Maximizing Customer Loyalty: 3 Essential Strategies from EXPRESS, Jenni Kayne and Ten Thousand

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In the world of retail and direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, customer loyalty is everything. Building a loyal customer base is essential to the long-term success of any business, as loyal customers are more likely to make repeat purchases, refer their friends and family and leave positive reviews. In fact, research shows that acquiring a new customer can cost five times as much as retaining an existing one. So, what can marketers do to build customer loyalty and keep their customers coming back? Here are some tips:

Personalize the Customer Experience

Personalization is critical to building customer loyalty. Customers want to feel like they are more than just a number, and that you value their individual needs and preferences. Use data and analytics to personalize the customer experience, such as recommending products based on past purchases, sending personalized emails or offering customized promotions. The more personalized the experience, the more likely customers are to feel a connection to your brand.

Jenni Kayne has implemented quizzes and surveys to further personalize the customer’s ecommerce experience in order to make purchases more passion-based. In the CommerceNext Webinar, “Avoiding the Discount Trap While Boosting Loyalty,” Alexa Ritacco, CMO at Jenni Kayne explains the quizzing strategy as a way to personalize while simultaneously steering customers away from becoming solely discount shoppers. Watch the full webinar here to learn more about Jenni Kayne’s multifaceted personalization approach!

Offer Rewards and Incentives

Rewards and incentives are a great way to encourage customer loyalty. Offer loyalty programs that reward customers for making repeat purchases, such as points or discounts on future orders. Offer exclusive promotions and discounts to loyal customers, and consider partnering with other brands to offer joint promotions or rewards. The key is to make customers feel like they are getting something extra for their loyalty.

EXPRESS is a great example of a successful loyalty program implementation. Named one of America’s best loyalty programs for consecutive three years, they offer countless perks for free including “EXPRESS Cash,” birthday gifts, early access to sales and product launches, a store credit card and more. Brian Seewald, SVP ecommerce at EXPRESS explained in a panel session at CommerceNext 2022 that their loyalty program significantly increased their CLV year over year.

Engage with Customers on Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for building customer loyalty. Engage with your customers on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, and respond to comments and messages in a timely manner. Use social media to showcase your brand’s personality and values, and to offer behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business. By engaging with customers on social media, you can build a sense of community and make customers feel like they are part of something bigger than just a transaction.

Ten Thousand has taken this sense of community to a whole new level, making their most loyal customers the face of their brand. In a recent CommerceNext Webinar, “Driving Loyalty: How to Generate Positive Customer Sentiment in 2023,” Jason Nickel, SVP, Marketing at Ten Thousand explained how the brand promotes the most enthusiastic advocates of their brand in their social media campaigns. The highest level of the loyalty program, the Captains, has become the face of the brand on social media, truly expressing how invaluable these consumers are to the brand.


In conclusion, building customer loyalty is critical to the long-term success of any business, especially in the world of retail and DTC brands. Personalizing the customer experience, offering rewards and incentives and engaging with customers on social media are a few examples of ways brands can create a loyal customer base that will make repeat purchases, refer friends and family and leave positive reviews.

Looking to learn even more tips and strategies for building customer loyalty? Join 1700+ ecommerce executives in NYC on June 20-21 at the 2023 Ecommerce Growth Show! You’ll be able to attend 50+ sessions with actionable insights featuring 120+ industry-leading speakers who will provide valuable insights and expertise. Register now to gain the knowledge and skills you need to take your customer loyalty efforts to the next level and drive long-term business success!