Customer Loyalty: Ten Ways to Earn More Repeat Buyers
It’s far easier to sell to existing customers than win new ones, but many online stores spend most of their marketing dollars on the latter. To increase revenue quickly, the best strategy is to inspire deeper customer loyalty in the people who have already purchased from you. Let’s take a look at ten ways to do this effectively.
WRITTEN BY DAN MAGILL
1. Deliver items on time and in good condition
It seems simple, but this is where loyalty begins: by reliably achieving the most basic expectation of customer service. When someone orders something from your store, they expect it to arrive in a reasonable amount of time and in good condition.
If your fulfillment systems are sloppy and you get frequent complaints about delivery delays or damaged merchandise, your primary job is to resolve those issues to give customers the experience they deserve.
2. Amplify customer service as part of delivery
Once the customer receives what they ordered, they should feel appreciated, served, and valued. Perhaps even a bit spoiled. Make them feel terrific for having bought your product.
This begins with a simple thank you. If you sell a high value item, make a thank-you phone call part of your standard delivery process to make sure the customer is completely satisfied. For smaller items, include some sort of personal touch. Depending on what you sell, a handwritten note may be best, but a sticker on an invoice or package is also a great option.
If appropriate, include instructions for assembling or using your product, and provide customer service contact information in multiple places so customers don’t have to hunt for a way to contact you with questions. And make sure someone responds promptly. If customers have to stay on hold for 45 minutes or don’t get a quick email acknowledgement, you can bet they’re thinking of taking their business elsewhere.
3. Surprise and delight
Your package doesn’t have to be just another brown box with bubble wrap. You might want to spend a little more on creative or impressive packaging. Include a surprise free gift.
To encourage customer loyalty, repeat purchases, and referrals, make the gift branded and something they’re likely to keep around and see regularly: coasters, stickers, pens, keychains, mugs, magnets. Here’s a great resource for other memorable gift ideas.
4. Follow up immediately
Right after their purchase, each customer should receive an automated welcome or thank you email. This can include special new-customer coupons, an offer of free gifts with a second purchase, or suggested products they might be interested in.
Spearhead Multimedia can integrate Constant Contact or AutomateWoo, an email system that integrates with WooCommerce, allows you to include product recommendations in your emails. This can be an incredibly effective way to reach customers when they’re most excited about your product.
A lot of customers aren’t interested in buying something else right after they’ve just made a purchase. A few months down the road, they might feel differently — but only if they remember you.
Once you have a customer’s contact information, send consistent email messages. Here’s a study that investigated email frequency and its relationship to sales; companies that sent one email per month averaged 7.47 orders. Companies that sent 10-19 emails per month averaged 18.59 orders. That’s about 250% more orders, and way more emails.
Why does this happen? Because hardly anyone opens every email they receive. If you send ten emails per month, the recipient might open two or three, giving you two or three chances to make a sale. If you send just one email per month and they ignore it, you have zero chances.
An email marketing tool like Constant Contact or AutomateWoo integrates with your online store so you can consistently keep in touch with existing and previous customers.
6. Deliver value, not just sales offers
What do you put in these emails? Are you expected to invent new coupons and offers three times a week? No.
First, you can resend the same offer multiple times, presented in different ways. If you have a deadline for a particular sale, you could send separate emails to:
Announce the sale and the deadline.
Embellish the value of the sale.
Remind customers of the products included in the sale.
Warn people when the deadline nears.
That’s four emails. Spread those out over two weeks, and you have an entire marketing campaign.
But even more importantly, deliver value with each email. You could:
Send tips and tricks that are relevant to your customers.
Send answers to commonly asked questions.
Offer free resources.
Send links to new blog posts.
Partner with complementary businesses and tell your customers about them. (The other business could do the same for you, or you can share any profits that result from the email.)
7. Use social media to stay top of mind
Social media accomplishes many of the same goals as email for a different slice of your audience. Post similar content to what you include in emails: sales, tips, answers, resources, blog posts, inspiration, and engaging items like polls and quizzes. WooCommerce offers extensions for integrating your store with Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. See all social media extensions here.
8. Implement a points and rewards system
A rewards system gives customers points for purchasing, signing up for your email newsletter, following you on social media, liking and sharing posts, leaving reviews, sending referrals, and so much more. There’s tons of potential for creativity! Customers stay engaged and can use their points to get discounts and deals.
The Points and Rewards extension helps you set up and manage a customer rewards system. It even allows you to give customers points for previous purchases, so existing customers immediately get rewards they can use to buy more products.
9. Retarget with Google Ads
Retargeting is a way to show online ads only to people who have already visited your site. The ads are thus more targeted, focusing only on people who have already demonstrated some level of interest in your business.
Retargeting works for people who visit your site and don’t buy. But it also works — probably even better — on previous customers. This is yet another way to stay on their minds.
Content marketing works best when it solves problems, answers questions, and makes life easier in some way. Blogs are perfect for this, and one of the great advantages of WooCommerce is its seamless integration with WordPress, which was built for bloggers.
If you can publish just four blog posts per month — one per week — you’ll have a selection of valuable resources you can share with existing customers across every media channel. This will help you stay top of mind, encourage repeat purchases, and increase referrals.
Start building customer loyalty
Searching for new customers is great, but don’t forget about the people who’ve already purchased from you! They’re the most likely to purchase again, and focusing on them is the quickest way to spur a boost in revenue.
Put as many of these ten ideas into practice as you can, and you’ll generate more customer loyalty, goodwill, and referrals.