A loyal customer base can take years to build, especially if you offer an average experience, no better than competitors. But shoppers seek more than average. The key to brand-loyal customers is to offer things your competitors don’t. And that includes the shopping and order support experiences.
Here are nine ways to win online shoppers for the long term.
How to Win Repeat Shoppers
Simplify everything. Website navigation, search functionality, site features, and checkout process: Make it a breeze to find items, place orders, and contact your company for help.
Confirm item is added to the cart. A simple label on products — “Added to Cart” — can prevent accidentally placing an item in a cart multiple times. Initial add-to-cart confirmations can be missed, so take the extra step to minimize frustration.
Confirm item is already purchased. It’s easy to forget prior transactions. An “Already Purchased” label on products reduces customers’ headaches and cuts down on returns. Apply labels to every view to save shoppers time.
Notify shoppers of restocks. Rather than merely listing products as out of stock, let shoppers sign up to receive notifications when you get more. Reserve early access to customers on the waitlist. And announce popular restocks on social media to remind folks to check their email.
Let customers review, track, and repurchase orders. There are many reasons to provide detailed order histories with product and tracking links.
- Customers who purchase products for work may need to print receipts for reimbursement.
- Customers can track delayed orders, including if already delivered, which saves everyone time.
- Facilitates repurchases. Embedding repurchase buttons and linking to product pages makes reordering easy.
- Encourages product recommendations. A share button makes it easy.
- Quick access to order details for warranty submissions.
The more information you provide about previous purchases, the better. Customers who can help themselves immediately are more apt to return.
Reward customers for more than purchases. Think beyond what customers buy. Reward them for other actions, such as reviews (with images or video) and social media posts. A rewards program can offer benefits beyond discounts, such as free expedited shipping, early access to sales and products, priority support, and input on new product lines. And your products are available on other channels, acknowledge those customers, too.
Extend sincere welcomes. Ensure repeat buyers are part of the “family” by immediately sending an engaging welcome email. Invite them to join the community — social media, forums, groups — and thank them on those channels by name. Follow up with company news and solicitations of feedback.
Offer personalized rewards or gifts. Implement ways to thank repeat customers even if you don’t have a loyalty program. Offer free add-ons at checkout based on purchase history. Or surprise them by including a free item in the shipment.
Be approachable. Shoppers need to know you’re readily available. List ways repeat customers can contact you and offer prompt and courteous support. Mistakes can lead to loyalty when you provide quick and thorough attention.