It is easier to keep an existing customer than it is to gain a new one. Rather than spending time developing new relationships, focus on the ones that you already have. Customer retention is extremely important for every business, but perhaps even more crucial for those businesses who have an online presence. With an online business, it is more difficult to connect with your customers. Not being able to cultivate those relationships face-to-face can lead to a higher customer turnover rate.Use these tips to maintain customer retention and loyalty for your online business.Email MarketingFor your online business, using email to connect with your customers is the best way. When a customer makes an online purchase they should be immediately sent a message thanking them for their purchase. This is also a great opportunity to offer them similar products, upselling and cross-selling. To keep your customers engaged with your online business, send them recurring emails wishing them back to your website. Email them during a holiday or for their birthday with a personalized offer. Keep your online business on their minds throughout the year.Keep Your Customers HappyGoing above and beyond for your customers will leave a lasting impression on them. Be consistent in making your customers happy. Send a small gift or free samples with their order, including free shipping, or give them world class customer service. Surprise your customers with something that will put a smile on their face will have them coming back time and again.PersonalizationThrough your online business, you will have access to the purchasing history of your customers. Use this information to personalize their experience by recommending certain products or promotions depending on what their purchase history is. You can also develop customer communication by personalizing newsletters and related content such as blog posts, based on their previous purchases. Providing this personalization will make your customers feel like they are important to you and will boost customer retention.Customer AccountsGetting your customers to create an account is a great way to retain customers. As soon as they have created an account, they have committed to receiving emails from you including discounts and updates about your business. The best kind of relationship you can build with your customers is one that is valuable for both parties. There must be a reason for a customer to want to sign up for an account. Make sure to create the sign-up process as easy as possible. Offer perks for signing up such as early access to new products and discounts. Once you have a registered customer, it is more likely that they will remain loyal for much longer.