5 ways to increase customer lifetime value by improving your eCommerce site

April 24, 2018Jake DiMare

Customer lifetime value, or LTV, is how much net profit you can expect to generate from that person for as long as he or she is purchasing from you. In other words, it determines what your customers are worth to your business. A customer who buys a product once isn’t worth nearly as much as a consistently returning customer. Obviously, a higher customer lifetime value is better and it is possible to influence this critical metric.
When you know your customer lifetime value, it becomes much easier to figure out how much to spend acquiring them and how much to pay ensuring that they return again and again. It’s common knowledge that acquiring new customers costs more than retaining existing customers, but knowing the customer lifetime value and the cost of acquisition gives you more accurate information for making decisions.
This metric isn’t arbitrary, so the decisions you make — even small efforts — can increase your customer lifetime value, not to mention your bottom line.

5 Ways to increase customer lifetime value by improving your eCommerce platform

One of the ways to accomplish this is by customizing your eCommerce website, so customers want to return to it. Here are five ways to make your customers love your online store, bringing them back again and again.

Offer customer accounts — the right way

Some customers appreciate having a customer account because of the ease of repurchasing with pre-filled information. But do keep in mind many new customers balk at the idea of creating an account before the first purchase because it feels like too significant a commitment. That’s why guest checkouts are so popular. To fully utilize customer accounts, give the option of creating an account after the customer places his or her first order to make it that much easier for the customer to purchase again in the future.

Make logins easy

Usually, returning customers gave you their information when they made their first purchase, so use cookies to remember this information (with their permission — include a banner on the page letting them know this). Make sure that any login form they have to fill out is both straightforward and in a convenient spot on the site. You might want to consider letting users quickly and easily log in with Google, Facebook, and Twitter. You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to come back to make more purchases.

Develop creative calls to action

Call-to-action buttons, or CTAs, are standard on eCommerce sites these days — customers are so used to them that they often don’t notice them. To grab their attention, find a creative, unique way to present your CTA button. While you might want to default to the “bigger is better” mentality, you risk the large button looking like a banner that customers might not think is clickable in this case. Instead, try using some unique shapes or color combinations that will draw their eyes to the button.

Invest in high-quality images

When customers shop online, they can’t physically interact with the product like they would in a store. The most significant selling factor is what they can see. Using detailed, high-quality images is the best way to ensure customers know what they’re getting. Plus, the better the quality of your image, the more helpful the image will be when customers zoom in, helping them realize the product’s detail in their mind.

Test your checkout process

You’ll never know whether you’re using the best checkout process if you don’t test different options. Split testing, A/B tests, and other site tweaks can let you know whether there’s anything you can do to improve the customer’s checkout experience. Tweak the process with your customer in mind while sticking to industry standards.
When your customers love your eCommerce platform, they’re more likely to want to come back to make more purchases. And because your customers will be more engaged, their LTV will increase. You’ll be better equipped to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals, and you’ll stand out from the competition.

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