How to convert your one-time shoppers into repeat customers?

Most of the businesses have this mindset of always running after acquiring new customers but they tend to retain their existing customers. The fact is that once the sale is done, it is highly tempting to move to the new acquisition and repeat the entire process. But this strategy doesn’t help in the long run as it is short-sighted. The underlying truth of any business is that the repeat or existing customers are always more profitable than the new ones. Let’s understand it by an example: Say you have a grocery store. When a new customer visits your store, he/she would ask 100s of questions about the quality, costs, and would still not be able to trust you fully. Instead your existing customers tend to make more purchases from your store, that too without any significant waste of your time and energy. This clearly proves that it’s very important to engage with your existing customers even post sales. Here are a couple of strategies that can help you with the “retain and repeat” process:

  • Send a post sales acknowledgement email: This is a very basic step that might not show the results overnight but leaves unmatchable footprints of your store in the minds of the customers. “Thank you” and “Sorry” are two little words but leave a deeper impact. A single thank you email to the customers helps you create a confident and friendly shopping experience for them. You see, in an eCommerce world, everything you feel is virtual, so Thank you emails are one of those things that bring a ‘human touch’ to a faceless transaction. E-commerce companies like Allbirds have been utilising these marketing tactics for a longer period of time and it has been working pretty well with them.

  • Greet them on their special days: This is a practice that is generally followed by banks or restaurants. Remember your last birthday, when your best friend might have forgotten to wish you sharp at 12 but the restaurant you had once visited sends you a lovely birthday wish before anyone else. In a single step, you can simply ask for the birthday or anniversary of your clients and this can prove to be a very effective way of engaging your existing customers. On their special days, you can also provide them with personalised discount coupons which makes them feel prioritised. 

  • Ask for reviews: With the product that the customer has ordered, you can pack a thank you card requesting for the reviews on the product. Also ask them whether the checkout process was smooth or frustrating. You might be wondering how can this help in customer engagement? First of all, their unbiased reviews can help you get better insights on how customers feel about your store. This would help you in optimising the store further. Also your customers would feel that their opinions matter to you which would further encourage them for the purchase. Plus the major advantage is that the reviews from the existing customers would be a backbone in acquiring new customers. 

  • Cross sell or up sell new products: Alerting your existing customers about the upcoming products or offer recommendations based on their recent purchases can be a very powerful strategy. Let’s take an example: If one your customers had recently ordered a red dress from your store, recommending them a pair of stilettos and danglers could be an effective way to re-engage them on your website. Recommending related or better products like these will show that you value customer’s preferences which will boost your credibility.

A single purchase doesn’t end customer engagement. This has to be a continuous process, henceforth an increase in sales can be seen. The gist of the entire article is that anyways you have to keep the conversation going with the customer to make them realize the existence of our brand. There is no rocket science or a prescribed manual to it. Different brands use the hit-n-trial method and analyse what works best for them. And these are the brands which have grown exponentially because their 50% focus is on customer acquisition and rest is on customer retention. In short, building relationships is the only tool to convert our one time shoppers into permanent and loyal customers.



Going shopping in the new world

Going shopping in the new world

A man shopping at a DVD store in New Delhi. As a child growing up in the 80s, I would listen to music on my cassette player or walkman. If neither...


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