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5 Ways To Improve Customer Retention for Your International E-Commerce Business

E-commerce · 4 Mins Read

5 Ways To Improve Customer Retention for Your International E-Commerce Business

Acquiring a new customer has been known to cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. Increasing customer retention by a mere 5% can increase profits up to a whopping 95%! 

In addition, it’s much easier to retain a customer than to find a new one. 

Finally, loyal customers are your best advocates and are more likely to recommend your business to others. When you have an international customer base, inculcating loyalty will translate to greater conversions for your business.

Companies that are successful know all about attracting and retaining customers. From large corporations to small e-commerce businesses, here are some customer retention strategies to help you maintain a relationship with your customers.

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1. Come up with an international customer retention programme

It’s simple, but it works. As many as 84% of consumers polled say they are more likely to support a company that offers a customer retention programme. 

Point-based retention programmes such as the Starbucks Rewards and REI’s Co-op are prime examples of how giving cashback encourages repeat spending.

A tiered programme such as the Malaysia Airline’s loyalty programme is another example of an effective customer loyalty and retention strategy that rewards customers based on their level of support to the business. 

Creating a programme that transcends geographical boundaries means more customers can enjoy the benefits, encouraging greater engagement and conversions with your brand.

2. Optimise your e-commerce site 

Your customers aren’t going to be happy if your e-commerce site isn’t user-friendly. Perhaps the images are too big or videos autoplay, causing the site to slow down significantly.

By making your e-commerce site aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly and memorable, you’ll reduce the reader bounce rate and ultimately improve the customer retention rate.  

More importantly, consider your international customers and your primary target markets. What additional languages do you need? Is your site optimised for international customers? Do you offer local and other major currencies? 

Do you also offer checkout options with international payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal and Amazon Pay? Ensuring your customers can pay using their preferred methods will help you reduce shopping cart abandonment significantly. 

3. Leverage personalised marketing campaigns 

Personalised marketing campaigns retain customers by making them feel special, as opposed to generic marketing campaigns that cast a wider net. 

By simply learning more about your customers, such as names, birthdays, and other key demographics, you can tailor a personalised retention marketing plan just for them. Consider tying these with international events or festivities that are more related to your target market. For instance, you could run a marketing campaign for your South Asian customer base around festivals like Diwali. Likewise for your Western counterparts, events like Independence day will appeal to them more. You can also organise online promotions to drive up sales by leveraging popular sales days like Black Friday, Amazon Prime Day and Cyber Monday.

When you connect to a customer on an individual level, it gives them the impression that they are your priority. And when customers feel like your priority, you can rest easy knowing that they will likely return for more business.

4. Place special emphasis on customer care

Most customers will not say anything when they receive bad service or support. They simply won’t come back.

One of the key ways to retain customers is to offer extraordinary service and support. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Offer quick and easy-to-use customer support that is convenient to find. Consider a chat function at the corner of your website with which the customer can speak to a service operator directly.

  • Respond to customer inquiries promptly, preferably within an hour by a customer service team that speaks the local language of your target market.

  • Be polite and helpful when dealing with customers.

  • Go above and beyond to fix customer requests. Even if it’s a simple correction of the delivery address which can be done on the customer’s end, explain clearly the steps to take to do so and follow up to check if the customer has managed to solve the issue. 

  • Give excellent service overall, not just for problematic issues. You could reach out to and thank those who purchased from you a second time. How about following up on product returns to understand your customer needs better?

  • If a customer can't be satisfied no matter what you do, refund their money or offer an exchange if possible, instead of letting them leave unhappy. 

5. Offer a variety of delivery options

Improve customer retention by providing numerous delivery options. Working with a reliable logistics partner that can provide quick delivery is of utmost importance. 

Customers should have a variety of options for getting your products to their doorstep. Customers want an easy process and method for receiving goods, so make sure to offer multiple delivery options such as international economy or standard shipping. While this can help in attracting new customers, more importantly, you draw return customers who feel they can rely on your brand for their needs, thus retaining their loyalty.

In order to upsell your products, you can also offer free shipping for minimum orders above a certain amount. 

On top of implementing customer retention strategies, consider leveraging social selling platforms and making blogging a part of your content marketing strategy to boost your e-commerce sales further.

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