Congratulations! Your holiday campaign was a smashing success! You kept your CPA in check while driving higher conversion volume than you were hoping for. So, now what?

Every year, retail marketers pull out all the stops to acquire new customers in Q4. Loss leaders are promoted, digital spend becomes more aggressive, and abandoned carts are furiously pursued. In total, a considerable amount of the marketing team’s time and budget are consumed.

But what’s being done to turn these holiday shoppers into everyday shoppers? Are you meaningfully re-engaging after the holidays, or are their budgets and selves too exhausted? How are you working on improving client retention?

According to a recent Retail TouchPoints survey, most marketers aren’t confident in their ability to retain their new customers. Indeed, one quarter of marketers expect only 10% to 20% of their new customers to come back. Another quarter of marketers expect between 20% and 30% to return.

What’s causing this lack of confidence, and how can retention be improved? According to marketers, the obstacles include:

  • Long purchase cycles (49%)
  • Lower priced competitors (44%)
  • Losing to marketplaces like Amazon (36%)
  • Lack of customer information to retarget with (35%)
  • Insufficient retargeting budget (21%)

While some of these factors may be out of a marketer’s control, there are definitely strategies you can use to increase client retention. Here are 6 strategies to help you on your quest of improving client retention.

Improve Data Collection

If a marketer isn’t capturing sufficient data about a newly acquired customer — or even a potential customer — then they must sit down with their business intelligence and web teams to sort out where things have fallen apart. If the marketer is unsure where to begin, it may behoove them to request an audit from their media partners.

Have cookies fallen off the site? Is CRM data not being passed properly? There are a myriad of questions that marketers must ask to ensure they are collecting the data necessary to plan out effective retargeting campaigns.

Once the signals are flowing, then retargeting budgets of any size can be flexed & used more efficiently.

Review Your Promotions

The next step is to revisit what’s being offered to these clients. While the deep discounts offered during holiday promotions are likely not sustainable year-round, retailers must still offer compelling messaging to draw customers back.

Unfortunately, many marketers offer promotions that only align with baseline customer experience expectations. For instance, 52% of marketers surveyed offer free shipping as a way to appeal to clients. But such an offering only puts them on par with marketplaces they are struggling against (like Amazon). It’s not a tactic to build brand loyalty so much as it’s a means of reducing abandoned carts.

So take a step back and review your promotions. What else can you offer beyond free shipping to keep your customers coming back for more?

Audit Your UX

Conduct an audit of your site on multiple devices, and correct any frustrations you encounter. Frustrated shoppers are not repeat shoppers. How can you make it easier for shoppers to purchase on any screen?

Consider a Loyalty Program

While loyalty programs won’t work for all marketers, some will inevitably be hooked. The key here is to ensure the first few purchases and other rewarded behaviors generate bonus rewards that give the user the confidence that they will significantly benefit if they engage regularly with your brand.

Refresh Your Newsletters

If a customer has already made a purchase with you, you should have enough data on file to ensure all subsequently pushed interactions they have with your brand are relevant. At a minimum, this means your CRM must have persona groups that users fall within so that the emails they receive from you are somewhat relevant to their interests. Ideally this means your emails are generative based on the SKUs they’ve purchased or looked at. How personalized can you get?

Consider DCO

Q1 is a period of self-gifting for many shoppers, so the relevance of the product being advertised is more important than the given promotion surrounding the item. Consider utilizing dynamic creative optimization (DCO) with a well-curated product feed to appeal to these shoppers in January and beyond.

Finally, the best piece of advice is to not give up. When marketers take a serious look at why customers don’t come back, they also get an invaluable look at the barriers that might be hindering current acquisition efforts, as well. When a brand is able to offer a consumer experience that is repeatedly appealing, growth becomes second nature. And that means you have a better chance of improving client retention.

Are you looking for more tips & tricks? Contact us to speak to one of our campaign strategists to see how we can help you improve client retention.

AUDIENCEX is the largest independent trading desk, working to simplify the increasingly complex world of digital marketing for marketers and agencies around the world. We do this with a unified and transparent approach to omnichannel marketing campaigns, designed to reach target audiences with precision and efficiency. Our trading desk, tdX, is powered by our proprietary AI which assesses 12 leading DSPs on a 250 point evaluation, to identify the best-performing platforms for each campaign. Combining this powerful technology with exceptional customer service and strategic expertise across programmatic, native, search, social, and creative means advertisers and agencies can unify their digital marketing efforts to find and convert customers and increase revenue.