How to Keep Customers Coming Back to Your eCommerce Website8 min read

The average conversion rate of eCommerce websites is 2.86%.

Yes, that’s a shockingly low amount of people buying at the first try. Even if you get a lot of new visitors – it might not cut it to make enough sales. 

So instead of focusing on getting as many people as possible to come to your site, let’s look at luring visitors back in who you are more likely to seal the deal with.

How to Hack Your Re-targeting Efforts

So, first things first. Someone came, saw, and didn’t shop. Don’t just let them go and move on to attracting new visitors just yet: you still might be able to convince them to complete their order. That’s where re-targeting comes in.

Maybe they simply need a reminder. Running re-targeting ads on social media could do the trick, but if you want to kick things up a notch, here are some techniques and tips to keep in mind. 

Re-target those who leave the checkout page with a coupon

Re-target those who leave the checkout page with a coupon

Someone makes it all the way to the checkout page, with something in their basket, but then leaves. How could they abandon their cart like that? It often has to do with the price: they simply want a sweeter deal. 

You can entice them back by sending them a coupon or discount via re-targeting – either through the email address they left, or via social media. Create a sense of urgency around your offer by putting a time limit on it. 

Don’t want to be too obvious? If you tie your offer to a current event, like a holiday, they won’t always connect the dots — that you are re-targeting them based on their activity on your website.

Re-target by your Google paid and organic search results

Your re-targeting is only effective on those who were sincerely interested in the first place. What level of shopping intent can you find in their behavior? What search terms did they use? Build your re-targeting campaigns around those terms for different targets.

Figure out who to actually re-target: it shouldn’t be everyone

Some people visited your website by mistake or were not really interested. Check these factors before you spend money on retargeting efforts:

  • How long are they staying on your website? Don’t bother retargeting people who spend only a few seconds on your homepage.
  • What pages have they looked at? Visitors who make it to case studies or reviews are more likely to eventually buy your product. They are really researching your offers—those who only browse the homepage, probably not.

Think Ahead

Why focus on customer retention, and not just increasing the number of new visitors? Surely, some of them will buy it on their first visit, right? Right. But returning customers can become influential online ambassadors for your organization. A truly loyal customer does more than paying for your products: he or she tells other people about you too.

Not only do returning customers have a higher Lifetime Value – obviously – they also bring in new business. And they are specified, and therefore easier (and cheaper) to get in touch with again. 

The biggest drop off in customers occurs between the first and second purchase. So when you work on getting them to make that first purchase, you should already have the second one in mind.

Give a great first impression

Now, before you launch re-targeting ads, make sure you’ve done everything you can on your website to impress them on the first try. Maybe the issue wasn’t the price, but it occurred way before they even clicked a product.

Turning visitors into customers and customers into promoters is the ultimate goal of inbound marketing. For this to happen, you need to combine the right channels. Apart from re-marketing techniques, here are some sure-fire ways of keeping them coming back for more.

Create a Flawless User Experience

It’s all about the first impression: If their first visit is great, you’ve got one foot in the door to making them returning visitors and better yet — returning customers. 

UX plays a big role in customer retention. If they can’t find what they’re looking for — even though it’s there, somewhere — or it takes ages, visitors won’t be back a second time around. One study found that a massive 88% of online visitors are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.

Focus on how your website is being used and create a design and flow around that. When you understand the shopping intent of your visitors, you can create tailored shopping experiences. More about that later!

Find out how they navigate through your website and if there are any roadblocks. And make sure to keep an eye on the search queries. Those will show you what content or products to put in the spotlight.

Deliver great customer service

We all need a little help sometimes. An FAQ page is the bare minimum. If you see a lot of visitors navigating there, it could pay to invest in a chat robot. With just a few keywords, they will easily find what they are looking for: a delightful experience. And you get to understand any issues with your website or products better through the convos in there. Win-win.

Make It Personal

Personalization has proven to work for customer retention: It’s easy to get lost in the big wide web. Landing on a web page that seems like it was made just for you feels like coming home. Create customized landing pages based on visitors’ previous behavior or visits, and suggest relevant content and products.

Offering personalized services or offers pays off: 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize what they truly need and provide personalized and relevant offers and product recommendations. 

Keep Your Content Updated and Fun

How to keep things spicy, even after a while? Use (interactive) content people can engage with to create unique experiences every time they stop by. And make sure visitors instantly see what’s new.

Interactive content and gamification

Instead of only displaying what you have to offer, ask your visitors something about themselves too. You can do this through a quiz, in which they can find out what products they really need by answering fun or personal questions. That’s way more engaging and helpful than having to click through categories.

Product recommendations made fun, by Beardbrand. Quiz made with Typeform

Sneak in some lead generation

Another benefit of this kind of content, is that you can use it for lead generation. A simple ‘sign up for our newsletter’ button on the bottom of your website won’t convince many. 

Through gamification, you can actually give something in return (which is more than a weekly newsletter). Want personalized advice? Take this test, and we’ll email you your results!

Keep things fresh

Make sure to regularly update your content. If you want visitors to come back, you have to keep in mind there has to be a reason to come back: something new. A new blog revolving around popular search terms could do the trick, and helps your SEO too.

Reward Loyal Visitors and Customers

Reward loyal visitors and customers

We all want to belong somewhere. Some people appeal to the idea of a community – especially if it’s one that will save you money.

When you succeed in converting them the first time, you shouldn’t stop there. Implement a loyalty program, give discounts, or provide premium features for those who make an account to keep ‘em coming back.

Give it a second try

Even if it’s not love at first sight, it doesn’t mean it couldn’t turn into something great. Work on getting customers to come back, and you’ll increase their Lifetime Value, while being able to cut back on marketing costs.


This article is a guest contribution by Fergus Taylor, a Content Specialist at Typeform.


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