Footfall Data & Analytics

Why customer retention begins and ends with data

Written by Brett Stephenson
Jul 7

Ask any CMO what their most pressing concern is, and they’re likely to say “generating sales”. Fair enough. The thing is, focusing solely on your sales strategies is shortsighted –  because if you’re not prioritising your customer retention strategies, you’re essentially losing out on a substantial amount of revenue.

This is down to several factors, the most notable of which is the fact that the modern consumer now values consumer experience and value over price point. And, as this article from Forbes points out, “66% of consumers would rather spend an average of 13% more with a company they believe provides excellent service over just the lowest price.” Which means that if you want your customers to stick around after their initial purchase, you need to find a way to provide them with a valuable experience, as opposed to merely value for money.

As value and experience overtake price as the key factors that facilitate brand loyalty, you need to have a data-driven customer retention strategy in place if you want to win over your customers.

If you want to facilitate brand loyalty, and in turn, increase customer retention, you need to implement a strategic customer retention strategy which is based on an in-depth understanding of your customers. “The key to keeping customers engaged, thereby increasing their lifetime value, boils down to an individually tailored customer experience” says Jerry Jao, (founder and CEO of Retention Science) writing for Forbes.  And the longer you’re able to retain a customer, the more information you’ll be able to collect from them.

Data analytics tools are crucial in collecting and analysing information about your consumers’ behaviour – the first step in facilitating customer retention.

The efficacy of your customer retention strategy relies on gathering information about your customers’ transactions with your brand, their buying behaviour, and their online activity. And the only way to do this is by investing in data analytics tools in order to leverage off of and implement insights gleaned from the above. Once you know who your customers are, and the way they interact with your brand (and your competitors), you’ll be able to identify the ways in which you can cater to their unique behaviour. The types of data analytics tools you choose to add your customer segmentation arsenal will depend on the industry in which you operate; if you’re in the retail sphere for example, investing in foot traffic analytics software is crucial.

Once you’ve implemented analytics tools that give you insight into your customers’ online and offline activity, you can you begin to implement customer retention strategies that are based on hard data, as opposed to guesswork.

There are numerous ways to use data to amplify your customer retention rate. One of these is to segment your market according to data gathered about them: this enables you to not only really get to know who your customers are, but to provide them with personalised buyer’s journeys which in turn, facilitate an increased customer lifecycle. (Quick recap: a buyer’s journey is the path each lead travels as they move towards making a purchase. Hubspot, an inbound marketing company, defines the buyer’s journey as consisting of the following four stages: attract, convert, close and delight. And it’s this final stage which is the deciding factor as to whether a customer continues to support your brand or look elsewhere for an experience that does delight them.)

Both bricks and mortar and online retailers can employ some of the great customer retention strategies outlined here by the team at Magemail such as rewarding customers and having a greaty loyalty program.

In short, the key to customer retention lies in using data to offer an experience and service that truly delights your customers. Bear in mind that a customer retention strategy is a marathon, as opposed to a sprint. Think of each bit of data gathered – from the moment a person first expresses interest in your offering, to the moment they make a purchase – as something that helps you to increasingly personalise your interactions with them, taking you one step closer to retaining them.

The end goal? A customer who’s loyal to your brand, due to the fact that you’re giving them an exceptional experience that’s tailored to their unique needs, wants and priorities.

Another effective way to amplify your customer retention strategy is to pull data from your PoS systems or loyalty programs. Using insight into what your customers are buying from you, when they’re shopping at your store, and how much they’re spending, will further bolster your customer retention efforts, as you can tailor your marketing strategies and stores to best cater to their behaviour. When your marketing and sales teams have this kind of data at their disposal, they’re that much better equipped to provide your customers with an experience and service that goes above and beyond the generic offerings of your competitors who aren’t using data to get to the heart of the customers.

Want to get started on increasing your customer retention? Find out about our visitor flow software – giving you crucial insight into how your customers are navigating your stores.

Learn more about Blix Traffic for retail

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