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Retention

6 Real-World Examples of Customer Retention Strategies from the People Behind the Wheel

Explore rock solid customer retention strategies for Shopify & Shopify Plus from the experts at Aviator Nation, Torguta, and more.

6 Real-World Examples of Customer Retention Strategies from the People Behind the Wheel
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The multinational technology company Apple has built their entire business on their loyal customer base.

In fact, 93% of surveyed consumers say they are loyal to Apple and would continue purchasing their products. That’s some enviable retention metrics!

But...

 

Apples global brand value graph

 

...you don’t need to be on Apple’s level of customer loyalty, brand reputation, or market dominance to get an equally high customer retention rate.

At a time when other companies are struggling to retain their customers, you can stand out with a strong customer focus and a strategic plan to boost repeat business.

So where do you begin? Learning from ecommerce companies that have successfully implemented their own customer retention program is one place to start. By taking a look at what’s worked for others, you can experiment and figure out what works to help you get all of the benefits of customer retention.

 

Rebuy-icon-primary6 Real-World Examples of Customer Retention Strategies


  1. Continuous Innovation Via Rapid Product Launches (Aviator Nation)

  2. Product Bundling to Increase AOV and Brand Reputation (Tortuga)

  3. Top-Notch Customer Service Customers Can Trust (Extend)

  4. Personalization & Differentiation to Retain High-Quality Customers (One Kings Lane)

  5. Implement a Loyalty Program Without the Sales Pressure (Irresistible Me)

  6. Use a Data-Driven Post-Purchase Experience to Create a Lasting Relationship (Blakely Clothing)

 

 

1. Continuous Innovation in the Face of Evolving Customer Expectations

According to Curtis Ulrich, director of ecommerce at Aviator Nation, their main challenge is finding ways to continuously adapt to their evolving customer expectations. Through continuous innovation, they deliver a seamless, dynamic, and enriching shopping experience that increases customer lifetime value (CLV).

 

“With 18 years in the retail sector and a loyal customer base, it's vital to keep introducing fresh, appealing products. Our American production base allows for rapid new launches,  keeping our customers constantly engaged and excited.”

 

 

To meet the needs of their existing customers, Aviator Nation focuses on rapid new launches and new releases of collections. Their local, in-house garment production makes this retention strategy possible. The new collections are typically offered in limited quantities, creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity. Long-term customers view each release as a coveted addition to their wardrobe, driving engagement and sales alike.

“With 18 years in the retail sector and a loyal customer base, it's vital to keep introducing fresh, appealing products," says Ulrich. "Our American production base allows for rapid new launches,  keeping our customers constantly engaged and excited."

 

aviator nation IG

 

Pro tip: Maintain operational control. In-house production and fulfillment capabilities empower businesses to launch new products rapidly and efficiently.

2. Product Bundling to Increase AOV and Brand Reputation

For the durable backpack brand Tortuga, getting repeat purchases is one of their top challenges. Most of their customers can go years before needing another long-lasting backpack. According to Ben Beck, the former director of marketing at Tortuga, product bundling is one way to combat lower purchase frequency, increase repeat business, and gain new customers.

 

“We knew this strategy had been successful for our Travel Backpack Collections page because adding the bundle to the page increased CVR by 15% and RPV by 12%.”

 

 

The Everything Bundle shows customers the value of Tortuga beyond their backpacks.

How? Customers save time and money by getting all of their travel products in one purchase, while Tortuga wins by increasing the average order value. Moreover, it helps associate their brand with travel experiences, deepening brand loyalty and increasing word-of-mouth referrals.

 

tortuga bundle

 

Beck explains, “We knew this strategy had been successful for our Travel Backpack Collections page because adding the bundle to the page increased CVR by 15% and RPV by 12%.”

Pro tip: Ensure your customer success team knows how to handle returns from bundles. In other words, if customers buy a bundle at a discount, they shouldn’t be able to return each of the products for the full price.

3. Top-Notch Customer Service Customers Can Trust

For the product and shipping protection solutions company Extend, their main goal is to gain customer trust. Consumers can be wary of insurance companies, especially if they are first-time customers who aren’t sure how well the service will cover them.

According to Shawna Matthews, marketing manager, CRM and lifecycle marketing at Extend, their retention strategy is all about using technology and customer service to prioritize customer needs. They do this by integrating their product within the merchant’s checkout process while using clear and honest messaging, causing minimal interruption to the merchant’s customer journey.

 

extend

 

Moreover, Extend offers 24/7 support and a quick, hassle-free claim-handling process with their digital assistant, Kaley. And for those who prefer to speak to a living, breathing human, they offer expert customer support via phone during standard business hours.

 

“Avoid working in silos. Product, engineering, marketing, and customer support teams should work closely together and create a tight feedback loop to ensure a seamless customer experience.”

 

This is also an opportunity to collect customer feedback so their team can improve their product and increase customer satisfaction.

Matthews suggests, “Avoid working in silos. Product, engineering, marketing, and customer support teams should work closely together and create a tight feedback loop to ensure a seamless customer experience.”

Pro tip: Every move you make should be done with customer convenience in mind.

4. Personalization & Differentiation to Retain High-Quality Customers

According to Kristina Magnin, director of ecommerce at One Kings Lane, they put a strong emphasis on retaining high-quality customers during heavy promotional periods. To overcome this challenge, their team uses customer data and common pain points to develop personalized experiences.

 

“We recently doubled down on personalized product recommendations in emails based on recent browse and abandonment history and are seeing strong CVR and incremental revenue as a result.”

 

 

Personalization and differentiation are critical to increase engagement and repeat customers. Your best customers should sense you are making an effort that feels personal. Plus, they need to feel like they can only get what they want from your brand. Customer appreciation and exclusive merchandising are two winning strategies that work well for One Kings Lane.

So far, Magnin and team like what they see from email campaign personalization. As she points out, “We recently doubled down on personalized product recommendations in emails based on recent browse and abandonment history and are seeing strong CVR and incremental revenue as a result.”

one kings late email recs

Pro tip: Personalization is not a one-size-fits-all strategy across channels. Continue to leverage A/B testing in your retention marketing strategies to tailor your findings to your audience.

5. Implement a Loyalty Program Without the Sales Pressure

According to Emily Anderson, customer service manager at Irresistible Me, her team works hard to ensure communication with customers always feels personal and not salesy or pushy. They’ve been able to keep customers happy by offering a personalized customer loyalty program and a customer support team poised to answer questions.

 

"The loyalty program makes customers feel special and understood. We've seen more customers come back, and they're spending more, too."

 

 

The key, however, is not to put pressure on customers to join or stay in their membership program. Instead, their customer service team shows understanding when it comes to customer complaints and asks for feedback to improve their product or service.

So even though they risk increasing customer churn, they maintain a positive customer relationship. The hope is that the customer will leave a positive testimonial (which they often do), recommend the brand to someone else, and eventually return when they’re ready.

 

Irresistible Me emails

 

“The loyalty program makes customers feel special and understood," says Anderson. "We've seen more customers come back, and they're spending more, too.”

Pro tip: Ensure everyone in the company — not just those who speak with customers — understands how important it is to keep customers happy.

6. Use a Data-Driven Post-Purchase ExperienceLasting Relationship

As their customer base grows, Gareth Newman, founder of Blakely Clothing, says that they’ve had to learn how to keep new audiences interested. The Blakely email team uses customer data to build custom post-purchase follow-up emails that increase engagement and conversions.

 

“First-time buyers in the retail space are usually testing the water, but once they have purchased and our post-purchase journey begins, we often see return customers purchasing more expensive items and adding more to their bag.”

 

 

The team at Blakely discovered that user-generated content outperformed branded content. So now, they share content that highlights successful customer stories with tangible incentives for making another purchase.

For example, whenever they launch a new collection, the items are usually meant to be worn together. In the post-purchase experience, Blakely displays these product recommendations as ones that “complete the look.”

 

blakely post purchase

 

According to Newman, the personalized post-purchase experience improves open and click rates by roughly 10% year over year and an increase in average order value. All in all, Blakely has seen a tremendous increase in revenue growth in the last year.

"First-time buyers in the retail space are usually testing the water," notes Newman. "But once they have purchased and our post-purchase journey begins, we often see return customers purchasing more expensive items and adding more to their bag.”

Pro tip: Follow the data. Using a great analytics tool to track your metrics and KPIs takes all the guesswork out of which post-purchase experience is most effective.

 

Ecommerce Personalization: The Complete Guide for Founders, Merchants, and Marketers

Your ecommerce personalization journey starts here.👇

 

Predicting the Future of Customer Retention

The effective customer retention strategies of today are bound to evolve over time. You’ll likely see an emphasis on optimizing social media shopping, maybe even in the Metaverse. Ecommerce merchants will use AI to further help with automation tasks and personalization at scale. And a bigger gap between fast fashion and conscious consumers will probably force businesses to make changes that positively impact the future of our planet.

One thing is for sure, as tech evolves and gets better, you either have to adopt it and leverage it to your advantage or risk getting left behind.

 

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