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The Evolution of
E-commerce Customer Retention Strategies

In shopping, customer retention stands pivotal for commercial success. In e-commerce shopping, where the battle for a spot in a customer's memory counts to hundreds of stores, retaining customers can feel like a mission impossible. These days, the competitive landscape is higher than ever, and just like brands struggle to retain their customers, customers themselves desire the ability to easily reconnect with their favoured brands when the need to make a purchase arises.

The Two Pillars of Retention

E-commerce retention strategies can be broadly categorised into two groups: creating a memorable customer experience and ensuring brand accessibility at the point of purchase.

  1. Creating a Memorable Experience: The first tactic focuses on making a lasting impression on the customer. This approach aims to make the shopping experience so positive that customers naturally want to return. It encompasses everything from the quality of products and user experience on the website to customer service and after-sales support.
  2. Accessibility: The second tactic is about being easily accessible to customers when they are ready to shop. This involves ensuring that customers can easily recall your brand name or find your website or app with minimal effort. In an age where consumers are bombarded with emails and advertisements, the ability to stand out in a customer's memory is crucial and increasingly challenging.

The Crisis of Brand Recall

It is said that customers are able to recall 3 to 7 brands when prompted by a specific product category. Therefore, in a scenario where numerous new brands pile up in a customer's memory through daily exposure to digital content, the chances of being recalled during the shopping moment are significantly low.

The Future of Retention: Accessibility

In e-commerce, when the competition involves hundreds of stores per user, accessibility is emerging as a key factor in customer retention. But what does accessibility mean in the digital realm? Simply put, it's the easiest route for users to access you with the minimum effort possible. Users today tend to follow the path of least resistance, which we now know is retracing the last interaction steps.

Here’s a good example where you will most likely recognise yourself: what do you normally do when asked to share a friend's contact? People don't reach for the phone book anymore. People now instinctively retrace recent digital steps, like going to WhatsApp where they recently chatted, locating the chat, and sharing the contact.

The Key to Accessibility in Digital: Tracing Back the Last Interaction

Just like we retrace the last interaction with a person whose contact we are asked to share, we often retrace back to where we last interacted with a shopping brand. Whether we saw it on Instagram or a friend's influence, shared a product of it with your partner in WhatsApp, received an email with a loyalty discount — all these work very well when you are struggling to remember the brand’s name to type it in a browser, if the interaction was pretty recent.

It is a lot more complicated when the interaction is buried in your memory from 6 or 12 months back, which is especially problematic for big-cycle products that you don’t buy every 2 months. And generally, we, as customers, often lose out on valuable brands due to this competition for our memory, leaving behind the ones we used to really like for the ones that have been advertised to us most recently.

Storra: Answering the Call for Accessibility with a Personal Ecosystem of Preferred Stores

In today's User-Generated Era, the role of an individual has significantly transformed; each person is now their own curator. This trend is visible across various digital platforms, where people tailor their experiences to align with their unique preferences. They have their personalised news feeds, watch lists for videos, and music playlists, all on dedicated platforms designed to cater to their specific tastes and interests.

This trend for personalisation has now extended into the shopping world. Users, each in their own way, invent methods to track and remember brands they discover online. They follow brands on Instagram, take screenshots of product pages, or send product links to their partner, all in hopes of recalling these stores when the need for a particular product arises. Acknowledging this trend, we are committed to developing a platform that empowers users to craft their ideal marketplace, seamlessly shopping among their chosen stores as if navigating within a single store, that is always within arm's reach.

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