How to increase first-time customers with accounts by 600%

Jack Hutchinson
August 21, 2023

Why first-time customers are an important segment

First-time customers are difficult to engage

Picture this. It’s your first-time shopping with a brand.

You’ve clicked an ad, perused collections, read product reviews, searched social media for recommendations, and maybe even checked the return policy. The reviews are good, recommendations are consistent, and return policy is friendly - you’ve even found a few products you want to try. So you add them to cart and checkout.

You receive an order confirmation email and track your order multiple times before it’s delivered. And then it arrives! But there’s a problem - a few items don’t fit and others aren’t really your style. You make a return - the process is easy and you receive an instant refund. You decide the brand isn’t for you and shop elsewhere.

Sound familiar? It should. We’ve all been that customer.

Unfortunately for brands, this often signals the end of a customer relationship, or the beginning of a costly nurture process to re-engage the first-time customer.

First-time customers are expensive to acquire

Rising customer acquisition costs have become a common challenge as a result of increasing competition and saturation in ecommerce. As more businesses enter the market, the demand for online advertising and marketing channels has grown, ultimately leading to higher acquisition costs.

With more brands than ever creating digital storefronts, online shoppers are faced with an abundance of choice. This creates fierce competition and makes it harder for businesses to capture the attention of would be customers - driving acquisition costs even higher.

To help combat rising acquisition costs, brands are doubling down on differentiation, investing in retention efforts, and optimizing conversion funnels in order to improve return on spend.

First-time customers rarely use rewards or create accounts

In order to improve retention efforts and boost customer lifetime value, brands have designed intricate loyalty programs to entice customers with points, loyalty tiers, and even memberships. Of course, these can be great retention tactics, but first-time customers are often the least engaged customer segment.

Similarly, few first-time customers create accounts. This happens for a variety of reasons - sign-in is complicated, account benefits are unclear, or customers are unsure of their long-term relationship with the brand.

The Second Order Breakthrough

For Retention Managers, driving customers from one to two orders is critical for maximizing customer lifetime value. Repeat purchases indicate that customers have found value, an interest in the brand, and a willingness to continue their relationship.

In fact, customers are more than twice as likely to make a third purchase after making their second. This has a substantial impact on lifetime value and thus explains the importance of effectively nurturing first-time customers.

Rising acquisition costs, lack of differentiation, and cookie-cutter loyalty programs demand that ecommerce brands find new ways to retain first-time customers. Signed-in shopping and customer accounts are the solution.

The Power of Sign-In

Signed-in shopping unlocks personalization, boosts average order value, and improves retention. In fact, shoppers that shop signed-in spend 20% more on average and drive more shopping activity.

Once signed-in, shoppers begin leaving a trail of data for brands to use for nurture - clicks, product views, wishlists, add to carts, etc. Additionally, shoppers are automatically enrolled in marketing, loyalty, returns, tracking, credit, and more. Account tools like Status maximize signed-in shopping performance - driving 600% more first-time customers into accounts, tripling overall sign-in rates, increasing average order values, and supercharging loyalty engagement.

Using Status to drive 600% more first-time customers into accounts

Eliminate sign-in friction

We often hear that brands struggle to sign-in customers as a result of cumbersome account creation and sign-in experiences. Manually entering first name, last name, email, and password is certainly a turn-off for even the most loyal customers. So it’s unrealistic to expect first-time customers to create accounts.

Status solved sign-in friction by removing passwords. Instead, offering customers the opportunity to create accounts using familiar and efficient sign-in methods like sign-in with Google and one-time passcodes. These drastically improve the account creation and sign-in experience and increase customer willingness to create accounts.

Use post-purchase emails to drive first-time customers into accounts

On average, order confirmation emails see 85% higher click-through-rates compared to traditional marketing emails and boast the highest open rates across all emails. Customers, eager to track their orders, visit order confirmation emails frequently. As a result, they create an ideal entry point for account creation and sign-in.

Status One-Click login automatically signs customers into their accounts, directly from the order confirmation email. This has a substantial impact on first-time customer sign-in rates. Once signed-in, Status also automatically enrolls customers into loyalty - drastically improving program engagement.

Integrate your post-purchase tech stack

Other opportunities to drive sign-ins during the customer journey include returns, loyalty, and order tracking. By leveraging existing customer behavior to improve account creation rates, brands have the opportunity to improve retention and reduce retargeting costs.

Returns, often viewed as a cost-center, are a great way for brands to drive more sign-ins. Instead of a return being viewed as a loss, brands using Status return integrations can convert every return request into a signed-in shopper. This is especially powerful for capturing first-time customers who may otherwise view their return as the end of their brand relationship.

Similarly, tracking is another entry point for account creation and sign-in. On average, customers visit the order tracking page 4.6x per order. For brands that integrate tracking with Status, each tracked order automatically becomes a signed-in shopper.

Loyalty programs, like tracking and returns, can also allow brands to capture more signed-in shoppers. This means that each time a customer views their point balance or checks their loyalty tier, that they are automatically signed-in.

600% more first-time customers creating accounts

About UpWest

UpWest is a sustainability focused apparel brand that serves a diverse customer base. Their large catalog, premium products, and various customer segments positioned them for success with Status. This is especially apparent when considering their mens and womens product lines - each segment having different buying journeys.

Status helps UpWest customers shop by automatically saving recently viewed, previously carted, and wishlisted items to the customer account. This ensures that every UpWest customer receives a hyper personalized shopping experience - ultimately driving conversion.

The UpWest Customer account

UpWest leverages multiple Status entry points in order to drive more first-time customers into accounts. These include Status One-Click login, integrating tracking and returns, and improving site-wide account visibility by placing the account icon in the navigation bar.

UpWest Signed-In Shopping Results

By identifying points for sign-in across their site and throughout the customer journey, UpWest can capture more first-time shoppers and improve overall sign-in rates. In fact, with all entry points active, UpWest drives 600% more first-time customers into accounts and three times more shoppers across all segments.

This is a drastic improvement in sign-in rates that unlocks cost-effective nurture strategies to push first-time customers towards repeat purchases.

Supercharge your retention strategy with signed-in shopping

In a world of rising acquisition costs, undifferentiated experiences, and familiar loyalty programs, you customer account can unlock retention and repeat purchases - especially for first-time customers.

Top Shopify Plus brands like Princess Polly, LSKD, and Ridge use Status to drive more first-time customers into accounts and turn the customer account into a revenue generating tool.

You can too. See how today.

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