11 Essential customer retention tools for eCommerce
David Cross |
Customer churn costs businesses $168 billion per year, according to CallMiner’s 2020 Churn Index report. The top reason? Poor customer experiences.
Emplifi reports that four out of five existing customers would leave a brand after three (or fewer) poor customer service experiences. One in five would leave after a single instance.
Reducing customer churn starts with assembling a mix of customer retention tools to remove pain points from the eCommerce shopping experience. If you’re not auditing your customer retention tools on a regular basis, you risk losing money to churn and higher customer acquisition costs. Let’s dive into the tools we consider the most essential.
UXPressia: Map the post-purchase customer journey
UXPressia is a digital whiteboard that helps you plan the post-purchase experience you want your customer base to have. It charts important touchpoints, what customers expect at each touchpoint, and how you should respond to customer expectations.
A key feature is industry-specific mapping templates, which you can share across teams for collaboration.
You and your team can create experience maps for different customer personas and stages. A first-time buyer is at a different stage of the customer journey than a customer who’s purchased multiple times and has a high lifetime value.
The first-time buyer likely needs more nurturing, so you can use UXPressia to map out an onboarding sequence. The more seasoned customer probably prefers less frequent communication but wants relevant upsell offers and referral incentives.
By mapping the various customer journeys, you’ll know which tools you’ll need to achieve your retention goals.
Klaviyo: Integrate email and SMS with your eCommerce platform
Klaviyo is an email marketing and SMS provider built especially for eCommerce businesses. It also contains a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that records how customers interact with the communications you send out. Use this stored customer data to send more effective eCommerce customer retention campaigns.
Those journeys you mapped using UXPressia? Klaviyo is where you start bringing them to life. Using their drag and drop flow builder, you can quickly build retention campaigns such as sending thank-you emails or SMS based on the number of times a customer has purchased.
Klaviyo contains several pre-built flows that you simply need to brand and turn on:
- Onboarding sequence based on how you acquired the customer.
- Cart abandonment sequence based on cart value.
- Win-back and cross-sell to contacts who haven’t purchased recently.
- Birthday messages with an incentive.
Klaviyo’s power also comes from its integrations with other platforms discussed below, including ShipBob, Dynamic Yield, Gorgias, and Yotpo.
Attentive: Send timely post-purchase customer communications
Attentive is an SMS tool that integrates with top eCommerce platforms to deliver timely messages about orders, offers, and shipping.
If you use Shopify or an email service provider such as Mailchimp, Salesforce, or Campaign Monitor and want to add SMS, Attentive integrates seamlessly.
Say you use a website pop-up to collect emails and mobile numbers. The email addresses would sync with Mailchimp and the phone numbers with Attentive.
Thanks to its integration with Shopify, Attentive uses information from past product views or purchases to send personalized SMS drip campaigns that encourage repeat purchases.
Attentive SMS encourages and secures repeat purchases. A strong SMS strategy is key because, according to its 2022 State of Conversation Commerce study, 63% of respondents reported buying from a text message within the last three months.
Dynamic Yield: Hyper-personalize the customer experience
Dynamic Yield lets you test various customer website experiences and use that data for hyper-personalized experiences across multiple digital platforms. Personalization and retention go hand in hand. For one thing, customers expect personalization. If they don’t get it, 76% get frustrated, reducing the likelihood they’ll stick with you.
It all starts with a product click. Dynamic Yield uses that single piece of information to deliver recommendations and content that further engages the user. As you continue to gather data, you can design better A/B tests to see what really drives customer engagement and purchasing behavior.
For example, does a homepage image unique to the shopper’s location or a notification containing a link to a blog post related to past purchases drive more sales? Dynamic Yield’s platform can let you know.
Over time, Dynamic Yield will group customers with similar shopping behaviors into segments, which feed directly into your Facebook Business Manager. Use those segments to push out more personalized retargeting ads to bring customers back to your site to buy.
Qualtrics: Gather customer feedback for better user experiences
Even with a hyper-personalization engine such as Dynamic Yield, reducing churn often comes down to asking customers what you can do better. Enter Qualtrics, which improves customer retention by listening to customer feedback from multiple touchpoints.
Use Qualtrics to trigger a customer satisfaction survey a week after a customer receives a product. Ask a simple question such as “How satisfied are you with your shopping experience,” and have them answer using a scale of 1 to 5. Leave space for additional feedback.
Qualtrics not only computes the overall score but also performs a sentiment analysis on any text-based feedback. Tell Qualtrics which topics to look for — price, checkout, shipping — and the platform assigns the topics a sentiment score based on surrounding words. If the “checkout” sentiment is negative, dig deeper into the responses to find out why.
Customer sentiment plays a role in another of Qualtrics’s retention tools: churn anticipation. Program the platform with a list of behaviors churned customers have in common — consistently low satisfaction scores, three months between purchases — and artificial intelligence capabilities alert you when customers are near the churn threshold.
Use this report to send a retention campaign via Klaviyo or Attentive, such as a discount on their next purchase or a personal email from the founder.
Gorgias: Turn agents into retention professionals
Gorgias is a digital help desk that allows agents to deliver a positive customer support experience. Agents are brand ambassadors, and they have a huge impact on your retention efforts.
According to Zendesk’s 2022 Customer Experience Trends Report, 81% of respondents say a positive customer support experience makes it more likely they’ll make another purchase.
Gorgias makes it convenient for customers to reach out for support. Not only does the platform support chat, SMS, voice, email, and social media inquiries, but agents can send follow-ups on customers’ preferred channels in real time.
Gorgias keeps track of all past customer conversations — regardless of channel — so agents can quickly see the scope of the situation. Agents can also save time by turning common support questions into automated chatbots or knowledge base articles.
Because Gorgias integrates with Shopify, BigCommerce, and loyalty program software, agents don’t have to search for a purchase history or reward points total. It fills a single dashboard.
Agents can update orders without leaving Gorgias and even reach out proactively to see if customers have questions about products they view.
Churn Buster: Reduce involuntary churn from failed payments
Churn Buster integrates with subscription platforms to reduce a common cause of subscriber churn — failed credit card payments.
Without a system such as Churn Buster, current customers often let their subscriptions lapse without realizing it, creating more work for sales and support teams who must reach out to them individually.
If a credit card payment fails once, Churn Buster retries the credit card. If that doesn’t work, it emails or texts the customer with a request to update their card. The platform lets you personalize and brand these messages as you would Klaviyo and Attentive messages.
Churn Buster is more essential for customer retention than you might think. According to FlexPay CEO Darryl Hicks, 48% of involuntary churn is due to failed payments.
Yotpo: Entice continued spending with a customer loyalty program
Yotpo is a loyalty program provider that increases customer retention by rewarding customers who purchase repeatedly.
eCommerce loyalty programs are either paid or free to join, but it’s the paid programs that lead to better retention. A 2020 McKinsey survey found that members of paid loyalty programs are 60% more likely to spend more on the brand after subscribing. Free loyalty program subscribers are only 30% more likely.
Besides integrating with the top eCommerce sites, Yotpo’s key features include point-based programs based on spend, referrals, or other brand-building activities.
Yotpo client EM Cosmetics uses a tiered program to encourage customers to spend more for better benefits.
Better yet, Yotpo integrates with Klaviyo, so you can personalize loyalty email reminders and let that information live in Klaviyo’s CRM.
Because Klaviyo also integrates with top eCommerce platforms, you can segment VIP loyalty customers and email them upsell offers based on past purchases.
Loop: Make returns a revenue source
Loop helps eCommerce businesses retain customers and revenue by making the return process easy and incentivizing refunds.
A frustrating return process drastically reduces your customer retention rate. A 2021 Klarna study found that 84% of online shoppers would switch to a different brand after a bad returns experience.
Because Loop integrates with your eCommerce product catalog, one of its key features is that it blurs the line between shopping and a return.
Rather than simply letting the customer return the unwanted item for a refund — which of course they can — Loop invites them to exchange it and even extends an upsell opportunity. The process takes only a few clicks.
All a customer needs to initiate a return is their order number and zip code. Loop also lets you automate certain types of returns and manually approve others, such as refunds. The experience is seamless for both the customer and your support team.
ShipBob: Scale shipping and improve unboxing moments
ShipBob is a logistics and order management software provider that creates retention-worthy shipping experiences.
When a customer places an order, they want reassurance that the product will arrive on time and intact. According to a 2022 Mitto study, 76% of U.S. consumers get more irritated by a poor customer experience when dealing with a delayed shipment than the delay itself.
ShipBob gives customers this reassurance through automated SMS and email communications. ShipBob integrates with Klaviyo, so these communications can flow through Klaviyo, and shipping information can live in its CRM.
ShipBob’s network of warehouses also creates subscription unboxing experiences that reflect your brand. From special packaging to tissue and product arrangement, ShipBob handles multiple elements of the post-purchase experience.
For eCommerce store owners, ShipBob sends alerts when overstock or insufficient inventory is a risk. These alerts keep warehousing costs in check and ensure that customers aren’t disappointed by out-of-stock items.
Ordergroove: Retain customers with subscriptions
Ordergroove is a Relationship Commerce solution that enables you to quickly enable frictionless subscription experiences, a key to customer retention.
Subscriptions promote customer retention by offering consumers the convenience of recurring shipments of items they use regularly. But it’s the control your subscription experience gives subscribers that keep them engaged long-term.
Not only does our software integrate with top eCommerce platforms for easy subscription enrollment, but it also offers a self-service portal where subscribers can skip, swap, or pause orders. Our data shows subscribers last 71% longer when they can swap a product and 135% longer when they have the ability to skip an order.
If your eCommerce store also allows one-off orders, our solution shows shoppers the benefits of subscribing. Customers can take immediate advantage of better pricing and set their subscription cadence, all from your product pages.
Increase customer lifetime value with retention tools
Customer retention tools boost the post-purchase experience and give new customers a reason to shop with you again and again.
Customer retention isn’t something you can fully automate with the help of these tools. Retention also means listening to your customers and giving them the experience they want. Only then will you see customer lifetime value grow.
To learn more about Ordergroove’s customer retention capabilities and integrations with other important tools, click here for a free demo.