Put yourself in your customers' shoes and think about all the different shops you buy from online. There'll be some that you always go to - either because you particularly like the experience or simply haven't found anything better. There'll be some that you find for one-off purchases through search. And then there'll be a whole bunch that you hardly ever think about and struggle to remember even when you want to purchase or re-purchase from them.
Now consider how your own customers think about your store. Which category do you fall into?
The rise of the unfaithful customer We all want our businesses to be the default option for customers. Better still, we want to be the one they recommend without hesitation to friends and family. And many e-businesses spend an inordinate amount of time fine tuning the experience they deliver to increase their stickiness. This is particularly so for smaller e-businesses that have fewer customers to begin with.
The price of loyalty? It is surprising then that so few of the small e-businesses who took part in this year's e-business benchmark report use any kind of formal loyalty scheme. In fact, only 7 per cent use loyalty points as an incentive.
Importantly, loyalty schemes are a positive differentiator. When we looked at those e-businesses that out-perform the average conversion rate versus those that don't, we found a small but significant difference. If we focus on above average performers, we see the use of loyalty schemes inrease to 8 per cent.
In today's market, no one can take customer loyalty for granted. A competing offer is only ever a click away. So if you're not already taking proactive steps to tie customers to your store, now's the time to start.