Regardless of the aim of your website, it won’t thrive and progress if you solely invest time and resources in acquiring new users. Keeping the ones who you’ve previously “won” and having them become your regulars may even be more important for your site’s success.
Of course, it is vital to understand that websites differ from one another greatly. Some have a solely informative nature, others are geared towards making a sell or promoting a service, just to name a few. As such, in the sphere of eCommerce, having a great website or even building a progressive web application are one side of the deal. Customer retention is the other side, playing a crucial role in business growth since having returning clients means selling more.
On this page, we’ll give 7 best-practice recommendations on what you can do to get people to come back to your website and share specific examples of how it’s done by popular brands.
1. It Starts with Quality Products & Services
If whatever your website or business is specialized in isn’t good, people won’t come back for more. Those browsing your website have to not only find what they’re looking for quickly but they should also stay satisfied with the result in the end. Be it a flawless customer journey for buying a T-shirt online or reading a ‘how-to’ guide to learn about something, it has to be intuitive and of great quality.
For instance, if you’re running a blog, the content should be unique, visually appealing, in well-written style, grammatically correct, and, most importantly, topically relevant. Repetitive, boring, or useless pieces can already stigmatize your site and nudge users to never visit your site again. The same applies in cases when your website presents services, it should bring users immense value and answer their questions.
In case you are offering products for sale, apart from their physical quality, you should pay special attention to how they are presented on your online retail website:
- the site should be easy to use and navigate,
- make sure the search and top menu are quick and helpful,
- all of the data on the item is clearly visible,
- images are of good quality,
- and the cart and checkout are logical and simple.
At times even a couple of minor tweaks to the site can already make a difference and lead to more sales, thus, turning to the pros for Magento consulting or for advice on how to optimize your online store can certainly do you good.
Here’s an example of the catalog page layout of the official Converse website. There’s a clear product grid, the page isn’t overpacked with too much information, the key points regarding each product are covered, and the easy-to-use filter can help to allocate the needed item faster.
The common rules for all website types here lie in the basics:
- create that content/product that brings value to your users,
- make your website look nice,
- provide simple navigation, impeccable UX and UI,
- make sure the site performs well,
- it should be fast.
2. Personalization from A to Z
Among the greatest tips to note is making communication with your users more personal. Apart from covering topics that are of importance to them, it is also crucial to understand your audience better. Ideally, your strategy should contain a personal approach for every step of the way and across multiple channels.
That said, you must do your best to “click” with your audience beyond your website, and do so equally well in social media and in emails. Moreover, if a customer reaches out to your support team with a question, you must do everything possible to help and show that you truly care.
In addition to that, many companies in the field of eCommerce are already using personalized product selection functionality. It analyzes the user’s browsing history and automatically pitches those items that the shopper might like. On the screenshot below, you can see how the official Ralph Lauren website uses personal product picks on their product page to tailor to the tastes of their shoppers:
3. Good Old Email Send-outs
Mentioning email campaigns and automatic mail-outs, this is yet one more method of pulling visitors back to your website and reaching out to them. Using email, you may:
- inform your subscribers about your latest news and deals,
- Invite them to participate in an activity or contest,
- send out coupons, promo codes, etc,
- share personal product selections,
- offer special discounts for items that a person has added to a wishlist or abandoned in the cart without making the purchase,
- congratulate on holidays, as well as birthdays.
The opportunities of this marketing channel are endless, so in order to use emails wisely and not end up being unsubscribed from or placed in the spam folders, you should:
- get creative (yes, it can be hard to impress your readers but give it a shot),
- think through every detail of the language of your emails and the message that you’re communicating,
- keep your emails short, use visuals to support your message,
- pay special attention to the subject lines,
- don’t send too many emails too often.
4. Use Social Media to the Most
Social media channels have immense power. That’s why no matter what you’re doing on your website (adding a new article, having a new product launch, a discount, or sale), this information has to be shared across as many social media channels as you can.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter… Get your hands on everything that’s relevant to your business as this is a perfect way to have real people interact with your site’s activity off-site. They can react to your posts, speak about you, share your content further on. That is indeed a strong move as you can make them come back to you again.
User-generated content is one more tactic to make use of. Engaging your users in activities can surely be a success. To give an example, Maybelline New York, deftly invites their customers on their official website to make posts with their products and share them on social media:
Mentioning other things that can be done with social media to have visitors return to your website is Facebook catalogs and Instagram Shops. This is of special relevance for eCommerce!
To clarify, by having an Instagram business account, an online store can tag the products that they display in the post. The details of these products can be viewed by users right from the post. This includes the item’s price, description, and even a link to the store so the person can buy it. A great way to get clients to return to your store, right?
Here’s how the Instagram Shop of Bvlgari uses product tagging on their official account:
5. Offer Perks for Leaving Reviews
Another marvelous way to make your website’s visitors return is by offering to give them a bonus, coupon, or discount if they leave a review on the product that they’ve purchased from you or share feedback on your services. This is particularly something to put in your arsenal if you’re in eCommerce or provide services.
The key lies in the fact that the opinions of others really matter and help a potential client to make up their mind. Such feedback is beneficial for many reasons, for instance, star ratings are often displayed in the snippets that are generated by Google and can influence your positions in the search.
Plus, if you offer people something in return for leaving a review or comment, they will be likely to come back to your website once again, for example, to use their discount. Below you can see how the official Forever21 website collects the reviews of its users on product pages:
6. Consider Investing in PPC
Pay-per-click advertising can be useful for lassoing people back to your site. A prior visit to your website is one of the main things that trigger such ads to appear ubiquitously on multiple pages all over the web. Banners with your website will continuously flash before the eyes of your users even on social media, thus, there’s a bigger chance that they’ll return to your site once again.
Of course, this method has a downside, as it requires investment. PPC won’t be available without a budget. Nevertheless, with proper set-ups and segmentation, at the end of the day, it might not cost you a fortune.
On the bright side, it is a measurable tactic, therefore, you’ll have the opportunity to analyze data based on stats. Topping that, this variant usually brings really fast results, especially if compared to the organic traffic that’s reached by SEO.
7. Subscriptions & Loyalty Programs
Last but not least, encouraging visitors to subscribe is one more powerful technique. An example of this could be offering better terms to those customers who make a subscription or join a loyalty program. Giving a client some additional benefits can, by all means, boost customer retention.
In some cases, loyalty programs motivate customers to take action for obtaining something. This can be buying more in order to get a bigger discount, some free goods, or moving up to the next level of the program (ex. becoming a VIP client). Take a look at a perk that the renowned cosmetics brand, NYX Professional Makeup, offers clients who’ve joined their loyalty program:
Summing up the mentioned above, there are many ways you can urge visitors to come back to your website. Depending on the specifics of your sphere, you can incorporate the best practices and improve your customer/user retention rates. We hope that you’ve found this article helpful, so feel free to share it and make use of the tips to your advantage!
About the Author
Alex Husar, CTO at Onilab with 8+ years of experience in Magento development services and Salesforce. He graduated from the Czech Technical University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Computer Software Engineering. Alex’s expertise includes both full-stack dev skills and a strong ability to provide project-critical guidance to the whole team.