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There’s an old rule of thumb suggesting businesses will pay 5x for a new customer over what it costs to retain an existing one. The higher your customer retention rate, the more valuable every conversion will be for your long-term growth. 

Let’s dive into a few customer retention strategies you can use to optimize your retention rate and keep all of those customers you worked so hard to acquire.

What Is Customer Retention? 

Customer retention measures how well a company can hold onto its customers over time. It's not just about making a sale; it's about creating magnetic customer experiences that stick, turning first-time buyers into loyal brand advocates.

There are a few proven ways to do this, such as customer reward programs, enhanced onboarding, educational programs and certifications (B2B), educational material (DTC), and expanded support.

Why Is Customer Retention Important For Brands? 

According to Econsultancy, 82% of companies agree that customer retention costs less to execute than customer acquisition

But according to Shopify’s 2023 Commerce Trends report, more than seven in 10 consumers have switched to a competitor of their go-to brand between May 2021 and May 2022, indicating a shift in brand loyalty. 

Given this growing trend of customers jumping brands, customer retention is an especially important focus for businesses right now. Retained customers are the lifeblood of any business. 

Retained customers are more likely to become brand advocates, spreading the word about your brand and attracting new customers. For instance, with the loyalty and referral programs offered by Friendbuy, brands have seen a 25x Return on Spend and 3-4x higher Customer Lifetime Value (LTV). Customer loyalty means consistent, low-cost growth for your business.

How To Calculate Your Customer Retention Rate

Understanding your customer retention rate is the first step to evaluating your business's success. It's a straightforward process, so let's break it down. To measure customer retention:

  1. Start by identifying the number of customers you had at the end of a given period (for example, the end of the month).
  2. From this, subtract the number of new customers you acquired during that same period.
  3. Then, take this result and divide it by the total number of customers you had at the start of the period.
  4. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it into a percentage. 

This figure provides a clear snapshot of how well your strategies are working to keep customers engaged and loyal to your brand. It's a valuable metric that can help guide your business decisions and strategies moving forward.

The formula is:

Customer Retention Rate = [(E - N) / S] * 100

And here is a explanation of the variables in the formula:

  • E is the number of customers at the end of the period
  • N is the number of new customers acquired during the period
  • S is the number of customers at the start of the period

This formula gives you the customer retention rate as a percentage. It's a clear and concise way to quantify how well your business is maintaining its customer base over a specific period of time. Remember, a higher percentage indicates a higher retention rate, which is a positive sign of customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Other Metrics That Improve With Customer Retention Rate

The customer retention strategies we're about to go through below do more than improve customer retention metrics. In fact, a lot of other important metrics for your business will improve too. Here are the most notable metrics that improve when you improve customer retention.

Average Order Value (AOV)

Average order value, or AOV, is the total revenue from your orders divided by the number of customers who placed them. 

What makes a “good” AOV is context-dependent. If your average item is $50 and your AOV is only $30, it’s a sign there’s plenty of room for improvement. But if your AOV is $195 on an average item of $50, you’re doing a good job of convincing customers to buy early and often.

Expect AOV to differ across unique marketing channels. For instance, let’s say you have a referral program in place. Brand advocates have higher AOVs than typical customers.

This enhanced cooperation with your brand also reflects in their loyalty numbers. Customers you attract via referral programs order more and stay around longer. That’s why AOV is often your leading indicator for long-term loyalty.

Purchase Frequency

Purchase frequency measures how often the same customer buys from your brand in a predetermined time period. According to a 2023 study by Econsultancy, customers who have a positive first-purchase experience are more likely to make repeat purchases, leading to a higher purchase frequency.

Like AOV, a healthy purchase frequency is context-dependent. If you sell coffee, a daily repurchase rate is good, but also expected. If you sell high-end furniture, two purchases in a month can be spectacular.

Some companies like to calculate this with your repurchase rate. For example, if you see “returning customer rate” in your dashboard, it indicates how many customers bought twice or more during that period.

You can calculate returning customer rate by dividing how many customers made multiple purchases by the total customers for that period. Multiply by 100 for the percentage.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Think of CLV as the long-term forecast of how much revenue a customer can bring to your business. As you improve your customer retention, the CLV tends to grow.

Why? Because customers stick around for longer, making more purchases along the way.

According to a 2023 report by Bain & Company, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company's profitability by 75%.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

This is a measure of how likely your customers are to recommend your brand to others. It's like asking your customers, "On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to tell your friends about us?" The higher the score, the better.

Retained customers, satisfied with your brand, are more likely to give you a high score, improving your NPS. And that's a powerful thing: companies with high NPS scores can double their growth.

It works both ways, too. If you focus on improving your NPS score, then you'll likely have a 5 to 10% higher retention on an absolute basis.

Customer Churn Rate

Customer Churn Rate is the percentage of customers who decide to stop doing business with you during a given period. (The opposite of a repeat customer.) But here's the good news: as customer retention improves, your churn rate naturally decreases. And that's a really good thing. According to a 2023 report by McKinsey, reducing customer churn rate can increase customer revenues by up to 15%.

Upselling and Cross-Selling Success Rate

Retained customers are like friends who trust your advice. They're more familiar with your brand and products, making them more likely to consider your suggestions for additional or more expensive items. This trust can boost your upselling and cross-selling success rate, which can have a big impact (as in, 10-30% increase) on your revenue. And considering that the success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%, you get more bang for your buck by retaining customers.

Cost of Customer Acquisition (CAC)

Cost of Customer Acquisition is how much you spend to acquire a new customer. But as your customer retention improves, you can spend less on acquiring new customers, reducing your overall CAC. According to a 2023 report by Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer can be five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.

Without a customer retention strategy in place, this can eat through your marketing budget quickly. Keeping your CAC low will give you space to nurture your existing customers.

Profit Margin

Retained customers often contribute to a higher profit margin. Why? Because the costs associated with marketing and sales efforts decrease over time. Increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by anywhere from 25% to 95%, according to Bain & Company’s report, Prescription for Cutting Costs. The study emphasizes the importance of customer loyalty to profitability, with loyal customers being more likely to purchase again and refer others, thereby reducing the costs of acquiring new customers.

Referral Rate

Satisfied, loyal customers are your brand's best advocates. They're more likely to refer others to your business, increasing your referral rate. According to a 2023 study by Nielsen, 83% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of advertising, highlighting the importance of a high referral rate.

Key Aspects Of An Excellent Retention Program

The team at Friendbuy has worked with multi-million dollar businesses and household brand names, so we know precisely what makes a successful retention program. We’ve seen it in action from the best!

While there are a lot of ways to keep customers coming back, the key aspects that stand out to us are outlined below.

Proactive approach 

The first step towards a successful retention program is adopting a proactive approach. Instead of waiting for customers to leave, businesses can anticipate their needs and address potential issues before they become problems.  Retain customers right from the start.

Instead of watching the number of customers dwindle and scramble to launch a few customer retention programs, set these programs up to begin with. Get involved with your existing customers and foster customer relationships right from the very first interaction.

Customer retention should never be an afterthought. It should be a core part of your business strategy. Friendbuy's software keeps customer retention at the forefront, with features that encourage repeat purchases and foster customer loyalty. Contact our team to find out how Friendbuy can help your brand grow repeat purchases and customer loyalty.



Ongoing customer communication  

Regular communication with existing customers is key to keeping them engaged and loyal to your brand. Friendbuy's software facilitates this by providing powerful integrations for regular customer engagement, such as email marketing, SMS messaging, and post-purchase flows that remind customers to return to your brand regularly.

This allows your brand to regularly remind your customer base about the enticing offers and rewards in your referral and loyalty programs. This constant communication with your customers gives them a reason to keep coming back for more!

Be brand forward (ensure all efforts are aligned under your overarching brand goals) 

Your brand's core values and goals should be the guiding force behind every business decision, including your customer retention strategies. Friendbuy's platform supports this approach, offering a high level of customization that allows your retention strategies to align seamlessly with your brand's overall objectives, such as retaining customers, growing your customer base, or boosting revenue per customer.

Let's say one of your brand's goals is to increase the Average Order Value (AOV). With Friendbuy, you can customize your customer loyalty program to incentivize higher spending. For example, you could structure your loyalty rewards so that customers earn more points or reach higher loyalty tiers when they spend above a certain threshold. This encourages customers to add more items to their cart or opt for more expensive products to reach that threshold.

If your goal is to reduce Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC), you can leverage Friendbuy's referral program software. You could offer existing customers a discount or a free product for every new customer they refer. This not only incentivizes your existing customers to spread the word about your brand but also helps you acquire new customers at a lower cost compared to traditional advertising methods.

For brands aiming to improve customer lifetime value (LTV), Friendbuy's platform allows you to create a loyalty program that rewards repeat purchases. For instance, you could reward customers with exclusive discounts or early access to new products after they've made a certain number of purchases. This encourages customers to continue buying from your brand, increasing their LTV.

Friendbuy also allows you to customize the visual elements of your referral and loyalty programs to align with your brand's aesthetic. This includes everything from the color scheme and logo placement to the language and tone used in your program communications. For example, if your brand has a playful and casual tone, you can reflect this in your program's messaging to create a consistent brand experience.

These are just a few examples of how to keep your brand's goals at the forefront of your customer retention strategies and programs.

Personalize experiences 

Personalized experiences make customers feel valued and understood, which fosters loyalty. Friendbuy's software enables businesses to create personalized experiences at scale, using data-driven insights to tailor offers and communications to individual customers' preferences and behaviors.

For instance, if a customer frequently purchases a particular type of product, a brand could offer them a special discount or reward for that product category. This not only makes the customer feel valued and understood, but it also encourages repeat purchases, increasing customer retention.

Moreover, Friendbuy's platform can also help brands create personalized customer experiences at scale. This means that even as your customer base grows, you can still provide each customer with a unique and tailored experience. This scalability is crucial for businesses looking to expand while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Research supports the effectiveness of personalization in boosting customer retention. A 2022 Redpoint Global survey found that 74% of consumers believe that their loyalty to a brand is about feeling understood and valued, not discounts and loyalty perks. 64% of respondents would prefer to do business with a brand that knows them, and 34% would spend more on a product from a brand that knows and understands them.

In addition, a report from Salesforce revealed that around 64% of digitally savvy marketers are making consistent, personalized customer experiences a priority. 

By leveraging Friendbuy's platform and the power of personalization, brands can create a more engaging and satisfying customer experience, which can significantly boost customer retention and profitability.

Lean on powerful technology partners

A strong technology partner like Friendbuy can significantly enhance your retention efforts. With its industry-leading technology, Friendbuy provides a comprehensive platform that offers more flexibility and integration options than simpler app solutions. This allows businesses to seamlessly incorporate cost effective retention strategies into their existing tech stack.


While simpler app solutions may offer basic features for customer retention, a comprehensive platform like Friendbuy provides a more robust and flexible solution. With its ability to integrate with your existing tech stack, customizable design options, and advanced analytics, Friendbuy offers a superior solution that can adapt to your business's unique needs and drive enhanced campaign performance.




5 Ways To Increase Customer Retention Rates

Now that you know how the best brands measure and promote customer retention, it still leaves one question. How should you approach a customer retention strategy? 

Your goal should be that every customer experience should be as frictionless as possible, constantly delighting the customer. This, in turn, encourages more interactions. The more positive touchpoints customers have with your brand, the more trust builds over time. Customers become comfortable ordering from you, taking part in your loyalty programs, and visiting your store first when they have something they want to buy.

Here are some specific ways you can implement a retention marketing strategy into the way you do business:

Encourage repeat purchases

For starters, repeat purchases rarely happen until you give customers a reason to buy again. Two of your primary tools here will be referral and loyalty marketing. 


  • Rewards and incentives work. That’s why 64% of consumers say rewards play a role in how they spend. Loyalty programs are especially great at creating these incentives. Adding up points towards a future discount, for example, gives customers reasons to keep buying from you. If everything else about your brand lines up, like a great checkout experience, customers will be happy to keep coming back for those rewards.
  • Referral marketing attracts more customers. Referred friends can convert five times as fast as the average customer from other channels. Why? Referral marketing builds on the power of social proof. If a recommendation is coming from someone the customer already trusts, there’s less friction and research required on their end. With a referral program in place, any purchase can become a potential second purchase via referral.
  • Lower costs in CPA, or cost per acquisition. CPA gauges how much it costs you to find new customers. If you have lower CPA (here’s what some of Friendbuy’s customers are achieving, as low as $1-6 CPA in health and beauty), you can put more money towards the loyalty programs that reduce customer churn. This adds to the average value of each customer.

Personalize touchpoints

People will reward big-box brands with loyalty if they can have a minimal-friction, low-cost experience. But there’s something big-box brands can’t always compete on: the personal touch. 

A personal touch reminds customers how much their support means to you. It gets them thinking about the humans behind the company. 

This doesn’t have to be a personal note dropped in a product box, either. A referral program can offer the “personal” touch that many brands never experience. When a friend drops a line via email, including a product discount code, that’s far more personal than the average shopping experience.

spanx referral email (1)

In the above example with Spanx, customers can include a personal note along with the referral. This enhances the experience of recommending something digitally. It’s no longer just a code shared between friends. It’s the digital version of a handwritten note.

You don’t have to limit yourself to one touchpoint, either. Referrals are a great touchpoint for personalization, but there are plenty of other options, including:

  • Unboxing experiences
  • Reminder emails for unused loyalty program points
  • Testimonials from other customers who have used your referral or loyalty programs before

Learn how SPANX uses Friendbuy to achieve a 15% conversion rate from referred customers.


Use automation to keep your customers happy

Personalization sounds like a good idea, sure. But it’s also difficult to scale without a lot of automation built into your customer retention processes.

You can keep customers happy if you implement automation that inspires customers to keep coming back. One of the most important events, for example, is the post-purchase touchpoint for each order. You can use this touchpoint to trigger all sorts of offers for your customer on the backend. 

untuckit loyalty program (1)

The above example from UNTUCKit is an impressive demonstration of automation that works to build customer retention. On the “Thank you” page, a post-purchase overlay pops into action, asking customers to refer their friends. 

How does this impact customer retention? Notice that incentive: $25 for referring that friend creates the incentive for your brand advocate to return and spend that $25. And maybe that $25 doesn’t quite cover the $35 they want to spend. 

The key point in generating referrals is that it makes it more likely you’ll acquire new customers. A fun side-effect is that it keeps existing customers happy, too.

Add personalized upsells and cross-sells

Every purchase your customers make is a data point. It says something about that customer. It says something about the preferences that made them want to buy from you in the first place.

Capitalize on this data by offering upsells and cross-sells designed to appeal to those preferences. For instance, if a customer buys a scarf, it suggests maybe they’re also in the market for a warm hat. If a customer buys a dress shirt for work, maybe they’ll want a similar shirt in a different color.

Upsells and cross-sells capture your customers when they’ve already placed some trust in you. They’re already browsing. Maybe they’ve made a purchase, or they’re close to checkout. Or maybe they’ve purchased a product they need to buy again.

Take the example of Duradry, a deodorant brand. It had a unique customer touchpoint: email reminders when it came time for customers to refill. Duradry created a customized SMS link, as well as further incentives to buy additional products.

duradry landing page (1)

When the customer taps the link, it will take them to a personalized landing page. On that page, customers can find additional products that might appeal to them based on their purchase history.

Optimize post-purchase shipping updates

One of the fun aspects of buying online is when customers can track their shipping process. The problem for many brands is that they minimize the information customers can see. A generic post-purchase experience might include a “thank you,” a quick shipping code, and that’s it.

This is a missed opportunity. Brands that want repeat customers will make every aspect of a purchase as fun and informative as possible. Optimizing shipping updates, for example, rewards customers with feelings of control. It’s even a little bit entertaining. This reinforces the positive brand experience, drawing customers to place another order.

spanx email confirmation (1)

Some brands will try to do more than attach a simple UPS link, however. They may include real-time status updates. These pages could include estimated delivery dates. If you’ve ever seen someone order a pizza on their phone and enjoy reading all about where the pizza is (being prepped? In the oven?), you know the effect this can have on the purchase experience.

A great post-purchase shipping page will do more than make a fun experience, however. Its offer serves as a hub through which you can add your incentives for future purchases. Think referral discounts, loyalty program points, and links to loyalty program dashboards. Each of these gives the customer more reasons to engage with your brand. The more you can make your brand enjoyable to order from, the more likely you’ll inspire future purchases.

13 Customer Retention Program Ideas 

Use loyalty program software 

Loyalty programs are a strategic way to increase customer retention by rewarding your best customers. Research supports the effectiveness of loyalty programs in increasing customer retention. According to a 2022 Loyalty Barometer Report by Merkle, 79% of consumers are more likely to do business with a brand because of its loyalty program.

With Friendbuy's loyalty program software, businesses can create a loyalty program that is not only tailored to their unique needs and goals but also to the preferences of their most loyal customers. 

For instance, consider the case of OLLY, a wellness brand that switched to Friendbuy to optimize their customer engagement. With Friendbuy's platform, OLLY could seamlessly integrate their loyalty program with their SMS marketing provider, Attentive

This integration allowed OLLY to send triggered SMS messages to customers after key loyalty and referral events, such as a customer moving up a tier in the loyalty program or successfully referring a friend. This personalized communication strategy not only made customers feel valued but also reinforced their connection with the brand, increasing stickiness.

Friendbuy's software also allowed OLLY to design their loyalty program that aligned with their business goals. By configuring their loyalty earning actions and rewards, and designing the program’s member tiers, OLLY could create a customer experience that clearly communicated the benefits of the program tiers to their customers. 

This strategic approach to program design ensured that the referral program not only drove customer acquisition but also fostered long-term customer loyalty.

Use referral program software 

Referral programs are a powerful tool for increasing customer retention, and Friendbuy's software helps businesses capitalize on this potential. The key is to create a referral program that not only incentivizes customers to refer their friends but also rewards them for their continued loyalty, increasing brand stickiness.

The goal is to keep a customer around, and to do that, you’ll need to offer a compelling incentive. For most brands, this incentive is straightforward: give customers reward points for every new customer they refer to your brand. However, to deepen your relationships with your most loyal customers, consider implementing tiered rewards.

Tiered rewards motivate customers to keep referring, to keep engaging with your brand. This deepens their connection with your brand and increases their likelihood of remaining a loyal customer. It's like making your referral program more like an addictive app. The more levels you unlock, the better it gets.

cora loyalty program (1)

Take the example of Cora, a brand that used Friendbuy's platform to create a tiered rewards system for their referral program. The more a customer referred friends who made a purchase, the more benefits they could unlock. This approach not only incentivizes the act of referring but also the act of repeat referring, increasing brand stickiness.

When you do it right, you can inspire more referrals, more loyalty program participants, and keep people involved in your brand. It’s a recipe for customer retention any way you cut it.

Gamify experiences 

Gamification, at its core, is about making the customer journey more engaging and fun. It's about transforming ordinary tasks, like referring a friend, into an exciting challenge or game. When customers see their referrals to unlock new rewards or reach new levels, it adds an element of excitement and anticipation to the process. This is exactly what Cora has done with their tiered rewards system.

In Cora's referral program, mentioned earlier, customers are not just rewarded for making referrals. They're incentivized to make more and more referrals to unlock higher tiers of rewards. This is akin to progressing through levels in a game, where each level brings new challenges and rewards. This gamified approach to referrals makes the process more engaging and fun for customers, which can significantly boost referral rates and customer retention.

Gamification can also foster a sense of community among your customers. As they progress through the tiers, they can compare their progress with others, fostering a sense of friendly competition and camaraderie. This sense of community can further increase customer loyalty and retention.

Ask for feedback and create conversations

Customer feedback is a goldmine for improving retention. It gives you direct insight into what your customers want, need, and expect from your brand. But to tap into this goldmine, you need the right tools and approach to collect customer feedback.

There are several ways to ask for feedback, such as through surveys, social media, or direct conversations. The key is to make the process easy and convenient for the customer.

ilia customer service (1)

Now, once you've collected feedback, you've got to act on it. This could mean changing a product or service, adjusting your customer service approach, or even altering your marketing strategies.

Asking for feedback not only provides valuable insights for your business, but it also opens up a dialogue between you and your customers. This conversation is a golden opportunity to deepen your relationship with your customers. When customers are able to connect with a real human that took the time to respond and be helpful, they feel a stronger connection to your brand. This connection fosters loyalty and trust, which are key drivers of customer retention.

Approach customers as long-term partners 

Building long-term partnerships goes beyond transactions; it's about fostering a sense of belonging and mutual growth.

Engage customers in a two-way dialogue. This could be through social media interactions, feedback solicitation, or involving them in product development. The aim is to make customers feel they're part of your brand's journey.

Friendbuy supports this process by inviting customers to refer their friends and family through a referral program or loyalty program. These kinds of programs keep customers involved with your brand.

Treating customers as long-term partners involves building meaningful customer relationships based on trust, communication, and mutual benefit. With the right tools, such as those provided by Friendbuy, you can transform customers into loyal partners who contribute to your brand's success.

Create educational or certification programs/materials

Educational or certification programs can help customers gain new skills, deepen their understanding of a product, and feel more connected to the brand.

For example, MakerBot, a leading manufacturer of 3D printers, offers a free 3D printing certification program. This program not only helps users get the most out of their MakerBot printers but also equips them with a valuable skill set in a growing industry. By offering this program, MakerBot is not just selling a product; they're providing a learning experience that can lead to personal and professional growth for their customers.

Another example is SAS, a leader in business analytics software and services. They offer SAS Skill Builder for Students, a program that provides free access to cloud-based software and courses to develop analytics skills. The program also offers certification exam prep materials, and a discounted exam price, adding further value to the customer's learning journey.

By offering these programs, brands can position themselves as partners in their customers' success, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and retention.

When implementing such a program, consider what skills or knowledge your customers would find valuable and how you can deliver that in an engaging and accessible way. This could be through online courses, webinars, interactive tutorials, or even hands-on workshops. The goal is to provide value to your customers that goes beyond your product or service, fostering a deeper connection with your brand.

Personalize as much as possible 

Personalization in marketing is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have strategy. According to a McKinsey report, personalization can drive a 5 to 15 percent increase in revenue and a 10 to 30 percent increase in marketing-spend efficiency. The report also highlights that personalization is not just about making the customer feel special; it's about delivering relevant and timely content that meets the customer's needs and preferences, enhancing their overall experience with the brand.

Another study by Salesforce reveals that 72% of consumers will remain loyal to companies that offer a more personalized experience. This implies that personalization is not just beneficial for customer acquisition but also plays a significant role in customer retention.

Now, let's see how Friendbuy fits into this picture. Friendbuy enables brands to personalize their customer interactions. For instance, Friendbuy's platform allows brands to tailor their referral and loyalty programs to the specific needs and preferences of their customers.

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This could be as personalized email communications that not only acknowledge the customer's actions (like making a referral) but also offer rewards that are most relevant and appealing to them.

Create space for a customer community 

Customer communities can foster emotional connections between customers and the brand, leading to increased customer loyalty and retention. These communities provide a platform for customers to share experiences, ask questions, and engage directly with the brand. This fosters a sense of belonging… and commitment.

The easiest ways to create space for a community include:

  1. Social media groups
  2. Forums
  3. Newsletters featuring customer stories

Social media platforms allow brands to create private groups where customers can interact with each other and the brand. These groups can share exclusive content, answer customer questions, and facilitate discussions related to the brand’s products or services.

Creating a dedicated forum on your website can provide a space for customers to ask questions, share experiences, and provide feedback. The cool thing with forums is that you’re also providing a valuable educational experience for customers, which is another item on this list of ways to improve customer retention.

Last, newsletters that highlight customer success stories, experiences, or achievements can make customers feel valued and part of a larger community. It also encourages other customers to share their stories with each other and your brand.

Create subscription services

Creating subscription services is a proven strategy for fostering customer retention. By offering a subscription service, you provide a convenient, recurring solution that meets your customers' ongoing needs. This not only ensures a steady stream of revenue for your business but also builds a strong relationship with your customers, who come to rely on your products or services.

One example of a brand that has successfully implemented this strategy is Tonal, a fitness company that offers a unique blend of hardware and software to provide a personalized workout experience. Tonal has a subscription service that gives customers access to their extensive library of workouts. This subscription service not only provides value to the customer but also creates a recurring touchpoint, fostering a deeper relationship between the brand and the customer.

Tonal has partnered with Friendbuy to create a unique referral program that complements their subscription service. Customers who refer a friend get $50 to spend in the Tonal Gear Shop, and the referred friend gets $100 off of Tonal. They've gated the referral offer so that only customers who have the Tonal mobile app can send referrals, reducing the potential for referral fraud.

tonal referral program (1)

This referral program, powered by Friendbuy's flexible platform and APIs, allows Tonal to manage their referral program as the brand scales, without sacrificing customizability. Whenever Tonal wants to change their referral offer, all it takes is a few clicks. To date, approximately 10% of Tonal’s customers have used the referral program, and this number continues to grow. This is a great example of how a subscription service, combined with a well-designed referral program, can significantly boost customer retention.

See how Tonal drives up to 7% of online revenue with a Friendbuy-powered referral program


Make It easy to buy 

Decreasing complexity in the buying process is a crucial aspect of customer retention. A study from the Baymard Institute shows that 21% of online shoppers have abandoned an order because the checkout process was too long or complicated.

Besides a simple UX design, providing rich information that customers need to know is another key strategy for making it easy to buy. Making terms and conditions easy to understand is a crucial aspect of customer retention. Complex and confusing terms can deter potential customers and lead to a lack of trust. This transparency not only simplifies the buying process but also fosters long-term customer loyalty.

Make it easy to return

Customers value the ability to return products that don't meet their expectations, and a positive return experience can significantly enhance their loyalty to your brand.

A study published in the Journal of Marketing found that customers who had free-return policies spent significantly more than those who did not. The research suggests that such policies not only increase customer retention but also encourage customers to spend more, thus increasing their lifetime value.

Making it easy for customers to return doesn't mean encouraging returns. Instead, it's about providing a safety net for your customers, assuring them that if a product doesn't meet their expectations, they have an easy and convenient way to return it. 

This assurance can boost their confidence in your brand and make them more likely to make a purchase.

Provide a range of friendly support options 

A range of friendly support options can make all the difference in a customer's experience with your brand. 

According to a study published in the Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, providing a range of exceptional customer service and support options can significantly improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. That’s why businesses must invest in diverse and effective customer support strategies to retain their customers and enhance their brand reputation.

So what does this look like?

Personalized support, such as phone, email, and chat, is a cornerstone of customer service. It allows for direct communication between the customer and the brand, fostering a sense of trust and understanding. 

athletic greens customer support

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbots are also becoming increasingly prevalent in customer support. They provide instant responses to customer queries, reducing wait times and improving customer satisfaction. 

Community support is another effective strategy for customer retention. It involves creating a platform where customers can interact, share experiences, and help each other. This not only fosters a sense of community among customers but also reduces the burden on your customer service team. 

Lastly, a self-help portal can empower customers to find solutions to their problems without needing to contact customer support. This can significantly improve customer satisfaction and reduce support costs. 

Ensure customer data is secure

A breach in customer data can lead to significant damage to a company's reputation, and in turn, affect customer retention. Customers entrust businesses with their personal information, and they expect that trust to be upheld.

A study by the Ponemon Institute found that the average cost of a data breach is $3.62 million. This cost includes direct financial losses and the indirect cost of losing customer trust. By ensuring customer data is secure, businesses can avoid these costs and protect their reputation.

  • Implement Strong Encryption: Use strong encryption both at rest and in transit to protect customer data from unauthorized access. This includes using secure protocols like HTTPS for data transmission and encrypting databases that store customer information.
  • Regular Security Audits: Conduct regular security audits to identify potential vulnerabilities and fix them promptly. This could involve hiring external cybersecurity firms for unbiased, expert analysis.
  • Educate Employees: Train employees on best practices for data security. This includes recognizing phishing attempts, using strong passwords, and understanding the importance of not sharing sensitive information.
  • Use Multi-Factor Authentication: Implement multi-factor authentication for accessing sensitive data. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide at least two forms of identification before accessing data.
  • Data Access Management: Limit access to sensitive data to only those employees who need it to perform their jobs. Use a principle of least privilege (PoLP) approach, granting only the minimum levels of access necessary for employees to complete their tasks.
  • Regularly Update Systems: Ensure that all systems, software, and applications are up-to-date. Regular updates often include patches for security vulnerabilities.
  • Incident Response Plan: Have a robust incident response plan in place. In the event of a data breach, you should be able to quickly identify the issue, contain the breach, and notify any affected parties.


These strategies are not just theoretical; scientific research shows that customer retention can significantly increase profitability. 

A successful retention program is proactive and doesn't let retention take a back seat. It involves ongoing customer communication and ensures all efforts align with your overarching brand goals. Personalizing experiences and leaning on strong technology partners like Friendbuy can make a significant difference. 

Don't just read about customer retention - implement it. Consider the power of referral and loyalty programs and the impact they could have on your business. 

Explore how a platform like Friendbuy could revolutionize your approach to customer retention. Remember, the key to sustainable business growth might just be a click away.