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4 Ways to Retain Your Most Valuable Customers Post-Purchase

When you consider that it costs five times less to retain an existing customer than it does to acquire a new one, the choice between choosing to pursue new customers or deciding to focus on your current user base becomes an easy one. Engaging with your existing customer base leads to repeat purchases and renewed loyalty – creating a virtuous circle. Once the customer is already shopping with you, why not focus on making sure they continue to have the best possible experience so they’ll want to keep coming back?

Loyalty program members generate between 12 and 18% more revenue per year than your average guest shopper, and existing customers are known to spend 67% more on average than new customers. 

In this blog post, we lay out four key ways you can improve the fulfillment and post-purchase stages of the customer journey so that your customers just can’t resist coming back to shop with you time and again.


1. Offer Free or Discounted Shipping Options

Free shipping is ecommerce gold, right? But unless you’re Amazon, it’s not always feasible to give every customer free shipping. Despite this, 74% of customers rate free shipping as important when checking out – so it’s clearly a differentiator that can win or lose you sales.

So what’s the solution? Make various shipping options a core feature of your brand, rather than a standard or a given. You can do this by offering free shipping as an extra perk that only your most faithful or loyal customers can access.

One study found that 66% of shoppers rank free shipping as the most beneficial feature of a rewards program, so it’s clearly not something to be overlooked (or handed out to everyone). By offering this as a perk to your loyal customers – and making sure you advertise this benefit on your social media channels – you’re likely to garner more interest in your loyalty program. As the lifetime value of a loyalty program member is significantly higher than that of a guest shopper, you’ll soon find you recoup the costs from offering free shipping to these customers.

Another way to attract and retain the right customers is to demonstrate how you are aligned with their values as a business. While we can’t deny that Amazon has the market cornered when it comes to one-day shipping, it’s not exactly an environmentally friendly operation – and this is a growing concern for many customers. In fact, 87% said they would prefer to buy a product that offered a social or environmental benefit. By putting thought into cutting down the environmental cost of your shipping options, you can show your shoppers that your business intentions are aligned with their values. 

As an extra incentive, you could use your loyalty program to reward shoppers with additional points if they choose a slower delivery method or even pick up the order themselves in-store. This way you encourage shoppers to consume consciously while clearly showing your business chooses to act responsibly.  


2. Create an Excellent Online and Offline Experience

To make your ecommerce business shine, you need to treat every customer like the star of the show, both offline and online.

Online, a tier-based loyalty program is a smart place to begin. A tiered approach places shoppers at different access levels depending on how much they spend and engage with your store. As they level up, the VIP perks they receive (such as advanced customer service or discounted shipping) should become more and more desirable. This way, you remind your most valuable customers that you care about their individual shopping experience.

Ladieswear brand Never Fully Dressed does this incredibly well, making their most loved customers feel special. Their loyalty program is hyper-personalized, with members being greeted by name and a recap of their balance and points every time they log in. Shoppers also receive additional points for inputting their birthday, as well as the promise of a gift each year to help them celebrate. 

tier overview and benefits

To make customers feel valued when they are offline, pay close attention to the unboxing experience. In many cases, this might be their first physical interaction with your shop, so you want it to be a  memorable one. 

First off, pay careful attention to the packaging to make sure it arrives well-presented. You could potentially include a note to thank the customer for their purchase or include a small freebie to complement the item they bought. Aim to surprise and delight the customer, going above and beyond to exceed their expectations. First experiences really count and you can impress your customers with top-notch custom mailer boxes or custom shipper boxes: they create a memorable unboxing experience! 


3. Use Data to Re-engage with Personalization Tactics

Data is a powerful tool you can use to build out a cohesive story of your shoppers: their likes, dislikes and what might be blocking them from taking the next step with your brand. 61% of millennials today are happy to share their data if it leads to a more personalized shopping experience. If you have a loyalty program set up, you can pair data from it with your online store statistics to help build a more comprehensive picture of your customers and their preferences. This data will help you decide how to re-engage them effectively post-purchase before they churn. 

It’s critical to begin by segmenting your customers into three categories:

  • Loyal - the ones with high lifetime value and engagement rates
  • At-risk - the ones who have not purchased again within an expected timeframe
  • Churned - the ones who never returned to shop and don’t engage with you anymore

Once you have identified the segments, send hyper-targeted emails to each segment with a different message tailored to the stage they are at on their customer journey.

For your loyal customers, sending post-purchase emails helps keep the relationship alive and thriving. This might be recommending similar products to those they’ve already purchased or offering loyalty points for a referral. 

studio m rewards program

At-risk customers, meanwhile, need something more tempting to bring them back into the fold – such as an unexpected gift or free points. Who can say no to that? 

Make sure to remind them of their current points balance too, so they can see the benefits of engaging with your loyalty program.

moxie rewards program

For those who have already churned, seek to rekindle their interest by showing them they can earn loyalty points for completing simple actions like signing up to your newsletter. 

lively rewards program


4. Encourage Advocacy

Once you’ve won over those hard-earned customers, now isn’t the time to get lazy. Put in the work to make sure they’ll stick around and that they won’t just become loyal brand fans, but brand advocates as well.

When your existing shoppers recommend you to others, they’re doing the hard work for you. Statista found that 56% of internet users find out about products from their close family and friends. Further, customers acquired through referrals spend 200% more than an average customer. 

With your loyalty program, set pop-up messages that tell converted shoppers they’ll get points for making a referral. In this notification, add simple and easy-to-use buttons that let your new advocates share their referral URL quickly and easily via social media, WhatsApp or email. By rewarding them with loyalty points for every successful referral, you show them that you care and wish to reward their engagement with your brand, even after they’ve checked out. 

promo code banner

Put in place community-focused initiatives to keep customers excited to share your brand with others. These private forums such as Facebook Groups, make your customers feel part of your brand community long after they’ve purchased. In these spaces, you can then share new products or changes to your program that loop them back into shopping with you.

annmarie rewards program


Key Takeaways

The customer journey doesn’t end after they’ve hit ‘buy now.’ A lot of work goes into retaining these precious and valuable customers. The post-purchase moment is a great time to build long-term relationships with important customers that last. If you take the time to invest in these relationships, you’ll be front of mind when your existing customers loop back around to shop with you again. 

To recap, you can retain your most valuable customers in the fulfillment and post-purchase stages of the customer journey, using these four strategies: 

  • Offer various shipping options as a perk to loyal customers  
  • Create a memorable online and offline experience 
  • Use data to re-engage with personalization tactics
  • Encourage brand advocacy

Want to learn more about how to successfully scale your ecommerce business at the post-purchase phase? Sign up to access on-demand webinars and useful ebooks

About LoyaltyLion

LoyaltyLion is a data-driven loyalty and engagement platform that powers ecommerce growth. A loyalty program is about more than points and rewards. It is about unlocking real insights to increase customer lifetime value.

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