28/02/20224 min

How to increase ecommerce customer loyalty 

It’s the oldest business advice there is: getting an old customer to return is better than always hunting for new ones. Returning customers are cheaper to acquire and they usually spend more with you. Building lasting relationships with customers turns them into ambassadors for your brand. In other words, free advertising. 

How can your business reap these rewards? It’s all about increasing customer loyalty. What is customer loyalty? It’s a fancy way of saying build a relationship with your customer. You can build that relationship in many ways, from improving your e-commerce store to offering rewards and incentive programmes. Let’s dive in. 

1. Prioritise customer service 

A great way to show customers you care about them is fine-tuning your customer service. Just like bad experiences turn people off of returning to a physical store, 70% of consumers say good customer service determines where they shop. 

Perfecting your customer service means making it easy for people to find answers to their questions. One way to do that is to include an FAQ page on your website. There you can answer all the most common questions your customers might have, like how long shipping takes or how to refund a late or broken item. 

Of course, you can’t predict everything they’ll ask, so it’s a good idea to have real-time service options too. Email and phone are two of the most common service channels. You should set clearly defined opening hours so customers know when to contact you and expect replies. 

If speed is your priority (and it should be), consider implementing chatbot software. Chatbots give customers an interactive way to have their questions answered instantly and promote engagement. Plus, you can leverage the chatbot to interact with customers at every step of the buying journey, walking them through finding their items and navigating checkout. 

2. Personalised product recommendations 

Want to make your customers feel seen? Show them you’ve been paying attention by tailoring your products to their interests. When your product offers are relevant to your customer’s needs, they’re more likely to buy. 

The more data you have about your customers, the better your product recommendations can be. Use information obtained on and outside your store – previous purchases, Google searches,

social media follows – to build robust customer profiles. Just make sure all your data collection abides by the data protection laws in your country. 

And you don’t have to just offer products. You can use what you know about your customers to send them blogs, videos, and other content that matches their interests. That way, you can be supportive and relevant without coming across as forcing a sale. 

3. Improve your store UX 

Customers always appreciate a streamlined website. Try to reduce distractions and make the purchase journey as straightforward as possible. It’s also a good idea to keep design aspects, like your colour scheme, simple to promote visual cohesion. 

A key place customers often drop off is the checkout cart. In between taxes they didn’t know about, requiring too much personal information, and trouble with the payment options offered, there’s a lot that turns people away. 

Luckily, these are easy issues to fix. You should make it a point to always show your prices with the tax already added, so there are no surprises later. 

Minimise the data you collect at checkout to make the process faster. Ideally, you’d offer one-click checkout, but in any case, only ask for what you need to ship your products. 

Finally, offering customers as many ways to pay as possible goes a long way towards getting them to stick with you. If you don’t accept a certain card or mobile app, your customer may decide to shop somewhere that does. Make sure you choose a payment provider that gives you all the flexibility you need, and enables Apple pay, Google payment through direct links and more. Solutions such as SumUp can offer these advantages amongst others. 

4. Customer loyalty schemes 

Optimising your checkout, customer service, and making your store more responsive to customers are all great ways to make customers’ heads turn. But for a more direct approach, adopt a customer loyalty scheme. 

What are customer loyalty schemes? They’re strategies that use constant communication with customers and incentives like discounts, early access, or free shipping to persuade shoppers to maintain their relationship with your brand.

Customer loyalty schemes are effective – 40% of customers say they’re likely to buy again from brands that reward loyalty. There’s more than one way to go about offering these programmes. The most common types of customer loyalty scheme are: 

● Point-based programmes: A point-based system gives customers points whenever they make purchases, which they can use for rewards later on. The reward can be anything you think of, from discounts to exclusive merch. 

● Spend-based programmes: These are based on the amount of money spent, not purchase-by-purchase, however you’re still rewarding customers with credit they can use in future transactions. 

● Tiered or subscription-based programmes: Here, what you’re doing is introducing classes of membership (bronze, gold, silver, etc.) that come with different benefits. For example, premium customers might get free shipping or small discounts. 

● Value-based programmes: While offering material rewards works well most of the time, customers like to feel that brands are aligned with their values. One idea would be donating a percentage of a customer’s transaction to a charity relevant to your product. 

Through a combination of improving your website design and processes and incentivising returners with rewards, you’re well on your way to building a base of loyal customers. This will give you a more consistent source of revenue and a stronger chance of success in your business.


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