What we know now is that the ‘E’ in E-commerce doesn’t stand for ‘Easy’. -John Hagel
Creating new customers in ecommerce is tough, but generating repeat purchases from the same customers is tough too. In such a competitive industry, many companies offer products at the same value. To really build customer loyalty, you need to make sure your customers are not only satisfied, but trust you to the point they are willing to buy from you again without hesitation.
So if you’re wondering how to maximize repeat business, here are the top 9 strategies to generate more revenue from existing customers.
Why focus on generating revenue?
You may have a good ranking in Google, and your website traffic numbers may be good— good ranking and website traffic in today’s competitive environment is a must—but securing a good search engine ranking and generating revenue are two completely different things. And unless you generate revenue from your website, it’s not doing what it should be.
Converting those website visitors into leads and all the way through to happy customers is what really matters.
1. Integrate Live Chat
“We are moving more and more towards live chat support, because it makes it easier for us to quickly fix the problem.” – David Freer
Have you ever considered adding a live chat option to your site? When implemented right, a live chat service can do so much more than just offering quick and painless customer service—boosting conversions, return visitors, and revenue.
The best thing about live chat is just how efficient it is at helping customers, with almost 73 percent customer satisfaction.
According to one source, almost 62% of online shoppers agreed that they would have purchased more items from an online store if live customer support had been available. And approx. 38% said they had bought a product because of the chat sessions they had used.
The ability to chat with your company reps in real-time helps retain customers by building an engaging, user-friendly website with the potential to generate revenue.
Users prefer live chat for a number of reasons, a quick response being chief among them.
Whether a potential customer has doubts about the durability of a product, or is stuck with making a decision, live chat software like Acquire offers a myriad of features including audio chat, cobrowsing, video chat, and more to help site visitors address their concerns. This reduces bounce rates for ecommerce websites, and increases the likelihood of users checking out. It also helps brands by encouraging visitors to use ‘call-to-action’ buttons without being too overbearing.
2. Make their first purchase special
When it comes to first impressions, there’s no second chance, so make sure they count. Always try to surpass your customers’ expectations. Here are some ways to make a customer’s first purchase special:
- Welcome email: When customers first register, send a personalized email welcoming them as a new customer. Mention in the email why doing business with you will be special.
- Offer them a discount or extra stuff: This is a popular trend in ecommerce. Customers feel positive about a site offering a discount, or a little something extra with the first purchase. If they are happy, they’re more likely to come back and buy again.
- Watch your words: Try not to sound overly formal in emails. Keep them personalized. It’s also advisable to avoid using “Do Not Reply” emails. Email is the chief tool for communicating with customers.
3. Try remarketing (Google Adwords)
Remarketing involves sending offers and incentives to consumers after they have interacted or purchased with your brand.
Remarketing is useful for reminding customers you still hold value for them, and that they’re equally important to you even after purchase. Generally speaking, email is the best method. But you can also do remarketing through push notifications, or SMS, or online advertising.
If you can encourage consumers to sign up for newsletters and emails, email remarketing can be tremendously effective in generating sales. But make sure not to overdo it. Lots of unnecessary emails and notifications can irritate the customer. A proper email strategy is needed.
The great thing about advertising in this way is that businesses of any size and niche can use it. When visitors are reminded of products they recently browsed, they’re more likely to return and purchase. Retargeting, if done correctly, can generate extremely high ROI.
How to do remarketing with Google AdWords?
Standard remarketing: Displaying ads to your recent visitors when they browse/use display network apps and websites.
Dynamic remarketing: A great way to boost your results, taking remarketing to the next level with ads showing products or services users have previously viewed on your site.
Video remarketing: Displaying ads to online users who’ve interacted with your YouTube channel or videos.
Email-list remarketing: Upload a list of email addresses from your customers with customer match. When those people are signed in to Gmail, Google Search, or YouTube, you can display the ads.
Remarketing for mobile apps: Display ads to online shoppers who have recently used your mobile-friendly website or mobile apps when they browse any other mobile websites or use mobile apps.
Remarketing lists for search ads: Display ads to your past website visitors as they perform follow-up searches on Google after leaving your website.
4. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools you can use to increase conversion rates.
By taking a detailed look at your data, you can determine why some visitors aren’t buying from you, and where to focus your attention to improve results.
Many companies see traffic volume as a sign of the website’s overall success. However, savvy companies know that more traffic doesn’t necessarily mean more conversions, revenue, or success.
Website traffic is comprised of a variety of sources. Properly understanding these sources and the effect they have on your conversion rate and revenue is crucial. It’s the quality of traffic that matters, not quantity. Remember not all traffic is equal!
Here are 4 easy steps to help you use your analytics to understand traffic sources and why they matter:
- Recognize traffic sources.
- Prioritize based on revenue contribution.
- Address issues.
- Set a regular review date.
By digging deeper into the Analytics, you can:
- Identify what’s not working.
- Prioritize tests and improvements.
- Boost traffic from your highest converting sources.
- Increase traffic to products that is selling better.
Using Google Analytics, you can properly understand where to focus your attention.
5. Role of packaging and distribution
Packaging and distribution are crucial to the customer experience in ecommerce. Simply cramming products into a box or bag and shipping them in the cheapest way possible has a negative impact.
Keep these factors in mind while packaging products for customers:
- Packaging affects 10-20% of your distribution costs, but it also affects your brand. Therefore, make extra efforts to make your packaging more attractive and safe.
- Using fun or luxury packaging can increase the value of the product. It gives a premium feel.
- Always look for lightweight and cost-effective packaging that protects a product. Make it attractive, but also make sure it doesn’t add more cost to shipping.
6. Faster and cheaper (or free) shipping
According to a survey conducted by UPS Pulse:
83% of customers are willing to wait an additional 2 days if the online store is providing free shipping. 58% of customers add more items to qualify for free shopping, and 31% of customers will look elsewhere to find a better deal on shipping for the same product.
The above statistics clearly show that customers are very conscious of shipping charges. They also expect quick delivery. If you can provide them with faster and cheaper shipping, then they are more likely to do repeat business with you.
Displaying the words 'Free Shipping' on your website highlights your advantage over competitors that don't offer free shipping. If you want to provide free shipping, you need to either absorb the cost, or increase the price of the product slightly.
7. Give them reasons to come back— show them proof!
Whatever you claim about your business, you have to back it up with proof. People will look for evidence.
So what type of proof can you offer to your customers and prospects?
Customer’s testimonials: Customers who used your products and services are the best way to verify all your claims.
Case studies: Case studies are the best way to show how you helped your client.
Social proof: If you have hundreds of customers, show it. It’s a human tendency to believe in and use what other people are saying or using.
Show it: Nothing works like a great demo to show what your product does, its features working. Use videos to showcase your product/services in action.
8. Make your Returns policy transparent
Returns and refunds are an integral part of customer service. To make your customer experience better, build a robust returns policy.
Below are some points to keep in mind while building a returns policy:
- Never hide your policy. Be transparent with your customers.
- Use plain and simple English that can be easily understood by all your customers.
- Creating an overly harsh policy may stop customers from purchasing products.
- Educate your customer service team about the returns policy so they can assist customers quickly without confusion.
By following these points, you can create a smooth returns policy and encourage repeat business from your customers.
9. Provide them with superior customer service
Customer service is the backbone of any ecommerce company. According to one survey, conducted by Right now technologies;
89% of shoppers have stopped buying from online stores after they’ve experienced poor customer service.
The poor customer will not only stop a customer to make another transaction, but it will also encourage them to write the negative feedback about your site on social media. And bad Word of mouth is no less than an evil for an e-commerce site.
Below are the various ways to provide your customer with amazing customer service:
Poor customer service not only stops customers from making further transactions, but also encourages them to write negative feedback about your site on social media. Bad word-of-mouth marketing is not good news for an ecommerce site.
Below are a few ways to provide your customer with amazing customer service:
A) Track all customer interactions:
Tracking all customer interactions helps to reduce time wastage for both your agents and customers. It also helps agents resolve issues more easily.
B) Listen to your customers on social media:
According to desk.com, 46% of online customers expect brands to provide customer service on Facebook. Social media reduces the gap between customer and seller.
C) Focus on timely responses:
Whether it’s an email, chat or social media conversation, customers expect faster responses. Act quickly to win over customers and make them trust you even more.
Listen and learn
Every business has the potential to grow or fail— a single step can make or break your business. Successful companies constantly evolve by listening to their customers’ demands and feedback, and then modifying their sales, products, processes and strategies to fulfill a continually shifting model. By following the tactics above, ecommerce companies can succeed in creating repeat business.