I think we can all agree that ecommerce is taking over the world of retail.

One of the main reasons for this extraordinary new shift is that new technologies are allowing marketers to do incredible things for their customers and the best starting point to leverage these new tools for your ecommerce store is to use them to perfect your onboarding experience.

First impressions matter, and every new customer has the potential to be a customer for life. So by putting a solid, personalised automation sequence in place, you can keep customers coming back time and time again.

But making your new customers loyal isn’t just a matter of installing a new Shopify plugin or setting up an autoresponder! It takes work; work that absolutely pays off in the long run.

Here a few of my best tips to ensure you’re getting your client onboarding strategy right.

Personalisation and relevance

Personalisation means relevance. The more relevant your campaigns are to each customer, the more likely they are to respond – and ultimately convert!

Personalisation doesn’t have to be overly complex. You’re not expected to know everything about your customers. Don’t worry about their pet’s name, or when their youngest child has soccer training. Keep it simple. You’ll be surprised at what you can do with basics like first name or gender.

That being said, if you want to personalise your marketing to suit your customers, you’ll need to get to know them first. And this means putting the data your ecommerce store and other marketing materials are generating to work.  

A few tips:

  • If you’re using an ecommerce platform like Shopify, you’ll already have a lot of useful data on your new customers! Their average purchase value, location, and style of product they’re interested in to start. Setting up targeting email campaigns or dynamic content based on their first purchase can be incredibly effective.
  • If you do have to ask for data directly from your customers, don’t ask for too much at once. Build up your profiles slowly but surely so as not to overwhelm them.
  • Some of the smallest and easiest to implement personalisations are some of the most powerful. Little things – like a customer’s name in the subject line – can go a long way.  

Incentives – more than just discounts

Of course, it’s not all about personalisation. There are plenty of other things to consider when you’re looking to generate repeat business.

A common mistake I notice when shopping online, or helping a client with their marketing strategies, is that people jump the gun on discounts. By offering monetary incentives too early, you could be throwing margin off the table!

Try out different incentivising tactics before you start cutting into your profits. For example, by using dynamic content to recommend new customers products that are complementary to their first purchase, you’ll increase the likelihood of them converting without having to shave dollars off your bottom line.  

Education – product and brand

If you want to engage your new customers after they’ve completed their first purchase, you’ll need great content. The most relevant content your business can provide is tips, tricks and other educational content on the product a customer has just purchased. Makes sense: the secret to engaging content is writing about a subject you know a lot about. You’re the expert on the products you sell – so start here!

Not only is the content highly relevant, but it increases a customer’s likelihood of using your product more regularly, or in a way that they’ll enjoy more. For example, a company who sells car accessories might want to send out some information about properly installing them, or how to get the greatest performance from their new products. This will help customers engage further with the brand, and get the most out of their new product – ergo, increasing your chances of repeat business and referral.

Speaking of referrals…

Referrals and social proof

My last tip: customers who have just received their new product are in what I like to call ‘the honeymoon stage’. Once their order has arrived, they’re likely to be in love with their new product. This is the perfect time to ask for reviews, referrals, likes on social media, or other forms of social proof!

Be upfront when asking for these sorts of things from your new customers. A referral flow that offers a discount or gift for referring a friend to your online store is a great way to boost your customer base and repeat purchase rates. Alternatively, highlight your social pages and show off your content there! You can be quite direct when asking for a like or share if they see the effort you’re putting in.

Referrals, reviews, and other social proof works. A prospective lead is much more likely to trust the opinions of others on your business than your opinion of yourself, after all. So if you know you’re offering a fantastic product and service, your customers shouldn’t need too big a nudge to help you out.

Matt Smith

About Matt Smith

Hi, I'm one of the two Matts here at Andzen. As an Ecommerce Strategy Consultant, I help spread the gospel of marketing automation to the online retail world. I work closely with merchants to identify opportunities to improve customer lifetime value and generate more revenue.