Customer Loyalty vs. Customer Retention: What’s the difference?
Let’s start by going through the difference between loyalty and retention. Customer retention includes initiatives you take to get your customers to come back to make a purchase, aka prevent losing customers. And retention is one part of customer loyalty in the retail industry, but the term loyalty goes way beyond customers just making multiple purchases. This part is all about building long-lasting, real relationships with the customer. And when a customer is loyal, they are one of your biggest fans! They love everything you do, and they will tell others about your brand. And you will be their obvious choice. So to summarize: every loyal customer is a retained customer, but all retained customers are not loyal.
Read more: Customer retention management
Ways to create loyalty in the retail industry
We looked at effective strategies and talked to internal experts on the subject, and now we’ll share six effective ways to create customer loyalty and retention.
1. Marketing automation
If you only knew how much marketing automation can do for you! Wow, you won’t believe it until you see how it enhances sales for you in the background – 24/7. It’s one of the most valuable tools when it comes to creating customer loyalty and retention. Why? Let’s go through a few reasons:
- Create individual customer journeys – Set up different workflows for specific categories. For example jackets. Send advice on how to take care of the jacket, then you can recommend complementing purchases. Highly personal and it shows the customer that you care about giving them a great experience!
- Restocking automation – Simple and very effective! Set up automation for customers who bought products that will run out, like shampoo, lotion, aftershave, etcetera. Remind them that it’s about time to fill up so they don’t run out!
- Re-engage customers when they haven’t shopped in a while – Great example of re-engagement campaigns that work in your favor without you having to lift a finger! Create workflows that kick off when a customer hasn’t made a purchase in for example five months. Set up different entry criteria based on things like previous purchases, gender, age, and city.
And these are just a few things you can do that enhance the customer experience and creates loyalty! Another obvious benefit is to set up all your transactional emails: Keep it going with birthday automation that wishes the customer a happy birthday or gives them an offer. Ok yes, we could go on and on, but it would take minutes to read. Let’s move on.
Download the video to learn all about customer retention and see examples of marketing automation workflows
2. Customer reviews
Why bother asking customers to review products? Duh, because it’s a win-win!
First, you ask your customers who bought products to leave a review and give them an offer as motivation – which will make them happy and use the offer. Ok great, that’s a win for your customers, but then what? Well, think about what you usually do before making a purchase. Research. Since customers trust real people over your brand (you’re biased) they will read the reviews before shopping! Customer reviews will increase your chances of making customers buy more products. That’s a win for you!
You know that personalization is talked about a lot. And there’s a reason for that! Because guess what? Personalization leads to repeat purchases. When you strive towards making each touchpoint with your brand as personal as possible, it speaks for itself. The customer experience is better, more relevant, and the customer can tell that you are making an effort.
Did you know that according to globe newswire – 49 % of asked customers made impulse buys after receiving personalized product recommendations? And through personalized experiences, 44 % will become repeat customers!
4. Loyalty program
If you haven’t invested in one already, it’s about time. A loyalty program will help you make your customers feel special and inspired to keep shopping from you, and not one of your competitors. If you provide relevant enough offers and experiences that motivate the customer to reach new levels, they will make repeat purchases to get there. This is one of the best-kept secrets to achieving customer loyalty in the retail industry!
But it’s not all about getting customers to buy more. It’s also about you getting an opportunity to get to know your customers. Through a loyalty program, you are able to collect a lot of useful data that you can use to improve the customer experience.
5. Involve the company to reach customer retention
As much as we’d like to tell you that retention can be increased by one lonely hero at your company – we would lie if we did. Every single department is involved in making sure the customer experience is flawless. It all has to align to make sure your customers are happy and want to come again. Everyone from website developers to customer support and storage personnel needs to know the importance of a great customer experience that will lead to increased retention. So, make sure all teams at the company knows the definition and importance of customer retention.
6. Thank your customers
Sounds simple enough? Sure. But there’s more to it than sending a “thank you for shopping with us” email. You can thank your customers for choosing you by surprising them with a birthday offer, sending an invitation to a VIP event, or including them in fun gamification campaigns where they can reach different offers. Or maybe send them a fun video with a personal greeting? Customers love to feel special, so make sure you thank them for being your loyal companion in more ways than one!
Read more: Customer retention strategies – 8 expert pieces of advice
You probably noticed that these tips are all about enhancing the customer experience. That’s because the experience is the whole foundation for success. When you constantly work on improving it, you will see increased customer retention!