4 Ways to Keep Customers Coming Back with Shipping

Posted by Temando on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 with No comments

Retaining customers who have previously shopped with you is crucial to success in eCommerce. Its well-known existing customers are both more likely to shop with you and will generally buy more from you. Here are some telling stats on retention:

  • In both Europe and the US, returning customers generate 3 times more revenue than new shoppers (Adobe).
  • Attracting new customers is five times more expensive than retaining existing ones (Marketing Metrics)
  • The average value of a lost customer is $243 (KISSMetrics)
We think these stats demonstrate the point, and there are a lot of different ways to keep your customers engaged. Personalised email marketing strategies, a compelling social media presence and sought-after products all help to keep customers coming back. Even more basic than these strategies is to just offer your customers a good experience the first time round and gain their trust. Simple isn’t it?

Here’s 4 ways to make a good first impression and keep them coming back for more:

1) Set realistic expectations and meet (or beat) them.

This one makes a lot of sense but if you don’t have your shipping processes right it can be very tricky to pull off. If a customer makes an order online and accepts standard shipping, set their expectation to be 4-5 days. Then if it arrives in 3 they’ll be thrilled. Simple. On the other hand, though, if it takes too long for you to process an order once you’ve received it and it arrives in 6 days, then the customer will be disappointed and a whole lot less likely to shop with you again.

2) Give Options

We go on about offering diverse options a lot, but can you blame us? A one size fits all approach to delivery is rarely the best approach. Letting your customers choose when and how they receive the product puts the onus on them when a package can’t be delivered and needs to be collected from the post office or have its delivery re-scheduled. Furthermore, if you can offer click n collect options it gives you an opportunity to create a truly special experience for your customer as you can check sizes and offer cross-sale opportunities in-store.

3) Surprise and Delight

If you can not only meet your customers’ experiences but also exceed them that’s when you’ll gain their loyalty. Whether you choose to throw a goody into your boxes is going to come down to your brand and if it makes sense for you. Lollies, hand-written notes and specially wrapped products add a personal touch to orders and can create a lasting impact with your customer. This connection helps keep your brand front of mind when they next need to make a purchase.

4) Trigger repurchase

Finally, use delivery as a marketing tool. You know that they’re interested in your products so include a brochure of this season’s product or invite them to join your free shipping loyalty program. Any additional marketing materials that help you to connect with the customer at the unboxing stage help to maintain a relationship with the customer and keep them coming back for more.

Shipping isn’t always the first thing to come to mind when you think of winning and losing customers. It isn’t fun, glamorous or aspirational but in the world of online retail, it’s the biggest moment of truth that you have with your customer and it’s so important to get right. Get your shipping right and it not only helps you compete, it gives you an advantage.