4 Customer Retention Predictions for 2024 and Beyond
As we head towards 2024, it’s a good time to pause, reflect and predict where we are headed when it comes to retaining your ecommerce stores customers. Customer retention has never been more important as the challenges of retaining customers increases while ad costs have skyrocketed.
Customer retention is so important to an ecommerce business’s growth because retaining your current customers puts less pressure on your acquisition channels, which in turn helps your business grow profitably. And right after the holiday rush is a great time to begin to strategize and begin to implement new tactics and strategies to retain customers, some of which may be first time customers that made their first purchase with your brand for the holidays.
But before you can implement new strategies, it’s important to understand the current landscape when it comes to customer retention. In this article, Upscribe will make four predictions for customer retention for 2024 and beyond. Additionally, we will provide some actionable strategies and tactics when it comes to keeping up with these trends. Our goal is to equip you with information as to where customer retention is going and how you can stay ahead of the trends to grow your business, profitably.
Prediction: AI will continue to accelerate consumers expectations when it comes to interacting with brands
The game has changed, thanks to the availability and adoption of AI. Customers are beginning to expect a highly personalized experience from the brands that they shop with and begin a relationship with. This includes not only personalized emails, but also personalized product recommendations, timely reminders when it’s time for them to reorder a particular product and the ability to chat with the brand via chatbots.
We predict that consumers (especially Gen Z consumers) will begin to expect the brands that they shop with to have a live chat option where they can ask questions directly to the brand that are specific to them. For example, say you are an apparel brand. It is not out of the realm of possibilities that a consumer will want and expect to chat with you to ask how a particular product would fit their body and how it compares to the fit of previous items purchased. And as a brand, you need to be equipped to answer these questions in real-time.
Be prepared to elevate your customer experience so consumers can develop a strong relationship with your brand. Rolling out this type of experience will undoubtedly help you increase your customer retention rate and get your existing customers talking to their friends about the experience, which undoubtedly will help your business grow.
Prediction: Your current customers will become your most important customer acquisition channel
In the above prediction, we mentioned how a strong customer experience will get your current customers talking to their family and friends about your brand. If and when you are able to do this, your customer retention tactics will turn into a strong acquisition channel. The truth is, consumers tend to listen to and take action on advice from their family and friends more than through seeing an advertisement. And we predict that this trend will continue to evolve in such a way that your customer retention tactics will in turn lead to more new customers coming to shop with your brand (assuming you deliver a powerful experience).
With more brands competing for the consumers dollar in a shaky economic environment, consumers will listen to their friends and family more than ever. So doubling-down and delivering a powerful customer experience to your existing customers will help you drive customer acquisition, which will not only help your business grow, but grow the right way, with little cash burn. Think of the cost of delivering a powerful experience to your current customers as more important than the time and money you spend on traditional customer acquisition.
Prediction: Surprise and delighting your customers will continue to evolve
As we have mentioned multiple times, competition has never been greater for the consumer’s dollar. So once you finally get a customer to convert, in order to get them to keep coming back, surprise and delight them. This could include:
- Giving them a special gift with purchase that they weren’t expecting
- Providing them with a discount code for a future order
- Letting them have special access to new products before they are available to the public
Having a robust “surprise and delight” toolkit to tap into throughout the year to provide to existing customers will go a long way in keeping them coming back and talking to their friends and family about your brand. Think about offering these surprises and delights during random times throughout the year when a customer may not be expecting it to truly make it special and stand-out from what other brands are doing.
Prediction: Brands that are just sending email to their existing customers will fall-behind when it comes to customer retention
Sending timely, relevant and personalized emails to your current customers is expected and will not be enough to stand-out from all of the other brands competing to get you to come back. Brands need to think about having a truly omnichannel strategy to uplevel their customer acquisition strategy.
This strategy may include sending conversational SMS messages to your most valuable customers checking in on them and rewarding them for reviewing a product for example. Additionally, direct mail is now back in, so think about sending postcards to your existing customers with a special offer or incentive for them to purchase from you.
Simply doing the bare bones just sending emails is not enough to retain your existing customers. Get creative and think about how you as a consumer would want to be talked to and what would get you to purchase from a brand again. Consumers want to be treated as individuals, not grouped together as “customers.” The more uniquely you talk to your customers across various channels, the more likely they will be to come back to you.
2024 is sure to be an interesting year as ecommerce continues to grow and technology continues to advance. And if you are looking to grow your retention business, Upscribe can help you build, grow and scale your Shopify subscription and reorder business. If you’re interested in learning more about how Upscribe can help you grow, set up time with us here.