July 22, 2019

How to Increase Customer Retention and Loyalty

Cole Godsey
Written by:

Cole Godsey

How to Increase Customer Retention and Loyalty

Are you looking to increase customer retention and loyalty for your small business? That's great to hear! In this post, we will explore some impactful small retailer statistics and ways to keep customers engaged with your business.

All retailers, big or small, compete with Amazon. The convenience of placing an order online and finding it on your doorstep a day or two later is unmatched. Although it may seem like there’s no way to win with Amazon in the race, recent research shows that victory may be more achievable than you think. 


Table of Contents

  1. Small Retailers are a Big Deal
    1. Small Business Impact on the Economy
  2. Gain Customers with Retailtainment
  3. Reward Loyal Customers
  4. Custom Gift & Loyalty Designs


Have You Heard? Small Retailers are a Big Deal!

Small businesses impact local economy in a big way.

Small retailers with 50 or fewer employees represent 98.6% of all retail firms and hire 39.8% of all retail employees. Those are some pretty significant numbers! While the average monthly revenue of a small retailer is far less than that of a large store such as Target or Bath & Body Works, when the small retailer makes money, they typically reinvest. That means when a consumer makes a purchase from a local, small retailer, they are helping to stimulate the local economy.

That’s great on paper, but is it practical? Will shoppers really get in the car and drive to a store to make a purchase instead of placing an online order? Studies show – yes! Believe it or not, online purchases only comprise about 9% of all retail sales. Plus, 55% of shoppers prefer to make a purchase from a retailer with a physical store presence over one that is online only. Your customers want the option to pay you a visit, and you should encourage them to do so.


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Gain new, loyal customers through “retailtainment”.

How do you get customers to shop at your store rather than Amazon or Target? It all comes down to the experience you offer. While Amazon is an incredibly convenient shopping experience, a computer or mobile device can’t duplicate the experience of physically going shopping. The customer can’t feel the soft fabric of the clothing you sell, or smell the hand-dipped candles on the shelf, or take a stroll around the store in that unique pair of shoes they saw in the window when they shop online.

Create exciting, new experiences for customers that will make them want to visit your shop! Referred to in the industry as “retailtainment”, special events attract customers, engage them, and encourage them to come back. In 2018, it is reported that more than 82% of shoppers attended a retail event and 58% said they would go again in the future. Examples of retailtainment events include:

  • Exclusive access to new items or a special sale
  • A product launch, shop anniversary, or seasonal party
  • A hands-on product demonstration or tutorial
  • Friendly game or competition for the community
  • Pop-up shop (don’t forget to share where you’re popping up on social media!)


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Reward loyal customers and keep them coming back.

A great way to keep your customers coming back for more is through a loyalty program. By offering a series of discounts, points, or other perks, you show customers how appreciative you are for their patronage and encourage them to visit again. This helps to keep customers engaged and makes them feel like an important part of your business. And they are very important! After all, without them you wouldn't be in business. 

If you’re looking for ways to gain new customers, try offering gift cards. When shoppers aren’t sure what to buy for a friend or loved one, they’ll often gravitate towards a gift card. The recipient of the gift card will then visit your shop, and often spend more than their gift card is worth. Once they see what a great experience you have to offer, they’ll be hooked!


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Custom gift & loyalty designs with EMS

Electronic Merchant Systems offers creative gift and loyalty card design services to keep customers engaged. A gift or loyalty card is essentially a pocket-sized ad for your business, so you'll want to make sure it’s impactful. We can help with that! Contact us today to talk about how we can help increase customer retention and loyalty for your small business!


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