Repeat customers are the holy grail of growing a Shopify store. Getting new customers is the best way to grow your customer base, but keeping old customers is the best way to sustainably grow your Shopify store.
Due to the rising costs of getting new customers, it’s more vital than ever for Shopify stores to keep the customers they already have.
It could also be more profitable to keep customers than to get new ones. Repeat customers, on average, spend more than 4 times as much as first-time shoppers.
But repeat customers aren't just more profitable in the long run; they're often more profitable right now, too. For a Shopify store, the average order value for people who buy from them more than once is more than 14% higher than for people who only buy from them only once.
But not all customers buy more than one thing. In reality, most customers never buy more than one thing.
Keeping customers can be hard
D2C brands have never had more competition because there are so many ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce. Social media platforms have also made it easier than ever to reach people who might want to buy something. This causes a lot of noise and customers are drowning in a sea of options.
Brands are always sending emails, SMS messages, and posting on social media to get people's attention, either to get them to buy their products for the first time or to get them to buy it again.
Because of this, it can be hard to keep a customer's attention long enough for them to buy something. So when you do, you should make it matter.
Customers often leave because they don't care, not because they don't like something. Recency is a key part of retention, since customers are most likely to buy again soon after they've just bought something.
How to get people to buy from you again
Sad to say, it's not enough to know that keeping customers is important. You need a retention playbook, which is a planned and automated way to keep first-time buyers coming back.
Right after a purchase
After a purchase, the first message should be a thank-you message. This interaction confirms the order, tells the customer what to expect for shipping or delivery, and sends them to your brand's website to learn more.
You should include product instructions in the thank-you message after a purchase and if you’d like to send more content, you could even send it in a separate message. Think along the lines of ‘how to use’ tips, ‘how to care for the product’, or even share a book of recipes.
After the customer has received their purchase, ask them to rate or review it. Make it clear that you want to hear what they have to say and will use it to improve future products, not just to sell them something.
Now that your customer has their order, we move on to the next step, which is building a relationship with them. Now is the time to keep customers coming back by giving them ways to show their loyalty and making product suggestions, like pointing out similar products or new product launches.
Aiming for a win-back
At some point, you should shift your focus more toward getting them back. Remember that what happened most recently is what matters. Someone who bought something yesterday is much more likely to buy it again than someone who bought something a month ago.
This stage is all about getting customers involved and keeping them from leaving by providing reasons to stay.
The best ways to improve repeat customer rate
Now that we've talked about some of the most important intervals and touch points in a playbook for keeping customers, let's talk about some best practices.
Timing is everything
When it comes to keeping customers, what's new is very important. You should talk to shoppers as they talk to you.
It all starts with the usual messages after a purchase. But once the customer has received their purchase, you should switch to a series of emails to keep them interested and then to a campaign to get them to come back.
Keep the customer interested in your brand, and try to make it easy for them to buy from you again.
Shoppers like to feel like you're talking to them, and personalization really does get results.
You can decide how to interact with a customer in the future based on what they have bought and returned in the past. This engagement could include product recommendations, tips on how to use a product, or strategically placed incentives. Again, the key is to send messages at the right time to meet the needs of the customer.
Even though it helps to have advanced personalization tools for this, personalized messaging doesn't have to be too hard.
The point of personalization is to make things relevant. We want shoppers, not just our customers, to feel like we're talking to them.
Loyalty with a Difference
Customer loyalty comes from a strong relationship with the customer and a high level of engagement with the customer. Use loyalty opportunities and recent purchases together: re-engage current shoppers to get them to buy from you again and again.
Don't forget that there’s more to customer loyalty than points and discount codes.
Customers will be loyal to you if you meet their needs and interests, solve a pain point, increase enjoyment, make them feel heard and part of a meaningful community, and send them relevant messages and rewards.
Keep giving shoppers what they want, and they'll keep coming back to you.
Make ordering easier
Why is it so hard to stop ordering from Amazon? It's simple.
It's fun to look around and fun to get packages. Even more fun is getting packages the same day you order them. Having to type in your credit card information and address again is not fun.
Having customers sign up for accounts is one way to solve this problem. Give customers the option to save their information in an account AFTER they have entered their information and placed an order. This will make things simpler for them. This will make it easy for customers to buy from you again, which is a great way to get more people to buy from you again on average.
Showcase customer reviews
Product pages with reviews from customers get 3.5 times as many sales as those without reviews, and 79 percent of people say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Customer reviews are an important part of a buyer's decision-making process.
Reviews also show how valuable and real your brand is, and they can even be seen by customers as a stamp of approval or disapproval. Nine out of ten people say they read reviews before making a purchase, so it's important to respond to concerns or reviews that aren't so great.
How repeat purchases affects sales
At first glance, there seems to be a simple link between the number of repeat purchases and the amount of money made. More customers coming back means more money coming in. Right?
The repeat purchase rate is a metric that adds up. A customer who orders twice is worth more than a customer who only orders once. The same is true for a customer who orders three, four, or even five times.
So, if your repeat purchase rate is 30%, for every 100 customers, you’ll have:
100 initial orders placed
30 customers making a second purchase (100 x 30%)
9 customers making a third purchase (30 x 30%)
2 customers making a fourth purchase (9 x 30%)
That means 100 customers have placed 141 orders in total. That's because the more customers your store has and the higher the repeat purchase rate, the more orders they end up making over their lifetime.
Repeat purchase rate should be one of the biggest metrics you focus on for your Shopify store in 2022. It’s a great way to keep acquisition costs low and grow your business.