There are more ways to increase your repeat purchase rate than we can count, but there’s a reason why starting with first-time buyers is best: they are your easiest source of customer loyalty and retention.
It’s fair to wonder why this is the case. Loyal customers might be tempted to buy more, or more frequently, without a doubt. However, 87% of first-time buyers never come back for seconds, making these people your biggest source of potential repeat orders!
Why don’t new customers turn into repeat buyers?
I asked Reynier Matos for his insight into keeping customers coming back to online stores. As Technology Director at Shapermint, Trafilea, and a member of the Forbes Technology Council, his business and ecommerce experience is unmatched.
“The top reason conversion doesn’t happen a second or third time is the effective communication with the customer. Reminding customers about other products in your store that might be useful, based on their first order, can impact how likely someone is to come back and browse,” says Matos.
How much of your repeat purchase rate is down to branding or product quality, and how much is customer loyalty defined by customer communication? Matos thinks that, to increase returning customers as well as acquisition, you need to look at the customer relationship.
“What most damages conversion is the absence of communication. Customers want to understand how your products solve their needs.”
I would add to this comment about communication, that updates during delivery is also important. If your customers saw that they were kept in the loop (honesty is key) during delivery, they’re more likely to make a repeat order.
You can’t move onto building loyalty, customer retention strategies, or increasing sales until you’ve mastered Matos’ point about your customer relationship. Got these under control? Here are more advanced steps to take…
The customer retention strategies that always increase repeat purchase rate:
As well as warnings, Matos helped us with several solutions. In his opinion, customer retention strategies should include a holding-hand.
“Buyers want to feel that someone is accompanying them through the whole experience of buying in your store. This can be solved with a chat function so they can check in and ask: will this size be right for me, or how true to color is the image.”
In the absence of, or to supplement, a chat function, I’d suggest offering a link to your FAQ from the home page and shopping cart. Many customers wonder about return policies before buying multiple items, so a top strategy to increase returning customers is to make this as accessible as possible.
Matos’ last word of wisdom seems obvious, but few remember to never annoy the customer.
“Accompany them through the whole process, via the customer’s preferred channels of communication. That might be email, SMS, WhatsApp, push notifications… Ask them when they buy the first time, and also register the location of their delivery address, so your second purchase nudges can be sent at appropriate times.”
Customer loyalty and retention can only be achieved through careful curation of everything online. This includes your online store, your social media presence, and the usability of any other channels that attract customers. If you follow these steps, you’ll see plenty of repeat orders!
Increase returning customers with marketing automations
Which next step do you plan to prioritize? If you’re ready to hand over some of the hard work of getting return customers, try Aument and start seeing second, third, and multiple repeat purchases!
Aument creates personalized messaging for specific audiences among your customers, offers up automatable email and SMS marketing, but allows you to personalize whatever you like. This allows you to reach more potential buyers and attract them back to your site.
Curious to learn more about marketing automations or commerce marketing in general? Drop me a message on LinkedIn!