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How are your customers doing during the coronavirus pandemic? Are you wishing them well and keeping them updated with your company’s operations through your email marketing? During this time of crisis, the biggest priority businesses should focus on is customer retention. 

Acquisition strategies don’t tackle customer relationships and low consumer confidence. Email marketing during the Coronavirus pandemic could be the answer to bring definition to their customer journey during this uncertain period. 

The answer to your frustration and stress may already be in your existing email list. 

Yes, there is a rise in consumers moving towards online shopping. But this doesn’t mean you should drop everything and start casting your net at the incoming customer migration. 

Between March and April although more brands have increased their spending on ads, new customers right now may prove to be below sustainable. Instead, stores should focus on retaining lifelong customers by strengthening their brand community. Why should your customers shop with you and not someone else? 

The implementation of community quarantines encourages the work-from-home lifestyle. This means that both consumers and offline businesses had to move online for their shopping and work operations. While it’s tempting to fish out potential customers from the crowd, that’s not where your marketing efforts should be heavily focused on.

Reality is—consumer behavior isn’t the same as pre-pandemic times. And not aligning your marketing strategies accordingly may cost your business unnecessary losses.

So why focus on nurturing your existing customer base? And why should you invest more in customer retention even beyond the current crisis?

First, let’s delve into what the pandemic is doing to your customers’ buying behavior.

 

What Coronavirus Means for Email Marketing Customers

The lockdowns heavily affected the stability of product delivery. This meant supplies for essential stores like groceries and pharmacies are very limited. Globally, the feeling of scarcity among consumers looking to replenish their basic needs is imminent.

Already we saw that the fear of product scarcity led to a surge of panic buying among consumers. Groceries would see their shelves swept clean of products by these panic buyers. And when the local grocery store runs short on supplies, consumers turn to online means of shopping or essential goods.

The shift in customer buying priorities means that it’s not going to be business as usual for eCommerce stores. This is because customer buying behavior is now geared more towards essential goods rather than experiences. 

Even your most loyal customers may have to hold off buying your signature products for now, and that is totally understandable. Counteracting the drop in online traffic to your store may be the source of your stress and frustration, alongside a high rate of cart abandonment. 

So how is the pandemic affecting your audience demographics, generation-wise? Well, Generation Z and Millennials are actually among the most affected. 96% of them dramatically changed their buying behavior in response to the pandemic.

 

The Effect of the Coronavirus on Email Marketing Behavior

As we mentioned earlier, the changes in consumer behavior include cutting back on expenses and stocking up on essential items. According to Amazon, they’re prioritizing products that fall under the following categories:

  • Baby Products
  • Health and Household (including personal-care appliances)
  • Grocery
  • Pet Supplies
  • Industrial and Scientific (tools and medical equipment)

Even experiences aren’t at the top of consumers’ lists now. The luxury market has also felt the impact of the pandemic, with 15% of consumers delaying their purchases of luxury products.

Source: Global Web Index

Another point worth mentioning is that over 40% of consumers say they will continue delaying their major purchases as long as the pandemic is still at large.

So during trying times such as these, how can your eCommerce business maintain your foothold in the online marketplace? How can you stay relevant to your existing audience? And why should you focus on retaining them rather than actively looking for new customers?

 

Acquisition is Expensive, Retention is Not

Let’s start on this note—it costs 5x more to attract a new customer rather than retaining an existing one. If an eCommerce business like yours is looking to expand your customer base, you will only be faced with higher costs in lead acquisition

On the other hand, loyal customers would spend more on your brand compared to newly acquired customers.

Here are a couple more stats on why customer retention should be your focus:

Source: Forbes, Bain & Company, Leading on the Edge of Chaos (book)

That’s not all, effectively managing your customer churn rate will keep loyal and returning customers coming back for more. How? 

Appreciating your tribe by creating crisis-sensitive campaigns and attractive discounts can also create that connection with your customers and even raise your Average Order Value (AOV). Since raising customer loyalty is all about using retention email marketing strategies, it plays a huge role in aiding your AOV in the long-term, and not just during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Retaining Your Customers Also Raises Your AOV

Cart abandonment email campaigns are one of those most effective retention strategies you can use. And customer retention isn’t the only thing they’re good at. According to Klaviyo, they helped their clients recover more than $60 million dollars from abandoned carts using abandoned cart email flows.

So not only are you reclaiming dormant revenue, but reducing cart abandonment rates also play a role in raising your AOV. Since abandoned cart emails help your brand re-engage with your customers during crucial touchpoints, it often results in them actually finishing their checkouts. Which is what every retail owner wants. 

These are long-term benefits you can enjoy beyond times of crisis. By focusing on strengthening your brand’s community, your customers will remember you long after. Meaning, you can bounce back faster post-crisis.  

 So don’t just keep your customer retention efforts within this pandemic. There’s more where these benefits come from. 

 

Stay in Touch with Your Customers

Email marketing specializes in reaching out and keeping in touch with your customers, especially those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. With the coronavirus affecting businesses all over, as well as dropshipping businesses, confidence in product deliveries isn’t as stable as before. Delays in shipping and restrictions in transports make deliveries a living hell for both retailers and consumers alike.

To minimize stress and worry, keep in touch with your customers when it comes to order confirmations all the way to order fulfillment and logistics tracking. Update your customers on any changes within these processes and keep them in the loop of what’s going on in your company.

Transactional emails are great for keeping in touch with your customers when it comes to nurturing them through the product order process. Just make sure you update your current flows to fit the ongoing pandemic situation.

Pair these strategies up with email marketing automation and your customer retention efforts won’t be missing a beat!

Supercharge your crisis-communication using advanced email marketing strategies for browse recovery, cart abandonment and community smithing during these times of the pandemic. 

 

It’s All About Establishing Communication

Let’s not be those people who just hide in their figurative storm cellars until this whole pandemic blows over. We as eCommerce businesses still have a responsibility to our customers. Keeping them informed of our operations especially when dealing with a major crisis is a must.

Email marketing is more than just for marketing, as its main function is establishing a reliable channel of communication with your customers, especially with the coronavirus still ravaging communities all over. Using this tool right can go a long way to forging long-lasting relationships with your customers.

Always remember to have a personal level of communication with your customers, show them you care, and that your company is doing its part during this pandemic.

Are you still having trouble with your customer retention email marketing flows? Let us help you with that! Schedule a free 30-minute strategy call with us and let’s show your customers how important they are!

 

References:

Big Commerce

Agility PR

Invesp

Global Web Index

Klaviyo

Agile CRM

Business.com

Forbes — Five Customer Retention Tips for Entrepreneurs

Forbes — Coronavirus Fears May Drive U.S eCommerce Sales Beyond 2020 Projections

Bain & Company

Leading on the Edge of Chaos (eBook)

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