4 Ways to Increase Returning Customer Rates Now
Wirtten by Aidan Morgan
Getting new customers can be expensive and time-consuming, which is why we all want to make the most out of the customers we already have.
If your returning customer rate is too low for comfort right now, try one, or even all, of these methods to get customers to keep coming back and spending more.
In my opinion, this is the ultimate way for most businesses to keep customers coming back for more, but at the same time, it’s the most work.
You don’t have to be as big as Amazon to create the option for customers to enroll themselves into a special tier, businesses of any size and in any niche can do this as well.
An exclusive membership program can do wonders for driving repeat sales, anyone who is willing to spend money for special perks will be bound to use them as much as possible.
There are 3 main things you have to do if you decide to give the membership options a go;
For one of our clients, we did exactly this and offered; Free Shipping, Front-of-the-Line Fulfillment, and bonus rewards all for $49.99 every three months.
With this store, shipping for the average purchase by a non-member is typically $14.95. So pricing our membership plan at $49.99 makes perfect sense for any customer who would like to purchase at least 4 times in 3 months.
For the customers who signed up who don’t usually purchase that much, the ongoing payment acts as a strong incentive for them to keep coming back to get their money's worth.
Email flows are one of the most powerful tools you can have when it comes to communicating with your current customers.
When it comes to incentivizing more purchases, there are two things we want to keep in mind; timing and conditional messaging.
There are a couple of ways you can play with the timing of post-purchase email flows, it will all depend on the niche you’re in and how often you can expect customers to purchase again.
For example, if you’re selling shoes, you probably don’t expect customers to buy another pair every couple of weeks,
but if you’re selling a month's supply of shaving cream, well you can be pretty sure when a happy customer will be looking for some more.
What we found to be the most effective with one client, an online grocery retailer, was to send out the email that encourages the next purchase on the day their last order was delivered.
We encourage their next purchase by reminding them that they don’t want to ever go without their favorites, and if they purchase again now, their next delivery should arrive before they have finished all the items from this one.
We also add in a special limited-time discount to add a bit more urgency.
Conditional messaging is where we change the content based on certain triggers, like the number of purchases a certain customer has made.
On the first and second purchases, an email like the one mentioned above should suffice. But on the third purchase, you could try something different like;
“Thank you for another purchase Susan!
You’re on your way to becoming a super customer and getting a super special reward, only two more purchases and you’ll be there!”
If you’re up for it, you can continue to build this email flows out up to a customer's 10th purchase and beyond, which will always keep them on their toes excited for what the next surprise will be.
One of the easiest ways to make customers look forward to shopping with you again is a custom reward-point system. My favorite, and the favorite of many others, is to do this with Smile.Io.
With Smile, you can set up your own point system and set the rules for how the customers can redeem them, this could be getting certain products for free or just a simple monetary discount.
Once you’ve decided on the point system and activated the program, you can also set up email notifications to go out when customers get more points and when they have enough points for certain rewards.
Then there are the gifts that customers can get for free, but only on their next purchase.
What we found works exceptionally well is a simple ‘Free $10 Gift Card’ when you spend $X.xx or more. With this deal, the customer will receive a gift card to their email around 24 hours after they make a qualifying purchase which will, more often than not, prompt them to spend more than $10 on their next purchase. This is particularly true when there are shipping fees that apply.
There are definitely more ways you can get customers to keep coming back for more, the best being creating a wonderful experience from shopping to delivery accompanied with products that live up to their/your promise.
Now the question is, Which of these methods will you try out first?
About the Author
Aidan Morgan operates Create Captivate Close, a full-service agency that specializes in state-of-the-art Web Design, E-commerce & select marketing services.
Aidan Morgan has been helping businesses establish their presence and reach their full potential online for the better part of the decade. Aidan founded Create Captivate Close, an all-inclusive web design & eCommerce management agency that has helped generate over $3.7M for clients over the last 24 months.