People love to shop online, and more and more people are doing it every year. While this is great news for most retailers, it does pose the question: How can you build loyalty with online shoppers? The simple answer is to provide a superior shopping experience from start to finish. Retailers who don’t meet these expectations will lose sales and customer loyalty, and research proves that existing customers spend more, and more often and, thus, are more valuable than new customers.

So HOW can you build loyalty with online shoppers?

  • Product Availability
Make sure that your inventory is visible and available to keep shoppers

Shoppers can’t buy something that they can’t see. To keep your consumers buying, make sure that your inventory is visible and available. Offer multiple channels for shopping–in store, online, etc.–and offer your customers the choice of how they want to shop. Shoppers browse and buy across many channels and devices:

  • 42% browse and buy in-store
  • 68% browse and buy online
  • 53% browse online and buy in-store
  • 25% browse in-store and buy online

For the customer, offering an omni-channel experience can help maximize convenience.

  1. Free Shipping

When it comes to inspiring loyalty, shipping fees can make or break a retailer’s business. With so much selection and competition online, consumers may abandon products at checkout if shipping fees are too high.

  • 64 percent of shoppers have abandoned carts due to shipping costs.
  • Nearly a third of shoppers (29 percent) cite reasonable shipping costs as a must-have.
  • 63 percent of shoppers say free shipping is a must-have to complete any online purchase.
  • Conversion rates can drop by as much as 50 percent when free shipping is not offered.
  • 72 percent seek out retailers that offer free shipping.
  • 51 percent  will top up their basket to qualify for free shipping if they haven’t already qualified.
  1. Fast Delivery

Free shipping is a good start, but that isn’t the end of the line for the retailer or the customer–the online purchase isn’t complete until the shopper actually has the item. Delivery times are crucial to building confidence and commitment from your consumers.

Fast delivery is the way to build commitment

  • 28 percent of shoppers say they won’t shop with a retailer after a negative delivery experience.
  • 20 percent of shoppers want an alternative pickup location that’s easily accessible and can be selected to tailor the receiving experience to their needs.
  • 35 percent of consumers are unable to have someone at home to receive a delivery during the day. They want a nearby alternative.
  • Trackable: consumers want to know where their package is during the shipping phase and when they will receive it.
  1. Return Policy

A poor or counter-intuitive returns policy can turn those previously satisfied customers away. Many retailers make the mistake of ignoring or investing poorly in their returns policy, but it actually has one of the biggest impacts on customer loyalty.

  • 33 percent of Canadian shoppers say that after a negative returns experience, they won’t shop at that retailer again.
  • 56 percent avoid purchasing from retailers who don’t accept free returns by mail.
  • 55 percent avoid purchasing from retailers who don’t accept free in-store returns and have a nearby store.
  • 61 percent shop more often from retailers who provide free returns.
  • 41 percent will add more items to their cart basket if they know the retailer accepts free returns.
  • 66 percent of shoppers say that before purchasing from a retailer they have never purchased from online, they check the returns policy.
  1. Loyalty Program
How to get trust from shoppers?

Consumers want to feel respected and rewarded for giving a business their loyalty–and their money–and a loyalty program is a great way to show them some love. But make sure that you give your customers a loyalty program that meets their needs: a simple, streamlined program with instant access to rewards that they actually want.

DCR Strategies