10 Reasons Your Retention is So Lowby@evgeniyamalina
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10 Reasons Your Retention is So Low

by Evgeniya MalinaJanuary 28th, 2022
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At Food Rocket, we consider retention our key metric for doing business on the US market in general. Here are ten reasons your retention rates are low and a few tips on how to fix the problem. You should always look for innovative ways to make existing products better. Blockbuster chose not to pivot when home delivery and streaming first started becoming popular and ended up filing for bankruptcy. You're hard to find on being clever and concise on creating the most memorable and concise URLs possible. It's easier than ever to foster connections between your customers and your brand and your customer base.

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At Food Rocket, we consider retention our key metric, and this is especially true for doing business on the US market in general.

Every entrepreneur knows it's better for the bottom line to keep existing customers than to attract new ones. Growth is essential for sustainability, but existing customers buy more often and spend more per transaction, so low retention rates can cut profitability.

Here are ten reasons your retention is low and a few tips on how to fix the problem.

1. Your clients aren't a good fit

It sounds obvious to say that you need clients who want what you're selling, but a common mistake is taking the shotgun approach when looking for new business. Quality over quantity is better when it comes to retention. 

One of the best ways to determine who is the best fit for your product is to ask. Distribute surveys or ask for feedback on relevant social channels. Alternatively, look at competing products to see which markets they focus on.

Another trick is to remember that you’re marketing to the decision-maker, who might be different from the person using the product. For example, even though Old Spice is worn primarily by men, it’s usually purchased for those men by women.

This is why Old Spice has shifted its marketing to be more attractive to women. The same goes for toy companies. They’re creating products that appeal to children, but they have to market to the parents because they’re largely the ones purchasing these products.

This is where multi-segmented marketing fits. Develop different strategies based on smaller segments of your market. In the Old Spice example, they still have to make their products appeal to men, so they advertise differently in male-dominated spaces than female-dominated spaces. They want to capture a younger market segment too, so they shift marketing tactics across social media platforms as well. 

2. You're not providing new value.

You've never "made it" in the business world. You should always look for innovative ways to make existing products better. Staying in an experimental mindset helps you identify more ways to provide new or better value to your customer base. 

A famous example of not providing new value is Blockbuster. The video rental store had the market cornered for decades, but they chose not to pivot when home delivery and streaming first started becoming popular. They refused to find a way to make their existing product better and ended up filing for bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Netflix not only stayed agile but anticipated market shifts and customer needs, and they’re now worth over $200 billion.

The lesson here is to never be complacent. Try out new promotions. Beta test new features. Ask customers what they want to see. There's always room for improvement.

3. The experience isn't there.

For better or worse, customers need to feel like they're getting a good experience. Experience is so important that 32 percent of global consumers are ready to drop a brand after a single bad interaction.  

A simple example is providing a painless shopping experience. Customers want to be able to quickly, seamlessly get that excited feeling that comes from making a purchase. If your site is clumsy or checkout takes several steps, customers won’t hesitate to hop over to a competitor that leaves them satisfied and happily anticipating their purchase.

Shopping with you has to be more rewarding than shopping elsewhere. View your brand through a customer’s eyes. Do you offer free shipping? Do you give them personalized discounts? Think about what excites you as a consumer and experiment with providing these things to your clients.

4. You're not keeping them connected.

There's no excuse for lack of connectivity in today's world. It's easier than ever to foster connections between your customers and your brand as well as within your customer base. People like to be part of a community, especially when there's a chance to talk about something they love (like your product). 

Cultivate personable social media relationships through your brand pages. Set up an active Twitter account or Instagram page for customers to interact. Learn the latest TikTok trends so that customers can engage with you and each other. This keeps you front and center in their minds.

5. You're hard to find.

Focus less on being clever and more on creating the most memorable and concise URL possible. If you already have a domain name that’s lengthy, start using URL shorteners like or Rebrandly that allow you to create branded vanity URLs. Conde Nast Traveler does this to make their links look trustworthy while still being memorable.

Customers rarely have the patience to search for anything beyond the most basic iteration of your brand name. If they can't find you faster than a competitor, you've lost them. 

6. It's inconvenient to shop with you.

Convenience is king when it comes to a shopping experience. Customers won't hesitate to shop with a competitor over minor inconveniences like a clunky shopping cart or a multi-step checkout process. Amazon understands this, which is why their “1-click buy” feature sets them apart from the competition. Instagram understands this too, and they’ve rolled out shoppable posts that deliver a quick and easy one-stop shopping experience.

Make the shopping experience as swift and streamlined as possible. Cut down the steps that take customers from shop to checkout, and your retention will soar.

7. You're not incentivizing repeat business.

You have to think about "keeping the spark alive" in customer relationships, especially if you provide one-off services or big-ticket products. 

How can you keep clients interested in your brand? Can you offer upgrades or add-ons to their current purchase? Can you stock small, supplemental items? For example, a company that sells high-quality phone cases can keep customers coming back by offering matching charging cables, phone grips, keychains and screen protectors. 

If you can hook them into returning for small purchases, you stay in the forefront of their mind for big purchases, and you increase positive word-of-mouth recommendations. 

8. You're not offering an exciting solution.

It's hard to come up with a truly unique idea, but it's not as hard to come up with an exciting, enticing spin on an old idea. 

Let’s look at the smartphone case seller Velvet Caviar. They’re offering durable phone cases, which isn’t new, but they’re extremely successful because they understand how to make their brand exciting. They’ve curated a specific aesthetic, developed complementary products, and provided a niche community for the people who share their brand aesthetic. 

You don't have to be the first; you just have to be the best. 

9. The delivery process is lacking.

How many times have you filled a cart, started the checkout process and then changed your mind because of shipping costs? A recent survey found that 50 percent of shoppers won’t bother with retailers that don’t offer free shipping, and 77 percent abandon their carts because of “unsatisfactory shipping options.” 

In the same vein, how many brands have you dropped because they didn't update tracking or deliver a product quickly enough? Use delivery update services. Offer shipping updates via text. Creating the fastest, cheapest and most convenient delivery experience possible leads to better retention. 

10. Your customer support isn't up to par.

Actively offering customer support before problems arise boosts customer satisfaction, which boosts retention. Be proactive in addressing potential delivery delays, and offer compensation when needed. 

Integrate chatbots into your website for 24/7 customer support, and make sure that your response times across all channels are as quick as possible. The more available you are, the more confident and cared for customers feel. 

Retention is Your Business Bread and Butter. 

Keeping repeat customers is an essential part of every brand’s long-term success. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs often forget to keep viewing their brand through the eyes of a consumer, and this can lead to big dips in retention. The good news is that these problems are easy to fix. 

Providing consistent value doesn't have to be hard. Build the right processes into your overall brand strategy, and you'll see slow, steady gains in retention rates.