5 Ways to Retain Customers and Build Loyalty in Retail

In the modern retail environment, consumer experience has become a fundamental area of focus. A retailer’s capacity for attracting repeat customers is directly linked to its ability to provide an outstanding experience and foster loyalty.

Consequently, customer retention and loyalty are central drivers of success for both physical and online stores. In this article, we take a look at a few of the ways your retail business can retain customers and build loyalty.

Offer a consistent omnichannel experience

If you want to build customer loyalty in retail, you absolutely need to be providing a coherent omnichannel customer experience. This means having a cohesive strategy that blends different online and offline channels including brick-and-mortar, e-commerce, social media, etc.

Your chances of customer retention are exponentially higher if you have several avenues through which to engage consumers. A well-implemented omnichannel strategy will significantly boost your brand visibility and attract a maximum number of potentially loyal buyers.

Build a great team

Customer engagement is an essential part of retaining customers in retail and a good chunk of this engagement will come from your sales team. A strong human aspect in customer service helps consumers feel more connected to your business.

When hiring, make sure your in-store employees are sociable and engaging. If you sell anything tech-related, you will want to ensure that your reps can provide adequate technical and user support.

Implement a rewards program

Far too often, new retailers neglect to properly incentivize customer retention. Did you know that 77% of consumers participate in a retail loyalty program? Despite this, many retail businesses still don’t have a rewards program.

There are many different implementations of these programs and you might have to do some research, as well as trial-and-error tests, to find out which one works best for you. Some popular choices include points programs, discounted products, free shipping and service upgrades.

Retarget with email marketing

Another effective way to encourage customers to make repeat sales is via an email marketing campaign. To do this, you will need a method of collecting customer information when they do business with you.

This information can be acquired via the loyalty programs discussed in the previous point or by having your customers sign up for a newsletter. Next, you will want to create segments (geography, age, gender, etc.) and tailor your messaging accordingly. This adds an element of personalization and encourages loyalty.

Respond to feedback

Customer feedback, either via surveys or reviews, can often hold the key to a good customer retention strategy. While negative criticism can be a nuisance, retail businesses that ignore constructive criticism do so at their peril.

Respond courteously to both positive and negative reviews and seriously consider making changes when you encounter similar meaningful feedback from multiple customers. When customers see that you make an effort to find solutions to their problems, they will be more inclined to do business with you again.

Final thoughts

The 80/20 Rule (also known as the Pareto Principle) states that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your clients. In other words, repeat customers will represent a significant portion of your overall sales.

If you provide a seamless omnichannel experience, hire a great team, offer rewards, follow-up with customers by email and make necessary changes, you will be on the right track to promoting customer loyalty that sticks for a long time.

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