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April 25, 2023

How to Build an Effective E-commerce Strategy for Customer Retention

two merchants planning their ecommerce strategy

Customer acquisition is only part of an effective e-commerce strategy: the next step is customer retention. Crafting a fool-proof customer retention strategy benefits both you and your customers and is a relatively straightforward procedure. 

Proactive Customer Retention Strategies 

What kind of customer would you prefer–one individual who makes several purchases regularly or several customers who purchase items once and are never heard from again? The former rather than the latter is the most influential, and that’s who you are focusing on with customer retention strategies.  

To build customer loyalty, you must not just meet their expectations, but exceed them. That’s what keeps customers coming back, and it requires an effective, proactive e-commerce strategy.

Keep in mind that what works best for an e-commerce store may not translate into customer retention for a brick-and-mortar store if your business encompasses both. Still, many e-commerce strategies also help keep customers returning to your physical location.

1. Customer Referral Programs    

Odds are your loyal customers have friends, family members, or acquaintances who would also value your products. Customer referral programs provide discounts for both the customers and the individual they referred to your e-commerce business. Customer referral programs are more than deals. Because you have established a business trust with your customer, they feel comfortable referring people they know to your enterprise.

2. Customer Loyalty Programs

Also known as a customer rewards program, customer loyalty programs are designed to enhance the customer experience and retain purchasers. In effect, a customer loyalty program discourages people from buying from competitors. They incentivize customers to patronize your e-commerce business and spend their money.

Personalizing your customer loyalty program is paramount. Most shoppers belong to several loyalty programs of various types. Yours should stand out by making the process as seamless as possible. A first-rate customer loyalty program creates a dedicated customer base and rewards merchants in terms of increased sales volume.

3. Retention Email Campaigns  

You’re likely already engaging in promotional email campaigns to attract customers. A retention email campaign is similar, except your target is an existing customer and the purpose of the email is to strengthen that relationship. The ROI on a retention email is high because your customer wants to hear from you and is open to purchasing your products.

Retention emails need strong subject lines to pique customer interest. Always have a Call to Action in the email, with a button to click on, so it’s clear what you want customers to do and you make it easy for them to do it.

Did a customer not complete a transaction? A friendly abandoned cart email reminds them there are still items in the cart while letting the customer know you value their business. If they complete the purchase, follow up with a confirmation email.  

Wish your customers a happy birthday, accompanied by a small discount offer. If your holiday season was successful or your business hosted a special event, send thank you emails to customers for making it all possible. There is no substitute for this personal touch.  

4. Private Label Store Cards

Using private-label store cards is an especially effective e-commerce strategy. It is by using these branded retailer cards that customers can earn rewards or loyalty points for your programs.  With Tandym, merchants save 80 percent on payment processing for private label cards. Use these savings to fund customer rewards programs.

5. Improved Customer Service

First-rate customer service is a key customer retention strategy. When an issue arises, prompt support can prove the difference between keeping and losing a customer. Even if the problem resolution takes time, a quick response lets the customer know you are on top of the matter and working towards a solution. Let them know how long it will take to resolve their inquiry and then meet that expectation.

Upgrade Your E-commerce Strategy with Tandym

The right e-commerce strategies make all the difference in customer retention while boosting your bottom line. Tandym can help you reach your e-commerce goals by helping you save on processing fees and funding valuable rewards for customers. Learn more here and request a demo!


Forbes: 14 Customer Retention Strategies That Work In 2023 – Forbes Advisor

Forbes: How Customer Loyalty Programs Can Enhance The Customer Experience (forbes.com)

Constant Contact:  Keep Customers Engaged with Retention Emails (constantcontact.com)