Why Customers Are Leaving Your Shop & Not Coming Back (& Solutions)

Just like in romantic relationships, despite all the efforts made to maintain the initial spark, sometimes the bond between an online shop and its customers can weaken. Your previous customers might be “leaving you”, but you can get them back!

We’ve all heard that the cost of acquiring new customers exceeds the cost of getting a return customer, but did you know that returning customers spend 67% more than new customers? Keeping your previous customers coming back is an important part of your business strategy!

Here are seven reasons why your customers may leave your online shop and our solutions to retain them!

1. Out of sight, out of mind

Online sales have many advantages. Among other things, it allows you to sell across an entire national and international market, facilitates inventory management, and even requires reduced customer service (compared to physical sales).

On the other hand, online sales can be more difficult when it comes to establishing a bond of trust with customers. While in a physical store, human contact is obvious and a vital part of the purchasing decision, it is more difficult to perceive during an online sale.

Your brand does not automatically benefit from the “likeability factor” that only human interactions can generate. This impersonal and anonymous side of online sales can be the reason for the indifference of your customers.

How to make up for it?

  • Show who you are by giving your brand a face. An “About Us” or “Who we are” page allows you to tell your story and build rapport with your customers.

  • Don't be too secretive! Show your business in action. Your customers are interested in the origin of raw materials, who your employees are, the development stages of your products, and even packaging.

  • Finally, don't hesitate to show who you are with the help of social networks. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok or Snapchat will help you get closer to your customers.

2. They no longer trust you

man checking his phone while hugging partner


Now that you have given a human face to your business, are you wondering why your customers don't come back to shop on your site? Trust is something that is built through experiences. In e-commerce, trust is difficult to acquire but easy to lose.

Have you turned a deaf ear when your customer informed you that the product purchased was defective? Is your customer service reachable by email or telephone? Do you react quickly to reviews posted by your customers?

How to make up for it?

  • Be assertive in proving your trustworthiness. Add multiple tangible signs of reassurance on your e-commerce site. Trustmarks and certifications are a sign that you meet specifications and that you comply with very specific criteria.

trusted shops trustbadge

Trusted Shops solutions combine the Trustmark, the 30-day Buyer Protection, and customer reviews in a widget (the Trustbadge) to build trust at first sight.

  • Simplify the process of withdrawing and returning products. If your customers are not satisfied, it is essential that they are able to reconsider their purchasing decision without feeling like they’re pulling teeth.

  • Use customer reviews as social proof. Let your previous customers sing your praises. This can be a strong sales argument for completing a purchase with you rather than a competitor.

  • Respond to customer reviews, both positive and negative.

Reply to online reviews whitepaper

3. You are simply not good enough

If your site is poorly designed, unintuitive, or inefficient, your customers may not return.

So here you are; you're a little behind in terms of design and your site doesn't really inspire others to buy. What's more, the ordering process really leaves something to be desired. And last, we haven’t even started talking about your product images, which are lacking and inaccurate.

Harsh, right? Well, you might not have all of these problems, but you certainly might have some.

heart being ripped in half

Shutterstock/Natallia Boroda

How to make up for it?

  • Take your customers' comments and suggestions seriously. The best way to retain and convince them is to work on your weak points.

  • Read customer reviews carefully, especially the less positive ones, to get an idea of the recurring paint points.

  • Look at your site with new eyes. Isn't it time to give your design or ordering process a facelift? Is the navigation intuitive?

Recommended reading:
5 Tips for Making Your Website Easier to Navigate

4. You’ve stopped trying

lazy man on the couch watching TV


Deep down, you know your product offering deserves some dusting off. As for your way of communicating, it could be that your brand voice doesn't really correspond to your target audience and is a bit old-fashioned.

Do you tend to stagnate with your ideas and not innovate? To avoid boring your customers and arouse their interest, be at the forefront of trends:

How to make up for it?

  • Learn about the applications of artificial intelligence and how it can improve your processes.

  • Keep an eye on your sector so as not to miss the latest news.

  • Expand your ecosystem and your horizon by collaborating with other brands, partners, influencers and even artists.

  • Is your target generation Z? Why not hire a social media manager who is in touch with the communication styles and preferences of this digital generation?

Recommended reading:
Boost Sales with an Influencer Marketing Campaign on Social Media

5. The grass is always greener

This is what we all fear in our relationships with others: competition.

In other words, the moment when someone tells you that someone else is better than you. In the world of e-commerce, consumers prefer the competition when they offer better prices and conditions or if they embody values that correspond more closely to their own.

How to make up for it?

  • Analyse what drives your customers to come to your site and to your competitors' sites. In essence, figure out your strengths and weaknesses.

    Whether you highlight British know-how or your commitment to being greener, you will not target the same customers as your competition who will prefer, for example, to guarantee very fast delivery or low prices.

    It is important that you embody easily identifiable values so that your customers differentiate you from the competition. Build a brand rather than a business.

  • Carry out price monitoring using a monitoring tool such as Minderest. These paid tools allow you to not miss any price fluctuations on the different sites and marketplaces. Everything is automated.

Recommended reading:
What Is Trusted Shops and How Can It Benefit My Business?

6. You forgot their birthday

Your customer has purchased several times on your site and until then, they’ve been rather satisfied with the quality of the products, the order process, and the responsiveness of your customer support.

unhappy man wearing a birthday hat

Source: Shutterstock/Cast Of Thousands

Even when you delivered their last package a little late, you managed to maintain bonds of trust by regularly sending them news of their order and providing them with a tracking link for their package. You might’ve messed up, but you avoided the dog house.

But last month was their birthday and you forgot it. Not even a quick email to mark the occasion and show them how much you appreciate them.

If you want to build a lasting relationship with your customers, you need to give them good reasons to buy again from your site. Little touches go a long way when it comes to customer loyalty.

How to make up for it?

  • Set up a loyalty program for your long-time customers.

  • Send targeted promotional mailings and a discount on your favourite customer's birthday.

  • Take advantage of the “wow effect” when your customers open their package. A neat package or a small thank you card will make the difference when your customer discovers their products. This is your chance to be creative! You can, for example, attach a small scratch game to win a discount/gift or add a cooking recipe if you sell food products.

Recommended reading:
Personalisation in E‑commerce: Customising the Customer Journey

7. You suffocate them

There’s a thin line between showering your customers with love to build loyalty to your brand and bombarding them with emails and promotional offers. You don't really understand why they are abandoning your site because you are doing everything to satisfy them…

Sometimes, unfortunately, enough is enough: Between unwanted pop-ups on your site, abandoned shopping cart reminder emails, package tracking emails, retargeting ads on social networks, offers every week, your customers feel suffocated and may even find it a little suspicious. And how do they react? They ignore your emails, unsubscribe from your newsletter, and do not return to your website. In short, they ghost you.

How to make up for it?

  • Ask your customers how often they want to receive your emails and don't wait until they unsubscribe to reduce your mailings.

  • Try to reduce the number of emails when ordering. Can the tracking link be added in the order confirmation email?

  • Use marketing tools like pop-ups and abandoned cart reminders only if you are right on target and precisely talk to the needs of your customers.

  • Change up your ads so your retargeting efforts aren’t causing ad (or brand) fatigue.

The final word

“And they lived happily ever after…”

Any relationship, if you want to make it long-term, requires investment, a good dose of humility and a lot of creativity. One thing is certain: focusing on the relationship with your customers is a winning strategy in the long term. By focusing on what motivates them and analysing their feedback, you will be able to build a loyal and grateful community around your brand.

Trusted Tips: If you lose customers during the checkout, download our  whitepaper on checkout optimisation

This article was translated from our french blog: Pourquoi vos clients vous quittent ? [+solutions]


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