How to Keep Consumers Engaged & Increase Their Value Over Time

When it comes to fixing things, I try to live my life by this simple rule: if it doesn’t move and it should, WD40. If it moves and it shouldn’t, duct tape. And when it comes to this super-sticky tape, it seems that Duck duct tape has succeeded in making more than just their product adhesive; their Duck Tape Club and duct tape prom outfit scholarship are both superb efforts to make their site as sticky as their product.

Why go to all the effort of retaining customers? Robyn Keegan at Groove Commerce offers a couple of statistics that will wash this question from your mind:

  • Acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining old ones (up to five times more expensive!)
  • Customers become more profitable over time
  • Increasing customer retention by 2 percent can have the same effect as lowering operating costs by 10 percent

So, that’s settled: you need to keep consumers around. Fortunately, Robyn also offers some spectacular ways to do that. My favorite is the checkout registration. Though it’s commonly considered a poor site experience to add a registration step to your checkout process, it’s also a great way to keep customers coming back.

What to do? Robyn suggests leading customers through the checkout process without requiring registration and following up with a “save my information” sign-up. This way, consumers don’t feel as though they will be dragged through a time-consuming process (we all fear spending an extra eight minutes unclicking “email me, my aunt, and my third cousin once removed special offers every day” boxes). But, consumers will still be registered, so you can follow many of the other steps Robyn walks through, including personalizing the site experience, keeping the site speedy, and offering rewards and clubs to keep customers on the site.

The other side of the coin is bringing previous customers back to the site. The secret recipe for that is found in strategic emails, return-customer-geared promotions, and social engagement to affix them to your brand and site.

While Robyn covers all kinds of great tips, including freshening up the copy, I think there is one giant missing piece: content accuracy. Is all your content and information up-to-date? If you say you’re going to ship an extra battery with your product and you don’t, how in holy Copernicus’s name can you expect them to return to buy more from you?

Meticulous, correct content is the foundation for a good site experience. Layer this with a fast, seamless experience and a strong retention strategy, and you can find your fans and encourage them to stick around in no time.

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