The value of hanging onto your customers and building ongoing relationships with them should never be understated, particularly in the highly competitive world of eCommerce.
Research shows that it’s a) much easier and b) much more lucrative to sell to an existing customer rather than a new customer. So it makes sense to put as much time and energy into retaining customers as you can.
While there are some industries that may not lend themselves to return customers as much as others (a bridal store is less likely to see customers return than a cosmetics supplier, for instance), any way you an increase your chances of making that happen is well worth looking into.
But what can you do to ensure your new customers come back and buy from you again later down the road?
1. Personalising your service
Showing the customer that they are important to you can go a long way and is likely to stick out and be remembered. And arguably the best way to communicate this is to add a more personalised service in any way you can.
Sending a handwritten note with the order shipment adds a personal touch that is sure to win you some brownie points with the customer.
Personalised follow-ups are also a good idea for many businesses, especially in those cases in which you’re selling or have sold them something particularly specialised or of high value in the past. Make sure they’re happy with the product and are getting the most out of it.
This is ultimately a part of the bigger picture of customer service, which should be a top priority for a range of different reasons anyway.
Even in your own online activity, you may notice that you’re the object of retargeting on Facebook, Google or other social media networks.
Remarketing works so that when you go to a website (you may or may not complete a transaction), a note is taken and the company is able to advertise itself to you in other places around the net, reminding you to go back and make another purchase.
This is becoming a must for eCommerce websites given that it can be done cheaply and easily using either Google Adwords or Facebook.
You’ll just need to think about the kind of ads you want to be showing as well as some catchy copy to entice one-time customers back into your website.
3. Email marketing
You should already be doing some kind of email marketing to your newsletter subscribers; this can be one of the best ways to stay on past customers’ radars for when they’re after your services again in the future.
Even if your newsletters aren’t being opened and read, having your brand name in their inbox can be enough to create a future opportunity.
Offering discounts and coupon codes to your newsletter subscribers that are not available to the general public is a proven method of turning past buyers back onto your brand.
It’s important to mix things up in terms of the kind of content you’re sending, ensuring that the number of unsubscribes are kept to a minimum.
4. Loyalty programs
Rewarding loyal and return customers is an effective little trick to get people back in the door and improve customer retention. There are a number of different ways to go about this, whether you set up a points-based system, offer discount coupons after x number of orders, or just offer certain items as giveaways as the customer racks up purchases.
If you really want to keep one-off customers around for longer, offer rewards on the customer’s second order and let them know about it straight after making their first purchase.
5. Offer birthday gifts
Some eCommerce websites don’t ask for a lot of information of the customer before they make a purchase, and for good reason. Why make the process more cumbersome than it should be?
But if you have a good reason to collect a little extra info about your customers and you find it doesn’t lead to a high shopping cart abandonment rate, consider offering them a little something when their birthdays come up.
You can have a birthday email template set up to automatically go out on certain dates, offering gift cards, freebies or coupon codes.
When it comes down to it, retaining one-off customers starts with providing good service every step of the way, and ensuring your products are as described online. If a customer has a tough time dealing with you and isn’t happy with the product, there’s zero chance they’re coming back.
So the key is to make sure you are providing value for your customers and being upfront and honest every step of the way.
The second part of the puzzle after that is to make sure you’re visible to your one-off customers, that you stay on their radar long enough that they think of you the next time they need one of your products.
Some of the things we’ve discussed will help you do just that, without being overly pushy and annoying about it.
If you’d like to discuss more ways to attract and retain customers to your online store, have a chat with the WebCommander team today.