Getting a potential customer to visit your ecommerce store is the first step. You also want them to add items to their shopping carts, complete the checkout process and finish the transaction. Congratulations, you’ve earned a conversion. But what’s next?
While getting a one-time sale does help drive revenue, ideally it will become the first sale in a series. However, only one out of five first-time buyers will ever make a second purchase from your store. As MarketingProfs notes, this means brands “spend a ton of time and effort to acquire buyers who may never engage” again.
Now it’s time to consider how to turn ecommerce shoppers into repeat customers. Successful ecommerce stores are able to build up a base of loyal customers who stay engaged and make recurring purchases over time.
Giving Customers a Reason to Buy from You
Ask yourself this: Why should customers buy from your store rather than a competitor’s? Not only do you need to have a firm answer to this question, you need to convey it to online shoppers.
Whatever products you sell, make sure you’re differentiating your store from those with similar offerings. Face it: You’re not the only store using a platform like Shopify to sell electronics, furniture, cosmetics, hand-knit sweaters, artisan coffee, camping gear, etc. But you don’t have to settle for blending into the crowd; with a little branding finesse, you can really make a unique name for your store.
Think about what sets you apart. Is it your eco-friendly products and packaging? Your responsive customer service guarantee? Free shipping and returns? A confidence-boosting product warranty? Make sure you clearly convey to customers what makes your store unique. Not only will it help boost trust and loyalty, but this will more than likely be the “it factor” they share with friends and family when they’re recounting their experience.
Make Loyalty Worth Customers’ While
Offering loyalty perks is a great way to tangibly reward customers for sticking with your store over time. But emailing out a 10 percent off coupon a few times a year won’t necessarily incentivize people to stay engaged. First, you need to make sure your loyalty rewards overcome the “trivialization effect,” meaning buyers actually find them valuable and gratifying.
It’s a good idea to reward shoppers for more than just making purchases. You can provide people points and recognition for a wide variety of activities, from making a post on social media to leaving a review, or referring a friend. However, you end up structuring your loyalty program, make sure it leaves your customers feeling genuinely appreciated and motivated to return for future purchases.
Take Advantage of Re-Engagement Marketing
Customers won’t always come back of their own accord, even if they had a good experience the first time around. Sometimes they need a nudge. Re-engagement marketing is just as crucial as acquisition marketing, like sending users a personalized email recommending products that are complementary to those they bought from you the first time around. You can also ask customers to take a short survey in exchange for a reward, which encourages them to revisit your site. Serving retargeting ads to past shoppers is another way to keep your brand top of mind.
Why Retention Is Vital in Ecommerce
Repeat customers are the backbone of any sustainable ecommerce business. As Econsultancy reports, the probability of selling to a new potential customer is five to 20 percent, but the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent. Repeat customers simply have a higher lifetime value, which affects your bottom line.
If you can figure out how to turn ecommerce shoppers into repeat customers, you’ll see better returns on your marketing efforts and higher profit margins.