The Guide to Customer Retention after the Holiday Rush

The post-holiday sales slump affects all online retailers during the first few months of the new year.

From January until March, Shopify merchants are looking for new ways to avoid sales slowdowns, and use their extra time to focus on customer retention strategies.

While many merchants are struggling to acquire new customers, they often neglect to reach out to their greatest asset — their existing customer base.

The key to surviving the slower retail months will involve deepening your relationships with your existing customers, improving customer satisfaction, and investing in new customer retention strategies that will drive repeat purchases.

In this article, we’ll discuss our key strategies and tactics for boosting your customer retention, enhancing customer satisfaction, and upselling more products so you can avoid your post-holiday sales slump. 

Why customer retention matters for Shopify owners

Did you know that because digital advertising costs have increased, the cost of customer acquisition has multiplied anywhere from 5 times to 25 times more expensive than before?

Of course, don’t take this statistic as proof you should lower advertising during slower months. In fact, studies have shown that you should actually spend more money on marketing and advertising during slower months.

But, before spending the time and money on acquiring new customers, you should first spend a considerable amount of time and effort to reach out to your existing customers first.

Marketing to your existing customers has many more benefits than advertising to new customers.

Here are some stats on why customer retention matters for Shopify owners:

  • Half of a company’s revenue is made from the top 8% of their most loyal customers
  • Repeat buyers spend 67% more than first-time buyers.
  • 61% of small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) say more than half of their income is from repeat customers
  • Your most loyal customers will spend 10x the amount they did on their first purchase
  • Increasing your customer retention by 5% improves your profitability by 95%

Why customer satisfaction is key to customer retention

Finding and acquiring new customers requires a lot of work and money. Make sure that after you’ve put all that work into finding a new customer, you don’t neglect that relationship while searching for the next customer.

The single most important factor in retaining customers is providing them with a great customer experience, and reaching customer satisfaction.

Let’s look at a few stats pertaining to customer satisfaction and how it relates to customer retention:

  • 93% of customers will make a repeat purchase after having a positive customer experience
  • 80% of customers will return to the same store even if they had a problem, as long as their problem was fixed in a reasonable time frame
  • 78% of customers have canceled a transaction because of a poor negative customer experience
  • 82% of customers have stopped shopping at a store because of bad customer experience
  • 79% of high-income consumers have avoided a store for 2+ years after a bad customer experience

10 customer retention ideas that improve customer satisfaction

Want your customers to have a memorable customer experience that will deepen their loyalty and trust with your company?

Try out these tried and true customer retention ideas for improved customer satisfaction. 

1. Write a hand-written letter

Make sure to show your most loyal customers a bit of love by sending them a hand-written thank you letter.

By sending a hand-written letter, you’re showing more of a personal touch and expressing to your customers that you value their business enough to take the time to write them a personalized letter.

Of course, you can automate the process by using a third-party service that creates convincing hand-written letters printed by machines, but that can take away from the charm of your hand-written letter.

Instead, consider using automated hand-writing services to send to newer customers, or as a friendly letter to lapsed customers to get them to visit your online store again.  

2. Offer personalized product suggestions using “one-click upsell funnels”

Repeat customers are more receptive to upselling than first-time buyers. 

To fully maximize your upselling potential, try using CartHook’s app to craft personalized product suggestions and upsells that are shown to customers after the checkout process.

These one-click upsell funnels will present a pop-up window with a recommended product upsell right after your customer has pressed “Checkout” but right before they reach the final order confirmation page.

With just “one click” your customers can easily accept up to two additional product upsells, which can boost your average order value (AOV), and create a fun and memorable experience for your new and existing buyers.

Most merchants who use CartHook will see a 15% acceptance rate on post-purchase offers, and up to a 10% total increase in sales revenue! 

3. Send out a survey 

Sending out a survey to all of your customers is an automated way to collect feedback from each of your clients, including your best customers, and customers who have had a negative experience.

Often, getting feedback from customers with poor experiences will benefit you the most, so you can address and fix the problems that caused them, and likely many others, a poor customer experience.

4. Adjust your pricing to improve customer retention

High prices are the number one cause of cart abandonment, which is likely costing you up to 69% of your business!

If you noticed your sales revenue is disappointing, and you don’t seem to have repeat purchases, you may want to adjust your pricing.

Consider revamping your pricing and discounts, such as offering price guarantees, multi-product pricing, and multi-step percentage pricing. 

Use CartHook to recover more abandoned carts via SMS text messages

5. Optimize your emails, messaging, and communication through automation tools

Optimize your Shopify’s transactional email templates using UpOrder, an email template builder that can include personalized product recommendations, discount codes, and more.

Because most people open up transactional emails like shipping confirmations and order confirmations, you can use these emails to embed personalized product recommendations, and even create discount codes automatically using your customer’s first name.

Learn more about UpOrder’s features here

6. Ask customers why they have canceled or returned their orders

Try to send customers a survey each time they cancel or return their orders. Your customers will likely be more than happy to explain their situation, which makes them feel heard, and helps you address their problem right away. 

7. Create a loyalty program

Loyalty programs incentive your customers to become repeat shoppers by rewarding them with points, discounts, and special rewards each time they continue shopping with you.

Over 90% of companies have a loyalty program. Make sure yours does as well!

8. Encourage users to sign up for a customer account (but don’t force them)

Be careful not to require a customer account when checking out on your Shopify store, or else you’ll see a high cart abandonment rate.

However, you still want customers to sign up so they can be entered into promotional email programs to receive important updates.

A good compromise is to allow “guest” checkout on your website, and to encourage customers to sign-up for a member account by offering a special discount on their next purchase.

9. Make returning products easy

Most ecommerce stores will see a 20%-30% return rate on their products. While this number isn’t ideal, it’s a part of life for Shopify merchants.

However, by having an easy return policy, you’ll actually improve your customer retention rates.

In one study, 96% of people said they would continue shopping at a store if they provided an easy return policy.

10. Sell more subscription packages and services

Looking for a long-term customer retention strategy? Look to selling subscriptions, which are becoming one of the most popular revenue models of 2023.

By offering subscriptions as a post-purchase upsell at the end of the Shopify transaction using CartHook, you can see an immediate bump in average order value (AOV) and customer lifetime value (LTV).

Download CartHook and UpOrder for improved customer retention 

CartHook and UpOrder are Shopify apps that help ecommerce merchants boost AOV, upsell more products, and retain more customers.

CartHook is a post-purchase upsell app that places recommended product suggestions at the end of the native Shopify checkout page that boosts sales by 10%.

UpOrder is an email template builder that drives repeat purchases through personalized product suggestions embedded into transactional post-purchase emails. 

Download your free trials of CartHook and UpOrder today and watch your AOV and customer retention increase.

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