When building an e-commerce business, customer loyalty is important – especially because it costs six to seven times more to acquire new customers than keep existing ones. With that in mind, any prudent e-commerce growth strategy should include efforts to encourage repeat customers. Step one in that process is to make them feel welcome with a fast and available website that helps them find exactly what they want, when they want it.
A Direct Connection: How Your Website Impacts Customer Loyalty
Your website has a direct connection to customer loyalty. If customers have a subpar experience on your website, it won’t matter what kind of loyalty program or other perks you have. Customers will leave and they won’t be coming back: 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy again. In fact, some commonly cited reasons customers leave a website before purchasing include:
- Confusing navigation
- Website crashed
- Process was too slow
- Website time out
Each of the above reasons are directly related to your website’s functionality and performance. Improve those, and you’re well on your way to decreasing abandonment and increasing repeat, loyal customers.
The functionality of your website is a fundamental part of generating customer loyalty.
The Path to Success: Managed Hosting Improves Your Website
Three of the four above reasons customers leave a website deal with the availability and speed of your website – items that rely on your backend hosting environment. If your IT team doesn’t include hosting experts, then figuring out exactly what kind of environment your site needs to perform optimally is daunting – and would take too much of their valuable time.
A managed hosting provider can help. Managed hosting comes with a highly-trained team of technicians with experience in optimizing servers for high availability and fast performance. They can provide your e-commerce business with:
- Highly Available Configurations
A managed hosting provider has all the resources to build a hosting environment with full redundancy that will provide failover in the event of increased traffic or other issue that may cause downtime. In addition, on-demand scalability, reliable load balancing, and redundant firewalls can all protect a website from experiencing downtime.
- Optimizations for Fast Performance
You and your team may not know how to get the most out of your server, but a managed hosting provider’s team of technicians does. They know which settings to tweak to make your server deliver content to your website as quickly as possible, including configuring Apache settings, updating software, implementing caching, and even offering a content delivery network to send your content closer to your end users.
With a solid hosting environment ensuring your website loads as quickly as possible and enjoys 100% uptime, your business will take a huge step toward preventing customer loss and allowing you to build a solid base of loyal customers.
Next Steps: Other Tactics to Delight Customers
Once you’ve taken care of the fundamental step of preparing your website, instituting a program or series of tactics to delight customers and inspire brand loyalty is the next step. Kissmetrics has a helpful post with 10 tactics you can take to increase loyalty, including:
- Make Quality a Priority
- Be More Convenient Than Anyone Else
- Be There When Customers Need You
- Take Customer Advice & Credit Them
- … along with plenty of other great tips!
Take time to review the tactics and generate some of your own – but remember that even the most convenient and helpful loyalty program can only do so much if your business’ website isn’t available when customers need it. Customers in today’s world of so many options to choose from expect the full 360-degree experience from a brand they can respect before choosing to spend their money.
If you’d like to take the first steps to creating a loyal customer base, a managed hosting provider can help. Reach out to learn more.