Making a sale is awesome. Making a repeat sale is even better! While your primary goal is to get customers buying on your site, your secondary one should be to get them coming back. Not only do repeat customers mean more sales, but they also mean you have a loyal fanbase who are sure to refer you to their friends. Below are some easy (but effective!) tips on how to build customer loyalty.
- Sweeten the sale. One cheap-but effective way to bring shoppers back is by throwing in a little special something with each purchase. Maybe it’s a coupon for 20% off their next order, or the always-loved “free shipping next time you shop” deal. Not only will they have monetary incentive to pay you a visit on their next e-shopping trip, but they’ll also remember you favorably as the brand who doles out awesome savings.
- Reach out. Take some time to contact not only loyal customers, but also recent first-time purchases. Find out what they did or didn’t like about their experience with you, and try to get some insights as to how you can make your business even better. Customers will feel like their voice is being heard, and people like giving their money to places that make them feel appreciated. Additionally, you’ll get some good insight into how you can improve your store.
- Get philanthropic. People like shopping. They also like the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from donating to a good cause. So why not combine the two? Brands like Warby Parker and TOMS became successful partially because of their philanthropic roots: for each item sold, both companies donate a pair of eyeglasses (Warby) or shoes (TOMS) to people in need. While you may not be large enough to give away free goods, consider a charity that your customers might wish to support. Sell pet goodies? Let people know that you’ll be donating 15% of next month’s sales to the Humane Society. Carry jewelry? Run a campaign where you donate proceeds from each sale to a women’s shelter. Not only will people feel good about the purchases they’re making, but you might convince a number of on-the-fence shoppers to hit that Checkout button.
- Stay on the radar with newsletters. Creating a newsletter can seem like a daunting task, especially if you don’t have any writing or publishing experience. But they’re a great way to get customers interested in your brand, and to maintain their attention for a long period of time. There are plenty of free newsletter templates out there, and if you really feel nervous about your writing abilities, you can hire someone to write for you. Additionally, you don’t need to be putting out a newsletter every week. A monthly or even quarterly email filled with news, coupons (important!) and other fun goodies is enough to keep people interested.
- Invest in your employees. It’s not just your customers who need to feel happy: your employees do as well! Satisfied employees are better workers, and higher quality work is sure to be noticed by shoppers. Take the time to regularly touch base with employees and see how you can make their life at work better. It’s sure to pay off on the business side of things!
- Own up to your mistakes. Even the most streamlined businesses make mistakes. The important thing is how you respond to any hiccups you may encounter. If you make an error with a customer, don’t come up with excuses or try and pass off the blame. Take full responsibility and own up to your misstep. People may not be happy, but they’ll at least respect the fact that you’re doing the right thing. Additionally, be sure to do everything in your power to rectify their problem, and offer what free services you can.
- Make your social media special. It goes without saying that you’re going to need social media to build a viable brand. But there’s a huge difference between using your Facebook to promote sales here and there and using it to cultivate a brand personality that your customers know and love. If you’re going to build loyalty, you need to be the type of business that your customers truly like. Take the time to post articles that might relate to their lives and interests. If you sell tools, you can write a blog post about five easy ways you can winter-proof your home. Maybe you carry baking goods, and want to post an Instagram photo of a yummy-looking recipe to get shoppers inspired. When it comes down to the essence of social media, customers want their online experience to be about them, not you. So make your brand a valuable resource for more than just sales.
- Give your customers the spotlight. Everyone likes to feel special — and really, your customers are special. Take those well-crafted, thoughtful social media channels you’ve built up to celebrate the people who keep your business going. Maybe Norma from Dallas really brought a room together with a rug she bought from you, or Paul from Orlando gave his son one of your watches for Christmas. Share and celebrate these unique stories! Not only will it make your customers feel loved and appreciated (even the ones not being featured), but it will lend a human, relatable vibe to your brand.
- Create a loyalty program. This one is a no-brainer! Keep customers coming back by creating a program that offers coupons, first looks at new products and other sweet incentives. Not only will customers leap at the chance to nab some savings, but they’re also sure to feel like members of an exclusive club. Make people feel like they’re the first ones in the know, and they’re sure to stick by your side.
Getting customers to come back for more doesn’t have to be a struggle. By offering deals, giving back a little, staying in touch, brushing up on social media and spotlighting loyal fans, you’re sure to keep people coming back for more. Figure out how to stay on your customers’ radars, and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.
Have any other ideas for building customer loyalty? Let us know in the comments!