Shopify · 5 February 2021

Customer retention increases profits. But what is your Shopify store doing about it?

What is customer retention?

Customer retention means keeping existing customers engaged and coming back to you for making more purchases. Simply put, it is the one strategy that keeps your existing customers coming back for more even as you focus on acquiring new ones. Their driving force being the shopping experience you offer and how they feel about it.

Let’s take Target for instance. No matter how many competing brands come into being, we still go back to the store to make our day to day purchases. Even if we’re getting a bigger and better deal from someone else, we still walk straight to their store simply for the experience they offer.

They’re not the only ones. H&M, Zara and all those brands that people can’t seem to stop talking about, are all focusing on customer retention.

But the key to customer retention are not just discounts and deals. It is to know what customers feel about your brand, what they want, what they dislike and how satisfied they are with you.

No, customer reviews/ ratings and customer feedback are not the same, although commonly used interchangeably. And customer feedback can massively impact the nature of the reviews you receive.

Simply put:

  • Reviews are typically those of products or services that customers buy. They indicate nothing about how the consumer felt about making the purchase or after making the purchase.
  • Customer feedback gives insights into the customers’ experience, level of satisfaction, problems and helps brands identify scope for improvement.

Ready to collect feedback on your Shopify store?
Sign up on Qrite today.

Why is customer retention important for Shopify stores?

Considering the increase in brands going online, it’s even more important for online stores to focus on customer retention. It only takes a second for consumers to close your e-store window and go to your competitor’s store. Someone who offers a better deal or maybe a wider range of products.

Now if you ask how does this shift in behaviour impact your Shopify store’s growth, here are some reasons:


1. Repeat customers are likely to give you more business
A study backed by Bain & Company shows that just a 5% increase in customer retention can up profits by 25%. This is because return customers tend to buy more, they refer others to your brand, and don’t mind paying a premium or trying new products from you.

2. It boosts customer lifetime value
Customer lifetime value (CTLV) is the metric that measures the monetary value that the business can generate over the course of a customer’s journey with the brand from the time they first become your customer to end. The longer a customer continues to buy from a brand, the more will be the CTLV.

An increase in CTLV means more revenue for the company. Marketing teams can impact CTLV as they’re in touch with customers, many times, in direct contact. They can do so by solving customer problems and sharing recommendations and helping customers that make them stay loyal to the brand for longer.

3. Returning customers tend to buy more
Studies show that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while that of selling to a new prospect is just 5-20%. 65% of a company’s revenue comes from existing customers. It’s clear that customer retention has a positive impact on a store’s revenue and profit in the long run because returning customers tend to buy more. Once they start trusting your eCommerce store, they’re more likely to buy new products as well.

4. Repeat customers bring security to your business
Imagine if your Shopify store had to look for new customers everyday. Imagine the kind of resources and money you’d have to spend on sourcing these new customers and then converting them into sales. That’s a huge cost to any business.

Repeat customers are like a security factor because they bring a stable source of income to your business. Moreover, if you keep a track on how many return customers buy from you on a regular basis, you’d be able to estimate your monthly revenue. It’s proven by research – existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more compared to new customers.

5. Loyal customers bring more customers
It’s obvious. When we like a brand or have a good experience on its online store, we recommend it to our friends. Today, with channels such as WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook, sharing a good experience is fast and easy.

Research shows that 77% of customers recommend a brand just after a single positive experience. Call your repeat customers brand advocates, ambassadors or mini-marketers, they add much more value to your business without you knowing.

However, to reap these benefits of customer retention, you’ll have to put in effort as we briefly covered in some of the points above. But let’s dive a little deeper into it now.

Ready to collect feedback on your Shopify store?
Sign up on Qrite today.

Customer retention strategies for Shopify stores – Status quo

Ask any eCommerce business owner about their customer retention strategy and they’ll most probably give the two most common examples:

1. Loyalty programs

eCommerce businesses face cut throat competition. To attract customers to purchase more, most of them have loyalty programs. These mostly involve the customer to sign up on the eCommerce store and earn discounts and reward points on every purchase they make.

Here’s a popular example from the brand, Sephora:


2. Engagement campaigns

Customer engagement and retention campaigns are another common occurrence on every Shopify marketing plan. Campaigns are nothing but themed communications sent to consumers via different channels such as email, SMS, web push, messenger, and more. But more often than not, these are simply targeted at keeping customers up-to-date with deals and discounts, hoping they will be reason enough for them to come back.

Here’s an example of a typical engagement-focused email campaign:


Now, the above two strategies are important and if done right, they work, but are these enough?

More than 90% of companies have loyalty programs (Accenture study). So just as an online shopper has the choice to make a purchase from at least five brands at a time, they also have way too many loyalty programs to choose from.

This is the loophole that no one is talking about when it comes to customer retention for Shopify stores.

The missing piece in customer retention – customer feedback

Customer feedback is the insights, experience, inputs, and problems shared by your customers with you. It speaks of their overall experience with your brand and how they “feel” about making a purchase from you. But the problem is, most eCommerce stores end up asking questions that don’t generate the right insights. And no, asking for reviews and ratings is not the same as requesting feedback!

For eg., if your Shopify store is asking customers to, “Rate your shopping experience on a scale of 1 to 10”, they will simply pick a number based on how they feel. . You will also not know which stage of the buying cycle they gave you a rating for.

They might give high ratings to their shopping experience or product satisfaction, but does that mean they will come back to your store? Not really.

Now, for eg., if you ask them specific questions, “Rate your satisfaction level of our store.” or “Would you continue shopping in our store?” or “Rate the probability of you recommending our product to your friends”.

The answer to these questions will help you take a peek into what your customer is really thinking and share information that can help you improve your product/store and retain valuable customers who took the time out to respond to your survey.

The founders of some of the largest companies in the world swear by customer feedback. They put the emphasis on serving, not selling. Because when customers feel heard, they become more loyal to brands.

“Our companies thrive off customer feedback. It helps us to innovate and disrupt, and keeps us relevant.”
– Richard Branson, founder, Virgin group of companies.

You want to be extra-rigorous about making the best possible thing you can. Find everything that’s wrong with it and fix it. Seek negative feedback.”
Elon Musk, Founder PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla

While brick and mortar stores have the option of interacting with customers face to face, eCommerce businesses completely lack this opportunity. Hence, e-stores have to constantly seek customer feedback. They may have to do so through various channels – email, web push, exit-intent pop ups, SMS, live chat, and more. And your Shopify store is no different!

It’s better to know what your customer feels about your brand by seeking out their feedback.

Once you know what your customer feels, you can predict their likeliness of writing a good product review, recommending your brand to others or simply coming back for another purchase.

How to get customer feedback for your Shopify store

By now you know there’s more to feedback than just ratings. Feedback is supposed to give you deep insights into your Shopify store’s performance and customers’ experience of it. It is hence essential to ask the right questions, at the right time. And there are many ways to do so. Even though you’re an online business, you have multiple touchpoints with your customers.

Here are ways in which you can collect feedback for your Shopify store:

  • On the thank you page: Most eCommerce sites bring up a thank you note/page as soon as the customer makes a purchase. It’s the best time to collect feedback because the experience is fresh in the customer’s mind.


  • On email: Do you recall buying a product from Amazon and receiving a feedback email – “Regarding your recent purchase at Amazon”? Another way to touch base with your Shopify store customers to collect feedback is via email – it’s easy, inexpensive, and a good opportunity to create engagement.
  • SMS: Send an SMS to collect feedback; customers respond more to SMS as it’s easy for them to do so on their mobile device. Here’s a sample SMS:

  • On web push: You can get your customers’ attention even when they’re not online or browsing through your store, using web push notifications to ask for feedback. Statistics show 90% of push notifications get opened and 40% of people respond to them.

  • On Facebook messenger: Send a quick, short message to the customers’ Facebook messenger to collect feedback. This comes especially easy when customers purchase via Facebook.

Ready to collect feedback on your Shopify store?
Sign up on Qrite today.


But it isn’t just about getting feedback. It’s about making sense of it as well!

As a Shopify store, when you start asking for feedback, you’ll end up with a lot of data. Once you start collecting data, you have to know how to make sense of it. If you don’t, your customers will lose trust in your brand because they will feel like their time was wasted and their opinion doesn’t matter.

Here’s where tools like Qrite come to your Shopify store’s help.

Qrite helps collect feedback across all the channels – email, SMS, web push, messenger, and more. Once collected, it brings all the feedback onto one single dashboard.

Next, very intelligently, based on the responses gathered, Qrite segments them customers into promoters – those who shared positive feedback (promoters) and demoters – those whose responses lean toward the negative.

Now as a Shopify store, how can you use this information from Qrite’s dashboard?

Nudge promoters to join your loyalty program as they are more likely to do so. This will help you boost retention.

What about the demoters? Use their responses to gather insights on their problems, reasons for dissatisfaction and how you, as a brand, can improve to serve those customers better. Reach out to them, ask what you can do for them to give them a better experience. And once you’re sure they’re happy with the resolution, ask them too to become a part of your loyalty program – because an unsatisfied customer will never become a part of your loyalty program when unhappy. The goal here is to make them happy first!

Do popular brands even focus on customer feedback?

Contrary to the common assumption that popular brands don’t need to collect customer feedback because they’re big enough, they do, and that’s one of the reasons they’re big.
But to support what we’re saying, let’s look at how some big brands focus on customer feedback:

1. Amazon

You must’ve seen it yourself. The moment your product gets delivered by Amazon, you get an email asking you to share feedback and review your purchased product. Here are some takeaways from Amazon’s feedback/review emails:

  • The emails are simple and focused on generating feedback/review
  • The subject line is personalized with the buyer’s name
  • The call to action is to rate the product
  • Next, it prompts the customer to share a review


2. eBay

Buyers leave feedback on transactions. Their feedback for a seller is made up of three parts:
1. An overall feedback rating which can be “positive,” “neutral,” or “negative.”
2. A feedback comment giving a short summary of how the transaction went.
3. Seller ratings (also known as detailed seller ratings or DSRs), covering four different aspects of the transaction.

The overall feedback score is calculated as follows:

  • +1 for each positive feedback.
  • No change for neutral feedback.
  • -1 for each negative feedback.

3. Adidas

Adidas increased 43 seconds of extra page view time per visitor on their e-store with the help of valuable feedback left by their reviewers. How do they do it? Their feedback emails are simple, short and to the point – an image of the exact product along with a short paragraph and the call to action in bold. Notice how they nudge the shopper to share the good and the bad!


Your Shopify store can’t ignore customer feedback

There’s a lot that goes into collecting feedback and seeing it bring returns. And boy, does it bring results! 80% of your future revenue comes from just 20% of your retained customers. And considering how 57% of customers want to share feedback with the eCommerce store they purchase from, all that your Shopify store needs to do is ask for it.

Collecting feedback in order to increase retention rate is just one side of the sales and marketing story. Brands need to put in efforts to acquire new customers as well, of course. Both the activities have to go hand-in-hand.

Not losing existing customers means more customers for you! It’s a win-win when you come to think of it.

Ready to collect feedback on your Shopify store?
Sign up on Qrite today.