers will give you on the networks. When a customer has a problem, he may make a return (more or less virulent) in the comments for example, or on Google, Facebook reviews, etc. Even if the comment is negative, take the time to respond, understand and explain. Feedback also helps to understand what is not working in the company.

Use a CRM

CRM: the ultimate weapon for managing your customer relationship . As its name suggests, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a tool dedicated to customer relationship management.

Inside the CRM, you will find all the data concerning each of your company’s customers and prospects . You’ll even be able to follow their position in the purchase journey, their purchase history, the history of contacts with them, etc… We are ultimately more in the commercial aspect than in marketing with this tool, but all this joined. Indeed, thanks to the mountain of information at your disposal in the CRM, you will be able to adjust your marketing actions.

Use a CRM to boost customer loyalty

Some CRMs can even help you manage all the methods that we will see in this article.

CRM (or GRC) has various advantages. As you have understood, it is above all a tool that centralizes everything . We’re talking about loyalty tools, but you’ll also find everything you need to manage the acquisition. We often find interesting marketing tools in CRMs, so you really have a way to have everything in one place.

This is obviously a more efficient way to manage data collection . You will also be able to automate a number of actions . With all this, your lead acquisition, conversion and retention processes will be much more optimized. It will help you in your decision-making when launching marketing actions in particular. In other words, you will be able to personalize your customers’ experience as much as possible, which is a good point for loyalty.

There are many CRMs that meet all needs. Some do not have marketing tools but are very developed in terms of data collection, and vice versa. Choose the one that best suits your business and your needs.

Loyalty program

Setting up a loyalty program is a classic . Often, these are programs that go through loyalty cards. The customer accumulates advantages, in money or in points, during these various purchases. Depending on the program, the use behind it differs. The most telling example is the accumulation of points every X euros which then allow you to buy products.

In some cases, the loyalty card may be chargeable. In general, even by being paid, the customer finds himself there and takes it as an “investment” on which he will make a certain profit. for that, it is necessary that the advantages are sufficient, obviously.

The development of digital technology has made it possible to modernize loyalty programs . Physical loyalty cards are becoming increasingly rare, like bank cards. It’s easier and more pleasant for your client to be able to manage this directly from their phone . A good example can be Burger king, and its dedicated application.

Anyway, with e-commerce, it is mandatory to manage this digitally.

Sponsorship

Setting up a sponsorship program is an excellent loyalty and acquisition tool! As we mentioned earlier, a loyal customer can really become an ambassador for your brand to those around him. It’s a phenomenon that can happen “naturally”, but you can also force fate a little with sponsorship.

The principle is simple: the person who is already a customer will be able to sponsor a new customer and receive compensation . That is to say that he will receive a commission for having allowed the company to have a new client. It’s sort of word-of-mouth membership. This commission can be donated in different ways depending on what you sell on your site.

It can be points on a loyalty program, a voucher, a gift, a promotion code, etc. There are many possibilities. The goal is obviously to make the sponsor want to participate . Attention, we must not forget the godson in this story. To motivate the arrival of the new client, he also needs a consideration, often weaker.

Sponsorship can prove to be a very powerful loyalty tool since it not only brings together word-of-mouth, but also rewards to customers. Everyone is a winner in this story. However, this can have some deviations. Already, you have to be careful to cover your costs with this program. Also, some people will come just to take advantage and never come back.

Gift

Simply make a gift. No, it’s not about corruption but about a way to show your customers that they matter to you. Be careful, the goal is not to send them expensive products and ruin themselves.

Build loyalty with gifts

For example, you can add company goodies, a product sample, a small complementary product, etc. to each order, in short, anything that doesn’t cost very much and that the customer may like. It is difficult to measure the impact of such an action, but one can easily imagine that the customer will be happy to receive this for free.

Private sales

We are seeing more and more online and physical private sales develop. A private sale can take different forms but generally it corresponds to a privileged product sale, for a limited number of customers . It can be subscribers of the Newsletter, the oldest customers, those who have the loyalty card, etc.

This strengthens the existing link between the brand and some of the customers . It is also a good way to sell products quickly.

SMS marketing

The use of SMS is based on the same principle as emailing. However, this method is much less used by brands. It is surely the most direct and intimate channel of communication with the customer. M├ędiametrie studies show that 92% of text messages are read less than 4 minutes after they are received.

Like emailing, it will be possible thanks to segmentation to create very personalized messages . It is all the more important that the SMS induces a real link of proximity (if it is well used).

Build loyalty with SMS marketing

If SMS is so little used, there may be a reason. Indeed, this technique can be seen as too intrusive by many people. Imagine if all brands started using this channel for marketing purposes, we wouldn’t get away with it. If you plan to use this channel to build loyalty, be sure to do so very occasionally.

Nevertheless, there are interesting possibilities in terms of customer loyalty with messages. The famous welcome message that we talked about in emailing can very well be reproduced here. When you offer a certain offer to your loyal customers, SMS can be a relevant channel. Using SMS to notify customers of order shipments and order tracking is also an interesting and well-received idea.

Quality customer service

Finally, if you want to provide the best possible experience to your customers in order to build loyalty, you need strong customer service . In principle, we can say that if a customer comes back to us because of a bad product, it will go wrong. However, it is possible to make this process less unpleasant. It is not always easy to develop this point on an online store, yet there is a lot to gain.

Otherwise, the option that solves the problem would be to offer products so good that customer service becomes useless. Unfortunately, there are always problems, for which you are not always responsible.

You now know all the keys to retaining customers on your e-commerce site. If you have other means of loyalty to share with us, do not hesitate to do so in the comments or on our social networks.