Last updated: Loyalty rewarded: Customer retention strategies for retail

Loyalty rewarded: Customer retention strategies for retail

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Yet again, one of your favorite brands is running a promotion for new customers. You’ve seen the social media ads and  e-mails about steep discounts for your first-time purchase. This stings a bit. Why don’t they focus on customer retention strategies for once?

You’ve shopped with this brand for years. Don’t they know that you already buy their products? And where’s your promotion for being a loyal customer?

Customers notice when they – and their loyalty – aren’t valued. In today’s digital retail environment, these snubs and slights are all the more obvious.

That’s because many retailers’ digitalization efforts have focused on customer acquisition rather than on customer retention.

During a time of massive disruption, forward-thinking retailers found stability by focusing on their existing customers. And as shopping behaviors continue to shift, customer retention is still the key to success.

Customer retention strategies for retail include:

  1. Prioritizing digital
  2. Providing omnichannel customer experience
  3. Personalization

Quality over quantity: Customer retention strategies 

When a brand markets to long-time customers as if they’ve never even heard of the brand, it’s safe to say that it doesn’t have a digital-first strategy. Why?

Because companies with digital-first strategies can easily tell the difference between a customer and a prospect. These companies built their retail experience around a unified IT infrastructure that centralizes customer data. This data informs the company’s software for marketing, the customer experience, and more.

A digital-first strategy bridges the online and offline divide. When systems and software are fully integrated, you can more easily operate your brick-and-mortar locations and e-commerce shops and create an omnichannel experience that encompasses your entire brand.

Brands that deployed an omnichannel experience prior to last year’s dramatic change in shopping habits were prepared when those shoppers stopped showing up in stores.

Customer retention requires omnichannel CX

If your brand wasn’t ready then, it can be now – as the world opens up again, window-shoppers are making a comeback. But these shoppers have new standards, and they want streamlined, consistent, and hassle-free shopping no matter where they start or finish their experience.

For instance, a customer that begins browsing products on your e-commerce site should be able to visit your brick-and-mortar store and pick up that search in person. Even if you don’t have the same variety of products in store, your retail staff should be empowered to help the customer with digital access to your product catalog.

A true digital-first experience would see staff tapping into the customers’ profile, which includes access to items they may have favorited on your e-commerce site.

Where an omnichannel, digital-first strategy was once a perk that pleased savvy shoppers, it’s now a necessity across the board.

Tailored experiences keep customers coming back for more

Customers want to be rewarded for sticking with your brand. Customer retention strategies for retail should include personalization to encourage customers to stay loyal. A personalized customer experience starts with a digital-first approach.

Many customers are fine with you knowing exactly who they are, including what they buy and how they shop – as long as you provide equally valuable services in exchange. Are you going to incentivize customers with tailored offerings and promotions based on their frequent purchases? Or are you going to pester them with irrelevant ads and promotions they can’t use?

With the right data insights, you can improve sales with tailor-made engagements that encourage customers to keep coming back.

Connect with an e-mail, send a text, or provide a promotion in your mobile app. You can even trigger these engagements with specific criteria, such as after the customer has visited your store, when they’ve left items in their cart, or if their favorite items are on sale.

Consider encouraging anonymous buyers to become returning customers with their own accounts so they can take advantage of your personalized offerings and experiences. If a customer makes a purchase as a guest, they should easily be able to make an account later that includes access to their purchase history and order tracking info.

Customer retention strategies: Fortification for the future

A digital-first mindset – and a focus on customer retention – can also save your business time and resources.

Many businesses sink money into ads every time they want something, and that “something” has historically been new customers. Instead, you can build resilience by leveraging your existing network of customers.

Customers have more choice and power than ever before. As competition thickens and markets saturate, customer retention strategies and a digital-first approach help assure your customers made the right choice in choosing you.

Shifting retail landscapes.
Varying buying behavior.
What makes people click “buy”?
We’ve got the answers HERE.

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