How Brick & Mortar Businesses Should Balance Customer Acquisition and Retention
Today's small business strategies are full of tactics for customer acquisition and retention. We all know that we need to find new customers, entice them into making a purchase, and keep them coming back for more.
But what's the recipe for success? How much focus should be on customer acquisition and how much on retention?
Play To Win Every Customer
Acquisition and retention are like offense and defense in a basketball game: you need both to win and being weak in one area can lose you the game.
If you spend all of your time trying to acquire customers but not keeping them, you'll find yourself dealing with new faces every day. Customers will probably have a perfectly fine experience, but they might not feel like it’s a good enough reason to come back again – there is no draw, nothing new to try over yesterday or over the competition down the street.
With too much focus on retention and not enough on acquisition, you can end up with the opposite problem. People love your business, but they're a small loyal bunch and they can only do so much to keep your business afloat. It's a nice relationship to have with your customers but it's just not sustainable.
There isn’t a universal equation for customer acquisition and retention that is right for every business. The key is being able to understand and adjust your own strategy as you go, so you can push more on the acquisition side if your new visitors are down, or more on the retention side if your churn rate is too high.
Do You Really Know Your Customers?
Do you know how many repeat customers you get every month? How about the types of customers who are most likely to come back or the most effective ways of getting them back? If you can't identify these then you're missing out on some key insights that could be fueling the growth of your business.
E-commerce sites aren't the only ones who can use digital analytics tools to understand their customers. Today, there are more and more options for brick-and-mortar businesses to take advantage of powerful analytics and web services.
The average number of repeat visitors to your business and the right tactics to increase this number will depend on your particular business, how long you've been around and the customer base you've established (among other factors). Fresh businesses will need to focus more on getting new customers, of course, while more established merchants can spend more time and resources keeping the customers they have. For some comparison, the average merchant using Belly has a 40% repeat customer base. How do you stack up?
Understanding your Customers with Belly
Before you can adjust your marketing strategy to find that proper balance, you'll need to deeply understand how your customers interact with your business.
Besides providing tools and services to supercharge customer acquisition and retention, Belly gives businesses the ability to understand their customer base in new ways. You might think that it's very difficult or even impossible to keep track of every person that walks into your store and orders a cup of coffee, but you'd be amazed at the insights you can find with the Belly Points customer loyalty program and other Belly services.
From your Web Command Center, you get an eagle-eye view of your customers, both new and returning. Noticing a certain segment of visitors are lapsing more than others? Send them a customized offer for a discount latte to get them back in the store and keeping you front of mind for the next caffeine fix.
Most importantly, you'll be able to see the results of every marketing campaign you run, whether it's through email, social media, or another avenue.
The process of customer acquisition and retention doesn't need to be a mystery, even for brick-and-mortar shops who aren't completely digital. Belly provides everything you need to help you find and keep new customers and to understand just how and why your business is succeeding.
New to the Belly customer loyalty program? Click here to learn more and request a demo to see how Belly can work for you.