Why Brands Should Double Down on eCommerce Retention

With customer acquisition costs (CAC) on the rise, focusing on lifetime value (LTV) and eCommerce retention has never been more essential. In this introductory chapter, we’ll walk you through the basics of eCommerce customer retention: what it is, why it’s so important to the success of your brand, and how you can start improving your own eCommerce retention strategy right away.

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Josh Enzer VP Product Marketing Jul 06, 2020

The four pillars of a customer-centric eCommerce retention strategy

Every interaction you have with a shopper influences whether or not they’ll buy from you again, so you need to optimize every touchpoint along the purchase journey to create a seamless and enjoyable experience.


Empower them with informative content — both branded and user-generated — so they can make the right purchase the first time around. Offer customers flexible payment options, and invest in an unboxing experience that creates a memorable first interaction with your brand.

Factors like shipping times and pricing are important for a good relationship with your customers, but that’s not all shoppers care about. Meaningful relationships are formed when customers are able to enter into two-way conversations with your brand.


Once that happens, the dynamic changes. Loyal customers become brand advocates, and they’re much more likely to behave in ways that boost eCommerce retention, such as joining loyalty programs and engaging with your on-site communities.

Foster personal relationships with shoppers by engaging in personalized and well-timed communication through SMS, social media, and email.


Identify which of your marketing channels are most suited to eCommerce customer retention. Email has a proven track record and is preferred by many, but SMS marketing is emerging as a compelling option thanks to higher engagement, supercharged click-through rates, and the opportunity for immediate, two-way conversation.

eCommerce brands that incorporate subscriptions into their business strategy see big increases in repeat purchasing and retention.


Automatic monthly refills and subscription boxes are typical forms of subscriptions, but if your product isn’t the best fit for this model, there are plenty of other ways to generate recurring revenue. Consider offering membership-style benefits like higher levels of service, free express shipping, store credit, and exclusive sales.


Retaining customers is good business

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The increase in customer acquisition costs in the last five years

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Shoppers that make purchasing decisions based on how much they trust the brand

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Shoppers that say a positive personal experience is more important than advertising