Marketing

Top 5 Strategies to Increase Brand Loyalty

Marketing
5 min

The last couple years of e-commerce have shifted the way many consumers shop. During the last two years, online sales in the United States increased by 55% up to 1.7 trillion dollars. This increased spend and demand has created a saturated market in the e-commerce space. Additionally, brands are making the switch to the DTC model and thus need to focus more on the customer experience. In fact recent reports have shown that 20% of a given brand's customers will make up 80% of their profits. 

If you are running an e-commerce brand, now is the time to make the shift towards a customer retention centric approach to business. Attracting new customers will always be a big part of business but as the e-commerce industry becomes a more competitive space, having passionate and loyal customers is quickly becoming a must. So how do you increase customer retention and loyalists that are willing to come back to your brand no matter what? Let’s take a look at the top 5 tips we have found from across the e-commerce industry to increase customer loyalty:

  1. Customer Service 
  2. Personalized Text and Email Communication
  3. Retargeting
  4. Loyalty Programs
  5. Highlight Ethical Programs within your Brand

Top 5 Strategies to Increase Brand Loyalty

Customer Service 

In a recent Salesforce consumer report 92% of consumers said they were more likely to make a repeat purchase if they had a positive customer service interaction. This feels like an obvious answer, but the bar has been raised on what is being required from customers in terms of service. Now that the expectation is free shipping and returns on most products, how can you really impress and delight the customer? 

  • Offer generous trial, return, and/or warranty programs. Giving your customers flexible and free options to test out your products will create customers that trust you as a brand and turn into loyal repeat purchase customers. A great example of a brand doing this is Cozy Earth, highlighted next to each product is their 10 year guarantee, free return policy, and 100 day trial. Highlighting this so clearly creates a sense of trust from first interaction and on. 

 

  • Make communication channels clear and easy to access. Mistakes will happen with customers and the best way to mitigate the risk of customers leaving bad reviews is clear, easy customer service options. Do your best to have options for customers to call, email, or even chat with human beings to provide help. Having dedicated customer service representatives that can help customers will help push positive experiences and loyal customers even in situations where your brand makes mistakes. 

Personalized Text and Email Campaigns

Many brands underutilize email and especially SMS campaigns in the DTC space. In fact, 89% of marketers said the top channel for customer retention is email and although email is becoming a crowded space, it is still one of the top channels to grow a loyal customer base. Some effective ways to stand out are: 

  • Send a welcome message after first purchase. These emails see some of the highest open rates in the industry
  • Create personalized product recommendations based around past purchases.
  • Targeted subject lines using collected information such as offers for discounts on birthdays. 

To grow your email list add points for customers to willingly give up their email such as pop ups on websites or offers for discounts when they sign up for communications from your brand. 

As mentioned above, SMS marketing is becoming an even more powerful tool than email. It is common for users to ignore emails coming to their inbox as there are so many being sent out on a daily basis, but younger generations are less likely to ignore text messages directly to their phone. Using a tool such as Klaviyo allows you to send personalized sequenced text messages to customers. SMS marketing is a newer strategy that not as many brands are focused on, but those that adopt early will have a large advantage vs the competition that is slow to adapt. 

It is extremely important to be clear about customer communication through SMS as phone communication is often viewed as more private and personal. Make sure to make it easy to sign up for communication from your brand in this medium but make it clear the customer is opting in and easy opt out features. 

Retargeting

Sending marketing messages and advertisements to those that have either interacted with your brand before or are already customers is an easy way to grow your base of repeat customers. 

Retargeting happens in 2 different ways - pixel based and list based retargeting.

  1. Pixel Based - Set up cookies/pixel data on your website and advertising platforms to track users that interact with your brand and send advertising to these warm leads. Consider using a partner such as Luz to track your customers across all their touchpoints and funnel that data into all major ad platforms.

  1. List Based - Create retargeting campaigns focused around users that voluntarily gave you their contact information. This is the preferred method as it is less invasive and generally creates warmer leads as they agree to receive content from you. The downfall of list based retargeting is that it can take time to grow your internal lists, so supplementing with pixel data is a solid solution as you grow your database.

After establishing the audience these retargeting advertisements will go to, nailing your ad copy/design is key to creating repeat customers. This J Crew advertisement is a good example of using retargeting. Often customers will forget to check out or need a quick reminder so by creating urgency users will feel the need to check out.

Loyalty Programs

Creating a loyalty program creates quick incentives for customers to keep coming back to your brand. Many brands use a point or tiered system to get customers back in the door, but we have seen great success with a hybrid between the two. 

A point system is the typical system used where each purchase earns a customer points that they can use in future purchases. A tiered system is where levels are unlocked depending on the amount of purchases a customer makes. The hybrid system that many brands are now using will typically give points and perks for free as long as they are a member of the loyalty program. As the consumer reaches a certain level of purchases, they unlock higher point values for their purchases and additional benefits. Abercrombie and Fitch is a great example of the hybrid system:

Highlight Ethical Programs within your Brand

89% of consumers say they are loyal to brands that share their values. Creating and highlighting programs that show your brands commitment to the values of your target audience can create loyal brand advocates. Some examples of brands that nail this messaging are:

  • Cotopaxi  - A promise to use rescued fabrics and ethically sourced materials and workers created a large following of loyal customers that love what Cotopaxi stands for. 
  • Lululemon  - Recently started selling lightly used or like-new clothing. Pushing for more sustainable actions in the clothing industry created even more loyal fans willing to share the brand with their friends and family. 

Aligning programs that do good for the world can help customers feel more confident in purchasing your products long term and removes roadblocks from repeat purchases. Consider adding or highlighting the good that your brand does outside of just selling top quality products.

TLDR

Loyal repeat customers are much cheaper and more valuable in the long run vs acquiring new customers. Brands now need to focus more of their efforts on retaining customers through ethical programs, personalized messaging, retargeting campaigns, loyalty programs, and top tier customer service. 

To create loyal customers in the e-commerce space you have to understand your customer and market as a whole. Luz built tools to help you easily understand the journeys your customers are taking, send retargeted advertising to warm leads, and see where you stand against your competitors. See how Luz can help you grow your business with loyal customers at scale.

Ready to increase ROI, cut costs, and grow faster?

Get Started
Getting started is easy
Submit a demo form
Prepare a list of your competitors
We'll reach out to show you a live data sample
Get Started