You’ve probably heard the saying that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. That may be because new customers need to interact with your brand multiple times before they make a purchase (such as seeing a banner ad online, or reading reviews), whereas you simply need to provide existing customers with a positive experience to keep them coming back.
One statistic suggests you have a 60-70% chance of selling to a customer you already have, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is just 5-20%. Another study shows that repeat customers add 65% more items to cart than first-time customers.
It’s clear why you would want to increase the number of returning visitors to your site; the question is how. Here are four proven ways to keep customers coming back for more.
Get the basics right
While a smooth and reliable online shopping experience will rarely make headlines, you might be surprised at how much your customers appreciate it. A fast, easy to navigate website, clear language around shipping and delivery costs and timelines and a simple checkout are key. Sending confirmation emails after you receive and later send an order will give your customers peace of mind.
It can be tempting to focus on the fancy features and services you need to ‘wow’ your customers, but it’s pointless if you’re not getting the basics right. At the end of the day, a lot of customers will choose the retailer that gets the job done, over one that over-promises and under-delivers.
Incentivising customers to make repeat purchases is an effective way to drive returning visitors to your site. This can be as simple as offering customers a discount on their second purchase, or a more complex system of rewards for certain activities, such as writing a review, referring a friend, or spending a certain amount within a given time period.
The aim of a loyalty program should be to maximise the lifetime value of your customers. That’s where programs like Amazon Prime really deliver. According to reports, Prime members spend nearly double the amount on Amazon as non-members each year.
Think beyond the transaction
It’s important to give customers a reason to interact with your brand outside of their desire to buy something, which can be impacted by external factors outside of your control. For instance, an entertaining blog or podcast can drive regular engagement that isn’t necessarily tied to a new collection or sale, while an online forum or Facebook group about a shared interest can take on a life of its own.
Don’t limit yourself to your website, either. Subscription sock company Manrags started a textile waste recycling initiative after the founder learnt that the only place he could send his used socks was the bin. Now, customers can box up their old clothes and textiles that are too worn out to donate and pay a small fee to have Manrags collect and recycle them. Customers receive the full amount of the fee back as a voucher to use at Manrags.
Finally, a fairly easy way to increase returning visitors that you can execute right away is personalising your order tracking page and delivery notifications with Shippit’s Branding & Advertising solution, a paid add-on feature on our platform.
This feature allows you to change the primary colour on the tracking page to match your business and add your logo and URL to delivery notifications to keep your brand front of mind post-purchase. You can also upload a banner ad for desktop and mobile along with a URL to promote specific products or deals for peak season, so you’re not only driving traffic to your site, but also sales.
And unlike advertising on other digital platforms, where there’s a lot of competition for eyeballs, ads on the tracking page are more likely to be seen by your customers, since order confirmation emails tend to have a high open rate. Find out more about Shippit’s Branding & Advertising solution here.