5 Ways Retailers Can Attract (and Keep) Customers
3. Growing the customer base: To get a better picture of customer shopping patterns, retailers should know the following:
- the frequency at which their customers are (or should be) purchasing;
- if their high-value customers are repurchasing on a regular basis; and
- if they're relying too much upon acquiring new customers for growth.
It's been proven over and over that retaining a customer is less costly than acquiring a new one. The trick is not to overwhelm or annoy your customers to the point that you push them away. There's a science to how often customers should be buying and to understanding the likelihood for when that next purchase should occur. By using an accurate and repeatable customer growth model, retailers should analyze historical purchase patterns to project purchases going forward. For example, a retailer would use their customer growth models to identify customers who may be past their repurchase point and then reach out to those frequent shoppers to re-engage.
4. Order cancellations: One of the worst experiences is finding the exact item you're looking for, purchasing it, and then being informed that the order was canceled because the item was no longer available or perhaps because your credit card was declined. There are a number of retailers who aren't able to keep up with orders and, by default, will just simply cancel a customer's order. This is particularly troubling because once a purchase is made, a cancellation could go unnoticed by the customer, resulting in negative online reviews or losing the customer to a competing retailer.
For example, Hudson's Bay recently came under fire because it canceled several customers’ orders with stacked coupon codes — e.g., a 25 percent off coupon coupled with 20 percent discounts for loyalty customers. As a result, those customers vocally shared their frustration publicly on the retailer's social channels. Due to the apparent data disconnect between marketing and e-commerce, Hudson's Bay not only lost money on the cancelled orders, but could also lose more money on trying to keep those unhappy customers.