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7 Ways to Increase Your Customer Retention


an infinity symbol representing customer retention and loyalty for ecommerce brands

In today's ecommerce landscape, the battle for new customers is intense and expensive. Constantly chasing the next sale can leave your bottom line feeling like a rollercoaster. The answer to getting off that ride is to focus on customer retention. It's the less flashy, but infinitely more sustainable, path to growing your business profitably and increasing customer lifetime value (LTV).

Think of customer retention as the art of turning one-time buyers into loyal fans. It's about creating experiences so good they keep coming back for more. Yes, it takes a strategic approach, but the payoff is undeniable: increase lifetime value (LTV), reduced acquisition costs and a stronger, more resilient business.

This article covers 7 ways for ecommerce brands to increase customer retention.

1. Make Connection a Priority: Humanize Your Brand

In the competitive world of ecommerce, building strong customer relationships is essential for increasing retention rates and boosting lifetime value (LTV). One of the best ways to stand out? Humanize your brand.

Show customers there are real people with a passion behind what you sell. Here's how to create a more human touch:

  • Speak Their Language: Leave behind the corporate jargon and use conversational language that resonates with your target customers. Your tone should feel approachable, like a friendly chat.
  • Share Your Values: Highlight what you stand for – sustainability, ethical practices, giving back? Customers often seek out brands that align with their beliefs, increasing the potential for a deeper connection.
  • Get Personal: Share the story of your team, your journey, your other customers and why your products matter. Human stories increase brand relatability and help customers feel invested.

Quick Tip: Apply these same steps and maintain this human approach across all your touchpoints – email, SMS, website, social media. A consistent voice builds trust and strengthens that vital customer connection.

2. The Power of Personalization: Tailor the Experience

Generic, "one size fits all" and wide broadcast marketing is no longer the way to stand out. To truly boost retention, it's time to make each customer feel seen, heard and understood. This means implementing hyper-personalization across your list to make each customer's experiences and communications uniquely their own.

An hyper-personalized email example

Here's how:

  • Dive into Your Data: Analyze your customer information – purchase histories, browsing behavior, stated preferences, etc. This is where the patterns start to emerge, allowing you to make informed decisions.
  • Segment Intelligently: Create detailed customer segments based on the data from the previous steps and from factors like location, purchase frequency, which product categories they gravitate towards and their engagement levels. This allows for hyper-targeted messaging.
  • Personalize Every Interaction: Now it's time to apply those insights! Use customer names in emails and website pop-ups. Reference their city or adjust content based on local weather. Address past feedback they've provided, demonstrating you listen. Most importantly, curate product recommendations that genuinely match their style and interests.

Quick Tip: Implement dynamic content on your website as well. This adjusts elements (images, offers, etc.) in real-time based on a customer's specific data or behavior. 

Remember: True personalization means using data to add value, not just relentlessly sell. Strike the right balance, and customers will feel seen and delighted. implements hyper-personalized & conversational Email & SMS marketing for your brand by personalizing each individual communication (mentioning location, past feedback & tailored product suggestions), to drive repurchases & increase owned channel sales by 10-25%.

3. Reward Loyalty: Create a Loyalty Program

Loyal customers are the backbone of any successful ecommerce business. Show them appreciation and they'll keep coming back.

Here's how to turn loyalty into a powerful driver of retention through a loyalty program:

  • Structure Your Program for Success: Don't just offer generic points. Design a tiered system where customers feel motivated to reach the next level. Offer aspirational and achievable rewards that align with your brand.
  • Make it More than Just Discounts: Yes, exclusive deals matter, but think beyond price. Offer early access to new products, VIP-only content, or the chance to give feedback on upcoming collections.
  • Foster a Sense of Belonging: A loyalty program shouldn't just be transactional – it's about community building. Use a dedicated hashtag, create exclusive social groups, or host special events (virtual or in-person) to strengthen connections.

Quick Tip: Surprise and delight goes a long way. Send unexpected birthday gifts, partner with other brands to offer exclusive crossover rewards, or implement gamification elements to keep shoppers engaged.

Remember: Your loyalty program should evolve along with your customer base. Analyze data to understand what's driving participation and what might be missing.

Another great option is implementing a paid loyalty program for your most loyal customers or your "1000 true fans". For a detailed guide on starting a paid loyalty program, read this article

4. Feedback is Your Friend: Actively Seek & Incorporate Insights

Think of customer feedback as a roadmap for keeping shoppers coming back. It's a direct line of communication for customers to be telling you what they love, where you can improve and the evolving needs you must meet to retain their loyalty.'s hyper-personalized marketing talking to an ecommerce brand's customer and getting feedback

Here's how to turn feedback into actionable insights:

  • Go Beyond Basic Surveys: While surveys offer valuable data, don't stop there. Reach out directly to customers, especially those with high levels of engagement or past loyalty, for more in-depth, one-on-one feedback sessions. 
  • Dig Deep into the Data: Don't just look at surface-level scores. Dive into qualitative feedback from both surveys and direct interactions for the most valuable insights. Look for patterns that pinpoint potential areas for improvement.
  • Show Them You're Listening: Most importantly, take action based on the feedback you receive. Announce changes inspired by customer suggestions, address common pain points or directly reach out to unhappy customers to find solutions.

Quick Tip: Create a feedback loop. Thank customers for their input and keep them informed on how their suggestions are being implemented. This reinforces the sense that their voice matters.

Remember: Negative feedback isn't a failure – it's a growth opportunity. Treat each piece of input as a chance to make your customer relationships even stronger. helps proactively gain customer feedback through hyper-personalized 1-1 Email & SMS marketing and then references this feedback in later communications to drive customer loyalty and retention. 

5. Deliver Stellar Customer Experience (CX): Make it Memorable

In a world of endless choices, customer experience (CX) can be your competitive edge. Every interaction, no matter how small, is a chance to leave a lasting impression that keeps customers coming back.

Here's how to make your CX stand out:

  • Frictionless is a Feature: Optimize your website for smooth navigation, intuitive search and a painless checkout process. Any point of friction is a potential exit point for a shopper.
  • Empower Self-Service: Create a comprehensive knowledge base, help section, AI powered chat-bot or FAQ section. This allows customers to resolve basic issues quickly, freeing up your support team to focus on more complex needs.
  • Humanize Customer Service: When customers do reach out, leave behind the corporate replies. Train your team on empathy, aiming to not just solve problems, but truly delight customers with their responsiveness and solutions.

Quick Tip: Make your support omnichannel. Meet customers where they are, whether that's email, live chat or social media. Seamlessly transition conversations across platforms for the most convenient experience.

Remember: Great CX doesn't just happen. Regularly audit every touchpoint of your customer journey, seeking out those moments where you can go from good to unforgettable.

6. The 'Surprise & Delight' Factor: Exceed Expectations

an image of sending a hyper-personalized sms to a loyal customer and surprising them with a discount

Don't underestimate the power of going that extra mile. Little unexpected gestures can make customers feel valued and foster a strong emotional connection to your brand.

Here are some ways to sprinkle in moments of delight:

  • Celebrate Customers: Send surprise birthday gifts, handwritten thank-you notes or even small samples of new products. This shows you pay attention and appreciate their loyalty and this will pay back dividends through customer loyalty and repeat purchases
  • "Just Because" Perks: Offer surprise discounts / freebies with purchases or access to exclusive content just as a token of appreciation. The element of surprise intensifies the positive impact.
  • Turn Problems into Wins: Customer service issues are inevitable but they're also opportunities to shine. Empower and train your team to go above and beyond to solve problems, offering generous solutions that leave customers feeling amazed, not frustrated.

Quick Tip: Personalize surprises whenever possible! Reference a customer's past purchase, send a location-specific treat, or tie the gift into a current event or season. helps enable this at scale through personalized coupons (ie, "AMY15") and reference all prior customer touchpoints and feedback. 

Remember: "Surprise and delight" isn't about grand, expensive gestures. It's about creating unexpected moments that show customers they're more than just another transaction.

7. Stay Ahead of the Curve: Embrace Innovation & Experiment

Customer expectations are constantly shifting. To retain shoppers, you need to be willing to innovate and adapt.

Here's a step towards keeping your retention strategies fresh and effective:

  • Follow the Trends: Research emerging trends like "buy now, pay later" payment options. If they align with your customer base, these can create a smoother experience and reduce shopping cart abandonment.
  • Harness the Power of AI: Explore AI-powered tools for hyper-personalized marketing or product recommendations (, virtual try-ons or intuitive chatbots. These can enhance the customer journey, save your brand time and cut costs.
  • Experiment Fearlessly: Don't be afraid to test new channels (like TikTok shop), content formats (interactive quizzes, user-generated content features) or gamified loyalty programs. A quick test can be pulled off in a risk free manner and is often worth the potential upside or being a market leader and early adopter. 

Quick Tip: Approach innovation with a data-driven mindset. Track results of every experiment meticulously. Don't be afraid to pivot or abandon strategies that aren't delivering the desired ROI in terms of higher retention.

Remember: The ecommerce landscape is never stagnant. Staying ahead of the curve is a continuous process of learning, testing, and adapting.