How to build real customer loyalty

Having a loyal customer following is the holy grail for most retail businesses. But with a competitive market, it’s often hard to know how to best attract and keep them. So what part can technology play, to ensure your valuable customers keep coming back for more?

Customer loyalty tips for small business

In this article, the owner of Shoes Feet Gear shares tips on how to attract and retain customers. Find out how they use technology like cloud applications to make their customers’ experience the best it can be.

Q: How do you use technology to track your customers’ user experience and keep them coming back?

  • We use a loyalty program where people can refer friends through Facebook, email and other channels.

  • We also use comprehensive analytical software that can track groups of customers based on their type of purchases, recency of visits and dollar spends.

  • We email these groups of customers with targeted offers or promotions.

Q: Do you have any examples of customer loyalty programs you’ve run that went well?

We use Perkville, a customer loyalty application (app) that integrates easily with our point of sale software Vend.

Perkville enables us to easily create a loyalty program where our customers can check and track their point balance online. Vend is a Point of Sale app we use that’s cloud-based and syncs up with the data in our loyalty app and accounting software.

Q: How do you say thank you to your customers?

We try and do something little such as giving customers a new pair of socks when they are trying on shoes. Even if customers don't buy the shoes, we let them have the new socks. They can’t believe we are just giving them socks without buying something, and this normally goes a long way with loyalty.

Q: How do you attract customers to your site?

We produce a lot of original content through our blogs and product reviews. We get this out through our social media channels to drive people back to our website. On our blog we regularly post about things that will interest our customers. For example, tips on injury prevention, or when there’s a sale on.

Q: Do you use online business tools and if so, how do they help you run your customer loyalty initiatives?

We use good cloud-based platforms – this means our business is all online. There are apps or online business tools for almost everything. If we want to add unique functionality, then we find an app to do the job. We use apps for powerful analytical functions, email campaigns, loyalty and social media integration.

Having cloud apps has made life so much easier for us, because we can access this information wherever we happen to be, as long as we have an internet connection.

Q: What tips would you give others in the online retail space about using small business apps to help customer loyalty?

  • Giving customers targeted information gets customers engaged more, and will give you greater traction.

  • When you give customers a way to get rewards, they become much more engaged with your brand.

  • Use apps that connect with social media as a powerful way to get authentic customer referrals.

Q: How important is it to retain customer loyalty in today’s competitive market?

It is easy to get caught up in looking for the next 'tactic' to attract people to your store. We focus on servicing our existing customers to the full potential. It saves on advertising, the customers are happier and they will spread the word for you through their own channels.

Q: What’s your number one tip for keeping customers loyal?

We don’t worry about having the cheapest prices or worry about the fastest or easiest way to get a sale. We make sure we deliver what’s best for the customer. Your customers are smarter than you think and will see the value in the service and the experience!

When you adapt your retail business to make use of cloud apps and new technology, you’ll gain powerful insight into the needs of your customers. Just like Shoes Feet Gear, take advantage of online business tools to ensure you’re giving people the best possible customer experience.

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