How do you make sure you get repeat sales?
Repeat customers made up 48% of all US eCommerce transactions in 2015. Online retail is full of statistics demonstrating the importance of repeat business. A loyal customer base is a key part of any business. If you’re not seeing many repeat sales, you’re losing out on an important long-term source of revenue!
Getting repeat purchases and forming long-term relationships with clients doesn’t need to be complicated. Customer retention is a well-studied part of the eCommerce industry. When you do hook customers in for repeat purchases, those are the ones who will keep coming back for more and help your business grow.
In this post, we will delve into how you can get more repeat customers. We’ll go over how businesses turn new customers into subscribers who come back time and again.
Why should you care about getting repeat customers? Why should you focus on a sales strategy?
It’s a simple fact that repeat customers are a monumental source of revenue. There are several other benefits to getting repeat business as well.
Repeat customers are a sign of brand loyalty and many people take their time building a relationship with a brand. In any industry, there is a wide range of quality offered by merchants. When a customer decides to trust your business, they feel safer sticking with a brand that is familiar to them, and they will end up coming back again and again.
We’ve already covered the huge percentage of transactions repeat customers are responsible for, but repeat customers also provide quantity and quality; they spend more money than first-time buyers. They know what they want and have already spent the time researching and connecting with your brand.
Testimonials and any form of word-of-mouth advocacy work wonders for businesses. Happy long-term customers are the best brand advocates you could ask for. Their reviews serve as social proof of your product quality and can bolster your branding even further.
Lastly, repeat customers are the ones who will help you improve. They are more willing to provide feedback when asked – including the good and the bad. They know your industry, your brand, and your products. They are better positioned than any staff you could possibly hire to give you what you need to improve.
Top 10 tips to improve repeat sales that you should incorporate into your sales strategy
So, let’s dive right into the 10 best ways to expand your loyal customer base!
1. Offer a money-back guarantee
Nothing demonstrates confidence and trust like a money-back guarantee. They have been shown to increase sales and profits. That’s because they make your customers more comfortable putting their money down and that you are serious about the claims you advertise.
While they do take some extra work and can cost you a bit in many situations, money-back guarantees lead to long-term customer loyalty, and ultimately, the benefits outweigh costs. Even after a customer makes a purchase, they will value such guarantees going forward.
2. Make sure your website is optimized for conversions
Optimization in this sense means a few important user interface/user experience issues must be considered. Your site must encourage conversions by:
- Being easy to use
- Loading quickly for the largest number of customers possible
- Appearing attractive and in-brand
- Being easy to navigate
- Including clear descriptions
- Not being confusing or redirecting visitors
- Having a seamless checkout experience
- Offering multiple convenient (and popular) payment options
When combined, these customer experience factors make it easier to support your business repeatedly.
3. Use email marketing for follow-ups
Customer loyalty requires follow-ups and clear communication. Once a new customer has made their first purchase, thank them and see to it that you get in touch with them again. Send them a thank-you email and get them on your email list. Then, they can be made aware of new offers, products, events, and more.
The point is to stay visible to your new customers. Email marketing software/tools can make a big difference here.
4. Give customers incentives
Incentives are needed for any willing sale to take place. To incentivize customer retention, you need to give customers as many reasons as possible to keep coming back. Those reasons can include:
- Sales campaigns
- Loyalty programs
- Affiliate programs
- Marketing campaigns
- Free products/loyalty rewards
Make sure that new customers are aware that you are offering these things to them. Post on social media and send out emails when appropriate.
5. Build a helpful community
It’s always easier to join a community than it is to simply subscribe to a business’s email list. Your customers, like most people, enjoy being a part of a community; they like helping and being helped.
Take the examples of Dr K and Yes Theory, which have built huge communities supporting their causes (mental health and saying yes, respectively). These are also communities to which they can market their products. For example, Dr K offers guides and coaching programs. YesTheory has its own apparel brand.
There are so many ways you can build a community and help others while receiving business benefits.
6. Implement suggestions from customer feedback and promote it
People, including your customers, also like to feel important. The thing is, in the case of your business, they are important!
Let your customers know how important their feedback is. Go through their reviews and any other forms of feedback and make some changes. Then, let your customer base know about what changes you made and why!
The small touches in this process are what make your brand more personal. People don’t care much for brands in and of themselves, they care for the personalities behind them. So, show the humanity of your brand and show your customers how much you care about their concerns.
This helps you build a closer bond between your customers and your brand. Of course, this also improves the chances of them becoming repeat customers.
7. Use upsells and cross-sells
Upselling is the practice of encouraging customers to buy a higher-end product than the one they are considering at the moment. It’s often as simple as a prompt on their screen notifying them of the comparable but enhanced value they can receive from a similar, higher-end purchase. For example, consider the next point on this list (offer subscriptions).
Cross-selling is the practice of showing customers related or complementary items to the one they are considering. If you’ve ever shopped online, you’ve probably noticed “similar products” notifications of some kind when you’re looking at a product. By showcasing relevant products, you can personalize their shopping experience and guide the customer to better purchases. Of course, cross-selling is good for your bottom line overall, either improving your chances of getting one sale or getting more sales through complementary item purchases.
8. Offer subscriptions
Subscriptions can function both as an upsell and as an incentive for additional purchases. In many cases, subscriptions are an entire business model.
While subscriptions/memberships are the default for businesses like gyms, almost any business can offer them. If you offer any product or service that customers would use regularly, or products that require ongoing updates/maintenance, such as SaaS products, subscriptions are an excellent way to provide value to customers while being fairly compensated for it.
You can offer subscription products as an upsell by simply giving customers the option. When a customer makes a new purchase, just ensure they are presented with a subscription option. Offer benefits such as 10% off, free deliveries, or any other incentives that make sense for your business.
9. Offer exclusive benefits to subscribers
You can’t maximize the effectiveness of subscriptions without putting something exclusive inside of them. Incentivize subscribers to stay with exclusive benefits and provide them with extra value!
Exclusive benefits can include a range of additional touches like:
- Sneak peeks
- Additional customization options
- Early-bird offers
- Where appropriate, subscriber-only products and services
The key here is also knowing your customer base. Subscription options can be liberal and tailored to the needs of your average customer. For example, you can offer 3-month subscriptions instead of 1-year subscriptions. Give them options!
10. Set up retargeting ads
Many people browse the web and casually look at products as they click about. They often also click on a product or otherwise show interest, just to move on in a moment. But as a business, you shouldn’t let that interest go to waste!
Retargeting ads target people who have taken actions demonstrating interest, such as visiting your site, without purchasing anything. Retargeting ads show up when they visit other websites as well, re-engaging them with your brand while the iron is still hot.
Retargeting ads help you give potential customers another little push to reconsider purchasing from your store. Sometimes, the timing just isn’t right the first time they visit your site. But by staying with your visitors, you can help them reconsider and possibly end up purchasing from you.
A must-have tool for your sales strategy – Autoship Cloud
If you want a well-rounded solution to get more repeat sales in 2022, Autoship Cloud is the solution. Autoship Cloud is a plugin for WordPress, the largest CMS platform. It enables you to set up recurring orders for any physical goods or digital downloads. It only takes a few minutes and comes with useful extra features:
- WooCommerce integrations
- Subscriptions (accepting many different payment methods)
The tool can be used to encourage additional purchases and larger average order values. It also comes with analytics, customizable email notifications, and inventory management features. The all-in-one package was designed to make it easier for you to manage your business.
The normal way a site uses the subscribe feature is as a simple but effective upsell. Placing a “subscribe” button beside the customer’s shopping cart gives them an option to turn the purchase into a recurring sale, according to an agreed-upon schedule.
Users can also use the “Subscribe with Schedule” option to choose their own billing cycles. This is all done from the shopping cart, making it easy and keeping your customer where you want them.
Getting more repeat sales takes some work but is absolutely worth it. Repeat sales drive a significant portion of many companies’ revenues. Long-term, loyal customers are invaluable to companies as they provide much of those revenues. But they are also the leaders of the community that is your business; they leave the most useful reviews and they provide the insights that help your business grow.
To make the most out of the value of repeat business, try using as many of the applicable strategies on this list as possible. Also, remember that leveraging the best technological solutions makes maximizing repeat business so much easier.
As far as solutions go, Autoship Cloud is the easiest tool for improving sales and revenue. It comes with many of the strategies we’ve gone over through built-in integrations. That includes email marketing, subscriptions, and upsells, as well as simpler tools that add up to a much easier experience for you.
“Our business would not be able to do what it does without this plugin and the AMAZING support staff. I can say that confidently. No autoship plugin compares. Let’s just say that we have an incredibly complicated business model, and we’re fitting it all into a Woocommerce site. So much of our business is dependent on autoship, and an autoship process that is painless. Beyond that, we had a need for product MAP (first occurrence is one SKU, then we need it to automatically switch to another). Autoship Cloud now does that inherently. The user interface is great, and everything just makes sense. But a great plugin can be mediocre if there isn’t impeccable support to back it up. I appreciate a well-thought-out, thorough email. Autoship Cloud’s support literally has the BEST support email structure. Bulleted, clear, concise, and they respond FAST. If you really need more help, you can have a video call with a member of their team. They’re great people, and they work to get you the easiest and cheapest solution. If you need something custom, they are extremely reasonable to hire to build that in. We had them do a little project for us, and it was painless and works perfectly. Just get this plugin if you are needing autoship. Don’t even look at another.”
“Works as it should, and if there are any issues, the support is very responsive to fix it!”