• Advanced Ecommerce

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many businesses across the world, leaving many merchants scrambling to find new ways to do business and continue serving their customers in a time of uncertainty.

An analysis by McKinsey after the financial crisis of 2008 showed that businesses that quickly reimagined their customer experience saw a shallower downturn and rebounded much faster than those that failed to adapt. The lessons from 2008 resonate today: focusing on customer loyalty has proven to help businesses navigate through periods of economic uncertainty. In this article, we discuss three ways to create an effective loyalty strategy that engages customers and keeps them coming back.

1. Create an Omnichannel Shopping Experience

Due to unpredictable product supply and demand, changing lockdown restrictions, and new hygiene considerations during this pandemic, shoppers have altered their brand preferences. With customer loyalty in flux, it is crucial for your business to adapt to changing preferences to keep your customers from switching to your competitors.  

While customers have taken their shopping online during the pandemic, many still desire the in-store experience. Businesses are finding opportunities to win over customers by blending their online and in-store shopping into one seamless customer experience. In particular, omnichannel models like “buy online, pick up in store” (BOPIS)/click and collect have gained a lot of traction.

As buying habits shift toward convenience and value, an omnichannel model can help improve your online experience and win over repeat customers. The more streamlined and enjoyable your website can be for customers, the more loyal they will be to your brand.

2. Dig Deeper into Customer Retention Metrics

As you look for ways to innovate your customer experience and earn customer loyalty, you’ll reach a point where you need to obtain deeper insights about customer behavior and preferences. Top-level metrics like website traffic and conversions only reveal part of the story. You need to dive into retention metrics like repeat customer rate, customer lifetime value, customer acquisition cost, to understand the long-term potential of your website to attract customers and keep them coming back to your business.

Although you might have seen an increase in your online revenue due to the pandemic, you can’t continue operating with the same strategy you followed before. To stay sustainable and thrive in this “new normal”, you need to be laser-focused on converting new customers into repeat buyers. This means analyzing customer retention metrics across different time periods to determine the seasons and times during which your customers are most active. This will help you track the real-time performance of your campaigns, understand your customers’ changing habits, and optimize your marketing for maximum results.

3. Automate Your Loyalty Programs

Once your business is equipped with right metrics, you’ll need to put them to good use. Loyalty marketing is focused on engaging your customers post-purchase to drive increased spend on your website and encourage brand advocacy. Loyalty programs are an effective tool for increasing customer value and building up a loyal base.

To get the most out of a loyalty program, you can automate triggers within the program to collect valuable customer information and categorize your customers into targeted segments. This allows you to send automated and personalized communications that are catered to your customers’ specific actions and preferences.

Automating your loyalty programs helps streamline operations and give customers a delightful and personally relevant online experience. This will show the customer they’re valued, which in turn keeps them engaged with your business for the long term.

Building an Effective Customer Loyalty Strategy

The primary objective of any loyalty strategy must always be to provide the best experience to the shopper. A smooth experience, clear purchase path, and personalized messaging is key to keeping customers engaged with your brand. While the current business climate is still volatile, a strong loyalty strategy helps you shine through, connect with your customers, and scale your revenue with ease.

Contributed by the Editorial Team of Miva Partner Zinrelo

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