Customer Retention in-store and online – Try our top tips
We'll explore how our top tips for customer retention will help you to build a loyal, omnichannel customer base which generates revenue for years to come.
It’s difficult to imagine any industry which has grown as much in recent years as eCommerce. The pandemic saw an unprecedented move towards online shopping, forcing scores of traditional retailers to up their game and get online. The temptation for many was to take the quickest route to eCommerce, using providers who offer a basic platform for a monthly fee. While these platforms certainly offer a quick fix, they leave a lot to be desired for an effective, long-term strategy which supports business growth.
In this blog we’ll take a look at how you can elevate your business further, whether you are one of those who jumped on the omnichannel bandwagon during the pandemic, or someone who held out for the return to so-called pre-pandemic normal which never really arrived. Whichever best describes your situation, our top tips for customer retention will help you to build a loyal, omnichannel customer base which generates revenue for years to come.
Customer Experience is Critical
A consistent customer experience is crucial, regardless of the method your customer chooses to engage with your brand. This includes equal access to your products across all channels with unified stock levels, a common tone of voice and access to your experts, along with consistent branding throughout. This seamless experience is essential if you are to avoid confusing your customers and diluting your brand.
Think of your online store and marketplaces as an extension of your physical store. If you’re struggling to see the wood for the trees, why not ask for constructive feedback from friends and family on any gaps in the customer experience – after all sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can spot things that we can’t see ourselves. Secondly, ensure your retail management system brings all your channels under one roof or you’ll soon find yourself overwhelmed by multiple systems and mountains of admin which impact on the level of service you can offer your customers.
Stock Management Doesn’t Have to be Complicated
One of the most difficult areas of omnichannel retail is managing stock across multiple sales channels and locations. If you’re new to this particular problem, imagine you have 10 units of a popular item and while a customer picks up 8 of them in-store, an online customer buys 4 – that’s 2 more than you actually have and means you have at least one disappointed customer. And to make matters worse, imagine you have no more stock arriving for at least a week! A robust stock management system that is built for omnichannel sales will prevent this scenario from ever occurring. And, the more sophisticated systems can even automate the reordering of items when stock runs low so you can prevent running out of your most popular products at all.
Convenience is Key
Retailers who put convenience at the heart of their operations during the last two years quickly became firm favourites among consumers. Click and collect really isn’t anything new, in fact Argos’ entire business is based on this concept, but it has grown to become one of the biggest differentiators among retailers in terms of convenience. If your competitors are doing it then you’d be mad not to, and, if you’re already selling in-store and online then you already have the key infrastructure in place, you just need suitable software!
Knowledge is Power
We’re all guilty of resorting to Google for advice before making a purchasing decision, but there’s really no substitute for an expert opinion, especially when a product is niche or of particularly high value. Consumers expect a retailer to know about the product that they sell and those with a respected opinion will quickly rise to the top of their game.
If your team provides sound advice and support, you’ll quickly become the go-to place. What’s more, customers are often willing to pay a premium for products which come with superior support, and you’ll experience fewer returns as consumers make more informed purchasing decisions. Think of it this way, who would you rather buy a laptop from? A faceless online marketplace or a known expert in their field? And which one would you be willing to pay more for?
Know the Value of Data
Gone are the days of the cash register where a purchase is made, the money goes in the till and the customer walks off into the sunset. A modern ePOS solution gathers a wealth of valuable data and analytics from your customers and opens up countless opportunities for loyalty schemes, targeted marketing and upselling.
The clever retailer will tailor their marketing and advertising efforts to the customer, based on their buying habits and purchase history. Using this data wisely will result in more frequent purchases, higher value purchases and a higher average order value over your competitors.
Reward Your Customers
Traditional loyalty schemes can be laborious and costly. Think along the lines of a card which is stamped for each purchase. While it may help to build loyalty, it’s an old fashioned solution and a stamp card is easily lost or forgotten about. It’s also entirely reliant on the customer returning to use it on their own accord and doesn’t offer any outreach opportunities.
The modern ePOS solution makes loyalty schemes simple to administer and automate the hard work by tracking customer details and their behaviour. A sophisticated system will also support marketing integration and redemption of both point and visit based rewards for you, so you don’t have to!
As omnichannel swiftly becomes the standard ‘modus operandi’ for retailers, it’s not always enough to have a great system, you also need to back it up with a robust retention strategy. Afterall, it’s so much easier to sell to one of your existing customers than it is to find a new one!
Establishing your brand is key, and each of the topics we have covered in this blog are part and parcel of building a loyal following. If you’ve already taken the plunge into the world of omnichannel retail, you’ll be well aware of the daily difficulties faced when your retail management system isn’t fit for purpose. If this blog has raised any issues which your current system can’t handle and you would like to see a demo of Saledock’s unified omnichannel solution, please get in touch. We’d be delighted to help you address your operational issues and tackle the difficulties you are facing.
Likewise, if you are considering omnichannel retail and don’t know where to turn, our experts are on hand to offer complimentary advice and a free, no obligation demo. We’ll talk you through the features and functionality but, more importantly, how they will simplify your processes and ease the transition to becoming a successful omnichannel retailer.
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