Foto de mujer pagando en el mostrador de una tienda

On average, e-commerces spend more than 80% of their marketing budget on customer acquisition. However, did you know that increasing retention by 5% in an e-commerce can result in a profitability increase between 25% and 95%? And what about the fact that, on average, recurrent and loyal customers might only be 8% of the total traffic but generate 41% of revenue? (source: The true profitability of repeat customers online).

Recurrent customers are those who end up ensuring stability in your business with recurring revenue. The more effort you put into retaining customers, the less you will have to worry about acquiring new ones.

In this post, you will see different A/B tests you can integrate into your marketing strategy to increase the number of returning customers to your website.

Know Your Customer’s Needs and Expectations

According to Salesforce, 66% of customers expect companies to meet their needs and expectations. This implies that if you want to be competitive, you should dedicate resources to know what expectations and needs your customers have and why you are not able to retain them and make them buy your products again. The reason why you do not repeat a purchase in an e-commerce usually fits into one of the following points:

  • The product you bought was what you needed on time and you no longer have this need
  • The product you bought is not the one you were expecting
  • You found the same product somewhere else at a better price.
  • You have had a bad experience in the purchase process
  • You have had a bad experience installing and/or using the product
  • The support service you received is non-existent or very deficient

Surely, the best way to know why your customers stopped buying from you would be to ask them directly, but in most cases this is not possible… so what do we do?

Improve the Shopping Experience

What you can do is create A/B tests to help you improve the purchasing process and experience. An A/B test, as we have discussed on numerous occasions in this blog, consists of creating one or more alternatives or variants of a page (or any other element of a website) to see which design is more effective at converting (e.g. purchasing). When an A/B test is running, your incoming traffic is split so that each visitor sees one variant or the other and the A/B testing tool reports the aggregated results on which design gets the most conversions.

Creating A/B tests is a very simple process if you use a tool like Nelio A/B Testing. Our native WordPress plugin allows you to create all kinds of A/B tests, heatmaps, scrollmaps and confetti maps using the page editor you already know – no code required.

Test selector in Nelio A/B Testing
Selector of test in Nelio A/B Testing.

Here are a few A/B test ideas you can create to improve your customer retention.

Make Your Products as Attractive as Possible

First of all, make sure that the products displayed in your e-commerce are attractive to your visitors. Their name, description, image and even price are the ones that best match what your customers are looking for. To do this, create product summary tets showing different alternatives in which, precisely, you change those attributes.

This way, not only you will be able to see which product description is most appealing to your visitors, but also which alternative is the one that ends up generating the most revenue.

Results of a WooCommerce product summary A/B test with Nelio A/B Testing
Results of a WooCommerce product summary A/B test with Nelio A/B Testing.

Thanking and Informing After Making a Purchase

Think about what your customer needs after buying your product. In addition to confirming that the purchase was successfully, they might also appreciate information on how to use it to get the most out of it, how to obtain the purchase invoice, or how to contact you if any problem arises.

Create an A/B test of your completed checkout page by changing the title, the text, or offering additional information and see which one converts the most. Do they access the information you have provided? Do they contact you? This way you can see which end-of-purchase experience is most useful to your customers.

Surprise with a Gift

If, after making a purchase, we want our customer to be left with a good taste in their mouths and with the desire to repeat, surprise them with a gift. Free shipping, discount alternatives or coupons for the next purchase… be generous and the customer will hopefully buy from you again.

Example of coupon alternatives that you can offer to your customers
Example of coupon alternatives that you can offer to your customers.

Up-selling and Cross-selling

When you bought your cell phone or computer, you were probably offered additional options before finalizing the purchase: extending the warranty, increasing the storage capacity of the device, etc. This is the sales technique we know as up-selling.

Example of upselling on Amazon
Example of upselling on Amazon, showing purchase options for larger capacity USB flash drives.

Cross-selling, on the other hand, is when products or services related to what you are buying are offered in the purchase process. If you are buying a piece of clothing, for instance, you may be interested in an accessory to combine it with. Or if you are buying a plane ticket, you may also be interested in booking a room at the destination or renting a car.

Example of cross-selling on Amazon
Example of cross-selling on Amazon showing related products that you can buy with the selected product.

Try different types of A/B tests with different combinations of up-sells and cross-sells, and see which alternative gets you more sales.

Add Quizzes

Previously, I mentioned that the best way find out why your customers stopped buying from you would probably be to ask them directly. At the moment they make the purchase, take the opportunity to ask your customers how you can help them.

Create A/B tests by adding different forms on the completed checkout page to get a better understanding of your customers’ expectations.

Create Related Content on Your Blog

The content of your blog adds value to the products and services you offer. Try running different A/B tests of the headlines of your blog to find out which topics your customers are most interested in.

Creation of variants of an A/B test of holders with Nelio A/B Testing
Creation of variants of an A/B test of headlines with Nelio A/B Testing.

In Summary

Ignoring retention means losing additional revenue and a loyal customer base, which will in turn force you to increase the cost of acquiring new customers. A/B tests and heatmaps allow you to better understand the expectations and interests of your target audience and take the necessary steps to retain them.

If you want to increase their loyalty and frequency of purchase, use the information that A/B Testing provides. By reducing churn, you’ll increase the revenue your current customers bring while reducing the marketing costs associated to acquiring new ones.

Featured image of Clay Banks on Unsplash.

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