Turn One-Time Shoppers into Repeat Customers
A common misconception for consumer brands is that the marketing process ends at the point of purchase.
Instead, smart businesses recognize that a customer’s lifetime value — or the net profit that you’ll take in over the course of your entire relationship with a customer — is far more important than any singular purchase in terms of revenue and influence over others. But that customer lifetime value will continue to stay low if they only shop in your store once and never return. The subject of luring customers into your storefront over and over again has become a hot topic in recent years for many reasons.
Shifting Consumer Behavior
Today’s consumers expect more from brands. It’s no longer enough to convey the function of a product or service in marketing efforts; instead, consumers want to feel as if they are part of something bigger. Capturing a sizeable portion of market share is more difficult these days, regardless of your product or service. With so many options available for consumers, stores and brands have to work hard to rise above the noise.
However, if a modern business wants to engage and convert a potential customer, it needs to look at the relationship beyond the point of purchase and consider the deeper desires of the consumer. Doing so will help convert one-time shoppers into repeat customers.
Here are three strategies to get you started:
- Create a Community Around Your Brand
Modern consumers want to shop with brands that align with their values and lifestyle choices. They believe there is power in the insights of their peers, and are more comfortable gaining product inspiration from one another than from brand messaging. With the advent of ad-blocking, especially, there is a need for better marketing and ecommerce experiences. Instead of resisting this trend, brands can lean into it by helping enable these experiences through curated consumer communities.
Such communities can help forge an ongoing emotional connection with your customers. This is crucial, because feelings drive buying decisions. Research shows that emotions fuel customer choices before, during, and after purchases. Your customers are included in that group that makes spending decisions based on their emotions, and they’d likely spend more with your brand if they felt emotionally charged to do so.
Content portals designed to help customers share these experiences with one another and rate potential benefits of various credit cards and other financial services offerings help relieve the complexity of the industry and replace it with a sense of community and shared experience.
- Provide Utility to Customers Beyond the Purchase
As we’ve established, the belief that the pursuit of a customer ends after the point of sale is largely outmoded. Brands that are only focused on a singular selling opportunity are missing the bigger picture and leaving a ton of revenue potential on the table. By engaging customers post-purchase with education, value-add services, and complementary product offerings, brands can re-engage customers and drive additional purchasing behavior.
Keep the conversation going with customers after they leave your store. Post-purchase communication is a vital step that keeps merchants and consumers connected; especially when you consider that attracting a new customer costs five times as much as keeping an existing one.
Much of this effort is enabled through intelligent data collection and segmenting. If you can create personas and audiences based on demographic data and prior purchasing behavior, you can serve up relevant messaging to entice repeat business. POS software also help collect data for businesses; data that can be used to find out what products customers buy the most. Inturn, entrepreneurs can stock up on those items and convert foot traffic into repeat customers.
The good news is that most customers, particularly millennials, are willing to give retailers their personal data in exchange for utility. What does this mean, exactly? There is a disconnect between customers and brands, leaving plenty of opportunity for those able to adjust and create a more personalized shopping experience. Brands that can provide more utility to customers beyond the purchase will increase engagement, conversion, and long-term loyalty.
- Involve Shoppers in Your Marketing Efforts
In the retail sector, specifically, many brands are turning to consumers’ own content as a way to better understand their target markets and provide them with incentives to repeat purchase behavior. With consumers sharing over 95 million photos per day on Instagram alone, many of which features brands and products, there is an enormous amount of insight that can be gained by viewing how consumers are considering brands and utilizing products in their day-to-day lives.
Brands that re-share this content and encourage users to create using hashtags, through contests or other messaging, are seeing a wealth of high-quality visual content which helps to enhance the communal feel. Additionally, this content can be used to connect otherwise disparate marketing channels, in display advertising, social media, ecommerce, and even offline in print, direct mail, and outdoor activations.
In short, consumers are looking to one another for inspiration and to spark loyalty. By enabling this trend for your audiences, you can reap the benefits of today’s consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplace.
How are you working to turn your one-time shoppers into repeat customers? While these are just a few strategies to get started, it’s most important to choose an initial strategy and drive toward it confidently. From there, you can build a more sophisticated engagement strategy in time.