Jessica Mizerak
Jessica Mizerak 3 June 2016

5 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty in Ecommerce

What is your brand doing at this very moment to keep visitors engaged and keep buyers coming back for repeat purchases? Make every interaction a positive one with these 5 strategies.

What is your brand doing at this very moment to keep visitors engaged and keep buyers coming back for repeat purchases?

Even offline, it’s all about the experience. I love walking into the café where I often write. Although it’s a rather large franchise, there’s one cool guy who works there that knows precisely where I’ll sit and what I’ll order. He’ll even feign complete shock when I ask for something different. It makes me smile and it’s why I bring my friends and colleagues there, too.

If it works for traditional customer service, take it to e-commerce, too. The same principles can (and should) be applied to e-commerce. Here are 5 tips for increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty to your web store.

1. Treat customers like a friend

A friend is always there for you. Try to be there for your customers, too, by finding ways to help. That’s the reason online customer support is so important.

Live chat tools like Comm100 show you what customers are doing on your site so you can use that insight to step in and help immediately. So when a shopper clicks an expired link or has a typo in their coupon code, you can reach out immediately and solve the problem.

Get to know your customers’ friends, too! 83% of customers are more than happy to spread the word on social media when they have a positive shopping experience.

Why not sweeten the deal by offering customers rewards for their actions? Give shoppers a coupon when they invite a friend or - even better - when that friend makes their first purchase! If your customers already love what you do, who better to share your brand with others?

2. Focus on smooth sailing, especially at checkout

User experience expectations are at an all time high! In fact, according to KISSMetrics, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. So a slow experience, bugs or any other unexpected roadblocks will send shoppers running into the arms of your competitors.  

Make it your first priority to deliver a perfect checkout experience. Why checkout? Because there’s nothing worse than, after filling your cart, registering and getting your credit card out, finding out that the checkout form doesn’t work. Bye-bye, another cart abandoned.

Analyze your checkout with a tool, like ClickTale, that shows your stats on user experience and try A/B testing to discover the improvements that will lead to better conversion.

3. Build trust and prove you’re worth doing business with

69% of customers stay with the brands they trust. Recognize them, make sure they feel like active participants and build trust by offering rewards that they respond to and enjoy.

After a while, repeat customers expect some sort of compensation for their loyalty.

You don’t have to offer coupons and perks alone! Make the shopping experience better by gamifying it. Gamified rewards programs -  like what we’ve created at Antavo - let customers collect points as they interact with your brand, whether it be purchasing, reading a featured blog post or sharing a new product.

Whereas monetary rewards are associated with an open wallet, points are associated with games, especially when they’re focused on not only checkouts, but other fun brand interactions.

4. Show them how it’s done

62% of customers want content from brands that show how their products can be used.

I like knitting, and most yarn stores I know have knitted and crocheted items hanging or sitting around, to show how the yarn looks when it’s actually made into something. That’s a really helpful example for shoppers.

Create a similar effect for your webstore by letting customers post how they use your product in their daily lives. Just like many car dealerships encourage happy, new car owners to post photos with their new ride!

You should also consider creating videos that show products in use, tutorials, infographics, as well as sharing news and blog posts with inspirational, beautiful or practical examples, and show how influencers use them, too!

5. Be a part of your customers’ daily routine

65% of customers use social channels to research products for their loved ones. That means that, in order to build trust surrounding your brand, you need to be there, too. 

Earlier this year I was browsing the website of my favorite health food brand, ThinkThin, who targets females who are interested in a healthy lifestyle. I was thrilled to see an Instagram icon on their page and I immediately went to see what they were posting. Now, as a follower, I no longer have to go to their site to find out about new products, flavors and special promotions - they come to me. They knew Instagram would be a great place to reach me and thousands of other followers with similar interests.

Think about where your customers and their friends are and be a convenient part of their lives there, too.

The Takeaway: Make every interaction a positive experience.

If I had to sum it up in one phrase, “it’s all about the customer experience.” Consider every single way customers interact with your brand and make sure a positive experience is happening at all of those touchpoints. It’s the best way to build a positive feeling about your brand and increases the chances that shoppers and their friends will tell others about your brand.

Tell us what you’re doing right now to earn your customers’ love. What did this article inspire you to try next? Leave us a comment!

Jessica Mizerak
Jessica Mizerak

Hello Paul,

I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

First of all, full disclosure: I work for a loyalty program provider, Antavo.

To answer your question, I think there are benefits to both. Creating a new platform allows for full customization and updates at any time, on your own schedule. The downside to this is that it costs a lot of time and money to do it in-house. It’s quicker if you work with a loyalty software like ours, also you get know-how too.

The question that remains with existing programs is flexibility. Is it possible to upgrade your existing program? If you develop it in-house, you may have the control, but it will likely take more time.

It all comes down IT capacity and end goals. An effective loyalty program has a lot of moving parts connected to the e-commerce site, email communication, and social media. If you find the right loyalty software provider, you’ll get the expertise and flexibility that will allow you to go live and start driving results much more quickly.

I took a look at your profile and saw that you’ve worked directly in loyalty. I’m curious to know why you’ve asked this particular question and also hear your experience as a provider. Feel free to contact me at


Paul Martin
Paul Martin

Dear Jessica,

Thank you, this all makes sense.

In your experience, is it easier to create a DIFFERENTIATED loyalty program in e-commerce today by starting a completely new platform (something I commented on last week with Mr. Ratan Tata entering the e-commerce space), or taking an existing program and upgrading/transforming it? Interested to hear your thoughts on this.


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