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How To Create Repeat Customers

Threecolts
Geri Mileva
Published
September 20, 2023
Modified
September 20, 2023
How to create repeat customers

Any single sale is great, but once you’re able to establish trust and rapport with a customer, you get loyalty. Once you have that, you unlock something truly special: lifetime value. 

Data shows that 35% of an e-commerce store’s revenue comes from 5% of its top, most loyal repeat customers, while 8% of the customers generate 41% of the revenue. 

A repeat customer will keep coming back, and since they already trust you, they don’t need convincing about your service. This means they will tend to spend more than first-time buyers, making larger purchases, and more of them. It also means that you’ll have more visibility into future revenues, as repeat customers generate a more stable and predictable flow of sales, taking some of the uncertainty out of seasonal cycles (depending on your product) 

Having their trust also means that it will be easier to cross-sell or upsell them, further boosting their lifetime value.

A repeat customer is one that you don’t have to spend time and money acquiring, either. For the same acquisition cost of a new customer, you’re getting continual business over a timescale measured in years. This is especially important given how dramatically customer acquisition costs have risen in the past decade, going from $9 per customer in 2013 to $29 last year.

Not only does this bring down marketing costs relative to where they would have to be to have the same effect, but it also creates an entirely new marketing channel (and the most effective one at that): word of mouth. No amount of online reviews, testimonials, or PPC ads will be as impactful as someone swearing to a product because of their own experience. It’s gold dust. 

Unlike new customers, who may turn away from you, or even worse, leave negative feedback from a less-than-ideal experience, repeat customers who already have some level of loyalty towards you are more likely to forgive mistakes. This doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t have to try as hard to make it up to them - the opposite is true, you have to try harder to make sure they are happy and keep coming back. If losing a new customer is bad, losing a repeat customer is a real tragedy. 

The best feedback you get is from the customers who have been with you for a while. Even when they’re not happy about something, they want to see you succeed. Unlike new customers, repeat customers won’t be trying to tear you down with negative feedback, and as a result, their feedback tends to be the most constructive and aimed towards affecting positive change, rather than just putting you on blast. 

How do I turn customers into repeat customers? 

Quality

First and foremost, you have to make sure the quality of your product is strong. Nothing else you do will matter if what you’re actually selling is not good enough to bring people back. Make the proper investments in the manufacturing and resilience of what you’re selling. 

Customer service

How they feel about your product is one thing, but how do they feel about your business? How are they treated in interactions with you? Are their concerns taken seriously or dismissed? Do you accept responsibility for mistakes that affect them? How quickly do you get their issues fixed, and are they fixed to their satisfaction?

Do they feel like they matter to you?

The answers to all these questions will determine whether or not someone will want to bring you their business. It takes an incredibly strong product to save you if the answers are not the right ones, and even then, your chances of keeping people customers for life in the face of competition will be very slim. 

How do I turn customers into repeat customers?
Source: Unsplash

Loyalty programs and perks

Give them a reason to keep coming back, and if they do, reward them. 

A good loyalty program will give them a reason to buy the next one from you instead of your competitors. If they know that buying from you is building towards something, they see that as an additional value that they would not get from another seller, even if the product is effectively the same. 

If they have already demonstrated their loyalty, give them something nice! That could be an exclusive offer, early access to something, or even just a free item to express your appreciation. Obviously, you shouldn’t go overboard with these extra treats, but don’t get too hung up on the additional costs of giving them out, either - they will pay for themselves many times over.

If you’re not doing enough to foster customer relationships and get them coming back, rest assured your rivals are. Don’t put yourself at a competitive disadvantage by neglecting your most important asset. 

Keep in touch

You should keep in constant communication with your customer base. Develop your mailing list so that you don’t lose touch with them and always have another avenue for marketing. 

Have you got a new product coming out? Send out an email to tell them!

Do you have any new offers that they could benefit from? Send them a code so they know. 

Is there a seasonal event coming up? Give them all the details. 

Focus also on making your multi-channel presence more robust - the more ways you can reach a customer, the better you can retain them and add to their ranks

Not only will this potentially convert some additional sales, but it will keep you in their mind. Don’t ever let a competitor try to gain real estate in the mind of a customer without a fight. 

Beware of sending them so much material that you get moved to their spam folder, but don’t be afraid of letting them know whenever you have good news. 

Ask for feedback

This is something that you should do regularly anyway. Using tools like FeedbackWhiz, you can automatically request feedback from verified customers for reviews, and it will specifically target those who are likely to have had positive experiences. 

Even when the feedback may be negative, it is good to seek it out to learn from your mistakes (though ideally redirecting it to places other than your product reviews, perhaps to a suggestions page on your own website). 

The side benefit of this, similar to the above section, is that you stay in the mind of the customer. Asking them for feedback lets them know that you actually care about what they think and that you are willing to improve on it. 

Retargeting

Using retargeting marketing, such as Amazon Sponsored Display ads, will help you go after the customers who are most likely to buy with you because they’ve already looked at your product pages. In many cases, these will be customers that have already bought from you before. Retargeting them increases the chance of converting them into further sales. 

Build a community

This is much easier said than done, and the leg work to achieve it has to be constant. It will only work if you already have a number of the above requirements (such as quality products and good customer service). Making them feel like part of your brand is no mean feat. 

A strong social media presence and regular contact can go a long way here

Many of the other things that may typically help with retaining customers in e-commerce, like good website design and a streamlined checkout process, are less relevant if you’re only selling on Amazon (though you can certainly improve the shopping experience with A+ content), but if you also have your own external site, you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on them as well. 

Reach out to Onsite today to see how they can help you retain your customers and maximize their lifetime value.