When I talk about customer loyalty I don’t just mean customers that come back to you over and over again, in the ever changing world of ecommerce and online retail I mean this and something more – I mean developing customers that rave about you, and leveraging loyalty to grow your business.
Customers buy from businesses for many different reasons. These can include price, service and convenience. When it comes to online, a retailer has to ensure they meet all of these criteria and more to develop true customer loyalty. Customers choosing to shop online have so much choice, and most will be able to find a cheaper product. If you have supplied them before and not delivered on time, the quality was not 100 per cent perfect or there was a need for them to contact customer services, then they may look elsewhere for a better level of service.
If your branding isn’t memorable, your marketing mix has changed or you are not keeping in touch with your clients, then finding you to buy from again may be harder than the customer wants – they choose to buy somewhere else through convenience, because they can’t find you quickly enough. With the power of social media, customers have the ability to tell the world about their experiences, both good and bad. This is a good thing for customer services in general and can only lead to improved standards by online mail order businesses, particularly where heavy competition exists.
Customer loyalty is vital to any ecommerce business. In any business it is much more costeffective to market to your existing clients than to try to develop new clients; every pound you spend will convert at a better ratio, if spent trying to get previous customers to spend again. Offering a good service online is just the same as offering a good service offline.
Customers may seem more demanding because they are not face to face, but we all expect a good level of quality when we buy anything, and even more so when we purchase online – because we didn’t handselect the item ourselves. We imagine the purchase arriving and what we are going to do with it – if it doesn’t turn up right, then the effect can be quite distressing for the buyer, and depending on how the customer service side of the retail business handles it, the situation can either be neutralised or made worse.
So what are the things that you can do to develop loyalty in an ecommerce business and how can you leverage loyalty to create costeffective growth in an online retail company?
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