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Customer loyalty after lockdown

May 26, 2021 / Reading Time: 4 minutes /
Joe Marshall

Lockdown is lifting across the UK, and as brick and mortar stores reopen across the country, many brands are wondering what impact this will have on their online sales.

For many companies, lockdown restrictions have led to a significant increase in online sales, as customers new and old have become reliant on online deliveries.

But, as restrictions lift, many of these customers will be returning to their old habits and visiting their high street instead of your website. 

loyalty after lockdown

The sad fact is, many customers are not loyal to any particular brand. In fact –

77% of brands could disappear, and nobody would care.

(Vivendi)

But establishing and maintaining customer loyalty is key to growth.

Repeat customers spend on average 31% more than new customers.

(invespcro)

So how can brands build on the goodwill and increased interest gained during the pandemic, and turn these Lockdown Customers into Long-Term Customers?

Understand your existing loyal customers

Different types of customers behave differently – some will only ever visit your website once, and never return. Part of building a customer retention strategy is learning to accept this.

But on the flip side, some customers will return again and again, spending significant amounts and engaging with a variety of products and content.

The first step in building loyalty among a wider user base is understanding what makes your customers loyal now.

Review your CRM data or on-site analytics and identify the 5% – 10% of customers who spend the most money on-site.

What do they do before purchase? 

Maybe they read a case study or blog article, maybe they return at regular intervals (weekly, monthly, or just after payday), perhaps they arrive via posts on your social channels.

Whatever it is, by identifying common behaviours among these ‘high value’ customers, you can start to develop more of the content that resonates with them.

You might start running sales at particular times of the month, or promoting your blog articles more widely on social channels. 

By aligning your strategy to the behaviour of these highest value customers, you will start, by extension, generating more valuable content for the wider 90% of customers, and start to develop their loyalty as well.

Understanding what current loyal customers engage with can help shape your wider promotional strategy across content, social and even your developer workflow.

Get Personal

One of the most important influences in building customer loyalty is demonstrating that you understand the person, and making them feel like you’re communicating directly with them, rather than just showing them an advert.

The great thing is, you should already have access to everything you need to personalise your messages – both on-site and off.

Using your CRM or analytics data, identify purchase patterns among your customers.

Do you see that customers are likely to purchase multiple products together in a single transaction?

Are there 2 or 3 key products that are your biggest sellers, regardless of seasonality?

By identifying common purchasing patterns, you can start to deliver semi-personalised messages to existing customers in order to up-sell additional products.

For example, if a customer adds product X to their basket, you could show a message within the checkout flow stating “other customers like you also bought Product Y”, or even “add product Y to your shop and receive an extra 10% off marked price”.

This can work off-site too – why not build your remarketing ads around purchase patterns? You could serve ads for product Y to anybody who has previously purchased product X, safe in the knowledge that a significant proportion of the customers that see the ad are likely to have overlapping interests in both products (based on previous customers’ behaviour).

Even though you’re not speaking to every customer on an individual level, by segmenting them into groups according to similar purchase patterns, your comms will start to feel more personal.

While this strategy can lead to a higher click-through and conversion rate, it also starts to build loyalty among the customers that see the ads. Regardless of whether or not they go on to purchase the product at that time, being served these (somewhat)-personalised ads further reinforces the perception that your brand or company understands them, and sets you apart from other brands firing out broad, generic ads.

Perks for returning customers

It’s not exactly news that it’s cheaper to retain a customer than to attract a new one. In fact, Forbes estimates

it costs 5 times more to attract new customers than to retain existing ones.

Not only that – retaining an additional 5% of customers can increase your profits by 25% to 95% (Bain & Company).

So how can you bring back customers and benefit from this additional revenue? Pass some of the savings on to the customer!

Offer customers an incentive to return

By offering customers an incentive to return and make a further purchase, perhaps through a percentage decrease or a flat rate off the marked price, you are encouraging them back into your brand ecosystem and therefore giving yourself further opportunity to start building that all-important loyalty. By offering a discount now, you are making it more likely that the customer will return proactively next time.

Identifying and promoting to these existing customers can be done through a range of channels – you could build out an email remarketing list to either send regular (but not too regular) emails to all previous customers, or even set up emails to send to individual customers, personalised based on their purchase behaviour.

Taking things a step further, you can also build remarketing lists of previous customers for use in paid social promotion, serving tailored ads to these customers across the likes of Facebook and Instagram and ensuring only they are offered the discount.

It’s important to remember that while these channels may require click-budgets and management costs, in addition to the discounts offered, the value of bringing back a repeat customer is likely to be significantly higher than your initial investment.

In summary…

Building customer loyalty is not an exact science, but if you just treat people like normal human beings, rather than solely as revenue drivers, loyalty will come.

Do you need marketing support to help you achieve customer loyalty?

Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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