Customer retention is key for all businesses, but it is especially important for small online retailers. The e-commerce payments your customers make are what keep the business going, and their repeated business will help ensure your online business continues to grow. It doesn't matter what products you sell, how you handle your payment processing or your billing methods, customer retention matters. According to Shopify, customer profitability rates usually rise as customer life time goes on. Also, it always costs less to retain a customer than it does to acquire a new one. Here are 4 ways to encourage customers to return to your site and spend more money:

1. Utilize customer information
Hopefully, you're already tracking customer information. You need to work to understand what customers buy and what customers like so you can better market your products to them in the future. Look over the e-commerce payments that were made recently and try to chronicle all the information you have available. This will help inform future ad campaigns.

Also, consider implementing a system where customers create an account on your site. Not only do customer accounts provide you with a way to collect information in an easy to use way, it also makes it easier for the customer to make e-commerce payments on your site. According to Shopify, you don't want to make registration mandatory. In general, it's best to try to get customers to sign up after they make their first transaction.

2. Create a loyalty program
Glew noted rewarding loyal customers through loyalty programs will help you increase repeat shoppers. There are a number of ways to set up your loyalty program. In general, most businesses choose to offer a flat discount to customers, have tiered rewards or create personalized options for each shopper. While the first option is the easiest to implement, the third option has the potential to drive more customer engagement. The regularly created personalized options are often a little more enticing to visitors. However, if you provide consumers with a significant enough flat rate discount, you could entice them to do a significant amount of shopping with your business.

3. Send out purposeful emails
Email marketing has long been the way online retailers try to increase the number of e-commerce payments made at their online stores. While you should have an email marketing campaign in place already, it will become much more impactful with more customer information. Loyalty programs and customer accounts will help you better target your customers and provide a purpose for each and every email you send out.

4. Interact with customers via social media
Shopify reported social media is a great way to build strong relationships with your customers. Utilize a number of social platforms and post often. If someone interacts with a post, make sure you acknowledge them and try to start a conversation. The more you interact with consumers online, the easier it is to drive repeat business to your site. Also, social media can be a good tool for interacting and acquiring new customers.

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