You can spend thousands on generating new customers and gaining new traffic, but holding on to each of those customers to generate repeat business is equally, if not more, important.
Repeat customers are clients who frequent the same seller and/or make repeat purchases creating a “halo effect”- a marketing term for when a consumer favors a line of products as a result of positive experiences with other products by this maker.
Why are repeat customers important?
Repeat customers are therefore great for maintaining sales and can contribute to your marketing strategy. User-generated content, from good feedback and reviews, contributed by your clients, can help with improving brand strength, brand loyalty and increased brand equity.
Let’s tap into this further. A repeat customer can become an ambassador for your brand! They know your products (which is why they keep coming back!) so they can spread the word about your company among their friends and families.
Indeed, repeat customers are the foundation of many successful businesses. Research shows that, over time, return customers tend to spend about 300% more than one-time buyers. The proof is in the pudding.
How to ensure your customers keep coming back
The question is: how can you ensure repeat customers stay repeat customers? To help you with your business plan, we’ve listed a few ways to ensure your customers keep coming back.
Maximize your online profile
Optimize your online profile by using social media and sending out regular, up-to-date newsletters. You might share information about product releases, or industry-related blog posts- whatever makes sense for your business. Of course, it’s important that you strike the right balance between staying in your customer’s field of vision and being overbearing or spamming them.
Use multiple platforms
Many customers purchase products or services via their phones. This means it’s paramount that companies cast a wide net and make sure that online buyers can access their services across a range of different
If a customer has only a few minutes to spare, searching on a mobile may be their only real opportunity to consume your product, which means it’s important to optimize your site for mobile users.
Make payments fuss-free
Customers don’t want to and don’t have time, to put aside for payment processing. If the payment process is longer than necessary, you risk losing a conversion. While you should offer a range of different payment options, you should also ensure the payment process is as easy as possible, moving the customer from ‘Add to basket’ to having paid in as few steps — and as little time— as possible. The instant buy options on Amazon and Ebay are great examples of time-saving features.
Improve your customer support
Apply sales support and good customer service where possible. Not only will this provide information about products, encouraging sales, it will also develop their trust in your company. This trust is important to keep your customers coming back.
Creating a forum on your website is a great way to do this, giving customers the chance to report any problems or ask questions about the purchases. This can also create a sense of community among your customers. You might also have a helpline or chatbot on your website to respond to questions in real-time.
You should also have a solid returns policy. Consumers may be more likely to purchase a product if there is the option to send it back, just in case they change their mind or find something faulty.
Offer discounts, offers and loyalty rewards
Show your customers that you value their business with discounts and special offers for repeat purchases. Freebies, discount codes or testers are all great ways to appeal to repeat customers and encourage them to return to you.
Keep ahead of the game
Stay up to date with industry and consumer trends and to stay current. Ensure that what you provide can compete with similar products on the market, so customers won’t turn on their heels the next time something new is released elsewhere.
It’s also a good idea to do regular price comparison checks, so you know whether your prices are competitive or not.
It’s important to stay in touch with your customers, be that through regular newsletters or adding frequent buyers to a mailing list. A recent study showed that 50% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t anticipate their needs, so getting feedback from your regular customers can be a handy tactic for generating repeat business. So, ask your customers for feedback on your products/services, or simply ask them how they are. Let them know you care about how your product or service has impacted them or their business.
It goes without saying that you’ll need to provide high quality products or services to encourage repeat purchases, but you shouldn’t rely on the product alone. Make the buying experience as easy as possible, show your customers that you value them and maintain your online presence, and you’ll be well on the way to generating repeat business.