Getting new customers is far more expensive than selling to your existing customers. Even though that seems obvious, I see many Shopify store owners who focus most of their time, money, and effort on only getting new purchases.
In reality, we should really focus more on our current customer list to turn them into truly loyal customers. This is far easier said than done, but I want to go over how we turn customers into repeat customers.
"More repeat customers equals a higher customer lifetime value."
Take care of your customers and they will buy again. It is that simple right? Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors we can control and some we can't that impact your repeat customer rate.
The best way to turn a customer into a repeat customer is to do the unexpected.
At my ecommerce business, my only in-house employees are my customer service reps. I know, that sounds crazy since most ecommerce businesses look at customer service as an expense.
I look at it as a true opportunity to wow customers and do the unexpected. This philosophy goes far beyond the tactics of turning first-time customers into returning customers.
Unreal customer service is at the core of any customer retention program
I personally have taught my employees that it is ok to spend anything to make a customer happy. Well almost anything, but they have no constraints in spending or refunding to make a customer happy.
This strategy may sound like it costs us money, but if executed properly over a period of time it is guaranteed to increase the amount of returning customers.
Returning customers know my support team by name
Do your customers know your support team's name? Do they rave about them on social media? If they don't that could mean you have room to improve your customer experience.
Here is a good example. We had a customer who had clubs stolen from his car. Without saying anything we sent him a free set. We do this for 2 reasons, we actually give a shit and we are thankful for our customers. Truly believing we are nothing without our customers will change how you treat them and increase your repeat purchase rate.
Repeat customers make getting new customers far more profitable
The best way to make getting new customers more affordable is to have repeat customers that truly love your brand and tell others! Word of mouth and referrals is a sure-fire way to help you get new customers.
The average returning customer rate on Shopify can vary greatly depending on the products sold. Certain products, such as consumables and subscriptions have an inherently higher average returning customer rate than other products such as a golf club or a pair of skis that you can buy and use for years.
What is the secret sauce to truly insane repeat customer rate? (Empathy)
The best way to think of it is trying to scale the unscalable. Due to recent automation, some of this can be scaled easily and it is ok that some of it can't be scaled. The extra time and effort it takes is well worth it and I believe a big part of customers becoming repeat customers.
Handwritten thank you cards using Thanks.io
Thank you voicemails
Private owners only Facebook group
Thank you videos using Bonjoro
Truly unreal customer service experience (do the unexpected over and over again
Loyal customers want to be heard (talk to them and engage)
Each one of these bullet points could easily be a blog post on how to implement them and the impact they have. These are great software, but they are just great tools that let us thank our customers.
Being thankful and caring about your customers is the best way to ensure returning customers for life.
Launch new products that your customers are begging for
A new product launch is a fantastic way to give your customers another product to buy. The biggest challenge is making sure you are launching products that your customers actually want.
I love to use simple A/B emails to ask my audience which product they want next. I do this in an authentic way and before I actually have made these products. I am always amazed at the replies.
The replies are almost always for the product I didn't think they would want! Removing your ego and letting your customers run the show is a great way to increase repeat purchase rate and also engage with your customers. They feel like they are a part of your company because they actually are.
Your average returning customer rate shouldn't be too high or too low
Wait for a second, wouldn't a really high returning customer rate of 55% be a great thing? Yes, it's fantastic but it also means you probably aren't getting enough new customers from your online store.
Depending on the product itself, we shoot for a repeat customer rate between 25-35%. We sell a hard good product that doesn't need to be replaced often, so it really comes down to product extensions and new launches.
We recently had a very successful product launch that lead to a 74.88% returning customer rate in Shopify.
This was for a product replacement, so many customers replaced products that they still can use because we truly have taken care of them for years and we used our hype product launch method.
Shopify makes it really easy to find this number.
Just go to ANALYTICS and your RETURNING CUSTOMER RATE is on the right side of the screen.
How do you plan to increase repeat purchases for your Shopify store?
Let me know in the comments below.