If you are someone who owns an eCommerce business, you definitely know increasing your average repeat purchase rate and customer retention are the two most important elements of this ecosystem to be able to sustain in it. So, what you need to ponder over is, what is it that turns a visitor into a prospect, a prospect into a buyer and finally, a buyer into a loyal repeat customer?

In this article, I am going to anatomize the advantages of increasing your repeat purchase rate to help you quickly increase your revenue with the existing customer base.

Customers who make repeat purchases are a great deal for any business since they pay more and are easier to sell to. Also, they can be your loyal referrers and promote your eCommerce business. Focusing particularly on driving repeat purchases and customers who spend more—sometimes as much as 300 times more. It’s also much more expensive—sometimes as much as 5 times more—to convert a new customer than it is to convince an existing customer to buy again. Existing customers are also easier to sell to because they’ve already had a chance to get to know your brand, try your products, and interact with your team.

What is Repeat Purchase Rate?

Few things bring as much satisfaction as learning that a new customer has made their first purchase. It’s the marketer’s equivalent of beating the claw machine at an arcade: It may require ridiculous amounts of work and tons of strategizing, but it’s oh-so-satisfying.

Wait, what happens if that customer buys your “oh-so-satisfying” product just once, and only once?

If you don’t have a repeat purchase strategy in situ, a primary purchase might be that all there is: a one-time purchase! Therefore, the repeat purchase rate should be one of your vital KPIs as an eCommerce marketer.

Here are some great tips from a number of the sharpest minds within the marketing and eCommerce industries to assist you to drive more repeat business in your online store.

Develop a Loyalty Program

Your most loyal customers are the pride and joy of your brand. What better way to thank them for being the epitome of a great repeat customer than giving them something in return?

“Reward customers for their loyalty. Developing a loyalty membership to your store is different to extend conversions from your current customers while rewarding them for his or her repeat purchases. Creating a loyalty program is often as simple as rewarding customers on their second purchase at your store or after a group dollar figure.

Aimed at keeping existing customers coming back and encouraging them to spend more, rewarding repeat business with discounts or freebies is a proven marketing technique. It can also work to attract new buyers. Many businesses offer a reduction for first-time buyers who opt into the loyalty program directly.

Answer Customer Questions Quickly

Answering questions throughout the customer journey increases consumer confidence and lowers returns. Offer customer service through social media, email, chat and even phone so as to be available to more people. These days, people expect immediate satisfaction and can abandon the shopping process quickly, but you'll help them stay engaged by being available. The faster their questions are answered, the more likely you are to make the sale.

Staying on top of your social media, emails, and site comments are one of the easiest ways to continue the relationship post-sale.

Use Retargeting Ads

Once you’ve built a machine learning system to nail your product recommendations, the next step is to leverage retargeting ads to nudge users to make repeat purchases on your app.

Re-marketing can be a very effective way of increasing your average repeat purchase rate, but it's definitely not the right choice for every brand. Consider your customer persona. How do you want your brand to be perceived long term? The fact is, most people find ads to be annoying, annoying enough that Emarketer projects 30% of internet users will be using an adblocker by the end of 2018. You have to weigh the potential reconversion benefits retargeting ads may bring against the potential that you simply may annoy some customers.

If you are doing plan to use retargeting ads, confirm to follow best practices like employing a burn pixel in order that people that have already purchased don’t still see your ad. Optimize your frequency cap, be data-driven in your approach and watch future trends. A short term win isn't worth losing future customers.

To encourage repeat purchases, trigger retargeting supported a data-driven timeframe. Segment your customers based on how long its been since they last purchased and adjust your messaging for the different segments.

Ask for Feedback

You can improve the customer experience and thus repeat purchases by asking customers about their experience shopping with you. Listen to your customers to learn about your business. Give them a chance, and they’ll be brutally honest, telling you exactly what they love and what they don’t. Make it easy to offer reviews on multiple channels.

A pop-up box with a clickable star rating makes for quick and straightforward feedback after checkout, otherwise, you can contact existing customers with an extended survey (and confirm to offer an incentive for completing it).

This valuable information can assist you to enhance the customer experience, which may be a sure-fire thanks to confirming customers come for more

Gather reviews on social media, and invite a review of each purchase via email. You can send a brief thank-you note and include a brief survey or one-click star ranking system. You can then use the info collected to send personalized offers – remember, return customers spend more and that they trust your brand.

Think of the conversion rates on your coupons as feedback too – you can see which promotions are working best and adjust accordingly.

Build a Model That Generates Return Sales

Successful eCommerce businesses are ready to convince existing and first-time customers to return on a reasonably regular basis to form subsequent purchases. This is made possible by their functioning business models as is the case with subscription commerce, their product catalogs offer in-depth, the products they sell are renewable, they are ready to incorporate sophisticated 1:1 personalized email marketing that gives a nudge to their customers to make a repurchase and offer loyalty reward programs. Although subscription eCommerce businesses fall under this bracket by default, most e-retailers within the apparel vertical also by their very nature expect customers to return a minimum of each season

Sell the Experience, Not the Product

Assume that nobody really needs what you sell, because they probably don’t like it. In a little over 25 years, we’ve gone from an economy that supported the scarcity of products and services to at least one that gives unimaginable abundance. There’s little or no you'll sell that can’t be gotten elsewhere. Focus instead on how you sell more than what you sell. Completely differentiate your customer experience and confirm it’s remarkable. Products come and go, but there'll always be a marketplace for truly remarkable experiences

Collect Rich Data

To drive repeat purchases on your eCommerce app, the primary step to require is to start out collecting rich data, if you haven’t been doing it already.

The biggest dissimilarity between basic data and rich data is event attributes. An event attribute gives marketers more information about events triggered by their users. Multiple attributes give you a better picture of a user’s journey in your app. You can also leverage this information to personalize your communication.

Say a user adds an item from your eCommerce app to their cart. Instead of just recording an event, ‘Add to Cart’, you also need to capture attributes for this event. Some examples are the product category of the product added to the cart, its price and the currency, the timestamp of when the event has occurred, and a unique user identifier like a custom id or email.

Create Customer Segments Based On Behavior Patterns

Now that you’ve collected rich data, the next step is to use this information to create customer segments. During the initial, most eCommerce marketers create segments based on user properties like the mobile device, geography, and source of acquisition.

Instead, start creating user segments supported behavior patterns. These advanced segments will tell you ways many users browse a specific product category, what percentage categories do they browse in one session, whether or not they add a product to their cart immediately or do they like to browse, and so on.

Key Takeaway

Repeat customers are a valuable resource to any eCommerce business, more so for eCommerce apps. While you are putting in efforts to bring in new customers, you should also focus on driving repeat purchases from your existing customers. From consistent engagement via email and social media to leveraging user-generated content, there are countless ways to increase repeat sales with your customers. Keep these experts’ advice in mind and begin reviewing your own metrics to uncover what has been best together with your customers thus far, and begin building a retention program from there.

Pritika Dewan is a Web Content Developer at Wigzo. However, when she isn’t reading or writing, she’s probably dancing, cooking Thai food, or binge-watching her favorite shows.