Gaining new customers to any website is not what it used to be a couple of years ago when ecommerce was new and most people were eager to experience the thrills of purchasing online. At the moment, ecommerce businesses have to put a lot of strategies in place to increase their repeat customers. These strategies are termed customer retention and if executed correctly, they make increasing repeat customers a lot easier and economical than gaining new ones.
Increasing repeat customers is heavily dependent on the stage of your ecommerce business. Repetition should be an increasing focus as the business matures to capture more value. Below are the top tips to consider when working on increasing repeat customers.
1. Know what metrics work best for you: One of the core requirements for any customer retention strategy is that it must be measurable and preferably using the following metrics:
--> Repeat Customer Rate: This is a measure of the percent of your customers that would consider becoming a repeat customer.
--> Purchase frequency: This measures the frequency of returns that result in purchases from your ecommerce store.
--> Average Order Value: This metric tracks the average value each customer offers your business per transaction.
2. Encourage multiple checkout options: Studies have shown that most first-time buyers prefer speedy checkout options such as “checkout as guest” as opposed to checking out through a customer account. However, a customer account checkout option offers the benefit of providing the business with actual pre-filled shipping and transaction information that can enhance customer experience, improver marketing strategies and increase repeat customers.
3. Heighten your customer support service: It is often said that “people would forget what you say and do but they would never forget how you made them feel”. Therefore, it is the role of every serious ecommerce business owner to offer impeccable pre- and post-sale customer support services to increase customer experience and ultimately increase repeat customers. Tools such as a professional and speedy live chat option or a detailed and easy-to-use help desk drastically improves customer retention.
4. Engage with your customers via emails: Generally, email marketing should be tailored optimally to ensure that customers do not feel choked or oblivious of your existence. They should be timed and spaced appropriately to avoid making the marketing intent obvious. Email marketing is important as it helps ecommerce businesses build relationships with their customers while potentially increasing purchase frequency and repeat customers.
5. Incentivize customers through loyalty programs: Everyone loves freebies and bonuses. Therefore, consider increasing your websites repeat customers by offering them bonuses and rewards for meeting certain purchase targets. These loyalty programs help create a win-win situation as customers increase their purchase frequency and you increase your customer retention rate. Although your profit margin might be lowered, gross revenue is increased.
In summary, the success of most ecommerce businesses hinges heavily on their ability to not only attract new customers, but to convert them into repeat customers that continuously add value to the business.