The point of any form of digital advertising is to bring as many people as possible to one’s website to purchase their products or services; that much is known by everyone who used the internet. There is always a focus on grabbing new customers, and any way marketers’ can find to make their traffic grow further, they will try it out. However, with all of this focus on growing customer numbers, little attention is given to keeping these customers around once they are hooked on a product or service. There are far fewer methods that can be practiced in order to keep customers around for as long as possible, but there is plenty of reason to do so. With that said, many businesses have taken advantage of one method that does quite well at keep consumers coming back. Through the use of loyalty programs, many retailers are able to offer to current customers something more than the original product they came for, keeping them interested in the company for far longer than they would be without the program.
According to eMarketer and their report, “Customer Loyalty: Emotional Bonds Trump Monetary-Based Loyalty Programs,” retailers actually are losing quite an opportunity by focusing their attention in one direction only. The company states that return purchasers and repeat purchasers only make up about 8 percent of the usual site traffic. However, their impact on sales is far more significant. These consumers made up a whole 41 percent of all sales for retail sites. Not only that, but eMarketer reports these consumers as having, “higher average order values and conversion rates than shoppers with no previous purchase history.”
Now, getting customers to stay proves to be incredibly beneficial to retailers in more ways than one. When a consumer establishes loyalty to a retailer, there are many ways in which they like to show it. In eMarketer’s study, customers that were, what eMarketer refers to as “emotionally loyal,” 78 percent preferred to show this loyalty by telling friends and family about positive experiences and talking up products and services. Another 69 percent said that they show their loyalty by simply buying more from the company, which can never hurt. Then, 54 percent said that upon establishing loyalty, they put all competitors of the company out of their minds as options. After that 15 percent said they join the company’s social media community, 11 percent support the brand through things like t-shirts and stickers, and another 3 percent said they use other methods.
Gaining customers is and always will be step one, step two, step three, step four, et cetera. However, at some point, retailers should pay attention to those customers that they have already brought in, as keeping them around is turning out to be a very important practice. They are more beneficial to a company than most had considered before, and they need attention too.