If you’re running an eCommerce business, you know how important first impression is. But Shopify customer retention is what matters the most. And here’s why.

Attracting new customers is getting more expensive, especially given the rising marketing costs. Convincing them to buy something from you is another story — you have a 5-20% probability of selling to a newcomer, while it’s 60-70% for existing clients.

The logical question arises: How do I increase customer retention on Shopify? Throughout the next few minutes, we’ll cover the top seven strategies that will help you keep your customers on board and motivate them to purchase in your online store. GenovaWebArt has assisted Early Rider, Kit & Kin, Winky Lux, and other businesses with these techniques and will guide you in using them to your advantage.

An Early Rider online store designed and developed by GenovaWebArt on Shopify, Screenshot for Blog Article - Shopify customer retention

Table of Contents

Why Is Customer Retention Important in eCommerce?

Before we jump into the best customer retention strategies Shopify, let’s first figure out why keeping your buyers around is critical.

The competition in eCommerce is fierce. Only Shopify accounts for over 4.7 million websites globally. That’s not even mentioning numerous online stores hosted on other eCommerce platforms. This abundance of choice makes drawing new customers more challenging. Keeping your existing ones, in turn, comes as a viable strategy. Here are several more reasons why retention is necessary:

  • Loyal customers drive profits. The happier your customers are with their shopping experience, the greater the likelihood they’ll not only come back but also spend more.
  • Shopify customer retention is cost-effective. Gaining a new customer costs around $58.64 for small eCommerce businesses, according to Shopify. That’s the most favorable scenario. But what if your CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) is higher? Retention is the answer.
  • Retention builds brand advocacy and awareness. Satisfied customers don’t just come back — they bring their friends. Nielsen highlights the power of positive word-of-mouth: about 88% of shoppers trust recommendations from those they know.

7 Ways to Retain Customers for Your Shopify Store

Customer retention brings more profits, reduces expenses, and increases your brand awareness. It also helps your online store excel in the competitive eCommerce market. But how can you turn one-time shoppers into devoted fans of your business? Consider the following best seven customer retention strategies for Shopify:

1. Use Customer Accounts

Implementing customer accounts on your Shopify store is one of the most straightforward customer retention strategies. This feature allows you to personalize your offerings and your buyers to get quick access to their previous orders, shipping information, and payment details.

Yet, one obstacle is still on your way. Customers aren’t always willing to register an account in your store — they often check out and go. Here’s how to encourage them to set up an account:

  • Offer the option to register an account once your new customer has placed their first order.
  • Send email notifications to your first-time buyers suggesting to create an account.

Let’s also look at how to enable customer accounts through your Shopify admin. This process involves several steps:

  1. Open your Shopify admin and go to Settings.
  2. Move to the Customer Accounts section.
  3. Click Edit in the Accounts in online store and checkout section.
  4. Go to the Login experience section and choose Show login link in the header of online store and at checkout.
  5. Select either Classic customer accounts or New customer accounts in the Choose which version of customer accounts to use section.
  6. Click Save.

2. Improve Customer Support

Decent customer support is a way to increase your customers’ loyalty. Their loyalty, in turn, is a linchpin for retention. Even better, about 70% of consumers are willing to spend more with businesses that deliver seamless and personalized customer experience, as per Zendesk. If that sounds good to you, see the following tips on achieving excellent customer support:

  • Ensure responsive communication by addressing your customer inquiries swiftly.
  • Keep your customers informed about their order statuses, delivery times, and so on.
  • Anticipate potential problems and solve them before they turn into critical issues.

To deliver superior-quality customer support, you can leverage plenty of tools available. Here are several of them:

  • Built-in Shopify features like Order Timeline, live chat, email, and phone support.
  • Help desk software like Zendesk, Freshdesk, and Zoho Desk.
  • Third-party live chat solutions like LiveChat and Intercom.
  • Customer feedback collection tools like SurveyMonkey and Typeform.

Given that around 64% of customers anticipate bots to deliver support at a human-like level, you can try implementing cutting-edge AI solutions for improved customer experience.

3. Launch a Customer Loyalty Program

You can promote your Shopify store and retain more customers by creating a loyalty program. Let’s see what it involves.

Loyalty programs reward customers for their dedication to your brand, encourage them to shop in your store again, and refer their family and friends to your business. Such programs typically include exclusive discounts, gifts, and points that can be later redeemed for various perks.

Your customers aren’t the only ones who get perks. Your business benefits from the loyalty program, too. Here are the main advantages:

  • You enhance customer retention Shopify by creating a sense of exclusivity among your buyers.
  • You extend your customer lifetime value by rewarding repeat business.
  • Your satisfied customers are likely to recommend your store to other people.

Creating a customer loyalty program on Shopify takes several considerations:

  • Determine what rewards will work for your target audience.
  • Select a loyalty app from Shopify’s App Store, integrate a third-party one, or build your own from scratch.
  • Promote your loyalty program to your customers, highlighting its benefits.

4. Leverage Email Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool that boosts Shopify customer retention. It lets you communicate with clients regularly, keeping your brand in the spotlight. Personalization here is the key to success.

You can use several email marketing campaigns to achieve a good retention rate Shopify:

  • Follow-up emails. Send these after the first purchase or any significant action on your website, like registering an account, and express gratitude for your customer’s engagement.
  • Personalized recommendations. Suggest products or sales based on your customer’s order history.
  • Exclusive offers. Update your clients on special discounts or early access to loyal customers.
  • Anniversary rewards. Celebrate customer milestones with personalized messages and discounts or gifts.

If you want to write a catchy retention email, follow these tips:

  • Personalize your messages by addressing customers by name and tailoring email content following their preferences and order history.
  • Ensure emails have a clear purpose and include CTAs that prompt your customers to take the desired action within your store.
  • Make sure you don’t overwhelm your customers with frequent messages: emailing them once in two weeks might be enough.

5. Deliver Personalized Shopping Experiences

Personalization is one of the best ways to improve Shopify retention rate. Failing to tailor your offerings to your clients’ preferences might bring negative consequences. Consider that about 37% of customers state they won’t engage with a company that doesn’t offer a personalized experience.

Conversely, delivering a tailored experience increases customer satisfaction, engagement, and the likelihood of repeat purchases. According to McKinsey, it also allows businesses to increase revenues by 40% more than those that don’t prioritize personalization.

Here’s how you can personalize shopping experiences on Shopify:

  • Divide your customer base into segments following their preferences, behaviors, or demographics.
  • Leverage recommendation tools that suggest products based on past purchases or browsing history.
  • Create personalized email campaigns and promotions.

You can go beyond the above tips and craft a unique experience following your audience’s needs. That’s exactly what GenovaWebArt did by introducing a Skincare Quiz feature for our client, the beauty brand Winky Lux. This functionality offers custom skincare product recommendations based on the customer’s skin type, age, and so on.

A Skincare Quiz feature in the Winky Lux store, Screenshot for Blog Article - Shopify customer retention

6. Exceed Customer Expectations

Customer delight goes beyond satisfaction — it exceeds their expectations and creates memorable experiences. Delight is one of the customer retention vitals that turn one-time shoppers into your brand advocates.

What can you do to delight your customers and surpass their expectations? Here are several suggestions:

  • Learn about your customer preferences and anticipate their needs before they do.
  • Deliver personalized and authentic communication to make customers feel valued.
  • Go above and beyond by providing unexpected perks, surprises, or exceptional service.

To gain a clearer insight into the practical application of this strategy, look at the following examples:

  • Integrating content into your packaging, from handwritten thank-you notes to a short printed magazine featuring your latest posts.
  • Including a small, branded gift in the packaging.
  • Sharing your brand’s story to foster deeper emotional connections with your audience.

7. Simplify Returns Processes

One more strategy to increase customer retention Shopify is to offer a straightforward returns process. Why is this so significant? McKinsey notes that 33% of repeat customers may stop shopping with a retailer if they find the returns experience challenging.

A streamlined returns process, instead, provides the following benefits:

  • Increased customer satisfaction even when shoppers are unhappy with the product itself.
  • Easy returns build trust with your audience and demonstrate your dedication to providing a convenient shopping experience.
  • Customers are more likely to make repeat purchases if they know returns are hassle-free.

To simplify the returns experience in your Shopify store, you can do the following:

  • Display a transparent and easily accessible return policy on your website.
  • Simplify the steps for making a return through Shopify.
  • Offer prepaid return shipping.
  • Automate the refund process.

How to Calculate Customer Retention?

Let’s suppose you’ve implemented some of the best Shopify customer retention strategies. How can you measure their effectiveness? First of all, prepare the following data:

  • The number of customers at the start of the period (S).
  • The number of new customers acquired during the period (N).
  • The number of customers at the end of the period (E).

The formula for calculating the customer retention rate will look like this:

Retention rate = (E-N)/S) x 100.

A higher retention indicates a more effective customer retention strategy. Note that it differs from industry to industry, with the average returning customer rate Shopify being 28.2%.

How Can GenovaWebArt Assist You?

GenovaWebArt is a seasoned Shopify vendor with over a decade of experience. During this time, we’ve assisted over 200 online stores, solving their Shopify-related issues, developing custom features, offering tailored design solutions, and implementing the most effective customer retention strategies.

In particular, our experts can help you to:

  • Develop and customize a Shopify theme
  • Develop a Shopify app
  • Design a Shopify website
  • Customize Shopify store
  • Migrate to Shopify from other eCommerce platforms

Speaking of our background in introducing Shopify customer retention strategies, here are several examples. Yet, you can find even more in our portfolio.

Customer Portal Improvement for Early Rider

The Lifer community in the Early Rider online store, Screenshot for Blog Article - Shopify customer retention

Our team enhanced a customer portal for Early Rider, a UK-based bike manufacturer. We’ve implemented a convenient registration form for community members, or, as our client calls them, Lifers.

Order Management for Kit and Kin

Order and subscription management in the Kit and Kin store, Screenshot for Blog Article - Shopify customer retention

GenovaWebArt delivered a customer portal for a babycare brand, Kit&Kin. This portal features product updates, renewal date management, unscheduled renewal creation, and discount code usage.

Loyalty Program for Winky Lux

The loyalty program in the Winky Lux online store, Screenshot for Blog Article - Shopify customer retention

Our experts know well how to implement custom loyalty programs or introduce them through Shopify apps. For a cosmetic brand, Winky Lux’s loyalty program, we leveraged the Yotpo application.

Generally, personalized shopping experiences for improved retention are at the core of our Shopify design and development services. If you want to leverage them to your benefit, contact our team for further details.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I retain customers on Shopify?

You can leverage the following retention strategies: loyalty programs, engaging email campaigns, excellent customer support, personalized shopping experiences, and easy returns.

What is a good returning customer rate Shopify?

Good customer retention differs from industry to industry, but the average returning customer rate is 28.2%. Thus, a healthy benchmark for your store is around 20-30%.

What is the 80/20 rule of customer retention?

The 80/20 customer retention rule suggests that 80% of a business’s revenue comes from 20% of its customers. It emphasizes the importance of retaining customers and fostering repeat purchases.

What are the 3 R’s of customer loyalty?

The 3 R’s of customer loyalty are Retention, Related Sales, and Referrals. They involve keeping your shoppers engaged and satisfied, encouraging repeat purchases, and motivating your clients to refer your products to others.

How do you calculate the customer retention rate on Shopify?

To calculate the customer retention rate, you should subtract the number of new customers acquired during a specific period from the number of customers at the end of a certain period. Then, you need to divide the result by the number of customers you had at the start. Finally, multiply the quotient by 100 to get the retention rate as a percentage.

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