We here at SellerExpress won’t be so brazen as to say it’s easy to get a customer, but it sure is simpler than having customers come back and back. Repeat customers are worth their weight in gold, and yet too many merchants don’t do what they can to retain them. However, it’s not the realm of geniuses to get more repeat customers and we’ll show you how in 7 easy steps to keep your customers coming back.
Step 1: Treat Them Well
Unless you’re in the business of selling products that are literally not available anywhere else (i.e. a monopoly on something), then you must at least acknowledge that service plays a large role in e-commerce. Your buyers can get their socks, jumpers, laptop chargers and pet cages from Bob, Susan or anyone else in the world. So, to set yourself apart, you’ve absolutely got to treat your buyers better than everyone else. According to McKinsey & Company, customer service counts for more than 70% of the shopping experience.
Step 2: Keep Emotions Positive
Shopping is not an emotion-free experience, and there are certain points in the buying process that are more emotionally charged than others. Take the moments where the consumer first sees the price of the product, and then when they’re getting ready to purchase the item. It kind of goes without saying, but keeping those moments positive will do wonders for your conversion rates. And how you can keep things positive is simplifying the process, providing a thorough FAQ section, answering queries in a timely manner (or having a live customer chat support feature) and otherwise just making things as easy as possible.
Step 3: Be Savvy with Email Marketing Campaigns
What you want to do is be persistent and polite enough to stay in your buyers’ minds, and not so irritating that they delete your emails as soon as they see them. But the key to this balance is not just in crafting a short and sweet email that outlines specials and perks, but also in responding to emails. Your buyers want to know your site isn’t just a one-way process and that there’s a real live person on the other end, so dedicate a few periods each day to read through emails and answer them.
Step 4: Speak to Your Buyers
This step is closely tied to the previous one in that it’s important to communicate with your buyers, and not just via email. I remember one time I took a coach bus to a theatre festival out of the city. It was less expensive than hiring a car and was advertised as having free wifi onboard, so I was excited about being able to get some work done on the drive over. That wifi never materialized, so I took to Twitter to voice my displeasure — and got a response from the theatre company 10 minutes later. Although the wifi didn’t appear at all that day and not even on the bus ride back, I was quite impressed the theatre company took the time to respond to me and check into the wifi problem.
Step 5: “Bribe” Customers Into Returning
You’ve probably seen it everywhere: banks, cellular and cable companies offer new customers incredible perks for signing up, and seem to race in screwing over existing customers. It all seems quite unfair, doesn’t it? You’ve put in months of devoted service to a company and what do you get for your efforts? Not many reasons to stick around. Don’t be one of those merchants with your customers and offer discounts, specials, perks or freebies to them on a regular basis.
Step 6: Ask Them What They’d Like to See
It’s all well and good to perform research to learn what the market demands, but it’s not a foolproof method. And while you can’t exactly look into a crystal ball or consult a fortune-teller, there is one source you can look to for those answers: your buyers. It’s so simple and easy we don’t understand why more merchants don’t do this, but why not just ask your consumers?
Step 7: Remember to Say Thank You
You’ve done awesomely up to this point, but remember that your buyers are still giving you the honour of their service. They don’t have to shop with you…and yet they have. Acknowledge this by thanking them after the purchase; it’s an incredibly small gesture, but one that goes a really long way.