For anyone who has their own business with a successful client base, there are always two questions that they are seeking to answer. They are, how do I get my existing customers to return to my website, and how do I get them to repeatedly spend money in my store? These questions do have answers, and all they need is attention in different areas in order to see a growth in your business and repeated return interactions from your customers on your website. Below we have outlined a number of different methods that you can employ in order to get your valued customers to return to buy your products time and again. Whilst you can incorporate all of these ideas at once, it is probably a better idea to try them one by one over a longer time period so that you can measure the success that each one has on your sales revenue. That way you will know what areas to focus your efforts on.
Create and use your dedicated email list.
Email lists are worth their weight in gold, and a customer who gives you theirs becomes something known as a captive audience. An email list is something that needs to be incorporated straight away if it isn’t something that you already do. If you don’t already have one – it’s really easy, at the checkout section of your website, include a section where the customer has to sign up in order with an email in order to complete a purchase. A good way to encourage them to sign-up is to offer some kind of incentive, like a discount or a freebie. If you already have an email list, then your captive audience is just waiting for opportunities to purchase again, given a good reason. Send them an exclusive previous customer only discount voucher that has a time limit on it, or offer them a free product if they purchase another related item. Or better yet, if you have a really valued section of your list with customers who always purchase from your store, offer them a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review of it on your website. Not only will this increase new sales to your store due to good reviews on products, but it will also make that customer feel appreciated. With appreciation comes loyalty, and they are far more likely to buy more regularly from your store, and tell their friends about you.
Let them know about finance options.
Many customers might want to purchase again, but don’t have the money readily available in order to do it. A good idea is to create a good quality finance option that you can apply, and have a special one reserved only for special’ customers. You can use the email list to let them know what you are offering, and they will be able to see if there are options that suit their budget. If the repayment terms (such as 6 months interest free) are easily affordable, it’s much more likely they will purchase an item straight away if you have good finance terms that they would otherwise have to wait to buy, and might end up forgetting about. If you can, incorporate a system that can marry up what customers have bought on credit with their repayment dates. Once the term has expired, you can contact them again with new, even better finance agreements, to keep them coming back over and over again.
Target customers on your site with one time only deals
If a repeat customer signs into your site and then abandons their shopping cart without completing the purchase, then you can follow up with a special one time only limited deal’ email that can knock an amount off the product(s) in question. Another option is to target them with a system that remembers what they last had in their basket when they log in another time. A remember this, it’s now on offer for you’ pop up that will catch their attention. This way not only will they possibly buy what they have come on to look for at that moment, but they might very well end up spending extra cash too. Both of these methods are highly effective at encouraging customers to return to your website, and spend more whilst there.
Another very powerful tool and a good way to clear old stock lines is to send customers an email link that will make that product totally free. Whilst it won’t make you any profit, what it will do is make that customer feel an affinity towards your store, and also put your store at the forefront of their mind, making them more likely to want to shop with you again soon. If it is a cheap item, it won’t cost your business much, (especially if you only target a smaller number of customers), but will very likely yield you much higher returns in the long run.
If you are sending an email to a customer, ensure that you tailor it to the individual. Granted you probably won’t know much about them, but you will know what they bought. If it was a pair of running shoes for example, ask if they have had an opportunity to hit the streets in them, or if it’s a computer, how they are enjoying getting their work done, or relaxing at night with it. Somewhere within that personalised email, add a return to store call, like a related discount, or free delivery offer. Also be sure to include their name and add in the name of the person running the company, along with a digital signature. A way to tie this all together is to take those email addresses and load them into the email of the company director or manager, so when it goes off to your customer it is a direct email, rather than a bog standard one. This will help it stand out from the deluge that they probably get on a daily basis, as well as giving it a massive personal touch. This might not seem like a lot, but very small personal touches like this can make all the difference to the customer in a world that often sees them as statistics. If you go that extra mile, they are much more likely to keep coming back to your store.
Loyalty programs are highly effective at getting customers to return to your website. For every purchase that they make you can have points added to their card that will convert into monetary amounts that they can use to discount products when they reach the checkout. In addition, you can combine this with emails, where you offer limited double point periods, where the customer can gain additional loyalty points by purchasing during specifically set times, increasing the sense of urgency’ to purchase from your store.
Send out physical brochures
In a world that is increasingly moving online, the art of receiving post is a dying one. Therefore, a nice glossy brochure along with a personalized letter and a physical nice textured discount voucher is a powerful gesture. It is very likely that someone receiving these items will return to your store to make a purchase.
Produce consistent newsletters
Sending out a newsletter on a consistent basis (say once a month) is a great way to stay in contact with your customers and let them know what is happening with your company and what new products you are currently offering. They will also feel like they know your company better than others so will feel more of an affinity for it, translating into increased visits and higher repeat purchases.
Have blog posts
In addition to a newsletter, have a regular blogger who write posts on your website that customers have to login to read (also link this to emails so they know when a new blog post is available). Make the articles interesting and informative also related to the products that you sell in store. For example, if you are a bookseller, then have an article written about the best new books that have launched that month, or why a particular genre is popular at the moment. Find ways to tie it into the products you sell, such as linking to the books that were discussed in the post, along with a visible slight reduction. E.g. Get the new Stephen King book (such and such), for only $8.99 to instead of $12.99 for this month only!’ As the customer will already be on your site and reading the relevant post, they are far more likely to commit to the purchase.
Have good customer service
The importance of this cannot be understated. Having a good customer service team is vital to repeat purchases. If a customer has an issue with one of the products that they purchased from you and is received by a warm, friendly person at the end of the telephone who is willing to do everything in their power to rectify whatever issue it is that the customer has, then they are almost certain to buy from your website again. In addition, this adds to the previously mentioned feeling of a personal human touch, which is too often missing from your websites.
Have a social media presence
It is almost a given that any good your website must have accompanying social media presence. Customers like the personalized feeling of this type of communication, as many (such as twitter and Facebook) allow them to contact the company directly and air their views as well as get personalized responses. In addition, you can attract a massive brand following if you post regularly with interesting content. As people often work visually, social media platforms such as Instagram is a brilliant way to present your products in a really attractive way. If someone who has purchased from your website and connected to your social media platform sees a post that they like the look of, they are much more likely to return to your website than if you just email them. In addition, you can offer social media only specific discounts that those on the platforms can use on your website, increasing return traffic that way.
Use personalized marketing on your site
Get hold of software for your site that can use personalized marketing tactics on your site to specifically target your customers each time they logon. It can analyze what they have purchased before and select products from your lines that are likely to be of interest to them, whilst offering a slight discount. For example, if they have purchased a pair of jeans, then it might offer them discounts off a winter jacket or a shirt, which the customer might then decide is a good addition to their previous purchase. This isn’t just blind science either, a survey discovered that 75% of consumers felt more compelled to purchase when they received a personalized message on an your website. In addition, you can attract a massive brand following if you post regularly with interesting content. As people often work visually, social media platforms such as Instagram is a brilliant way to present your products in a really attractive way.To make it extra personalized, have the software use their name, so that the offers really appeal to them. Something like: “Welcome back Ryan, remember those jeans you purchased in October? We’ve got some special deals just for you on coats and shirts that we think would look great with them.” The power of messages like these cannot be understated.
These above are just a handful of examples on the many ways that you can reach out to your valued customers and entice them back to your website in order to make repeat purchases, and eventually become loyal to your company. As mentioned above, we suggest implementing them bit by bit so that you can track how successful they are, and highlight other areas that might need some attention so that you can continue to grow your business. Beyond this it is worth experimenting with other ideas as you might stumble on something that really works. Keep trying new ideas and your business will definitely boom.