Customer Retention Strategies


There are several basic methods to retain a client. Of the most common ones you may know:

  • communicating;
  • improving the quality of services;
  • collecting feedback, etc.

Regular visitors are the fundament of a growing business. But if a business spends all its resources on attracting new visitors, regulars won't be profitable. And even more so if the owner doesn't think about existing customers. The cost of getting a new visitor is five times higher than the cost of selling to an existing one. Growing and retaining loyal customers by just 5% increases profits by 25-95%. And those are considerable enough numbers to get right down to it, aren't they? Customer retention programs come to the forefront. And LTV Lifetime Value becomes the metric one looks at first. Read our article below to learn the most effective methods for your business and how to retain customers.

What is customer retention?

What is customer retention

It is crucial so that the company can keep its users throughout the sales cycle. Also, it can know how to turn them into loyal customers (those who have made at least two purchases).

  • The initial stage is the first contact with the visitor. 
  • Next, the salesperson builds a relationship. So that the visitor becomes regular and permanent. 
  • Constancy and loyalty are essential, at least because of the possibility of buying: 
    • new customers - 5-20%;
    • the regular ones - 60-70%

Retention of customers allows you to maintain a high position in the market. The ability to simultaneously attract new and keep old customers indicates effective work. It works by forming a good reputation. Retaining customers are much more profitable than attracting new users and customers. Especially when they have already made a buy or used your goods and products. Current customers are loyal to your company, which gives a great competitive advantage. Also, if a customer or user has a problem (a need for a product or service), they are more likely to choose to contact you. It is better for them rather than spend time and effort searching for a new company. By knowing this, you can retain clients. It is not due to laziness but to the properties of the human brain. 

What is the customer retention rate?

It is the main thing without which the analysis of the results of a campaign is impossible. This rate determines the number of loyal customers. To calculate the Customer Retention Rate (CRR):

  • determine the period for which you check it;
  • then you substitute all this into the formula: [(E-N)/S] x 100.
    • S is number of existing customers at the start of the time period;
    • E is number of total customers at the end of the time period;
    • N is number of new customers added within the time period.

If you know this formula, you can understand how to retain customers.

We can consider the example. Ometria studied more than 200 companies and compiled statistics from four main industries:

  • fashion;
  • beauty;
  • fast moving consumer goods;
  • household goods. 

A company obtained high retention rates for FMCG and beauty products - an average of 15-25%. Key players in these areas reached 35%+. The retention rate of customers in the household goods industry was about 8-15%, and the first was 15%+.

The industry Average retention rate  Retention rate of key players
Consumer goods 15-25% 35%+
Beauty products 8-15% 30%
Clothes and shoes 10-20% 25%
Products for house 8-15% 15%

Why is customer retention important?

Why is customer retention important

Online retailers lose 25 percent of their customers every year. But if you encourage customers to come back, there is a 54 percent chance that they will buy again. And that already gives a proportional correlation between:

  1. repeat purchases or the length of the customer's interaction with the company;
  2. the increasing value of the order. 

Do you remember the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule? You can apply it to retain clients. It originally referred to economics: 80% of all wealth belongs to 20% of the population. The world's leading Google Ads expert Perry Marshall adapted it for marketing. Also, he suggested that about 20% of customers generate about 80% of a business's revenue. 

Marshall was not far from the truth: 40% of an online store's revenue comes from 8% loyal customers. 

It is better for businesses to invest in developing sales to existing buyers than to look for new ones. It is one reason for the rapid development of subscription sales. This model is prevalent in the U.S. and Canada, where the share of such deals is significant and grows yearly. Subscriptions sell everything from food to sleepwear, which is in irregular demand.

How to Retain Customers?

How to Retain Customers

You can divide all methods that aim to keep old customers into four main categories:

  1. customer communication;
  2. working with the product;
  3. facilitating registration and payment;
  4. marketing.

You can use reliable ways to keep customers gradually in each category. In any business, there are three stages of how you can keep a customer:

  • short-term;
  • medium-term;
  • long-term. 

You can try to optimize each stage:

1. Short-term retention

At this stage, you need to convey your offer to the client in a small amount of time. 

2. Retention of average duration

In the first step, people have had the experience of your services. The next task is to create habits in the customer specifically related to using your product.

3. Prolonged retention

As a result of the first two steps, you have loyal customers. They are already using your products. At this stage, customers change their view of the firm. Now you have to bring their brand loyalty.

As we discover the stages, let's understand the essence of each method.

Five customer retention programs through communication

Communication is crucial. It is one of the most critical levers when communicating with customers. Read on to find out how you can use it in your work:

High quality of service

Before you find large customers, you need to:

  • test the level of service;
  • check the work of the support service;
  • observe the level of competence of managers. 

You must know powerful "anchors" for customer retention:

  • friendly communication;
  • the ability to get to the bottom of problematic issues quickly;
  • caring about customers increases loyalty.

Prompt work of support service

Quick customer retention programs will be invaluable if:

  • the customer has any questions or difficulties with the purchase;
  • he does not have enough information about the product.

Provide customer support through online chat or specify ways of contact.

Hire account managers and a successful team

The team creates positive emotional associations with your product for the customer. Introduce the customer to the intricacies of working with your products and cost. And also make sure that the client has everything in order. You can do this with an email service. This way, the customer will increase loyalty and is unlikely to go to a competitor. Especially if he receives regular letters from you with valuable and interesting information.


It is an integral part of your online marketing retention strategies. It should be convenient for users to contact your support team for free and get extra information. Use messengers and social networks. If the client chooses a way to communicate, it becomes another "anchor".

Allow the customer to take part in the company's life

They will feel involved in your business - this encourages retention. Unobtrusively ask questions about:

  • product quality;
  • level of service;
  • other nuances. 

You can also offer bonuses or discounts for completing the questionnaire. Develop answer options and allow for an open-ended response.

Customer retention programs based on product work

One of the most important elements for business is product quality. By improving the quality, you can force people to stay regular customers. It works incredibly well. After all, why leave when the company service or product is constantly improving? Read below how to put this into practice.


If a customer has a complaint, you need to:

  • listen to him;
  • apologize;
  • try to reassure them;
  • solve all problems quickly. 

If the customer does leave, consider his comments - it will help avoid mistakes in the future.

Usability and simplicity

Your service should be clear and simple for the client, logical and stable. Ensure that you have displayed information correctly in different browsers. So that searching for the right section is simple. You can also create a portfolio with all information to retain clients.

The first interaction

You can base it on the first interaction as an element of business strategy. Convince the customer of the simplicity of the product. You can also organize a simple and logical interaction. It will help the customer choose your company and not go to your competitors.

Trial period

Before you motivate a customer to buy, let them "taste" your product. Add a free trial with limited functionality. "Anchors" are extra free tools that attract new customers and keep old ones.

Ensure the security of the client

They don't have to worry about someone else can use their credit card details when they pay on the site. You may connect to reliable payment systems or provide a refund. It is also a good technique for the retention of customers. If a customer declines a buy, allow them to return the item and refund the full amount: 

  • to the customer's internal account in your store;
  • to the credit card from which the client made payment.

Product uniqueness

Stake on uniqueness - give your customer the opportunity to customize your product: 

  • choose the necessary functions;
  • change the design. 

It will make your company stand out among competitors with standard products.

Onboarding, gamification

The introduction of game elements and components of the quest is an original way to:

  • Interest the client;
  • Motivate him to pass the quest or game to the end. 

Use the product's benefits and principles in a game form. You may also create a catching logo. This is a working marketing strategy for attracting new customers and retention of old ones.

Make formal procedures and order placement simple

Work out authorization forms: 

  • the client can sign in via social networks;
  • email, a password you send to your phone. 

Set up the automatic filling of standard form fields, and make it easy to restore the password if they lose it. Unless your site sells super-secrets, don't demand complicated steps for client authorization. There is a significant risk that they will simply leave for your competitors.

Marketing retention strategies: effective methods

People have always considered marketing the cornerstone of business. With the help of clever marketing, you can significantly increase your sales. And also, marketing is one of the best strategies to keep customers within the company. Read how to use this method correctly.

Keep an eye on uniqueness

Originality is the strength of a product or commodity. They distinguish it from its competitors. Tell your customers about them. This will increase the value of your company to your target audience. It will also be a powerful incentive to stay with you.

Create exciting and useful content

It is one more workable strategy for the marketing retention of customers. It includes:

  • newsletters;
  • training materials;
  • videos;
  • webinars. 

They can tell about the product's benefits, how to use it, and how to solve customers' problems. Such a move increases the loyalty of the target audience, makes your company an expert and encourages them to contact you.

Personalization of offers

An effective customer retention strategy is personalization. You can track visitor's actions on the site and collect information. This data will help you personalize your sales offers. Classic tools on how to retain customers are: 

  • addressing by name;
  • giving personalized birthday discounts;
  • reminding customers of unfinished purchases.

There are some good examples of personalization. 

  1. At the end of the year, the food delivery service Seamless sent each user a fascinating statistic. It was a list of their favorite places they've been to most often and the dishes they ordered. 
  2. The Frank + Oak clothing store asks customers after each shopping experience. The question is whether they are happy with their product. Each site visitor can create an online chat with a personal stylist and assistant. 

Cross-sales and upsales

Increase the average check price and customer loyalty with cross-sales and upsales. Tell the customer about the products related to their purchase. Use flyers to attract more people. It will definitely help retain clients. You can also let them know about more expensive models with advanced functions. Do it unobtrusively.

Loyalty program

It is an effective customer retention program: 

  • personal managers may contact the client-member of the program online
  • special conditions;
  • discounts. 

These features may be available for members. You can provide such club members with access to closed materials and sales. So, this will be an incentive to return to you again. Forty-nine percent of the world's companies have this beneficial program. 

Bottom line

We are sure that now you know more about the retention of customers. Using every tool possible to get to know your customer and establish a trusting relationship is important. One of the best strategies for retaining and attracting new clients is a creative and exciting portfolio. Remember that you can always contact us to create your online store or website. Our professionals will gladly help you with it.


How to get started with retention of customers? 

Onboarding is a good place to start. It's an effective customer retention tool because it prevents new customers from leaving. When users first work with a product, they may quit if they don't understand how to use it.

What are the top 3 keys to customer retention?

The first and most important is the impact on emotions: work with feedback or send gifts. Next, pay attention to the quality of service. And last but not least is the ease of understanding your service.

What is the customer journey?

The buyer's journey is the potential customer's route, which begins with identifying a problem and ends with solving it through the buying of the brand's product.

What strategy is also effective to retain clients?

With email marketing, you can build a relationship with customers before and after their initial order. This tool is suitable for thanking them for their purchase and offering generic products or compliments.

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