What is eLoyalty? When it comes to the growth and longevity of an online business, eLoyalty refers to the act of generating and maintaining customer loyalty within the virtual marketplace.
When the goal is to increase sales, repeat purchases and brand loyalty become the main focus, regardless of whether products are sold virtually or in a brick-and-mortar store front. It is important to acknowledge, however, that the way in which businesses approach generating customer loyalty is unique to the specific environment.
What are the Benefits of Customer Loyalty?
Before we dive into the nuances of eLoyalty as they pertain to eCommerce and online businesses, we first must answer the most important question: why should businesses focus on customer loyalty?
Below are just a few statistics highlighting the importance of customer loyalty and retention:
- A 5% increase in customer retention increases profits by 25% to 95%.
- Acquiring a new customer costs 5 to 25 times more than retaining an existing one.
- Companies with effective loyalty marketing programs grow revenues 5 times faster than their competitors and generate 100-400% higher returns to shareholders.
With a successful customer loyalty strategy, businesses can grow revenue, cut costs on marketing and operations, and even land more guaranteed business through referrals. Depending on the business's preference, a customer loyalty strategy ranges from singular product promotion to a fully operative sales and marketing tech stack as part of a customer loyalty program.
eLoyalty: Building Loyalty in the Virtual Marketplace
As mentioned earlier, customer loyalty can be measured in the form of repeat purchasing, regardless of where an item is sold. However, in order to successfully build eLoyalty, businesses must understand the nuances of the virtual marketplace and adapt to this unique environment in order to guarantee successful, loyalty-building interactions with customers.
With that said, eLoyalty is defined not only as the inclination of a customer to re-purchase a product on an online site, but also as the inclination of a customer to simply re-visit a company website, be it for communication, information, support, or even entertainment. Because the eCommerce experience is different than an in-store purchase, the criteria for building eLoyalty also differ.
In an eCommerce shopping experience, customers base overall satisfaction on the following factors:
- Product presentation
- Sensibly priced shipping and handling costs
- Convenient delivery times
- Quality customer support
- Website accessibility and overall user experience
- Secure and trustworthy privacy policies
And much more! Accommodating customers and providing them with a personalized, enjoyable experience is the goal. Once a business can secure trust in this more customer-focused environment, eLoyalty becomes attainable.
The Challenges of Building eLoyalty
With modern life becoming increasingly more digitalized, it is no surprise that eCommerce sales have grown exponentially in last few years. In 2019, approximately 1.92 billion people purchased goods or services online, and e-retail sales hit 3.5 trillion. With this type of success in the B2C marketplace, this leaves businesses asking themselves: why not move product sales online?
To put it simply, B2B sales are complex. This explains why in 2019, only 13% of B2B sales were generated digitally. For many established companies, hesitation comes from the overall investment. This includes substantial upfront financial costs, as well as revamping the traditional in-person sales process while simultaneously training customers to adapt.
The question for businesses then becomes: how can I guarantee a return on my eCommerce investment?
The Importance of Building eLoyalty
Reaping the benefits of the digital marketplace lie in automation. By investing in the proper technology upfront, businesses can enhance sales and marketing communication, track progress, collect valuable customer information, and provide an easily accessible, completely personalized customer experience.
Case and point: when this global plumbing distributor switched to a B2B eCommerce platform, they were able to increase orders by 319% with the help of virtual loyalty program.
By integrating their eCommerce site with a customer loyalty program platform, contractors received points each time an online purchase was made. Enticing reward options in an endless online catalog, alongside incentives for filling out surveys or offering referral business generated eLoyalty in 77% of its total customer base. The best part? Contractors who participated in the loyalty program provided 665% more monthly revenue than those not enrolled.
Investing in a B2B eLoyalty Strategy
The modern marketplace is changing, and the B2B sector has a lot of catching up to do. Check out or B2B Sales Strategy eBook to learn not only why but how to build a strong eLoyalty program.