Delivering a quality product used to be enough to grow a business—a customer needed an item, they purchased it, and that was the end of the journey. With the explosion of ecommerce, the customer experience has evolved into an ongoing, multi-touchpoint relationship between the customer and the brand. 

Customers need more than simply a good product to feel satisfied—they expect responsiveness, excitement, and personalization. So let’s talk about how you can create an exceptional experience for your customers, and ultimately encourage them to stay engaged with your business. 

Build a brand community

Bring your customers into the ethos of your brand by fostering a strong, active brand community. With a brand community, you create broad emotional connections, which are key to boosting brand loyalty. Focus on sharing the values behind your brand and forging connections between your customers. They’re more than numbers—they’re people, like you and me, and they crave meaning, belonging, and purpose. 

Blume, a skin, body, and period care company, was founded by two sisters looking to destigmatize puberty and periods. In addition to making products with all natural, organic ingredients, Blume promotes education and advocacy. 

Plus, they’ve focused on building a brand community around their values—they run Meditation Mondays on their Instagram account, offer resources on comprehensive sex education, and source feedback from their most loyal customers. By prioritizing their community, Blume has created a loyal following of customers who resonate with the brand’s mission. 

Blume’s resources for comprehensive sex education.
Blume’s resources for comprehensive sex education.

Personalize their experience 

Providing your customers with a tailored experience makes them feel valued and more inclined to do business with your brand. In fact, research indicates that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. Personalization is no longer just a preference—now, it’s an expectation. 

Studies have shown that emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than emails without. As you communicate with your customers, whether it’s through order notifications, email updates, or in their portal, always use their name, and personalize the experience whenever possible. 

For example, update product suggestions based on what a customer has already purchased. You can also send them relevant content based on purchases as well, such as a recipe booklet for lattes to try with their espresso pod subscription. 

Rewards and loyalty programs 

Loyalty programs build strong emotional connections with your customers and incentivize them to keep coming back. With rewards, you can tangibly show your appreciation for customers’ business. 

Bumpin Blends makes superfood smoothie cubes to help manage everyday symptoms, like fatigue and headaches. Subscribers earn points with every purchase, and can accumulate even more through referring friends, leaving reviews, or following Bumpin Blends’ social media accounts. Bumpin Blends has four loyalty tiers, and as subscribers advance, they unlock new perks—priority personal concierge, exclusive gifts, and access to taste test new flavors. 

With loyalty programs, you inspire motivation in your customers and give them more than just the product they’re buying. You can gain a competitive advantage by giving great rewards—Bumpin Blends even gives away VitaMix blenders. 

There are many products and services that beat out free ones because of the advantages they offer, like no advertisements on a streaming service, or exceptional customer service with a certain credit card. 

Loyalty programs can also help combat subscription fatigue. If you know most customers churn after eight months, you can send them an exclusive, attractive reward seven months in. These programs help keep the subscription fresh, and let you get ahead of when customers are most likely to leave. And, loyal customers are one of your most powerful marketing tools. 

Bumpin Blends smoothie cubes.
Bumpin Blends smoothie cubes.

Excellent customer experience

Ensure that at every touchpoint, customers feel respected, satisfied, and positively about your brand. Focus on your digital storefront, and ensure your website is user friendly with easy to navigate, intuitive pages. You can make returns simple, offer free shipping, or design a fun and engaging unboxing experience. Every element counts towards their overall experience with your business. 

One of the most important things to focus on is responding promptly to any requests and feedback—whether it’s reviews or direct contact with your business. We live in an age of constant communication, and no one likes to be ignored. Fast responses let your customers know they matter to you and that you care about their experience. Acquiring a new customer costs anywhere from five to 25 times more than retaining an existing one, so it should be a top priority to try and fix any customer issues. It also improves your brand reputation, as nearly nine out of 10 customers read online reviews before purchasing products

Finally, be transparent with your customers. If there are shipping delays, a product is out of stock, or there are any changes to their order, keep them in the loop. Clear communication builds trust even when there are unavoidable issues. 

Stand out in your industry

Today, there are countless businesses creating the same product. Focus on how you can create a unique and compelling offer. Customers want more than just the “thing” they’re buying—they want to buy from a brand with resonant values and captivating experiences. 

Keap Candles was created to bring more stillness, peace, and intention into people’s lives. They’re dedicated to restoring the balance between humans and the natural world, and designed zero-waste candles with reusable holders and plastic-free packaging. Keap wants to usher in a new paradigm, a regenerative system of consumerism that benefits both people and the planet. 

As a brand focused on connection and intention—via the ritual of candle lighting—they’ve designed a soulful, artistic experience for their subscribers. Each month, Keap creates candles inspired by seasonal scents. Alongside their candle, subscribers receive coasters, art cards, matchboxes, and poetry, all inspired by the same seasonal elements. These extra pieces encourage subscribers to further explore the monthly themes, and experience their Keap Candle in a much deeper, profound, and impactful way. 

A Keap candle burns next to a mug of tea.
A Keap candle burns next to a mug of tea.

Happily ever after with subscriptions

With subscriptions, you create lasting, long-term relationships with your customers. Rather than a single moment, you have repeat interactions and built-in opportunities to continue building the relationship. Your customers have opted in to doing repeat business because they find value in your product and your brand. 

Personalization is key to ensuring your customers continue to feel like they’re getting an exceptional experience. Look for ways to reward them with value when they stay as your customer, whether that’s being a part of a brand community, an exciting rewards program, or impeccable customer service. Get creative with how to inspire your customers, and to ensure that your brand offers more than just good products.