3 Steps to Increase Online Customer Retention

Sylvain Perrier
President and CEO, Mercatus
Sylvain Perrier profile picture
3 Ways to Increase Online Customer Retention
Online grocery is estimated to grow make up for 18 percent of grocery sales by 2025, up from 2 percent currently

Grocers are increasingly implementing online grocery platforms to create digital shopping experiences that attract and engage their customers. After all, a seamless, fully integrated online platform processes orders faster, creates more satisfied shoppers and improves operational efficiency, which is why leading national retailers like Walmart and Kroger, as well as forward-thinking regional grocers, are investing in click-and-collect, online delivery and other flexible, convenient options.

According to MoffettNathanson, online grocery will grow to account for 18 percent of grocery sales by 2025, up from 2 percent today, making it clear that digital convenience will continue to grow into a core industry. This projected growth is due to an increase in popularity as consumer behavior changes, and while digital disruption won’t be instantaneous, grocers have the opportunity to promote their platforms so that shoppers gravitate toward buying online. But with so many stimuli competing for shoppers’ attention, how do grocers market their ecommerce and fulfillment capabilities so that they grab users’ interest and compel them to explore the site?

No amount of SEO optimization will help grocers engage an audience the way creative and personalized content can.

Share Attention-Grabbing Content

You may have heard that humans now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. Whether that’s actually true, today’s marketers are challenged with creating new and relevant content that engages their shoppers. Attention-grabbing creative content, such as shoppable recipes or fun facts on the latest health trend, is key to building out a valuable marketing strategy that will attract and engage loyal shoppers on an online grocery platform.

For example, on Cinco de Mayo, grocers can promote ingredients to make guacamole, emphasizing the health benefits of avocados and creating clickable links to add items to the shopping cart. How-to videos can also deliver a compelling and interactive experience. Once the items are in the cart, shoppers can choose to have them delivered or pick up the order at their convenience. Whatever the content may be, it’s important that it resonates with shoppers and is integrated into the entire online experience, giving them a reason to complete the purchase journey and keep coming back for more.

Tap Into Data

To make sure that these creative pieces of content resonate with shoppers, it’s also important that grocers take an ultra-personalized approach to deliver content based on smart recommendations. To do this, grocers must tap into data to understand each shopper’s preference and buying habits. They must understand the makeup of the customers who are visiting the website for the first time, as well as the shoppers who return every week.

One way grocers can achieve this customer-first approach is by providing real, practical value to each shopper. When visiting a grocer’s online grocery platform, customers can create data-rich profiles by answering a questionnaire that showcases their individual attitudes, motivations and interests. These pieces of valuable information will allow grocers to take advantage of the data to deliver a more relevant shopping experience, driving higher levels of customer satisfaction and generating more sales. By securing interest early on, grocers can mine customer data to deliver a better shopper experience.

Build a Consistent and Engaging Experience

Tapping into data for attention-grabbing content will encourage shoppers to keep visiting a grocer’s online platform multiple times, until it becomes a habitual way of shopping. As shoppers explore different channels and preferences for shopping, grocers will also need to ensure that they use consistent imagery, language and tone across all promotions and channels, building a multifaceted customer relationship.

Grocers who take these steps can see retention grow at a rapid pace and an increase in overall spending. Conversely, those who only do the bare minimum and don’t put out tailored, engaging content are missing the opportunity to build an engaging experience with the shopper and make the most out of their online grocery platform. Features like a responsive design that adapts to a users’ device, or online ads that create greater engagement, will facilitate a better omnichannel experience overall.

No amount of SEO optimization will help grocers engage an audience the way creative and personalized content can. Because customer retention is becoming just as important as customer acquisition, grocers must adopt the idea that enriching content creates strong online shopper retention. There’s a strong link between data and good content, and it’s up to grocers to invest in a content-driven digital marketing strategy on their online grocery platforms to retain customers. 

About the Author

Sylvain Perrier
Sylvain Perrier is president and CEO of Toronto-based Mercatus, which creates and builds web and mobile applications exclusively for grocery retailers, helping them to extend their brand’s online presence, offer personalized experiences to their customers a Read More

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