Seal the Deal: 8 Strategies for Converting and Retaining Online Customers

In the cutthroat world of e-commerce, standing out is non-negotiable. Online brands face two key challenges:

  1. Pushing their customers to checkout and complete their purchases
  2. Making sure these customers return again and again


Are you ready to seal the deal? Let’s explore some tested strategies that will ensure your customers make purchases and come back for more…

1. Increase the temptation with checkout freebies

Imagine this scenario: you’re just about to finalise your purchase, and you’re offered exclusive freebies or a surprise discount. 

Research from the University of Pennsylvania reveals that unexpected incentives at checkout can boost customer satisfaction and increase the likelihood of completing a transaction by up to 27%

You could offer free gifts, limited-time discounts, or even cashback incentives

Swift Direct Blinds offers customers free gifts at checkout


Throw in a little extra value to make that transaction irresistible!


2. Transform customers into long-term advocates

Referral rewards - like personalised discount codes and special offers for referred customers - create a win-win situation. Your dedicated customer gets more value, and you achieve new customer acquisition. 

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful ways to attract customers.

Dropbox's referral program, offering rewards for both referrers and referees, led to a 60% increase in signups. Integrating it into onboarding and simplifying user participation created a viral loop, resulting in over 2.8 million direct referral invites in the first 18 months.

The Dropbox Referral Program: 3900% Growth in 15 Months
Dropbox referral program


3. Harness the power of User-Generated Content 

Have you ever scrolled through reviews, searching for real people sharing their experiences with a product?

Let your customer do the work for you - showcase their pictures, reviews and stories. In addition to selling a product, you're building a customer base that advocates for you.

Take fashion giant ASOS, for example, who leveraged user-generated content to increase engagement by 85% on their platform.

As Seen on Me': The User Generated Content for ASOS
ASOS As Seen On Me UGC Community


4. Discounts for the newbies

It’s difficult to convert new customers since they spend a lot of time researching to figure out whether they trust you and your products. 

Make it super easy and open the door for new customers with exclusive discounts. Offering first-time buyers a special promotion makes that initial purchase a lot easier. This is a truly simple yet powerful strategy. 


Cult Beauty new customer discount incentive
Cult Beauty's new customer incentive


5. Check in with your customers post-purchase

We’ve all been there - hit ‘purchase’ and then wondered: “Did I make the right choice?”. 

Imagine getting a friendly check-in after. That’s the kind of TLC that turns a one-time buyer into a life-long customer. 

57% of customers decide to trust a brand based on the customer experience it offers. This highlights the significance of brands checking in with customers. 


It’s as simple as letting your customer know that you appreciate their purchase, giving them clear information about expected delivery dates, or offering content such as step-by-step guides, FAQs and suggestions for getting the most out of their purchase. 

Post-purchase ‘thank you’ and product tips


6. Happiness guarantee for customer confidence

If you offer products that are made-to-measure or customised, it can be nerve-wracking for customers to commit to their purchase. 


But what if you told them, “No worries - if it doesn’t fit right, we’ve got your back”. This kind of guarantee not only eliminates the uncertainties of buying, but also builds trust in your brand. 

Zappos, the online shoe and clothing store, has revolutionised customer service by offering a 365-day return policy! Their customer service model is defined by an intensive customer-first approach, helping to build really strong relationships.


Why Zappos Has Free & Easy Returns | platformOS
Zappos 365 day returns policy


7. Offer samples to help customers make their choices

Offering product samples, particularly for items like cosmetics, clothing and paints, lets your customers experience your offerings firsthand. This not only reduces buyer’s indecision, but also shows your customers that you want to help them make the right choice, and you that care about their experience. 

Birchbox, a beauty subscription service, achieved remarkable success by offering personalised samples, leading to a 60% increase in subscriber satisfaction. After trying the samples, subscribers were more confident in purchasing the full-sized products they liked.

Peel & Stick Paint Samples | Lick
Paint company Lick offers peel and stick sample boxes


8. An exclusive loyalty program invitation

To really seal the deal and make sure your customers will return, invite them to join your loyalty program. 


A loyalty program unlocks a treasure chest of benefits. By offering an exclusive membership, you're not just selling products – you're selling an experience, a sense of belonging, and a VIP status that sets your brand apart.


Send personalised invitations that highlight the benefits of joining your Loyalty Program. Make it clear that this is an exclusive opportunity available only to your most valued customers. 


Clearly outline the perks – whether it's special discounts, VIP events, or personalized offers. 


Once they accept the invitation, ensure a smooth onboarding process. Provide clear instructions on how to access and utilise the exclusive benefits.

Dr Pepper Loyalty Program
Dr Pepper loyalty perks


In the fast-paced ralm of online shopping, where every click matters, the customer journey doesn’t end at the checkout. It extends into loyalty, advocacy and a customer experience that keeps them coming back for more. We’ve explored 8 powerful strategies that not only entice customers to complete their purchases but also ensure they return to you. 


Remember that sealing the deal goes beyond the transaction - it’s about building long-lasting relationships. If you’re ready to get closer to your customers, talk to one of our loyalty consultants

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Helen Walker

Helen Walker

Senior Content Marketing Executive

Helen is our Senior Content Marketing Executive. She shares valuable information about the Future of Loyalty and will keep you up to date on the latest industry insights...

Post Tags

Customer Retention
Retail Sector
eCommerce Loyalty
Customer Satisfaction