With multiple lifestyle changes in the recent past, evolving trends have been inevitable. This has left retailers with the need to adapt to post COVID-19 retail trends, to be able to sustain their businesses better and retain their customer base. In many cases, retail businesses focus their time, money, and energy on earning new customers, but to have a profitable and thriving business, they need to go beyond that. A customer loyalty strategy is the best way to showcase this, as most of the company’s business comes from existing customers. Therefore, a retail retention strategy is required, to sustain and nurture relationships with customers and to encourage brand advocacy. This is how a brand sometimes inspires loyalty not through systems and tactics, but through what it stands for.
What is Retail Customer Retention?
In the retail industry, customer retention is the ability to maintain and attract a customer base. Many retailers allocate most of their advertisement spends on attracting new customers, and while a business needs new customers, it’s just as important to continue paying sufficient attention to your existing base. Rather than having a customer that makes a one-time purchase, retailers want customers who come back repeatedly, love and engage with the brand and refer it to everyone they know.
A retention rate provides a good idea of the pulse of a business. With a high retention rate, it is evident that the marketing strategy is good, the products or services are high quality and the right customers are being targeted with the right messaging.
6 beneficial Customer Retention Strategies to Boost Retail Customer Experience
A successful customer retention strategy has a higher return on investment (ROI) than other marketing strategies. Increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by at least 25% and up to a whopping 95%. When comparing new customers to existing customers, existing customers tend to spend more money and are more likely to purchase new products.
- Offer personalised experiences: Today’s technology, both online and in-person, is making personalisation more accessible to retailers of all kinds. Many POS systems now track customers’ purchase history and sync it with a loyalty programme, so that trends can be identified and it can be used to feed data to a tool that identifies trends. 6DX helps utilise customer insights and data available in the best way possible, with powerful actionable analytics and the promise of increased customer retention, improved footfalls and personalised promotions for customers.
- Have a customer loyalty programme: One way to drive customer retention is to get to know shoppers and provide relevant value through a customer loyalty programme. These programmes provide deeper insights into customers’ wants and also help capture attention. When executed properly, loyalty programmes increase customer lifetime value. Plus, the basket size inevitably increases, as 66% of consumers who belong to loyalty programmes will modify their spending to maximise rewards. This will also cause them to return for future purchases to gain or redeem their rewards. 6DX is a specially designed customer engagement solution that enhances brand loyalty by sharpening the Business-Business-Customer focus. Design and customise loyalty programmes as required, with 6DX and create point rewarding models based on customer actuals - tier and purchase.
- Build a community:When a community of customers is built, it gives people a reason to return to a store. Community events can encourage customers to visit a store or website repeatedly and make more purchases. Building a community boosts trust in a brand and elevates the retail customer experience. A community can be created both in your physical location and online. Online communities are a great way to reach customers who may not be close to a physical location or to mitigate social distancing measures. Using a platform like Facebook to create a private community group for customers to interact with one another and a brand by sharing stories and asking questions, can also be beneficial.
- Enhance relationships through post-purchase communications: Rather than taking a customer’s money and setting your sights on the next sale, using post-purchase communications to keep the conversation going, to provide value, and to demonstrate appreciation for their loyalty, will make customers want to return to your store instead of a competitor’s. Personalisation is extremely effective, which is how it has come to gain such importance as well. Implementing a POS that can track customers’ email addresses and purchase history, can help retailers provide relevant product recommendations and increase conversion rates. 6DX helps retailers consistently engage and communicate with customers when their preferred brand in their preferred size and colour is going to hit the shelf.
- Apologise when you make mistakes: Even as you may try to avoid them, mistakes happen in business. Whether that mistake is a data breach, an outage, a billing error or something else, a mistake can put you at risk of losing your valued customers — depending on how you handle it. 96% of survey respondents suggested that they would continue buying from a company they regularly purchased from if they apologised and rectified an issue. So, this shows that it is important for retailers to develop a plan for the inevitability of a mistake — and a plan for how to solve it promptly, apologise honestly and move forward to retain loyal customers.
- Keep things interesting: The brick-and-mortar stores which sell inexpensive products are a commonality among businesses with high customer retention rates. A retail business should accelerate the retail customer experience for every customer who visits a store. Switching inventory consistently ensures that customers are bound to see something new and exciting every time they shop. Leveraging retailtainment is the best way to increase sales with physical retail, as brands need to make sure they maximise these real-world interactions – as guide-shops, experience spaces, concepts, showrooms or long-term pop-ups.
Retailers are being creative in offering innovative, fun and Instagrammable experiences in-store, without breaking the bank. Product vending machines, customisation stations, coffee bars, augmented and virtual reality activities, live product demonstrations and in-store treatments, virtual assistants, workshops and live product launches - there are countless ways of engaging an audience in-store. To know and experience more for your retail business, Book a demo for 6DX today!