The leading blog for customer rewards, psychology, referrals, loyalty, and VIP programs. Smile.io is a points and rewards system for ecommerce platforms that helps merchants build fun and engaging experiences that foster customer loyalty and growth.
Whether you just started an ecommerce store or have been in business for a while, you’ve probably heard that ad space is getting more competitive and expensive year over year. While I’d love to reassure you that’s not the case, the reality is that paid acquisition is no longer a winning strategy. It takes more than acquisition alone to grow your business sustainably, and without the ability to engage and retain customers over time your business is bound to flatline.
While advertising might be the type of marketing that’s easiest to recognize, it’s a common misconception that ads are all that matter in modern marketing.
The fact is that advertising is only a single customer acquisition channel, and acquisition is only one part of what makes a complete marketing strategy. For long term success, marketing needs to move customers through 3 distinct stages. You need to first acquire a customer, then encourage them to engage with you, and motivate them to keep coming back to make another purchase.
What are your go-to customer acquisition strategies? I’m going to guess your knee-jerk reaction is probably paid acquisition, but what if I told you there was a cheaper and, quite frankly, more effective way to attract new customers?
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 27, 2018 and was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on June 28, 2019.
If you make a list of the brands you love, the ones that get you the most excited are probably going to be the ones that have a visible loyalty program. This makes a lot of sense — as a customer, your ability to find and join the program is what determines whether you’re going to find value in it. As a result, whether or not a rewards program is visible has a direct impact on how quickly that brand will be able to acquire, engage, and retain new members.
Have you ever gone through your closet and found something you haven’t worn in a while but can’t bring yourself to get rid of? Even though you’ll probably never wear it again, it’s something you don’t want to lose.
We’ve all been there — you go to buy a new pair of jeans from your favorite online store and before you know it you’ve got ten other items in your cart that you didn’t think you wanted. While you love everything you bought, you end up asking yourself how all of those other items got there.