The secret’s always in the sauce (or the batter)! But when it comes to repeat customers, it’s actually all about your retention strategy. Though first-time purchases may seem like the big excitement, repeat customers are equally as important to eCommerce. In fact, repeat customers account for 40% of all eCommerce revenue.
Wondering how your brand can boost repeat customers? Lucky for you, CAKE is willing to share our secret recipe! Here are the tried and true tactics we recommend to our clients to retain their customers.
Developing a Retention Strategy
Before we crack into it, let’s consider the bigger picture. For our team at CAKE, a solid retention strategy is the secret ingredient to attracting repeat customers. Once you have a strategy in place, all you have to do is follow the recipe. But first - what is a retention strategy?
Simply put, a retention strategy consists of a brand’s initiatives and efforts to build customer loyalty to retain their business. Essentially, this strategy strives to improve or add value to the customer experience. These initiatives to retain an audience can include anything from rewards and campaigns to special offers and purchasing incentives for returning customers or repeat purchases.
According to Adobe, “Repeat customers are nine times more likely to convert than first-time visitors.” With this in mind, it’s important to invest in your re-engagement strategies so you can make the most out of your customer base. Here are a few measures you can implement into your brand’s retention strategy.
The very forefront of creating marketing messages? Personalization. From segmented lists based on specific criteria (such as items purchased, frequency of purchases, or other customer actions) to copy that incorporates the customer’s personal information in custom fields, personalizing the customer experience is a great way to build interest and loyalty.
“Create an Account”
Another strategy to encourage repeat purchases is offering customers the option to create an account. While most first-time buyers will opt to check out as a guest, those that are given the opportunity to make an account following their purchase (immediately after check out or in a follow-up email) may elect to do so. Customers who then create an account can opt for newsletter emails or rewards, encouraging them to return and make another purchase.
This tactic can also be incentivized. You could consider offering customers a free trial period, free samples, or gifts when they create an account before making a purchase. This incentive both builds and rewards customer loyalty. Nothing says, “Come back for seconds,” like a little extra something sweet when customers sign-up!
Customer satisfaction is critical to increasing the possibility of repeat purchasers, as frustrated shoppers are much less likely to consider buying with you again. Customer service should support a seamless online experience for your shoppers, which begins with offering a live chat feature and making your contact information easily accessible on your site. Social media community management is another fast and customer-friendly way to enhance your customer support.
Because communication and support are key to building customer loyalty and generating positive feedback, it’s essential to provide your shoppers with tools to assist and enhance their experience. Offering shoppers different ways to communicate with brand representatives is vital to growing trust and boosting repeat sales. When it comes to your customer service team and tools, quick response rates are a must.
You could even consider personalizing the customer support experience. Every shopper knows there’s nothing more frustrating than squabbling with a useless customer service bot when there isn’t the option of speaking with a representative directly. When it comes to customer support, listening and communication are key. That’s why it may be a good idea to provide shoppers with customer care that involves human interaction. This way, the service representative can really listen to, understand, and resolve your consumers’ issues.
It’s as simple as this: Happy customers are more likely to be repeat customers. For us at CAKE, customer satisfaction begins with their experience and visible support.
Also known as customer retention programs, loyalty programs can help brands increase how often customers make purchases. Loyalty programs are also mutually beneficial, as they’re a sure way to boost sales and earn customer loyalty while simultaneously rewarding them.
Consider introducing a rewards program that allows shoppers to earn points – when they make a purchase or leave a review, for example, they can then put towards a free gift or discounts on future purchases. A loyalty program that features a points system essentially rewards shoppers each time they buy a product. As a result, customers will be encouraged to shop to keep earning.
Pro Tip: Make it free to join and free to quit! This acts as an added boost to entice customers to sign up commitment-free. The easier you make it for your customers to earn rewards, the more they will be encouraged to come back and purchase again in the future.
Incentives to Purchase
Similar to loyalty programs, providing your first-time customers with incentives to make another purchase is a great way to get them hungry for seconds. Send your first-time customers a message (email or SMS) with a special discount code or a free gift with their purchase. You can get creative here by including an incentive that will entice customers to buy like, “Come back and shop for 10% off your next order,” or, “Just for you: a free test product with your next purchase.”
A referral program is another sweet incentive, as repeat customers can refer a friend, and both will receive a reward when they purchase. This tactic encourages repeat purchases while simultaneously spreading brand awareness and increasing the breadth of your audience.
Feedback is crucial to enhancing your retention strategy and understanding the weak points in your brand’s customer experience. Product reviews, open forums, or even social posts that feature polls and surveys are all great ways to directly collect customer feedback on their shopping experience. Feedback is one of the best ways to bring any customer issues to light and, from there, use these concerns to strengthen or rebuild their experience.
If you take your customer feedback seriously and use this to improve user experience, you will be much more likely to retain customers in the future.
Just because they’ve shopped with your brand before doesn’t mean that customers are guaranteed to return and purchase again. Here’s where personalization comes in handy. Keep your brand top of mind with retargeting strategies like social ads and abandon cart email automations that feature personalized messages to your customers. These are also a great way to remind shoppers how they’ve enjoyed their first purchase of your products or services.
At CAKE, we understand that building a strong customer base and preserving brand loyalty is essential to any eCommerce store. Our team is dedicated to helping our clients retain their customers, so their brand sees maximum sales and high customer satisfaction rates. Contact CakeCommerce for any and all of your eCommerce marketing needs.