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How Customer Experience can Instantly Improve Retention and Sales

by Jonathan Kennedy October 12, 2017

A guest article by the S Loyalty team. S Loyalty helps merchants increase sales and customer retention with their Shopify app. With S Loyalty, you can create a comprehensive loyalty experience with automated reward point accumulation, scheduled promotional campaigns, and customized tabs in your Shopify store to engage customers and boost sales.

Over 70% of companies say it's cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one according to Econsultancy. Improving customer experience is the best tactic for retaining customers to drive your business growth and increasing your customer lifetime value (LTV), the amount a customer will spend on your brand over a lifetime.

Not only are existing customers less costly, they will stick with your brand when you offer them value. Below, we will show the ways you can use Shopify tools to improve your customer experience and retention.

What is customer experience?

Customer experience is a comprehensive, coherent and omnichannel set of experiences, or touch points, for your brand throughout the customer’s journey from initial research to receiving the final product. Below is a quick breakdown:

  • Inspiration and Research: discovering your products in searches, seeing special offers on social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, Instagram)
  • Purchase: navigating your Shopify store easily, quickly finding sales or promotions, enjoying a convenient checkout
  • Post-Sale: Receiving confirmation e-mails and notifications (such as shipping updates)
  • Re-engaging: Seeing social media content, targeted newsletters, special sales promotions (i.e. Black Friday and Cyber Monday)

By creating a great end-to-end journey, you are building a real relationship with your customer with your business, product or service.

Ways to create a great customer experience on Shopify

Shopify has a great marketplace of tools to help teams deliver a memorable shopping experience. Below are some ways to make an impression on shoppers.

Engage your customers with the apps they use most

Before they make a purchase, most internet users are turning to their favourite platforms for inspiration. Your customer experience begins the first time a customer sees your products or brand, which could well be on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. For that reason, consider using Shopify's social media apps to reach your audience. Social media platforms are now eCommerce-friendly. With an integrated Shopify Facebook Store app or Instagram feed app, you are giving your shoppers one more reason to make a purchase right away.

Greet shoppers arriving at your store

Treat your online store as real store shoppers walk into. Whether it's a new shopper discovering your store from an online search or a loyal fan clicking in from your newsletter link, welcome them.

You can greet site visitors with a welcome pop-up banner or a chatbot that asks if a visitor has questions. You may also want to learn more about your shoppers by running a poll on your homepage. If you have products that often need explanations or customizations, consider going beyond an FAQ page and offer a live chat service where you can see visitors currently browsing your site and respond to customer inquiries on desktop or mobile.

Make it personal

Details stand out. Whether it's your newsletter or purchase confirmation, customers want to know you care.

For e-mails, create different mailing lists with tools such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact, SendGrid, or your email marketing tool of choice. Lists could include frequent shoppers, shoppers, and leads (people who may have abandoned their carts). Send tailored messages to each segment, such as a special item frequent shoppers can redeem for a sale event or a bonus points offer for first-time purchases. Customers want to know you were thinking on their behalf.

After a customer has made a purchase, you can use apps to send thank-you messages for first-time buyers or customize receipts to make your brand be more personable. Also look for apps that can send pop-ups or messages to customers with abandoned carts to recapture a sale or email contact.

Provide thorough customer service

Customer experience goes beyond the point-of-sale. Offering customer support when shoppers are lost or frustrated wins over customers and builds customer loyalty. A customer support may be as simple as a timely 24-hour e-mail response time for inquiries. More sophisticated Shopify apps can help customer support teams respond to messages across platforms (i.e. Facebook, SMS, live chat) and see a customer's purchasing history in the same window.

Use every touchpoint to delight your customers

Lastly, over-deliver on customer expectations. Add integrations to your Shopify store that help shoppers return for future purchases. For example, you can implement a branded loyalty program for your online store or send a special birthday bonus to existing customers so that they can purchase their wish list items. Likewise, a new visitors may be encouraged to shop with a $10 welcome discount notification only guest users can see.

Shoppers come to a store just to make a good purchase, but loyal customers return because you give them a great experience. Make use of Shopify's marketplace of tools to build relationships with your hard-won customers. If you haven't already, think about the automatic promotions you can set up for your Shopify store this Black Friday and Cyber Monday!



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