7 Customer Retention Strategies for Your eCommerce Store

Marketers increasingly attest to customer-centric strategies that enhance customer retention, for a plethora of reasons. Indeed, a great user experience (UX) can help increase conversions, sales, and retention, capitalizing on successful lead generation strategies. From the very first impression of a fast website to post-sale engagement, UX pushes funnel models toward flywheel models. Naturally, this approach finds appeal in eCommerce, where recurring buyers are invaluable. Let us explore exactly why that is and delve into 7 customer retention strategies for your eCommerce store.

Why customer retention matters

First and foremost, it’s crucial to establish why customer retention matters at all. We’ve all likely heard some statistics to support this, but it’s indeed a very far-reaching metric. Consider, for example, some that Smallbiztrends reported on, including that:

  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, as opposed to a 5-20% probability of selling to a new prospect.
  • 20% of your existing customers account for 80% of your future profits.
  • 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers.

These statistics alone should already highlight why eCommerce SEO often hinges on providing an excellent UX. Moreover, and perhaps most famously, acquiring new customers costs up to 7 times as much as retaining new ones. Neil Patel reports on this statistic, among others on customer loss, including:

  • 71% of customers have ended their business relationships with a company due to poor customer service.
  • The global average value of a lost customer is $243, compared to $289 in the U.S.
  • The total cost of poor customer service in the U.S. is $83 billion.

It should thus be apparent that customer retention is invaluable and a nigh imperative goal. This is pronounced even more for eCommerce, where repeat customers’ average order value frequently increases exponentially.

Customer retention strategies

Having highlighted the value of customer retention, let us explore 7 customer retention strategies for your eCommerce store.

#1 Implement a loyalty program

This is likely among the most common strategies, but it is indeed highly lucrative. Loyalty programs explicitly aim to increase customer retention by rewarding repeated purchases or visits. They can take many forms, the most common being:

  • Point systems
  • Tier systems
  • Multi-visit rewards

Loyalty program incentives frequently include discounts, cash-back offers, exclusive deals, and other perks. Moreover, eCommerce sites may incorporate referral rewards into them, as well as first-buyer bonuses.

This strategy can help attract more repeat customers, the benefits of which are very notable. Among other metrics, Smile.io reports that repeat customers spend more, refer more customers, and are easier to sell to.

#2 Incentivize customer referrals

At the same time, referral programs can augment loyalty programs or function autonomously. Referral programs aim to both acquire new prospects and satisfy existing ones by offering the latter perks for doing so.

 As a marketing tool, marketers mostly agree it is cost-effective and generates quality leads. As a retention tool, it rewards existing customers and attracts ones that are more likely to stay. There are many arguable reasons for this, but a safe assumption would be implicit confidence. That is, referred customers come with increased retention rates, as their friends’ and families’ recommendation serves as social credit.

#3 Survey your customers and utilize feedback

Similarly, engagement fosters retention across all industries. Surveying customers, responding to reviews, and acting on feedback all build confidence, improve UX, and enhance retention rates. Notably, this will reflect on your reviews on Google as well, boosting traffic and alluring more prospects.

Product feedback aside, this practice can synergize with social media strategies. Swift responses on inquiries, public appreciation for feedback, and demonstrable improvements in response to criticism all help in this regard. Thus, customer retention strategies can fit into social media strategies with minimal effort.

#4 Personalize your outreach

Another crucial aspect of customer retention is personalization. This practice serves many purposes across the sales funnel, and eCommerce stores can tap into it to notable effect. It frequently includes using a customer’s name and directly addressing their pain points and purchase habits.

Among others, personalized outreach can include:

  • Marketing emails
  • “Welcome” and “thank you” emails
  • Offers, gift cards, and other perks

Marketers will attest to the vast potential of personalization for both acquisition and retention. Indeed, personalized emails have much higher open rates and thus drive more sales. Furthermore, personalized outreach helps foster trust and confidence, in turn enhancing retention.

#5 Prevent cart abandonment

Another common concern for eCommerce lies in abandoned carts. However, preventing abandoned carts doesn’t simply prevent lost sales; it also enhances customer retention rates in the process.

Typical approaches in this front include exit-intent popups, automated emails, and personal outreach. However, effectively tackling this issue hinges on simultaneously addressing the common underlying factors, like:

  • Poor website experience
  • Lack of trust
  • Process length
  • Unexpected costs

Customer feedback can offer excellent insights in this regard. In turn, refining your website or sales funnel in response can both discourage cart abandonment and build goodwill.

#6 Engage in win-back campaigns

Still, despite your best efforts, retention is not absolute; customers will inevitably leave. In this case, win-back campaigns offer an invaluable asset toward luring old customers back.

This practice entails offering old customers perks, like those mentioned above. The challenge, however, lies in both offer types and outreach timing. Businesses that use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and other analytics tools can thus personalize win-back campaigns for maximum effect. For example, purchase history can inform offers, while purchase frequency can inform outreach timing.

#7 Enhance your customer support

Finally, customer support is a cornerstone of customer retention strategies. As highlighted above, subpar customer service is a primary reason why customers leave. Moreover, customer service enhances UX by improving the quality of post-sale engagement.

You may thus try to refine internal operations to improve response times and response quality. Moreover, you may use such business assets as CRM to personalize support. Finally, adding live chat to your eCommerce store can also work wonders in this regard.


To summarize, customer retention is a crucial metric. It hinges on providing an impeccable UX, from personalizing outreach and collecting feedback to providing a clean, responsive website. Standard practices like loyalty programs and win-back campaigns, as well as newer practices like live chat, also affect it greatly. Thus, refining your sales funnel through customer retention strategies can help ensure success from the first contact to post-sale engagement.