Woman serving customer at the counter in a clothing store
Customer stickiness determines the likeliness of a customer “sticking” to your brand by making a purchase more than once. — Getty Images/monkeybusinessimages

Every business owner wants to ensure customers return to their store or website to retain loyal buyers and increase sales. One way to determine what might make a customer or client return to your business is to explore your “stickiness” factor.

Customer stickiness is a marketing term describing the tendency to gain repeat business. Stickiness determines the likeliness of a customer “sticking” to your brand by making a purchase more than once.

Many factors go into your brand’s stickiness, including product quality, pricing, convenience and customer experience. It’s important to understand how sticky your business is if you want to gain insight into why a customer is repurchasing your products or continuing to use your services.

The difference between customer stickiness and customer retention

Marketers often use the terms customer stickiness and customer retention interchangeably, when there are several differences between them.

Customer stickiness demonstrates perceived product value. The value of measuring customer stickiness lies in understanding why people repurchase your products and determining the best way to ensure they make a repeat purchase. While measuring customer stickiness focuses on transactional value, making your products “sticky” can improve the relationships customers have with your business.

Meanwhile, customer retention demonstrates repeat business. It measures the percentage of customers who continue to use your products over a prolonged period. To measure customer retention, examine how much revenue you’ve generated and retained from one fiscal period to another.

Customer stickiness feeds into your rate of customer retention. As customer retention increases, so does your business’s profitability: Many studies have shown that it’s less expensive for a business to retain an existing customer than to go out and attract new ones. Therefore, it is important to focus on increasing both customer stickiness to encourage customer retention and repeat business.

[Read more: Welcome Back! How to Boost Customer Retention and Drive Repeat Business]

Customer stickiness feeds into your rate of customer retention. As customer retention increases, so does your business’s profitability.

Why should you focus on customer stickiness?

Here are some key benefits of prioritizing your brand’s customer stickiness factor:

Increase the lifetime value of your customers

As you improve parts of your brand to encourage customer stickiness, you cultivate stronger and longer-lasting relationships with valued customers, as they’ll feel they can trust your brand as a go-to for specific products and/or services.

Improve customer loyalty

Increased stickiness of your customers means they will continue to buy your products and support your brand, leading to more beneficial customer relationships and customer loyalty.

Provide customers with more value

When you seek to increase your customer stickiness, you usually find ways to develop products or improve services. This, in turn, helps provide more value to your customers, encouraging them to continue doing business with you.

Increase customer referrals

Sticky customers who trust your products and services are more likely to refer your business to other people.

Improve your ratings and reviews

If customers are satisfied with your business and choose to continue doing business with you, they are more likely to leave positive reviews and ratings.

Generate more sales and increase revenue margins

Increased customer stickiness directly correlates with higher sales and revenue margins. Customers tend to feel more satisfied with their purchases and are more willing to return for repeat purchases.

Gain a higher return on investment from marketing campaigns

The more loyal and satisfied your customers are, the better your marketing efforts will land and drive real results.

[Read more: 7 Ways to Improve E-Commerce Customer Retention]

How to increase customer stickiness

If you want to increase customer stickiness, try the following strategies:

  • Implement multiple versions of the same advertisement.
  • Repackage or repost content in new ways.
  • Tailor outreach efforts to fit each unique communications platform.
  • Retarget audiences you know have an interest in your products.
  • Geo-target your audiences.
  • Monitor your customers’ activities while they’re using your software or website to determine their interests.

As you boost your “stickiness” factor, you will likely see your customer retention rates — and overall sales — increase.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published March 14, 2022