Sell Online, Retain Offline

In 2017, retail e-commerce sales amounted to a whopping $2.3 trillion, up a half trillion dollars from the previous year. Additionally, that figure is expected to more than double by 2021 for an estimated $4.9 trillion in e-commerce revenue.

Be it for convenience, better prices or more options, consumers around the world are demonstrating a growing preference for online shopping — and businesses are taking note. In fact, a recent survey from online sales platform BigCommerce found that nearly three-quarters of small business owners were considering selling on Amazon in 2017.

But with more businesses selling online, there is also more competition. Consumers now have more purchase options than ever, which has made customer retention a critical part of any e-commerce company’s marketing strategy.

For the average online seller, customer retention can provide more value for every dollar spent than customer acquisition. According to research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, for example:

Acquiring a new customer can cost 6 to 7 times more than retaining an existing one

Boosting customer retention rates by as little as 5% can increase profits from 25–95%

This is not to say, however, that companies should limit their acquisition budget altogether. Obviously, there’s a natural dependency there — that is, a customer must be acquired in order to be retained. But companies must quickly find effective retention strategies in order to recoup the higher acquisition costs.

And Bond is here to help.

Our technology makes it is easy for e-commerce businesses to send beautiful, thoughtfully crafted handwritten notes to customers at scale. In an age when consumers are inundated with digital communications like emails, our handwritten notes offer businesses the opportunity to stand out and earn the loyalty of their customers.

According to a study we ran, 61% of Americans said they would see businesses that send handwritten notes more favorably, and nearly 9 out of 10 millennials said handwritten notes were their most preferred form of communication.

The business impact is real, too: Apparel brand Love Your Melon, for example, sends a handwritten note to customers after they make a purchase of at least $100. In a campaign this past fall, LYM compared 42,000 handwritten notes against 42,000 emails and saw a 160% increase in sales from customers who had received notes compared to those who received a thank you email.

As this example demonstrates, Bond can serve as an invaluable tool to help online retailers cut through the digital noise of their typical retention strategies. Thus, even though a business may sell online, it’s important to remember that customer loyalty is best built offline. In this, thoughtful, handwritten notes can build bonds that last.

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