The advantage of starting early with your retention strategy

Retention should be the focus for established brands, correct? There’s little need to focus in on retention strategies for early stage ecommerce startups… right? not so.

The larger a business gets the greater the unwillingness to change. If a brand is insistent on hammering their entire database (buyers and non-buyers) with daily offers they face a significant challenge changing tact and working towards true personalisation.

Why? Because it’s what they believe their subscribers have become accustomed too. They’re content to see 8% maybe 10% open rates. As long as that number is consistent, they’re in a good place. They think.

And it really is a challenge. I know. I’m the person they bring in to review and pass judgement on the success of their campaigns. ‘10% is industry standard, right?’. ‘Phew’.

For younger brands, the mentality is different.

For you, it’s about building relationships. Maybe with a smaller pot of data to work with there’s no fear of data overwhelm. Or a fear of change.

‘What happens if we break the system we’ve built and relied upon?’ Heads roll.

For the startup, the challenger brand, you jump right on in. There’s a greater value in learning (when there’s little precedent already set).

Those welcome sequences become easier to write when you know just who you’re writing for.

Those invites to review flow from the keyboard when you know just why people buy what they do.

The newsletters aren’t as laboured, or static in their messaging, when you have a genuine desire to deliver a better experience for your subscriber.

It’s all fresh.

The more you learn about your customers during early-stage growth the brighter the future for your brand. That includes how you build loyalty and drive repeat business whilst delivering an experience that feels personal (even if it’s automated) to your customer.

There’s every temptation to focus all efforts on customer acquisition for early stage ecommerce brands. And rightfully so, it’s where the audience is reached and the growth signals shine brightly. It’s not the making of your brand.

Focusing in on the post-sale experience is critical business. Learning how to time emails and segment customers. More importantly, knowing how to hold back on the ‘sell, sell, sell’ approach knowing that customers are ‘hottest’ when they’ve just made their first purchase. This is about building for the long haul. Building trust. Creating community. Earning retention.

Retention is earned. Through the product you sell and the service you deliver. As marketer’s our job is to deliver an exceptional service to new and existing customers alike. For startups. For established brands.


Written By:

Ian Rhodes

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Founder of Ecommerce Growth Co. I'm here to help you make better use of data & technology to fuel real ecommerce growth for your brand. I've been building and growing profitable ecommerce brands since 1997.


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