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The Customer Retention Checklist: How to Keep Customers Coming Back to Your Online Store

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As a business owner, you know how important customer retention is for the steady growth of business. In the current competitive market, attracting new customers has become harder and hence retaining your existing customers is vital for the survival of the business. Retaining customers is the process where you keep your customers engaged and encouraged to make consistent purchases from your business.

Customer retention builds up the brand value, increases sales and creates an overall reputation for the business. Existing customers will spread the words across their network about your business, leading you to gain more loyal customers. In order to retain your customers, your business must have a solid customer service department to address any customer problems/queries. Products or services offered by your business should be reliable. And the overall shopping experience at your business should be seamless.

Businesses focus too much time, energy and money to gain new customers but don’t invest even a quarter of that effort in retaining existing customers. Hence, it is high time to check on your existing customers.

Know Your Customers

In order to retain your existing customers, you need to first know about your customers. Customer surveys are a great way to get to know your customers. Once you get the required information from the surveys, you will have a better idea about your customers, their interests, their age, gender etc. Based on these understandings, you can create advertising content that will help you gain sales.

When preparing surveys, always include open-ended questions, so that it is easier for your customers to answer. If the survey has plenty of questions, customers might not fill it out. In this case, add a coupon along with the survey to get a high turnover. Now that you have all the required data, don’t let it sit and collect dust, instead take action where it is needed the most by referring to the survey results.

Sometimes all it requires will be a small change like the content on your website or tweaking your existing marketing strategy, but sometimes it might be a big change like changing an entire product line. 

Analyzing Customer Data

It is fairly impossible to run a marketing campaign without sufficient customer data. Customer data provides valuable insights into their behavior, preferences and various needs. This information can be used for improving your business in multiple ways.You can use this information to create a new marketing strategy to increase customer retention. Besides marketing, this data will come in handy to improve the user experience and interactions that they currently have with your eCommerce store.

The needs and preferences of every customer are different. With the help of existing customer data, you can analyze and better understand how to retain customers. Some of the data that can help you create marketing content for customers are purchase history, website behavior, and customer feedback. Besides using data to craft marketing content, this data provides insights into the current trends and patterns so that your business can adapt to the changing customer needs.

Understanding about your customers and providing them what they are looking for will help you maintain a steady relationship with them.

Customer Retention

Customer Experience Personalization

Customers want to get the feeling that your brand is talking to each one of them. It shows that your business cares for them. This in turn encourages customers to show support for your business by staying loyal to your brand. There are various strategies to personalize customer experiences. Here are some of them;

  • Create personalized product recommendations based on existing shopping trends or suggest complementary products to support existing purchases.
  • Send marketing emails with custom offers with regard to customer interests.
  • Offer personalized customer service through chatbots and emails.
  • User experience optimized online shopping experience is a sure way to bring repeat customers to your website.

With customization and personalization, your business can foster a strong relationship with existing customers and slowly but surely build a loyal customer base. For the businesses that have not yet established their own website, RapidCents payment gateway will help you create one. When you sign up with RapidCents, you can use our eCommerce website builder tool to create your own website from scratch easily.

Customer Retention With Exceptional Customer Service

A quick and responsive customer service to assist customer redressals is the backbone of retaining customers. Helping customers with their questions 24/7 will build trust and reliability of your brand. Provide your customers with multiple options to get in touch with your business. This includes email, phone and live chat. Be prompt with your response. If the issue requires time to be resolved, keep your customers posted with regular updates on the progress.

Customers respect the brands that respect them back. If your business has a poor record of customer experience, new customers will be hesitant to approach your business while your existing customer base starts dwindling. For both existing customers and new customers, the first place they go to resolve a query or learn more is your website. Ensure that your website has relevant content that can help the customers. Keep your prices and work hours updated on your website, as these are the most common reasons customers visit a business website. Building loyal customers requires continued effort from the business.

Resolving Customer Complaints

Getting complaints from customers is part of running a business. But how you manage and resolve them is also part of growing your business. Successfully finding a remedy for your customers builds a positive image for your brand and helps you with customer retention. Customer queries should not be taken lightly and must be attended to at the earliest. Setting up a well structured customer service department for your business with available agents throughout the clock will help in effectively resolving customer complaints.

Like the famous saying, ‘Customer is always right’. Even though your customer is wrong, try to sympathize with them. Talk to them in a polite way, assuring them that you will find a solution for their problem. Find a middle ground where both you and your customer can agree. 

Step into your customers shoes before you suggest solutions. Ask yourself if you would be happy with the solution, if not then you have to come up with a different solution.

Finally, follow-up with the customer to make sure that their complaint has been resolved and provide feedback on their experience. 

Customer Retention

Building Proactive Support

To build a thriving business that offers reliable products/services requires imparting facts and queries for your consumers. When your customers feel heard and queries resolved quickly, they will recommend their friends and family to check out your store. You can create a FAQ section on your website with a list of most asked questions and answers, so that customers who have similar queries in the future can find the solutions right away.

Based on the type of business you do, your FAQ section can consist of video tutorials, screenshots or just step by step instructions to resolve various customer queries. Additionally, you can reach out to the customers who made recent purchases from your store to see if they need help or assistance with getting started with your product. By providing proactive support, your customers can find answers to their queries easily and from a business perspective it builds brand reliability.

Besides just helping customers with their queries, search engines recognize business with a reliable FAQ section and show your website on higher search results.

Customer Retention Incentives and Rewards

Customer retention should be a priority for businesses. There is nothing better than deals and discounts that gets customers excited to take action. Providing incentives and rewards is a proven retail customer retention strategy. Loyalty programs that work on a point based system is another effective incentive to ensure that your customer continues shopping from your business repeatedly. In this program, customers gain certain points everytime they make a purchase from your store. When the customer collects a certain amount of points, they can redeem the points for a free reward or huge discounts on their subsequent purchases.

Referral programs help gain new customers while making existing customers more loyal. In a referral program, an existing customer can refer someone new to make a purchase from your store. When that happens both the existing and the new customer receives free items. Provide exclusive discounts for limited time for long term customers. Customers love exclusive discounts. Send them an email with exclusive coupons or purchase link that only they can access.

Seamless Shopping Experience

There is a higher chance that your store would have been discovered by someone through the internet rather than walking across the street. The first thing they check when they discover your store is your website. Through your website, they read about your product/services and then eventually decide to make a purchase or not. Any namesake website will only get visitors but you won’t be able to get the desired action to be taken by the visitors.

In order to make your website help you with customer retention, it has to be conversion rate optimized (CRO). With a CRO website, you can be rest assured that your website is optimized in a user friendly way that enables customers to navigate easily and take the desired action. Most business owners tend to overlook optimizing their website for mobile viewing, whereas the majority of consumers access the internet via smartphones rather than a PC. 

Make your checkout process shorter. Apply the three-step checkout process. A lengthy checkout process will make the customers abandon purchasing halfway through.

Customer Communication

When over 65% of sales for a business comes from existing customers, you need to make sure that you have a good relationship with your customers. Online marketplace is not short of any competition. Your customers have more options than ever whether to shop from your online store or your competitors. That is why you need to have constant communication with your customers and give them reasons to make subsequent purchases from your store.

Newsletters are a good communication strategy for customer retention. You can keep your customers revisit your stores by keeping them posted on special discounts, events they can participate in etc. Don’t overdo with too many emails as customers are likely to unsubscribe. Being active on social media platforms is another way to keep engaging with customers. Actively replying to messages, liking posts, commenting, tagging etc. ensures that there is a steady flow of communication between your business and the customers.

For loyal members of your eCommerce store, provide them with exclusive deals to let them know that you value and care for their continued support in helping your business grow. Everyone loves a bit of appreciation.

Continuous Improvement

Be it any form of business, customers get excited for new products/services. It is the same with your online store. The Internet is in a state of constant upgrades to match with changing user preferences and styles. Don’t let your website be a time capsule of yesteryears of the web. Keep your website up to date by constantly improving design elements and user interface to attract and retain customers.

You need to analyze data generated by customer interactions with your website. By studying the various interactions on different elements on your website, you can understand which aspect lacks and what works. Rework on pages that have a high bounce rate whereas implement elements from pages that have the highest conversion rates. Keep an eye out on the industry trends and the user interface trends to tweak the face of your website accordingly.

Regularly visit competitor websites and publications that talk about industry trends. Attend shows that will help you network and learn what to improve with your website. Ask your customers feedback on how to improve your website as well.


Now that you know why customer retention is important for your online store, start implementing the checklist mentioned in the blog for better customer retention. There are several ways you can do this for your online store. Research more on each of the checklists to get a better understanding on how to include each of them for your business. By providing exceptional customer service, offering loyalty programs, sending personalized emails, and creating a seamless checkout experience you not only retain customers but will also increase the sales.

Customer retention is a process that needs to be sharpened when it becomes dull. Keep an eye out for signs of low engagement as it is an indication for improving your website. With constant upgrades on customer service and user interface, your customers will become loyal to your brand. And thus begins a long lasting relationship with your business.

Don’t let your customers get entangled with failed payment processing. Upgrade your payment processing solutions with RapidCents. Having a secure payment processing improves the trust factor of your brand while our simple three step checkout process makes it easy for customers to checkout while making a purchase. Learn more about RapidCents by signing up with us today.


How do you retain customers in eCommerce?

Retaining customers in eCommerce is a process that requires strengthening various components of your business. You can start with providing customers with a better experience each time they visit your website. Improve your eCommerce store CRO. Create specialized incentives for loyal customers. Strengthen your customer service department and resolve queries quickly. These are some of the things you can work on to improve customer retention in eCommerce

How do you increase repeat customers in eCommerce?

You have to give your customers a reason to influence them to make repeat purchases from your online store. These can be done with the help of a newsletter, providing discounts, craft a personal email with customer’s existing interests, requesting feedback on their recent purchases etc. The main idea is that customers would feel they are cared for and listened to.

What is a good returning customer rate?

Returning customer rate can vary drastically based on the type of business you have. Based on the number of purchases the customer makes on a set time frame. The average comes to be 25-30% for a good returning customer rate.

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