Three Proven Tactics To Gain Repeat Customers
Bringing in new leads is important, but customer loyalty is just as important - maybe even more-so. Here’s how you can secure it.
Everyone knows that generating new leads is critical to your store’s success. What a lot of entrepreneurs seem to forget, however, is that a loyal customer is just as valuable - if not more so. Even though repeat visitors represent a small percentage of your store’s total customer base, they can account for up to 40% of your revenue.
That’s not a small number - and most storefronts don’t do enough to cultivate it. Is yours among them? If you don’t know the answer to that question, it’s probably ‘yes.’
The good news is that keeping your closed leads happy - and turning them into repeat leads - is neither difficult nor complicated. In addition to making the purchasing process as simple and streamlined as possible, there are a few easy steps you can take to keep your customers coming back for more.
Allow Product Reviews (And Returns)
The majority of customers read product reviews before they commit to a purchase - and the mere presence of reviews can increase conversions by as much as 105%. Factor in that allowing customer reviews basically generates free content for organic search, and you really have no reason not to include them. They basically allow your most committed, most loyal customers to generate free marketing for your store - and in the case of negative reviews, provide you with a way to potentially turn a dissatisfied customer into a loyal one.
In addition to customer reviews, you should also make it easy for your customers to go through the returns process. That might seem a bit counterproductive - ideally, you want customers to be satisfied enough that they don’t even think of returning things. But a good return policy is critical for retailers, both online and off.
And it’s important before a purchase is even made:
“In a recent Harris poll, [it was revealed that] as many as 91% [of customers] responded that a store’s return policy was important when making a purchasing decision,” reads a piece on the All Business blog. “E-Commerce sites must ensure that their return policies are fair and appealing to their consumers.”
Reward Customer Loyalty
People like to feel appreciated and important. It seems pretty obvious, right? With that in mind, personalized ‘thank you’ notes, messages, and emails go a long way towards securing a customer’s loyalty to both your store and your brand.
At the very least, it’ll help them remember their experience fondly, and make them likelier to recommend you to friends and family.
In addition, it might be worth your while to set up a customer rewards program. Let people subscribe to your store for special offers. Let them sign up for an exclusive newsletter. Offer them a discount or reward on their next purchase.
One furniture outlet I visited, for example, offered me 30% off my next purchase after I bought a new dining room table. I will be visiting them again. Basically, make your customers feel important and appreciated, and they’ll reward you with repeat business.
“Gratitude goes a long way in all walks of life,” writes Shaun Quarton of Elegant Themes. “Business is no different, and displaying some gratitude is a great way to generate goodwill for your brand, which also boosts brand loyalty...there’s a lot to gain from saying ‘thanks.’”
As to when you should reach out and say thanks?
- After a purchase is made.
- After a purchase is delivered.
- Near the end of a purchased product’s ‘shelf life.’
- After a customer subscribes to any of your loyalty programs
- During important events - Black Friday, Christmas, etc.
- Business milestones such as Facebook follower count, business anniversaries, and so on.
Just Reach Out For A Chat
Last but certainly not least, remember that your customers are human beings. Don’t look at them as sales leads. While you certainly don’t need to try to make friends with everyone, don’t be afraid to occasionally reach out to them via email or social media.
And while we’re on the topic of social, create an account, and update it often. Social’s one of the most powerful marketing tools you’ve got. Don’t underestimate it - it has a proven impact on brand loyalty.
Lead acquisition is still critical to your store’s success - but it’s not the only thing you need to be focusing on. Never underestimate the importance of brand loyalty, or the amount of revenue generated by repeat business. And if you want to incorporate all of the above tactics without too much hassle, a platform like Shopify or WooCommerce is just the ticket.
About the Author:
Christina Coons is a professional digital marketer at Northcutt, an inbound marketing agency. She specializes in e-commerce, social media, and public relations, and spends her days helping brands succeed online.