With the right offers at just the right time, your brand can boost LTV while showing customers how much your brand cares about them.

In a world full of routine, surprise and delight can break through monotony. 

Surprising and delighting your customers will grab their attention and humanize your brand—transforming merchants into trusted allies. It’s also a powerful tool for increasing your ecommerce store’s customer lifetime value (LTV), by making your customers feel valued.

Through Recharge Flows, merchants can now utilize a surprise and delight template to take advantage of this powerful ecommerce strategy. In this blog, we’ll explore how surprise and delight works, along with four ways it can be used to help your brand increase LTV. 

Key takeaways

  • There are a number of surprise and delight tactics that merchants can use to boost LTV and make customers feel valued.
  • With specific Flows, ecommerce brands have the opportunity to interrupt normal shopping routines and delight customers at the right moments.
  • Merchants can decrease churn by identifying common pain points for customers, and offer a special surprise at the right time.

What is surprise & delight?

Surprise and delight is a way to interrupt shopper’s usual routine. It gives brands the chance to capture their attention and make them feel valued. Though it’s a successful strategy for ecommerce stores looking to engage with customers, surprise and delight is an art and a science that has to be executed correctly in order to strike the right chord with customers. 

Flows allows merchants to create customer journey enhancements. Plus, Recharge has made it even easier to do so by creating templates that merchants can use right out of the box, including one for surprise and delight. This allows brands to add a free gift or discount on an order and optimize customer incentives using A/B testing. 

In turn, stores can make customers feel valued and even generate interest in a specific product.

4 ways to use surprise & delight to improve LTV

1. Reduce churn

Loyalty, LTV, and churn go hand-in-hand. For your brand to be successful, loyalty has to be top of mind to reach increased LTV and reduce any churn that’s happening. 

Merchants can identify churn points using the Cohort Retention dashboard in Analytics. From there, it’s wise to offer a gift or discount at that churn point and determine if it works to reduce churn, or makes any impact on the customer’s next order.

Brands should also continue to use A/B testing to determine the impact of this surprise and delight tactic. As you iterate on it, you’ll be able to offer the right type of reward for customers at the right moment—which could save them from churning and help you win more loyal customers.

2. Quickly move inventory

When inventory is stalled, the storage costs can be detrimental to your bottom line. By offering less popular products as gifts, you can quickly move inventory and increase goodwill towards your brand. All you have to do is decide at which point to send the gift. A few options could be:

  • After a customer’s first order
  • After a customer purchases a set number of products
  • After a customer has made a certain number of orders

In this last example, merchants can utilize “streaks,” which are a set number of orders that must be reached in order for a customer to qualify for a gift or discount offer, or in other words, an action that will trigger the Surprise and Delight Flow your brand has created.

If a subscription is cancelled for any reason by the customer or a store admin, this will break the customers streak. It’s also important to note that the streak order number is not backfilled and will start with a streak of zero when the Flow is activated. 

For example, If you set the trigger filter to a streak order number of two, the customer would not receive a gift offer until they have processed their second recurring order. 

3. Introduce customers to products they would like

Surprise and delight can also help you to personalize the customer experience by suggesting products to specific customer cohorts that you know they would like, based on their typical purchasing habits.

If analysis shows that long-term customers with certain products typically like another set of products, you can make a plan to introduce them to new customers early.

For example, if customers who order night face cream end up also ordering day face cream down the line—and continue ordering them on repeat—then you could introduce a free gift of day face cream early after a customer orders night face cream. 

Customer segments can be used to determine the best cohorts to use this strategy with. You could specify which customers should receive free products vs. which shouldn’t. Plus, you can target your most loyal customers, or those with the highest LTV, to offer a VIP special gift that only they get access to.

4. Introduce completely new product lines

Merchants can benefit from introducing a new product line to customers who are already familiar with their brand. Research has shown that customers are more likely to buy from brands they’re familiar with, and that brand familiarity is one of several key characteristics that resonate strongly with consumers worldwide. 

According to the data, six out of ten consumers are more likely to purchase products from brands familiar to them—they buy products and services from brands who have already shown them their value.

So, individuals who are familiar with a specific brand will tend to come back and buy more products. And the majority of consumers will likely come back to buy from a brand that has remained loyal over time. Even when there is an increase in price, they will be more likely to come back and buy that same product instead of choosing one from a competitor.

To take advantage of this, merchants can introduce new product lines first to their loyal customers, in the form of a free sample product. In the future, when Targeted Upsell becomes available, merchants can target those same customers with a special offer for the product they sampled. 

Interested in learning more?

If you’re interested in learning more about how your brand can utilize surprise and delight with Flows, check out our new merchant academy course. With the right surprises and special offers at just the right time, your brand can boost loyalty and increase LTV, while showing customers how much your brand cares about them.

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[1] Flows (Recharge)

[2] Surprise, delight, and the modern tech stack (Recharge)

[3] Merchant Analytics (Recharge Product Roadmap)

[4] Surprise and Delight Flows (Recharge Support)

[5] Using customer segments with Flows (Recharge Support)

[6] Nielsen: Global Consumers More Likely to Buy New Products from Familiar Brands (Business Wire)

[7] Targeted Upsell (Recharge Product Roadmap)

[8] Surprise & Delight (Recharge Merchant Academy)