How to build customer loyalty on an e-commerce site?

Discover effective ways to build customer loyalty for your online shop to sustain it over the long term.
build customer loyalty

Table of contents

Running an e-commerce business is a daily job that requires constant contact with the target customers, especially after the first contact. That is, the first purchase. As you know, consumers' purchasing decisions are largely influenced by the quality of the services and products. The "price" factor only comes much later. As if to say that a satisfied customer will be loyal to you. It is therefore essential to distinguish yourself from the competition and to adopt the right habits to build customer loyalty. Without further ado, let's discover how to build customer loyalty on your e-commerce site.

1. Make sure you offer your customers a quality website

Accessibility and free navigation remain the important factors that characterise a good website. Indeed, to be able to retain your customers once they are on one of the pages of your e-commerce site, you must offer them a unique user experience. And this is only possible if your site is very fast (especially fast loading), ergonomic and responsive.

Your site must be easy to use, attractive, functional, clear, concise and favourable to mobile navigation. In this way, throughout the customer journey, the user will navigate easily and end up putting the product he is interested in in the shopping cart. For this reason, take stock of your e-commerce site and carry out an analysis of your conversion tunnel. This will enable you to identify any weaknesses in your site and to remedy them.

2. Ensure the success of the first orders

a woman smiles as she receives packages in her hands, brought by the delivery man to her front door.
The customer must have a good experience from the moment they place their order to the moment they arrive

So, once an Internet user has been won over by the ergonomics and fluidity of your online shop, he will certainly place an order. This order is decisive because it is through it that your customer will evaluate your services as an e-tailer. You must therefore be efficient and responsive. The purchasing process must be really optimised and the product delivery must be fast. This means that you really have to take e-logistics into account, because a bad review is quick to happen otherwise. So :

  • the product must be delivered in perfect condition;
  • it must be delivered as soon as possible;
  • delivery should be made at a competitive rate.

In addition, when ordering, you must be able to provide quick and clear answers to any questions the customer may have.

Remember that if the first customer experience is successful, the customer will certainly come back to you to make other purchases. It is therefore an important element in building customer loyalty to your online shop.

3. Provide impeccable customer service

The services you offer to your customers must be absolutely correct and beyond reproach. Let's say you go to a sports shop, for example. As a customer, you will certainly want the sales staff to give you a warm and friendly welcome and to give you the best possible guidance! This goes without saying.

Therefore, as an e-tailer, you must be able to do the same with your online customers. You must be able to respond to their needs. You need to be available and responsive to them. Answer their questions by phone, by SMS, by email and on social networks. And if you can, install a chatbot on your e-commerce site. Users love it because it is a direct and easy way to communicate with the brand.

Simply be as close as possible to your customers. Attract your target customers so that they come to you naturally. The better the service and support you offer your customers, the more satisfied they will be. As a result, you will get more positive feedback and customer loyalty.

4. Build a lasting trusting and emotional relationship with your customers

In the sales world, sales alone are not enough to make your business successful. So, not only do you have to offer a quality service to your customers through successful orders, but you have to establish a relationship of trust with them. You should know that emotions are the primary drivers of purchasing decisions. In fact, several studies have proven that before, during and after the purchase; consumers' choices are influenced by their emotions.

This implies that if you are able to capture their emotions and know exactly what their needs are, you will push your customers to spend more. So, to create this emotional connection with your customers, you need to interact with them regularly via the communication channels dedicated to this. These can be :

  • social networks: through social networks, your objective will be to make communication and interaction with your customers more fluid and simple. In doing so, you can create a strong community around your brand;
  • e-mail marketing: the use of this tool is nowadays essential to create a link with your customers and to maintain it on an ongoing basis. By implementing a good strategy, you will be able to effectively retain your customers;
  • printed leaflets and cards;
  • handwritten thank you messages with attractive packaging;
  • an application specially dedicated to your company;
  • sections for customer notices.

These different channels are conducive to engaging your customers and creating future purchase opportunities. This will strengthen the brand-customer relationship and make your customers more interested in your business.

5. Get your customers to take an interest in your brand

Make offers to your customers

The next trick to building loyalty with your e-commerce customers is to provide your customers with the reasons they need to really care about your brand. And most importantly, to promote it.

Sharing is commitment. Here your goal should be to get your customers to express their commitment and loyalty to you. And this, by sharing with your brand more than their money. You must make your customers want to share and spread the word about your brand and your services. It is therefore in your best interest to deploy all the necessary post-purchase communication strategies to solidify and reinforce your customers' trust in your company.

Valuing your customers through gifts, benefits and rewards

To persuade your customers to return to your online shop, you need to motivate and entice them. And to touch their sensibilities, what better way than with gifts, benefits and rewards? This way, your customers will see that you are genuinely interested in them. So :

  • Set up a loyalty card: this is a classic loyalty tool that is foolproof. It can be free or paid. It allows the customer to get an advantage in money or points on his card with each purchase;
  • So consider offering your customers small discounts that they can in turn offer to their family and friends. This is a word-of-mouth technique that works well. Your customers will tell their network about the benefits of your services;
  • Also encourage your customers by organising promotions: big sales (e.g. 20% all weekend on the whole online shop);
  • you can offer your subscribers exclusive discounts by e-mail;
  • Create a club: this is an idea that does not immediately come to mind, but it is an effective way to create a lasting relationship with your customers. So create a club to give your best buyers benefits associated with advice or other special services.

Define a high value-added communication plan

To maintain the emotional bond created with your customers and to keep them loyal, there is nothing better than to help and accompany them to make a successful purchase. You can therefore set up a series of value-added messages or e-mails that you send regularly to your subscribing customers. These messages will include tips on how your customers can use the product or item they purchased.

Keep your customers informed of any news related to your brand

Whether it's upcoming programs of interest, promotions or events, keep your community informed. Remember, your ultimate goal is to always keep the brand-customer connection alive. And that's by always giving your customers more reason to communicate with your company and come back to visit your e-commerce shop.

6. Put in place consistent post-sale communication initiatives

As we have seen above, it is emotions that guide consumers' purchasing decisions. And it is these emotions that influence consumers' loyalty to a brand. Are you sure that you are really convincing your customers to be loyal to you?

You need to put in place a coherent, long-term post-purchase strategy through which you can offer customers attractive deals and excellent after-sales service. But also to show your appreciation for their trust. E-mail is again the ultimate solution. Set up and automate e-mail campaigns to maintain a long-term relationship with your customers. Remember that e-mail is much more effective than social networks in this case. How to proceed?

Implement confirmation emails

Confirmation e-mails are after-sales follow-up e-mails and order incentives. As a good e-commerce company you need to define a follow-up campaign after the sale. This will have two objectives. The first will be to thank your various customers, loyal or not, for the purchases made. The second will be to make a special offer to the customer in order to persuade them to place a new order.

Make sure your special offer has a deadline. This will create a sense of urgency and excitement in your customer. In addition, always make sure you personalise your content and make it as pleasant as possible. Avoid e-mails that are too conventional and transactional. Stay professional, but add your personal touch, personalise your e-mails to each customer and captivate them! Above all, talk to your customers in a terminology and tone that they will easily understand.

Set up emails to allow customers to share the after-sales experience

These are service/product evaluation request emails. It is also a way of ensuring good after-sales service for your customers. Immediately after a purchase is made, it would be appropriate for you to automatically send an e-mail asking your customers to share their experience. Apart from that, plan the sending of e-mails carefully. Send them at the right time, so that the customer has time to test the product in question.

By asking for feedback and opinions from your customers, you will know what you need to improve in your services. Regular customer feedback will help you to optimise your business. However, make sure you reward customers who have shared their experience. Offer them a gift to complement the previous purchase, a discount for the next purchase or a totally exclusive offer. All of this helps to build customer loyalty in an e-commerce shop.

Use cross-selling emails

Cross-selling emails are persuasive emails through which you need to maximise your sales. In particular by pushing your customers to make one more purchase. Yes, again! Based on the customer's last purchase, suggest new items or products.

Cross-belly emails can be used to make a sales email less aggressive. In fact, all you'll need to do is embed product suggestions at the bottom of order confirmation emails. This allows customers to keep your brand and products in the back of their minds, even if they are not immediately ready to make a purchase.

Don't forget the supply reminders

Supply reminders allow you to send small reminders to your customers that they need to stock up. This is necessary when you are selling a product that is long term or expires after a certain period. For example, you sell a pack of beauty products that expires after 30 days. After the date of purchase, consider sending a reminder to the customer to restock on the 28th day.

So you understand that by automating your customer support, after-sales service and initiatives, you will be more efficient and responsive. Moreover, the constant contact with your customers will make them talk about your brand around them.

7. Link a blog to your e-commerce site

a laptop is open on a table, close to a cup of coffee on the table. on its screen is a blog with "BLOG" written in big letters
Don't skimp on SEO with your blog

To make your customers want to return to your e-commerce site regularly, you must also work on your referencing. It is certain that the quality of the site contributes enormously to the loyalty of your customers to your e-commerce site. Nevertheless, to improve your natural referencing (SEO) on search engines, combine your e-commerce site with a blog. If you do it well, you will inevitably create a loyal customer base.

As on your social networks, the blog will allow you to offer your community qualitative content. In other words, content that will arouse the interest of your users and prospects. And that will set you apart from your competitors. The blog will allow you tointeract even more with your customers, to share with them everything about your activity and your expertise (especially through comments).

You will be able to communicate more freely on several subjects related to your brand (problems they may encounter with your services/products, for example). You will immediately see the practicality of the blog, because on the e-commerce site, the content is quite concise and very precise. The blog offers you more space and possibilities. An incredibly effective way to get closer to your customers.

8. Continually renew yourself

You must learn to bring something new to your e-commerce. It is important to bring a breath of fresh air to your webshop often. This shows your customers that your company is always dynamic and always brings something new andoriginal. Customers will therefore always be motivated to place new orders.

If, for example, your products are offered on a seasonal basis, it is even more important to renew your services or product range regularly. Also, offer exclusivities on your services or products on a one-off basis. Since the exclusivities will be one-offs, your customers will have the impression that they are missing out on a good opportunity if they do not return to your e-commerce site. You will boost your sales, get new customers and build customer loyalty.

On the other hand, search engines are also fond of novelty. Thanks to the new content, your e-commerce site will also be better referenced naturally.

9. Offer your customers benefits and different payment methods

To ensure the completion of the purchase process, you need to offer your users a variety of choices in terms of payment methods. When it comes to completing their purchases, customers should be able to pay without difficulty. Otherwise, they will abandon their shopping carts and you risk losing them. Waller, loyalty points, gift vouchers, cards, benefits and discounts... you have to take all this into account.

10. Promote your company through web influencers

Influencers" as they are called today are very active content creators on social networks. And at a time when the information that passes through the internet is impossible to miss, the spread of word of mouth is uncontrollable. Companies must therefore learn to listen to the web. This requires a number of skills as well as constant updating.

Your objective as an e-commerce manager will therefore be to look for ways to find influencers on the web in order to work with them. To begin with, you need to determine who really influences the internet. Generally, influencers have a large and wide audience. They contribute regularly on professional (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and social networks, emails and blogs. So they can help you to make your brand even more known via digital channels. And with more credibility and awareness, you can build customer loyalty.

Building customer loyalty on your online shop: in short

All in all, to keep your customers coming back to your e-commerce shop, you need to be able to offer them a unique user experience every time. By ensuring that your customers are truly satisfied, you can be sure that they will always come to your e-commerce shop for their needs. Customer loyalty is therefore achieved by deploying the loyalty levers that you will put in place using these 10 tips.