With the ongoing effects of fierce competition, the slow-down post-coronavirus and the impending cookie-less world, brands are now turning their attention to retention strategies as the first port of call and maximising the potential of their existing customers and databases.

What is customer retention?

 Customer retention is a metric that businesses use to measure loyalty over time. It can help gauge the success and areas for improvement.

Retention is all about creating long term relationships through shared values with your most loyal customers. In turn, they spend more, more regularly, and advocate for your brand and products to their friends and family, driving a sustainable referral programme for you.

Customer retention is the number customers at the end of the period minus number of new customers, divided by number of customers at the start of the period.

Always have the customer in mind. One of the main reasons that customers remain loyal, make repeat purchases, and interact with brands is because they are user-friendly. 87% of online shoppers would abandon their carts at checkout if the process was too difficult [Splitit]. This is an easy way to increase your customer retention that is not costly. 

What are the main tactics and channels that make up a good retention programme?

Personal and memorable

Methods for retaining customers should be personalised experiences. From the first purchase, your business should engage directly with the customer in a sleek, professional, and memorable way. 

Build trust

Don’t assume that your customers trust you just because they have bought one of your products. Consistently provide high quality products and be honest about how you will use any information they provide. 


There should always be the option for customers to give feedback so that you can maintain high quality service provision. This allows your subscribers to feel seen and heard, just make sure you act on the feedback! 

Let’s talk retention tactics:

There are a few different actions that brands can reward customers for taking to help drive loyalty and retention:

  • Reviewing products. Extra points for longer reviews or reviews that include photographs.
  • Amount of money spent directly translates to points.
  • Encourage larger basket size. Slightly different from points for pounds, telling customers that a basket size of X amount will give them Y amount of points encourages customers to hit that larger basket size.
  • Value exchange. This could be points in exchange for personal information that marketers use to create more personalised offers.
  • Feedback. Gaining points by filling out a short survey to improve all future customer experience is an incredibly valuable way for customers to feel heard.
  • Subscribing to email marketing.
  • Referring to a friend.
  • Making repeat purchases. 
87% of customers say they are influenced by rewards/points

However, make sure that these are short-term as 70% of consumers abandon loyalty points because of the length of time it takes for them to accumulate enough points to redeem the reward [Maritz]. 

Loyalty in action: Candy Kittens case study

Candy Kittens is a strong example of fostering customer loyalty:

  1. Users get rewards for following social media platforms, purchasing products, writing reviews, and adding personal information.
  2. They are then tiered into bronze, silver, and gold categories. This encourages individuals to earn more points so that they reach a higher tier.
  3. New flavours are sent to gold customers first, followed by silver, then bronze.

In conclusion… 

Improving your customer loyalty will increase your revenue, and also decrease the amount of money you spend trying to recruit new customers. So, here are our final top tips to tick off as you look over your strategy:

  • Make it personal
  • Get to the point
  • Don’t make your customer have to work
  • Add some perks
  • Integrate with SMS
  • Give the customer control
  • Add some more perks

Remember, when consumers show commitment to a brand, they want ease, value, and convenience in exchange. If you deliver that, you are well on your way to a larger, loyal customer base.


Nathan Hoare

Digital expert with extensive global marketing experience