Here’s a newsflash for Zen Cart store owners – for every new customer you entice, you’re shelling out up to seven-time more than you would on a return customer. It’s a tricky thing to quantify, but studies have shown time and time again that to hold onto customers long-term is infinitely cheaper than trying to bump up the numbers with newbies.
Of course, running a Zen Cart online retail store strips you of the ability to butter-up your customers in person and make friends with them all, so it can be easier said than done to keep them coming back. However, a few key tips from industry veterans could certainly help point any such store in the right direction.
Here’s an overview of pointers on how to keep ‘em coming back to your Zen Cart store:
1 – The Customer is Always Right
It’s much easier to lose your rag with online customers or to basically ignore those asking blatantly stupid questions, but the damage done silently as a result is really not in your best interests. The best habit to get into when looking to make a Zen Cart store a success is to treat each and every question, query, request and complaint as if the customer was right there in front of you and everyone was listening.
What’s more, you should make every effort to show the rest of your audience members how committed to customer care you are. Using social media for this can be enormously helpful, enabling you and your brand to reach out to both unhappy customers and those you depend on to stay in business. Always respond to criticism, never ignore a question and remember the customer is always right!
2- Narrow Your Niche
When somebody wants a specific item from a specific brand and for a specific purpose, they don’t just head to a random online store that sells a bit of anything and everything. Instead, they go straight to a store that specialises in the niche they’re interested in as they know that not only will the product be found, but it will be sold by a provider with an interest in the subject and at least rudimentary knowledge on it. As such, the key to keeping customers coming back is to focus on their needs and desires, offering the products and services you know they’re interested in. Diversification can be great, but so too can narrowing your niche.
3 – The Face Behind the Brand
It’s easy to drift from one faceless company to the next and never think twice about it, but it’s another thing altogether when you build a connection with the face behind the brand. What this means for you is that it’s important to reach out to your customers as a genuine human being with a face, a personality and a desire to keep them happy. From simple emails to promotional giveaways to keeping an active blog, let them know there’s a face behind the brand and they’re much more likely to remain loyal to it.
Of course, it’s important to know where to draw the line in order to avoid straying into desperation or outright harassment, but there’s nothing wrong with periodically reminding them you’re there.
4 – Build Your Brand
Even a successful Zen Cart store is somewhat skating on thin ice if those behind it aren’t making every effort to build their brand far and wide. These days, social media and easy access to blogging/forum participation mean there’s really no excuse for not getting out and about beyond the confines of your own website to build your brand on a wider scale. Why this matters in terms of customer retention is the way in which the more they hear about some other brand that’s doing the same as you do, the more the message sticks and the higher the chance of them absconding.
You can’t just rest on your laurels and expect them to keep coming back long-term.
5 – Up the Ante
And finally for this list at least, it never hurts to go right back to basics when it comes to greasing the wheels a little. To keep a Zen Cart site stagnant for too long is never a good idea in the first place, so why not consider upping the ante by not just refreshing its content on a regular basis, but throwing out the odd freebie and promo deal? Deals are great for snagging new customers, but they’re even better at re-winning over those that already shop with you and thought you were a decent player in the first place. Up the ante with a bit of added generosity and they might just stick with you for the long-haul.