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The Future of Ecommerce: Retention and Loyalty

Derric Haynie
Dec 22
Jun 3, 2021
June 8, 2021 13:24

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Ecommerce businesses have experienced massive changes in the past year, from stressors and difficulties to exponential growth. 

Many of the most successful merchants had something in place that others are still scrambling to create: brand loyalty within their customer base.

If you as a brand can beat out your competitors in the retention game, you can edge out competitors, stand out amongst the crowd, and improve not only your growth potential, but also your chances of being acquired in the future (if that’s your goal). We’ve covered all that and more in this event, so let’s dig in.

To check out the entire virtual summit, go here. Or follow along below to get the sessions and some brief recaps.

Here's the session list:

Analyzing Your Tech Stack and Beyond

A talk by Derric Haynie, CEO,

Overview: A lot of brands have made D2C through the web their bread and butter. As a result, traditional commerce stores have seen a decline if they’re unable to adapt to online commerce. This is why having an omni-channel approach to your web presence is so necessary.

Summary: Having an omni-channel approach to your online presence is a necessity if you want to succeed in D2C through the web. To succeed with it, you need to make sure your foundation is solid. The tools you choose to use can help you do so. Before installing a new tool to your website, though, make sure you ask yourself the following six questions.

  1. Is this tool a “generic” tech tool that made a Shopify integration, or are they dedicated to building for Ecommerce store owners?
  2. Are they priced fairly, based on a value metric where if you win, they win? Are you paying for features you don’t need?
  3. Choose a metric that you believe needs to be improved in your company. Does this tool improve that metric?
  4. Does this tool have unique features that other tools can’t accomplish?
  5. Do you or your team have the time and know-how to execute on this tool accordingly?
  6. Does this tool seamlessly integrate with the rest of your stack?

How to Drive Retention and Loyalty Through Exceptional Customer Experience

A talk by Nicole Baqai, Strategic Partnerships, Gorgias

Overview: When you think of an exceptional customer experience, what comes to mind? Is it a consistently quick live chat response time? Is it a proactive abandoned cart email sequence? What about regular shipping updates to counteract WISMO tickets before they happen? If you answered all of the above, then you’re on the right track. Nicole Baqai of Gorgias will tell you more in this jam-packed session.

Summary: Delivering an exceptional customer experience each time someone interacts with your brand is a multi-step process. The first step is to understand what your customers want and what they are asking for. You do this by analyzing data like:

  • product feedback
  • customer comments and reviews on social media channels
  • and customer support tickets

From there, you should also work to understand where your customers are and what situations they’re hoping to resolve when they interact with your brand.

Omnichannel Opt-in and Retention Strategies

A talk by Nick Romaya, Head of Partnerships, Recart

Overview: Opt-in strategies aren’t just relegated to traditional forms of advertising. In fact, it’s possible to have an omnichannel opt-in strategy that not only drives significantly higher returns on ad spend, but also has a large, positive impact on retention. Nick Romaya from Recart explains how in this event session.

Summary: If your goal is to have an omnichannel opt-in strategy, then Messenger ads are the way to go. This is because Messenger ads drive significantly higher ROAS than traditional ads. They do this by engaging with customers on a platform that drives 90% open and 20% click-through rates. Messenger opt-in strategies are so versatile that they can be used to distribute exclusive discounts and build both Messenger and phone lists. They can also be used to check back in with customers who didn’t move forward in the customer journey after interacting with your brand or receiving a discount. Utilizing Messenger in this way can have the following benefits:

  • 8-14% increase in revenue
  • 5-12x ROAS on click-to-messenger ad flows
  • 30% cheaper customer acquisition
  • Increased brand loyalty
  • $150,000,000+ revenue generated
  • 8-60x ROAS on sponsored message flows
  • Improved customer engagement
  • 3-8x more conversations with customers

Improve Retention & Loyalty With Automated Reorder Flows

A talk by John Erck, Co-founder, Rebuy Engine

Overview: Automated reorder flows are an underutilized method for improving retention and loyalty in the D2C Ecommerce space. John Erck from Rebuy Engine explains why automated reorder flows are so important and how to utilize them in this session.

Summary: An automated reorder flow is a process that enables repeat sales by making it easy for customers to buy previous items again and again. This tactic is so effective that customers who engage with replenishment emails have the highest conversion rates of any other email marketing strategy at 21.29%.

Automated reorders are also important because they have the following benefits:

  • Retain more customers
  • Improve brand loyalty
  • Better serve existing customers
  • Drive sales

The Retention Strategy for Bringing Amazon Customers to D2C

A talk by Ashley Armstrong & Derric Haynie, The Hidden Rules Expert & EcommerceTech

Overview: A lot of people already know the general basics for bringing your Amazon customers to your website, but there are a lot of different ways that are NOT well-known. Ashley Armstrong shares them all in this session with EcommerceTech’s Derric Haynie.

Summary: You may already know the general basics of getting your Amazon customers to join your loyalty program or shift to buying from your website, but the basics can only get you so far. To truly see success from your attempts, you’ll need to bring out the big guns. Here are three key tips to get you started:

  1. Put all the “how-tos” of your product onto your package insert
  2. Connect your customers with your knowledge base (a blog, a FaceBook group, etc.)
  3. Throw all your product information into your product packaging so that the shipping box contains all the information from your Amazon listing

Turning a Loyal Community Into Your Biggest Revenue Generator

A talk by Jordan Bourchier-Lee, Partnerships Manager, LoyaltyLion

Overview: Building a community around your brand is important, but what is a community, and WHY is it important? Jordan Bourchier-Lee of LoyaltyLion answers both these questions and more in this session.

Summary: Every business owner hears about the importance of building a community, but have you ever stopped to define what a community actually is? Jordan defines it as an active subsection of highly valuable customers who regularly interact with your brand and each other. There are three key ways to drive that community forward and help it grow. They are:

  1. Transactional drivers like financial incentives, discounts, or free delivery.
  2. Brand alignment. 69% of customers are motivated by the opportunity to interact with the brand itself. 61% are motivated by the ability to contribute to a common cause. 57% are motivated by a greater understanding of what a brand stands for. And 50% are motivated by a greater understanding of a brand’s history.
  3. Experiential drivers like opportunities for customers to enhance their own shopping experience by engaging with the community.

Merchant Interview with Tiffany Asamoah of BOLD Swim

A talk by Tiffany Asamoah & Ty Givens, BOLD Swim & The Workforce Pro

Overview: Want to know the key to creating unique customer experiences that create fans for your brand? Check out this merchant interview with Tiffany Asamoah from BOLD Swim. In it, she and Ty Givens from The Workforce Pro discuss what keeps customers coming back and explain how to deliver customer experience like a pro.

Summary: BOLD Swim is an inclusive and sustainable brand of swimwear that was designed for comfort and versatility, as well as for empowering customers to live life BOLDLY in and out of the water. They do this by keeping in mind four key principles.

  1. Provide value above all else
  2. Focus on providing unexpected (amazing) experiences
  3. Have a “No problem” mentality when it comes to working with customers
  4. Provide a “No one else in the room” feel when working with customers. (Give your customers your undivided attention when speaking with them.)

How to Cultivate Brand Loyalty and Retention with Impact

A talk by Savanah White, Head of Partner Success, ShoppingGives

Overview: The new generation of consumers is buying with their values and voting with their wallets, which means it’s up to brands to authentically appeal to those values if they want to succeed. Savanah White explains how to do that in this session on the benefits of cause marketing.

Summary: The new generation of consumers is filled with micro-philanthropists that buy products according to how those products fit in with their values. To appeal to them, you need to utilize the three power strategies of cause marketing. They are:

  • Authentic + holistic impact - There are four pillars of “authentic” impact: your team, your customer, your community, and your product.
  • Remember that customer engagement counts - Reward and engage your customers for joining in on your philanthropic efforts. Keep them educated about the good you’re working toward.
  • How you Measure your impact matters - Share the giving you’re doing. Be transparent with your customers and share the amount that will be donated on their behalf (pre and post purchase), and keep records of your giving in case of auditing.

Tech Showcase: GRIN

A talk by Eric Molavi, Senior Account Executive II, GRIN

Overview: Authenticity is EVERYTHING when it comes to building your brand, especially when it comes to working with influencers. If, for example, a company chooses to work with an influencer who doesn’t mesh well with their brand identity, there can be significant negative effects on the public’s perception of that company. GRIN helps prevent that from happening by enabling brands to work with influencers without sacrificing their authenticity. Watch this session to learn how.

Summary: GRIN is an end-to-end influencer solution that enables brands to work with influencers without sacrificing the authenticity of their message. With this tool, you can analyze your customer base to discover which customers are micro influencers and connect with them about representing your brand.

Teams using this platform save an average of 60 hours a month when finding influencers and are able to drive a consistent marketing approach that promotes authenticity and genuine connection.

How I Created a 7-Figure Ecommerce Business Without Knowing What I Was Doing!

A talk by Beth Fynbo & Nick Romaya, Busy Baby LLC & Recart

Overview: Meet Busy Baby, the first-ever placemat to suction to surfaces and stop babies from throwing their toys. Beth Fynbo started the Busy Baby line of products to make life a little easier for parents of babies and young children. She’s in the process of launching even more products this year, and shares the journey she’s taken to get where she is today in this interview with Nick Romaya from Recart.

Summary: Busy Baby got its start much like many D2C businesses do: Beth saw a problem and worked to develop a solution. Her flagship product, Busy Baby, was created shortly after she had her first child when she realized there was nothing out there to keep babies from throwing their toys on the floor. At the end of this session, she offered a few key pieces of advice for any merchants looking to make a name for themselves.

  1. If you have an idea, take the next steps to see if it's something the world needs!
  2. If you decide to move forward with your idea, use the resources available.
  3. As you move forward, develop a network of peers - it takes a village to both raise a baby & start a small business!

No BS Approach to Shopify and Ecommerce Success

A talk by Anna Tillotson, Founder, House of Cart

Overview: Not giving up when it gets hard and knowing the best ways to improve are so vital to your success! Actionable tips to convert customers. Actionable tips to boost your conversion rates. 

Summary: Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. In fact, launching an Ecommerce business is the easy part. Building and growing it is the truly challenging part. That’s why not giving up when it gets hard and knowing the best ways to improve are so vital to your success. To that end, Anna shared a smorgasbord of actionable tips to help convert customers and boost your conversion rate. Some notable tips include:

  • Build your brand awareness - be everywhere
  • Build email lists and use marketing to stay engaged
  • Meet your customers where they are on social media
  • Use data analysis to improve your strategy
  • Use high quality images and video on your product descriptions
  • Provide limited time coupon codes
  • Be competitively priced
  • Tweak and test your cart abandonment process

Winning in the Retention Economy

A talk by Haley Carpenter, Senior CX Strategist, Speero

Overview: Want to know whether you should invest in the short-term or the long-term and if you can do both? Watch this session to find out. You’ll also learn how CX metrics, customer motivations, and the right type of experimentation can help you win in The Retention Economy.

Summary: Ever wonder how we got into the retention economy? The industry has created too much pressure to focus on short-term strategies and quick win tactics that drive revenue and allow you to meet a short term goal, but many strategists are not focused on long term growth and sustainability. Focusing on the long-term is crucial, though, because the cost of acquiring new customers is 5-25x more expensive than retaining your existing ones. So what should you do to boost retention?

  • Improve your customer experience
  • Start with research and understanding your customers
  • Prioritize your test ideas, then start testing
  • Keep track of your efforts and consider other metrics like CLV, AOV, the average number of purchases, customer lifespan, and retention rate

The Superpower of the Next Decade of DTC

A talk by Tom Worcester, Founder, Lunchbox

Overview: Community is the bedrock of the next decade of D2C, and content marketing is the lifeblood of community. How can you combine the two for dramatic success? Tune into this session with Tom Worcester of Carousel and LunchBox Packs to find out.

Summary: D2C commerce is moving away from expensive acquisition and toward who’s building the best community, treating themselves like a media company, and creating engaging, ongoing content. When it comes to community, you need to determine what it is that your audience is actually excited and talking about. Keep the following in mind when you go to create a community.

  • Ask yourself: what is that uniting topic? Without a uniting topic, there’s nothing for a community to rally around. 
  • Community takes work. Build intentional hooks in your community and never take your foot off the gas.
  • Community represents a lot of one to one relationships, which means you need to invest in those one to one relationships on a regular basis to keep them healthy.

Image Branding and Storytelling

A talk by Ashley Armstrong, Business Advisor, The Hidden Rules Expert

Overview: Creating a story has never been easier, especially when you have infomercials. That’s why imagery is so important if you want to articulate your brand and products clearly. Ashley Armstrong of The Hidden Rules Expert explains how to use imagery to your advantage in this session.

Summary: Creating a story has never been easier, especially when you have infomercials. This is because image branding and storytelling help:

  • Increase sales and conversions
  • Convey information before people get distracted
  • And highlight key steps along the customer journey

Before you hire a photographer or graphic designer, make sure you do your market research and competitor analysis well in advance. You need to clearly articulate all the information about your customer, your company, your product, your competitor, and the exact information you want used in your images and marketing materials. You cannot expect your “hired contractor” to know this information offhand. Someone (you) has to educate them about your brand.

Building Resilient Lifecycle Marketing Funnels for eCommerce

A talk by Kunle Campbell, Ecommerce Advisor, 2x eCommerce

Overview: The over-reliance on paid media at the top of the funnel is a bad idea. In fact, the idea media setup actually puts earned media first, rather than paid media. 2x eCommerce’s Kunle Campbell explains why in this session.

Summary: When you look at brand name search, 70% of the results are non branded and 30% are branded. This is important to keep in mind when aiming to build resilient lifecycle marketing funnels, as it takes multiple touch points for a potential customer to remember your company’s name, let alone make a purchase. As such, you’re more likely to see customers purchase when you develop a product-oriented approach, rather than a brand-oriented one. To do that, you must:

  • Focus on building an engaged audience and/or community around your product
  • Make sure you have a compelling brand story and a compelling founder story
  • Establish a product/community fit to ensure your product satisfies the needs of your target audience

How to Keep the Customers You've Already Attracted Through Better Email Marketing

A talk by Val Geisler, CEO, Fix My Churn

Overview: There's more to your email-related KPIs than open and click rates. Email has a major impact on converting trial users into paid accounts and turning one-time buyers into subscribers. And that’s just the starting point. Email campaigns, when done correctly, can also keep those converted customers as customers for life. In this talk, you’ll learn the what, why, when, and how of crafting email campaigns that address the needs of your customers at the exact right time.

Summary: There’s no one right answer when it comes to email marketing. What works for one business might not work for yours. So why not try testing out some of these underutilized strategies?

  1. Support beyond the customer service team
  2. Being human with a capital H
  3. Add value in everything you do

Non-traditional Subscription Models for AOV and LTV Growth

A talk by Chase Alderton, Growth Marketing Manager, ReCharge

Overview: Brands with subscriptions as a business model have seen explosive growth in the last 18 months. They’ve used a membership model to grow AOV and LTV, and they’ve successfully created strong customer loyalty through a greater mission and value outside of the transaction. In this session, you’ll learn how to adopt subscriptions as a business model and become a best-in-class subscription brand.

Summary: Ultimately, subscriptions and membership models are a solid method for getting closer to your customers. They enable you to create strong customer loyalty through a greater mission and value outside of the transaction. These are the characteristics of best-in-class subscription brands:

  • Maintain loyal customer relationships by offering options in the buying experience
  • Offer communities of inclusion and support
  • Create a seamless buying experience that leaves customers wanting to come back again and again

Click here to learn more and download ReCharge’s “The State of Subscription Report 2021”.

15 Tactics to Improve Your Customer Lifetime Value

A talk by Valentin Radu, CEO and Founder, Omniconvert

Overview: CLV starts with acquiring the right customers. To do that, though, you need the right tactics. Valentin Radu shares his 15 proven CVO tactics in this insight-filled talk.

Summary: CLV isn’t just an acronym. It’s also one of the most important factors of retention because already existing customers cost 5 times less to convert than new customers who are early in the customer journey. So what can you do to keep your CLV high? Adopt strategies to keep your customers interested and coming back for more. One underutilized tactic is to include inserts in all of your orders. Here are 7 reasons to consider doing so:

  1. The under-promise, over-deliver principle
  2. Package inserts are cost effective
  3. You can personalize the inserts for specific RFM segments
  4. The cost of delivering the message on your inserts has already been paid
  5. You can do cross-sells that are highly relevant
  6. Package inserts are a great way to get rid of products that don’t sell
  7. Effective inserts increase CLV - and they do that on autopilot

Sponsored by:

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About the author

Derric Haynie was the founder and Chief Ecommerce Technologist at – Where Ecommerce stores go to research, discover, and buy the right tools to grow their store. Half of his day is spent reviewing tech tools, and the other half is talking with merchants to help them discover which solutions are right for them.