eCommerce

What is customer loyalty? Benefits and best strategies

Mariluz Sampalo

Mariluz Sampalo

May 5, 2022

customer loyalty advantages and strategies for successful ecommerce

Inside this article

  • iconWhat is customer loyalty?
  • iconWhy is it important to build customer loyalty?
  • iconThe 6 best strategies for customer loyalty
  • iconApple’s take on building customer loyalty
  • iconSoftware systems for customer loyalty
  • iconFAQ about customer loyalty
  • iconConclusion
  • Did you know that customer loyalty is one of the most important business growth strategies that exist?

    Now, what exactly is meant by customer loyalty? How can you increase shoppers’ loyalty?

    Discover all the steps and elements that need to be included in your customer loyalty strategy with this article.

    What is customer loyalty?

    Customer loyalty consists of nurturing buyers with added value to bring them back into the sales cycle, making them more profitable due to repeated sales.

    Having loyal customers and strengthening your communication and connection to them is the perfect way to keep them returning to your business, receiving a bigger ROI than if you put efforts and resources only into attracting new customers, for instance.

    The fact that customer attraction is more expensive than customer retention doesn’t escape any business, which is why more and more companies seek to optimize the post-sales phase of their shopping experience, as this is a key element of building customer loyalty.

    In fact, if we look at the figures, research from Salesforce states that 89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience.

    In this guide, we reveal the key aspects of designing a unique customer service model.

    Features of an online store with loyal customers

    • Seeks to exceed expectations
    • Knows the needs of the customer and tries to cover them
    • Rewards loyalty
    • Understands the weak points of their product
    • Invests in communication
    • Takes care of the business relationship permanently
    • Constantly analyzes customer behavior

    Why is it important to build customer loyalty?

    Coming back to our previous statement on customer attraction, customer loyalty, and the resources and profits it can bring, customer attraction may actually be worth more than fostering loyalty.

    However, generally speaking, it’s much more profitable to build loyalty than to attract new customers. Guiding new users to conversion requires more resources than promoting a repeated purchase.

    Benefits of customer loyalty

    • Loyal customers make repeated purchases
    • Customer loyalty brings brand recognition organically, attracting new users
    • Customer loyalty requires less costs than customer attraction, and brings more sales possibilities
    • Loyal customers give feedback to improve the brand and products
    employees from an online shop work on customer loyalty

    The 6 best strategies for customer loyalty

    Here are some loyalty strategies you can implement to foster loyalty:

    1. Offer personalized service

    Perfecting your communication with customers through different channels is essential when it comes to building loyalty.

    For instance, make sure that in your strategy, your users feel like they are receiving personalized treatment by addressing them individually and aiming to solve their problems while adding value to the shopping experience.

    Don’t limit this personalization to customer support. Implement it in all your communications: social media content, email marketing campaigns, and any other element that is related to your brand image.

    Shoppers appreciate the “human” touch in brands.

    2. Keep your promises

    There’s nothing more detrimental to the satisfaction of a customer than a company that doesn’t provide what was promised.

    Offering added value doesn’t make sense if the fundamental premises aren’t fulfilled with the purchase.

    For instance, if you promise easy and free returns, but the process of returning a product involves additional tasks, the need to go to a post office, or to fill in a form, it’s likely these customers won’t come back.

    Honesty is a fundamental value to building loyalty.

    3. Teach your employees how to treat customers

    Gone is the idea of customers contacting a business through one channel. From support to sales and marketing, your employees must know how to address the needs and wishes of customers.

    Multi-channel strategies mean that every person who can come into contact with a customer should know about the qualities of the product, the most recurring problems customers face, or the competitive advantages of your company over the competition.

    This will allow you to build a solid business discourse.

    4. Optimize your post-checkout phases

    All the actions after payment solidify the perception that a customer has of you. Regardless of the quality of your products, delivery delays, poorly executed returns, or frequent shipping issues can make the customer feel neglected.

    The return process is one of the elements to a) make a customer buy in the first place and b) make a repeat purchase and become a frequent buyer.

    We always recommend taking care of the return policy.

    5. Share your successes and failures

    Communicating with your customers with transparency helps to strengthen the ties you have with them —even if it’s about something that went wrong!

    In fact, we advise using negative feedback as a chance to improve your customer service by replying fast and politely.

    Just as important as using negative comments to your advantage is proudly promoting your successes to highlight the most positive aspects of your company.

    Create a sense of belonging and share your achievements with customers.

    6. Create a loyalty program

    Loyalty programs are strategies used to foster loyal customers and prevent them from forgetting about you once the deal is done. Loyalty programs can be implemented through a points reward or a subscription plan.

    Apple’s take on building customer loyalty

    Let’s see everything that was previously discussed with one of the most successful examples of a customer loyalty strategy: Apple.

    This prestigious brand wins loyal customers by granting exclusivity to its product. Apple simply knows how to create a business discourse and transmit an image of exclusivity in their products, communications, and overall service.

    What were the key points of Apple’s strategy?

    • An exclusive distribution policy with dedicated stores and exclusive partnerships
    • Highly promoted product launches
    • Premium aesthetic and design to create a symbol of distinction and differentiation from its competitors
    • Uses compatibility as a sign for its uniqueness, instead of an inconvenience. Apple products typically don't work with non-Apple devices
    • Additional services for its customers, like repairs, replacements, etc.

    Software systems for customer loyalty

    Outvio

    Build unique and unforgettable post-checkout service for your customer with Outvio. This platform for online stores includes all the functionalities required to automate daily tasks and optimize eveything that happens after customers make a purchase to increase customer loyalty.

    Automated national & international shipments and returns, interactive shipment tracking, and email marketing tools are just a few of the advantages of using Outvio.

    Hubspot

    Hubspot is one of the world's leading CRMs. With this program, you can manage customer-brand relationships and unify the internal and external communication in a single tool. In this way, all employees have access to the same information and can work with the loyalty of its customers.

    Giftbit

    Giftbit is a program designed to automatically send gift cards to the contacts on a database. Additionally, you can monitor the results of a campaign to draw conclusions and better segment future campaigns.

    FAQ about customer loyalty

    How can I measure customer loyalty?

    You can measure the loyalty of your customers by analyzing factors such as the lifetime value, the churn rate, referrals, and the net promoter score.

    What is the difference between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty?

    The most important difference between customer loyalty and customer satisfaction is that loyalty appears when the user has a feeling of preference towards that brand, while customer satisfaction means that the shopping experience met all the expectations. In other words, loyalty is the next step to satisfaction.

    Are there different types of loyal customers?

    People are loyal for various reasons, but it’s relatively easy to group them into five categories: price-loyal, program-loyal, convenience-loyal, freebie-loyal, and truly loyal customers.

    Conclusion

    Building customer loyalty isn't always easy. However, the ROI of all the actions that are carried out with the consumer in mind tend to play in favour of the eCommerce business and gets them benefits in the long run.

    After discovering these 6 ways to foster loyalty in your online store, we are sure that your customers will be more satisfied and that your repurchase rate and profits will grow exponentially.