Nowadays in business, retail, or eCommerce, it’s equally crucial to attract new customers as it is to retain existing customers. Studies have shown that around 30% of your customers account for roughly 75% of your sales. Let those numbers sink in for a moment.
If you’re done thinking about the importance of having repeat customers based on those numbers, then you’re bound to be interested in how you’ll be able to achieve your retention goals.
We’ll list a couple of proven ways that will help you out, enabling you to create a stable pool of repeat customers. Each of the tips we’ll highlight is equally important and viable, depending on the situation. Therefore, in no particular order, let’s get started!
Everyone is always looking for a deal. It’s then a no-brainer that cyclical or targeted sales will be a factor in repeat business. Sales can be offered based on numerous factors on your end that the customer doesn’t even have to know about. You could be downsizing your stock, offloading a product because a new version is coming out, or something else entirely. The point is a sale is always welcome regardless of the thing that caused it.
Seasonal sales are the accepted norm in today’s businesses. We’ve all seen these – summer sales, Christmas sales, “back to school” sales, etc. The great thing about these is the fact they usually always come at the same time, so customers account for them when they plan their spending.
If you’re the one offering the best deals time after time, customers will be sure to stop by your site as a priority. Repeat business is all about experiences – if a customer had a good experience the first time around, they’ll usually keep coming back.
Probably one of the easiest site-wide processes to implement, a registration process can do wonders for your retention numbers.
While registering for a site doesn’t mean the customer is now bound to you, it does mean a certain type of connection. People usually won’t commit to something (even as banal as registering for a site) if they don’t consider it worthwhile i.e. if they don’t see any future benefit. So, the next time they’re looking for something they’ll remember “that site” they’re registered at and hop over there to do their shopping.
If what you provide can be relayed to a subscription, you should strongly look into that as well. Subscription is, in fact, a step above pure registration and does commit a customer to your site, at least as long the subscription lasts.
Registration can also do wonders for the user’s/customer’s experience, enabling them to customize the user interface and site in general, or save searches and/or products they can then follow up on their end. Also, it enables implementing suggestions based on their search history and previously bought products.
Generally, when people get the chance to change something to fit their specific needs, they feel more comfortable and subsequently be more inclined to spend more time in that environment. Chances are, if they’re spending more time in the environment (in this case your webshop) they’ll be more inclined to buy more.
Everybody likes getting presents, don’t they? So why not implement a rewards program? It can help you boost your members total (if you require registration to enter – which you should) connecting it effortlessly to the previous tip and will make customers come back for more because – everybody likes free stuff.
With a rewards program, you have two distinct ways of doing things. One is closely connected to repeat customers/members where you’ll offer them gifts and/or discounts when they reach a target amount (within one purchase or through multiple purchases). Customers will commit to you long-term because they’ll have a direct benefit from doing their business with you instead of switching to someone else because they’ll have a target goal each time.
The other way first focuses on attracting new customers but grows into retaining their business. A rewards program in the true sense of the word would be something like “the first 1000 customers get…”, or “spend xy amount to win…”. You’re grabbing their attention to purchase on your site, if they win, they’ll come back with the assumption “I’ve won before, why not try again”, or if they lose, they’ll come back to try and win the next time.
One thing you should always be cautious about in these instances is to be totally transparent, so no one can question your choice of winners.
This is not specifically tied to any process per se, but more to a demeanor you should adopt in your dealings with the customers.
As with everything else in life things are bound to go wrong every once in a while – a package may be delayed, a product might be delivered damaged, or break while still under warranty, etc. In these unfortunate situations, it’s important to provide the right kind of support that will still be able to turn a negative into a positive.
We’ve already mentioned that repeat business is all about experiences and that has never been truer than when something goes wrong. Diffusing a situation like that where everybody comes out satisfied in the end will be remembered and retold.
We’ve all experienced, or at least been told of a similar situation where something went wrong, but the seller went above and beyond to rectify it. Usually, those that had a problem and get that kind of positive feedback will neglect the fact that it had occurred entirely and instead focus on the handling of the problem, returning to the site again and again because they know there’ll be no stress if something happens to creep up again.
Extra tip: Include social proof
As you probably already know, one of the most important things when it comes to having a successful business is building buyer confidence and boosting conversion rates.
This can easily be achieved by providing real-time social proof. And one of the best ways you can go about providing social proof is with Evidence.
Evidence is a platform using which you can display customized social proof notifications for all the purchases, registrations, etc. that happen on your site. This way you are alerting your visitors of all the other people who are putting their trust in you and are creating real FOMO.
Besides that, Evidence also enables you to create unlimited social proof campaigns, capture data from any webform or webhook, and do a lot more. So why not check it out!
There are numerous ways of retaining your customers, there’s no doubt about that. The four we’ve listed, however, should always be on top of your lists to check off.
Naturally, you won’t be able to implement each of these in precisely the same ways we’ve mentioned above. That’s why you should consider these tips as guidelines, more than obligatory things, ones to pay attention to in a way that is most beneficial to your specific situation.
Also, don’t be afraid to look at how others are doing it either, a good idea is a good idea, it doesn’t have to be yours to use it.
Finally, whatever you get from this, try to remember that it’s not always about bringing in new customers all the time that will go “one and done” with their purchases. Instead, build relationships with your customers that will grow in a community and before you know it you’ll be in a win-win situation where everyone is happy.
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