First, many online stores are already using the clubs regular customers: they allow the client to feel part of a community that shares his interests and preferences. The idea of creating such clubs originated in the early 2000s in Germany, when the country was forbidden to offer discounts for certain categories of customers. Then, marketers had to figure out how to keep buyers without the ability to provide them cost benefits. This idea was quickly picked up in the European and later on the world market. Amazon, for example, 12 years ago we founded a club of regular customers Amazon Prime. For a membership fee of $119 per year the company offers its loyal customers free access to movies and TV shows, and a library of 300,000 books to borrow for free. Currently, Prime members loyalty program, Prime account for 63% of all U.S. customers of Amazon.
Secondly, if you regularly give regular clients the personal discount, bonuses, privileges, it will increase their trust towards the brand, increase frequency of orders, and, as a consequence, increase their loyalty. Due to the scale and growth number of orders, despite the discounts, will grow revenue and profit of the company. However, some business models allow you to “sacrifice” profits (according to the business strategy), but that’s another story. Regular customers will happily tell friends and acquaintances about their good experiences and personal privileges. Starts “word of mouth”. Often over time, these customers become ambassadors for your brand.
It is important to remember to encourage buyers to leave reviews on purchased products: this allows all clients to receive much more information about the product than presented in description and characteristics. This way, buyers are generating useful content for your store. It is obvious that loyal customers will leave much more feedback, because they actively use them when choosing a product before purchase. This is especially true when choosing clothes and shoes, when find the review or the review is much more complicated than when buying equipment.
The next step is socialization. Your loyal customers — it is a group of people with similar interests, you need to allow them to communicate and share the joy of shopping. For example, in 2014, Wildberries launched the project “Gallery of style”. This kind of internal social network for shoppers, where they can chat and post your photos in the images, invented and made up of goods Wildberries. Of course, here there and links to products. Once buyers create for your store interesting and useful content. In the end, the customers come to you not only for shopping but also for socializing, creating useful and important content for you.
Bonuses and promotions
Not less effective method of customer retention — bonus system and promotions. The bonus system is Russian retailers used in the past, but in the crisis of 2014-2015 began to move towards them more actively, gradually refusing to discount or complementing them. Fixed discounts do not motivate customers to make more purchases, while bonuses are for loyal customers, ready to buy the company products again and again. Unlike a discount, a bonus system allows the retailer not to lose from part of the proceeds and build a long-term relationship with the client. Temporary restrictions on bonuses additionally motivate buyers to make repeat orders, so as not to lose themselves in shopping.
In 2017-2018, the bonus system has become one of the main trends in retail. The study of the retail clothing market, RBC released in March 2017, was the statistics: 43% of the surveyed companies have a bonus system loyalty. There are different ways of accumulation of bonuses, and each store chooses the most optimal. For example, 1 ruble = 1 bonus point. Also for the accumulated points may be given a discount on purchases (1000 b. = 10%) or the opportunity to purchase a gift from the company. A more flexible variant: the bonus system is not on a permanent basis, in the form of shares for a particular product with validity. That is, some time after shopping to the customer’s account is credited a certain number of points to pay 100% of purchases. The future for more sophisticated bonus systems that will be most beneficial to both sellers and buyers.
Of course, promotions also increase customer loyalty. This can be, for example, discount coupons or free delivery. The difficulty is that a large number of promotions the customer is not always chooses the best. So you should help him in this is to configure the online store so that the buyer could purchase the goods at the best price. In the end, the client will not need to enter multiple promotional codes and issue many orders.
The best option for an online store to use several tools to increase loyalty: bonuses, discounts and promo codes. This will allow customers to choose the saving option that seems to them most profitable, and the store to build a long-term relationship with loyal customer.
Free and on time
Fast delivery good service helps to advance and strengthen long-term customer relationship with the brand. According to the statistics given in the joint study Dostavista and Data Insight in June 2018, key factors in quality of delivery to user: cost (58%), speed (55%), punctuality (39%), the narrowness of the interval (20%). The faster the product gets to the customer, the more likely that the next time he’ll order the same online store. In the absence of the option “urgent delivery”, 48% of users of who she was will leave the site. Of these, 33% will make a purchase for a friend online, and 15% did cancel it.
Prefer a quick delivery, the customers pay for a long time: in 2015 the study “shipping: customer choice” of an international company MetaPack, it was noted that 66% of customers of the two companies will choose one in which delivery conditions were more attractive. Moreover, 51% stated that they refused to make the order online because of inconvenient delivery options. How to deliver the goods to the customer exactly on time? Thanks to advanced logistics European retailers easier to handle with this task. Russia is difficult to compete with Europe and the United States: first, because of the lack of large transport infrastructure. Second, because Russian customers are not always willing to pay for shipping, while in Europe and America payment delivery customer receiving the package is a common practice.
Transport infrastructure the U.S. has the largest number of airports in the world (more than 2000), of which 180 international destinations. In Russia — a fraction: of November 2017 229 airfields. In America, dozens of sea ports and the postal service handles 47% of the volume of all mail in the world. In USA Express delivery of small parcels and letters the following day. For comparison: delivery of “Mail of Russia” from Moscow to Vladivostok takes 8-10 days. Every year the U.S. postal service the USPS serves more than 157 million people, the total number of post offices — more than 30 000. This allows Western online retailers actively use the local postal service.
A good example of the European postal service — Deutsche Post AG, Germany. If the package is received no later than 22 hours, the next day she will be the recipient. Quick time due to the fact that Deutsche Post AG has partnered with companies-contractors that deliver the goods. In many regions of Germany the delivery is done by private companies. “Mail of Russia” such a practice. Therefore, if Russian Internet stores deliver orders through the mail, the customer will receive the parcel much later.
To provide for buyer the fastest receipt of goods in such circumstances, Russian retailers have partnered with Express delivery or create their own logistics network. Players of the Russian online retail opening new distribution centers not only in Moscow but in the regions of Russia.
It is important not only speed of delivery but also its cost. Therefore, both Western and Russian online retailers tend to lower prices, reducing the time customer service. Largely this problem is solved reward clubs for regular customers who are successfully using the Western Internet-shops. In return for annual contributions retailers offer customers different privileges. So, the option of free delivery “to the day” is available for club members to Amazon Prime when you order exceeds $35. With such pricing Amazon manage to maintain lower prices compared to competitors and to affect the profitability of the business.
Russian buyers are still not willing to pay contributions in exchange for special bonuses and benefits. Therefore, the mechanisms for achieving loyalty will be joining the club patrons should be free, shipping is fast and inexpensive, and the best — also free. But whatever the trends of Internet Commerce, the most important thing is to respect your customers and be able to listen to them. Honesty and quality work best of all advertising slogans.