photo credit:Clay Banks / Unsplash
Many businesses focus on acquiring new customers with deals, expensive adverts, promotions and freebies. But is it at the expense of retaining their existing customer base? While it’s unrealistic to expect all of your customers to stay loyal, you should still aim to retain as many as possible.
Shifting your focus from growth to retention can save you time and money.
How to Improve Your Business’ Customer Retention
It’s more expensive to attract new customers than it is to retain existing ones. Not only are repeat customers more likely to recommend your product and refer more people to your business, they also generate larger transitions and spend more money the longer they stick with you. After all, happy customers will buy more.
With that in mind, here are seven tips to increase customer retention.
1. Email marketing
If you’re plagued by abandoned shopping carts and a drop off in repeat custom, it’s time to improve your email marketing. More than two-thirds of customers abandon carts before purchase due to indecisiveness and other things competing for their attention. Think of all those sales you’re losing. It’s worth sending some abandoned cart emails to prompt customers to complete the checkout process. A carefully worded email can increase purchase rates by 19%, while a second reminder has a whopping 54% success rate. Marketing tools like Sendlane can design and automate a dynamic email sequence for you, making the process a breeze.
2. Focus on customer service
The best kind of customer service is accessible, transparent and responsive. Multichannel support lets your customer contact you on their terms across a range of platforms. Give your customers a choice of touchpoints to reach you easily and provide self-service options like FAQs and chatbots.
You can be proactive in gauging how your customer feels by gathering feedback using surveys. The net promoter score (NPS) is one of the most simple and effective methods of measuring customer satisfaction, as it rates how likely someone is to recommend a brand to a friend on a scale of 1-10. Closing the loop on feedback is important, so send a customised thank you email or respond directly to any feedback.
3. Implement user accounts
User accounts save your existing customers’ payment information and other details, which make repeat purchases much easier. While they are popular with regulars, new customers might see the registration process as too much of a commitment for a one-off purchase – but, of course, one-off purchases can often lead to repeat purchases.
So while it’s worth offering a guest check-out option for the first order, after it has been completed, you can offer the user the option to open an account. This gives the customer enough time to decide if they are likely to use your company again.
4. Offer a customer loyalty scheme
Loyalty programmes offer customers rewards such as discounts, freebies and exclusive deals. The rewards you provide depend entirely on your company’s product, objective and values, but they give customers a reason to keep buying from you. Some examples are air miles, points-based programmes and tier-based programmes, where customers can unlock higher levels of rewards if they spend more.
According to Accenture, more than 90% of businesses already have some form of loyalty programme.
5. Offer deals on subsequent purchases
Emailing first-time shoppers with discounts for further purchases is a great way to secure repeat custom. Special offers and promo codes can also entice back shoppers who haven’t bought anything from you in a while.
Once you have enough information to build an individual buyer persona, you can send them personalised offers. Alternatively, you could offer a referral bonus that rewards customers for bringing you new business.
6. Engage with customers on social media
Social media is a great platform for engaging with customers and showcasing your brand’s personality. You can even post special deals, competitions and insights. These posts can make you seem more approachable and appealing to your target audience. They also provide an opportunity to deal with complaints and negative comments before they escalate.
7. Use a CRM to manage customer relationships
The rise of e-commerce has blurred the lines between sales and service. Businesses now have multiple touchpoints and opportunities throughout the buyer’s journey to build better customer relationships and sell more. Investing in a dedicated customer relationship management (CRM) system gives multiple teams a 360-degree view of the customer. It provides a single platform that can be used across a range of devices and is linked to a company’s email, social media and other apps.
Customer loyalty is valuable, so it’s up to you to keep delighting your customers so they come back. These tips are a good starting point for keeping your current customer base happy and creating a mutually beneficial relationship. Add value to every customer interaction and watch your business grow exponentially.
5 Ways to Control Your Inventory So It Doesn’t Control You
Managing inventory is a task that can make or break your small business. With too much inventory, profits suffer and storerooms overflow. With too little, items get back-ordered, customers get frustrated and business is lost. And striking a balance is hard, especially with disruptions to the global supply chain in the last few years causing delayed deliveries.
While you can’t control the supply chain, you can take steps to prevent common problems like product shortages and excess stock. Here’s how.
1. Stick to the story
Donna Daniel owns and operates three connected small businesses in Claremont, California: The Grove Clothing, The Grove Home and The Outdoor Store, which sell women’s clothing, home goods and unisex adventure-themed gear, respectively. To run all three of her stores, Daniel needs to keep an impressive variety and quantity of inventory in stock — and ensure it moves quickly to make room for seasonal items and new shipments.
To keep her inventory cohesive within each store, she arranges it in themed displays — or what she calls “stories” — which tie together dozens of different items to appeal to a color, season or activity.
“I don’t buy anything outside of the stories,” she says, which helps her collect data on sales and seasonal trends, and keeps her stock to what’s most likely to sell.
She keeps most of her inventory on the shop floor, with stock in each store’s backroom and larger items in a nearby storage unit. In the backrooms and warehouse, she stores items according to product type and size — not by story — so employees can easily restock displays and substitute a similar item if necessary.
2. Double down on your reliable inventory
“Just-in-time inventory is much more difficult to do today,” says Mark Baxa, president and CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, a global trade association for supply chain professionals. Baxa adds that since the supply chain is less stable than it was pre-pandemic, businesses may need to lean on their most reliable products and vendors.
Courtney Cowan, owner and founder of Los Angeles bakery Milk Jar Cookies, keeps supply needs and consumer demand stable with a very consistent product line. Her 16-flavor menu has “changed very little” in the bakery’s nine-year history, though she leaves room for a rare seasonal standout to join the rotation. Since her store pre-mixes and preserves dough in a deep freezer, she can ensure that her bestsellers are always in stock.
Though some businesses may prefer a bit more variety, in uncertain times — over-ordering on go-to products with a dependable profit margin can help fill the gaps and keep sales steady.
3. Keep products moving
Longtime retailers know that while running out of inventory is bad, having too much can be worse. “Too much backstock eats up all your capital,” Daniel says. She prevents this from happening by planning ahead and using sales sections to make room for new merchandise.
Daniel reorders seasonal inventory as far as a year ahead by using recent sales reports as a baseline. But with this commitment to hundreds of new products arriving every month, she makes sure that items don’t sit on shelves for more than a few weeks.
“I do not like merchandise hanging around,” she says, explaining that if an item isn’t clearing out quickly enough, she’ll move it to the sales rack and discount it until it’s gone.
Though selling an item for a fraction of its original price may seem painful, it may be worth doing to keep inventory moving and keep customers coming back for new products.
4. Get to know your supply chain
Especially in periods of supply chain disruption, getting to know your vendors can make a big difference in your day-to-day operations. “Hold your supplier base accountable,” Baxa says. He suggests finding the “shortest path” possible, including finding local and sustainable suppliers, to help ensure consistent, reliable supply.
Daniel follows the same principle, sourcing her inventory from mostly local vendors so she can pick up items instead of shipping. She weighs several factors, including production time, available quantity and shelf life to figure out how much to order and how often.
Cowan’s inventory is perishable, so she needs her wholesale ingredients to arrive on a tight schedule. Her bakery receives truck deliveries directly from the restaurant supplier Sysco and wholesale store Costco, which keeps her supply chain close to home.
“We keep it as centralized as possible,” Cowan says. For special ingredients like nuts and candy, she places advance orders with small online vendors.
Clear communication with vendors can help business owners figure out limitations, plan ahead and mitigate risk.
5. Use a point-of-sale system with inventory management tools
For the past five years, Daniel has been using Lightspeed, a POS system with standout inventory management tools. The software can track her inventory across all three of her stores, and it generates reports that help her analyze seasonal sales data and follow her businesses’ growth.
This data is essential for her to plan reorder points and determine which items will reliably sell. Especially with a small staff and multiple locations, an all-in-one POS system can help minimize costs and labor.
Best POS for inventory management
Lightspeed Retail POS
Cost: Software $69 per month (billed annually) and up. Hardware quote-based.
Lightspeed’s retail point-of-sale system is built for inventory management. It can keep detailed records of your products across multiple locations and set automatic reorder points, so you don’t run out. The software also offers employee and customer relationship management tools, as well as advanced analytics features on its higher-priced plans.
You have the option to use a third-party payment processor, or Lightspeed’s in-house processor with per-transaction fees at 2.6% plus 10 cents for swipe, dip and contactless payments and 2.6% plus 30 cents for keyed-in transactions.
Square for Retail
Cost: Software free and up. Hardware from free card reader to $799 terminal and up.
Square’s retail-specific POS software offers inventory management tools and multi-location capabilities as well. The free version has a variety of other useful features including reporting tools, customer and employee management. Email marketing, loyalty programs and payroll are available with a higher-priced plan or as a paid add-on.
Though its inventory management isn’t quite as deep as Lightspeed’s, Square’s user-friendly interface and accessible pricing make it a great choice for most retail businesses. Payment processing fees vary per plan, but with the free retail plan, costs are 2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction, 2.9% plus 30 cents per online transaction and 3.5% plus 15 cents per keyed transaction.
Cost: Software $29 to $299 and up. Hardware $49 and up.
Shopify’s point-of-sale system is geared for businesses that primarily sell online. The software tracks inventory, hides out-of-stock products on your website and offers basic inventory analysis. It also facilitates drop-shipping, curbside pickup and local delivery options, plus access to vendors and third-party applications.
Shopify helps businesses manage inventory across online and in-store locations. Its Pro version can create purchase orders, run inventory counts, perform advanced inventory analysis and generate low-stock reports. However, it’s not ideal for a business that only sells in store. Payment processing varies by plan, with in-person fees starting at 2.4% with Shopify POS Lite.
How Online Presence Makes Your Business More Trustworthy
Have you ever made a dining decision based on a review you saw on the internet? You may have picked a product because it seemed “more trustworthy” online. It’s also a deal breaker if it isn’t handled correctly.
Customers are more inclined to believe in your company if it presents itself well on the internet. Whether a startup or a large corporation, your online appearance and behaviour matter to your consumers if you own an offline or online company.
Why Should Your Business Go Online?
In addition to being available for your consumers, here are other reasons to consider your online presence.
It Improves Your Company’s Accessibility
When you don’t sell anything online, a solid online presence can help you make more money from the internet if you aren’t engaged on social media.
Before making a purchase, most consumers do internet research to learn more about the company and the goods. Being at the right place at the right time is simply good business.
It Takes Care of Your Marketing and Branding
An internet presence provides a steady supply of customers for your company. Customer feedback and social media participation may help boost purchases. It’s easier for consumers to identify your online presence with a website or social media account.
It May Boosts Your Company’s Credibility
Having an online presence is essential for your organisation to be taken seriously. A startup might have difficulty being accepted as a legitimate organisation in its early stages. It’s essential to have a strong internet presence before people take you seriously. It’s easier to get quick loans at gdayloans.com.au to expand your company.
It Aids in the Comprehension of Your Target Market
When you have an online presence, you can engage with your audience in a two-way conversation to get valuable feedback or evaluations. In addition, it helps you learn more about your prospective consumers and the things they’re looking for. If a restaurant uses polls on its Facebook page, it may determine which specials and goods are most popular with its patrons.
How Can You Evaluate and Enhance Your Company’s Web Presence?
Analysing your online reputation simply means monitoring what others say about you online. Then you make it work for you.
You can monitor and enhance your company’s online appearance by following these three steps.:
Monitor Mentions of Your Business
Monitoring your company’s internet mentions can help you track what’s being said about you and mitigate unfavourable publicity. This can also help you identify communication gaps.
Google Alerts can help you track online references of your company. Set up notifications for your business/product name and relevant keywords, and you’ll be alerted promptly whenever you’re mentioned anyplace online.
Analyse Your Website Traffic
The source of your traffic (and how much) might assist you in evaluating your internet presence. It may be necessary to expand your internet activities beyond your website. For example, low social media traffic might imply a poor social presence.
Tracking your website’s traffic with Google Analytics might reveal secret traffic sources that your Google search may have overlooked. It will also help you find unnoticed remarks or backlinks.
Assess Your Social Media Engagement
Your social media presence affects your online reputation as well. Active consumers on your social media platforms help build trust and confidence.
Consider checking a company’s and a competitor’s Facebook accounts. You may observe that one firm interacts with clients while the other has a few likes but no comments. Which do you prefer?
An active social media presence gives the impression of reliability while also conveying a sense of humanity and authenticity. Your audience will be more engaged as your social media presence improves.
To keep up with your target audience, you need to be one step ahead of them online. The first step is to become well-versed in everything your consumers discover about your company through the internet. Your internet presence must be understood, monitored, and improved to reach this goal.
Ways to Market Your Tech Company
Tech companies need to make a name for themselves and stand out from the competition. This is no easy task, as there are many different ways to market a tech company. It’s essential to find the right strategy that will work best for your consumer tech PR needs.
This article will explore some of the most important ways to market a tech company.
Why Tech Marketing is Important
There are many reasons why marketing is essential for tech companies.
First and foremost, it’s a way to build brand awareness. To be successful, people need to know who they are and what they do. Secondly, marketing can help you attract new customers and clients. It’s also a great way to keep existing customers engaged. Finally, marketing can help you differentiate yourself from the competition. With so many tech companies out there, it’s essential to find a way to stand out from the crowd.
Social media is one of the essential tools for marketing a tech company. It allows you to reach a large audience quickly and easily. You can use social media to promote your product or service and engage with potential customers.
There are many different social media platforms, so choosing the most relevant ones for your target audience is essential.
Content marketing is another important way to market a tech company. Content marketing can be blog posts, articles, videos, or even infographics.
Creating high-quality content can help you attract attention and build trust with potential customers. You can use content marketing to educate people about your product or service and show them how it can benefit them.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) optimizes your website to rank higher in search engine results. This is important because it can help you attract more traffic to your site and ultimately convert more visitors into customers. Many different factors contribute to good SEO, so it’s essential to research and use the best techniques.
Paid advertising is another effective way to market a tech company. With paid advertising, you can reach a large audience quickly and easily. You can use various platforms such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, or Facebook Ads to promote your product or service. Paid advertising can be a great way to generate leads and sales.
Public relations (PR) is managing your company’s reputation. This is important because it can help you build trust and credibility with potential customers. PR can be in press releases, media relations, or event planning.
Referral marketing is getting customers to recommend your product or service to others. This is an effective way to market a tech company because it can reach a larger audience through word-of-mouth. You can use referral programs, social media, or email marketing to promote your referral program.
Event marketing is another excellent way to market a tech company. This involves planning and hosting events that promote your product or service. Events can be in trade shows, conferences, or even meetups. Event marketing can be a great way to generate leads and sales.
Original Video Content
Video content is another excellent way to market a tech company. This can be in product demos, how-to videos, or even customer testimonials. Video content is a great way to engage with potential customers and promote your product or service.
Finally, on-site activity is another important way to market a tech company. This involves having a blog, providing customer support, or even offering free trials. On-site activity can be a great way to engage with potential customers and build trust.
Marketing a tech company can be a challenge, but it’s crucial to find the right strategy that will work best for your business. This article has explored some of the most important ways to market a tech company.
Choose the most relevant strategy for your business, and start implementing them today.
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