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Ecommerce Research: How Do Retailers Increase Recurring Sales?

Ecommerce stores that justify rising acquisition costs always ask: “Is there a way to increase recurring sales?” The answer is, yes, there are many ways. Here we share some of them.

For both new and existing online businesses, there is a continuous fight to win conversions from visitors. The rate of cart abandonment by new and returning customers is estimated to be around 68%, so being smarter to attract visitors, enabling them to buy and keep them coming back for more, are all things enabled by a good strategy

Researchers assert that “value co-creation” is a major online factor and it is true in many business models. Here are some of the ways to drive more customers to the online store and increase recurring sales.

1. Build a strong brand

Set yourself apart. Offering competitive prices and free shipping is not enough. Branding is anchoring yourself into a specific term, feeling or emotion and connecting yourself with a specific product. When people think of a product that your offer, they should think of you just as people mention Kleenex when they need facial tissues.

2. Develop loyalty and reward programs

Develop a loyalty program to entice customers to return to your store often and spend more. It can be as simple as rewarding customers after spending a set amount or for their second purchase. Also enable them to accumulate points and reward them with a free product after achieving certain points.

3. Create a business model that induces repeat sales

Imitate the subscription business model where customers buy regularly. Convince customers to buy regularly by selling replenishable products (e.g. seasonal clothes), and having deep offerings in your catalogue. Give rewards, have loyalty special offers and use personalized emails to nudge customers to buy.

4. Use technology that increases conversion and customer satisfaction

Intelligent chatbots, combined with RPA – such as the new-generation chatbots deployed by Avi Benezra and his team at SnatchBot helps you to deliver a better customer experience via omni-channel. Inferior bots can drive down sales and reduce conversions – so be sure to use only the best in-class chatbot platforms for best results.

(Video by Avi Benezra at SnatchBot)

5. Build customer trust

Be honest and consistent to create a strong long-term relationship with your customers. Trusting customers become your brand evangelists as they share positive experiences with friends and family. As a survey by Forbes found out, 81% of the respondents were influenced directly by their friends and family to buy.

6. Answer all questions on every platform

People on social media are potential and existing customers. Answer their comments and questions quickly to continue post-sale relationships and create new ones. Consider investing in a chatbot to answer routine questions automatically. Omnichannel social engagement is an absolute must.

7. Don’t buy paid ads too early

As soon as you have steady traffic in your store, capture emails and build an email list. Buy search engine paid traffic to get people with strong intentions to buy. Give them great customer experience to improve conversions. Later, you can then buy Facebook paid traffic to generate leads. Remember: (a) Starting a pay per click campaign too early, can be like pouring water into a leaky bucket. (b) Google search converts, Facebook backs you up when there is no search volume on Google PPC – and Linkedin pay per click is the most expensive, lowest converter around.

8. Over-deliver

Under-promise and over-deliver. This greatly increases customer retention and increases repeat sales. You will then spend less on remarketing and branding campaigns.

9. Leverage the network of your customers

Your store needs more of the right customers. Your customers associate with people just like them. Their friends, family and colleagues will most likely buy from you too. Invest in a referral program to enable your customers to refer people to you.

10. Share high value content

Understand your customers. Post valuable content on social media. Write some of it. Then search for great content, organize it and present it as an expert. This keeps them engaged and keeps you visible in their feeds on social media. Then they will easily see your promotional posts and buy from you.

11. Give your customers a great and delightful experience

In these times of abundance, what you sell is available elsewhere. What is scarce is genuinely extraordinary experience. Therefore, focus on how you sell your products and be creative in how you position them. Completely distinguish your customer experience and make sure it’s outstanding so that your customers are delighted to do business with you. Build delight into your customer service, product, entertainment and mission. Delight is emotional, memorable and powerful in building long relationships with customers. Best of all, thank your customers for their support.

12. Fast delivery

We live in times of instant gratification. Never underestimate the power of instant gratification. Promise fast delivery and fulfil that promise. If customers know they will receive the goods fast after ordering, they will repeatedly buy.

13. Simplify the shopping experience

Persuade people to return for more by making it easy and exciting to buy again. For example, provide an awesome mobile experience for visitors, send coupons and other offers via email to past customers, and share new product updates on your social media pages and blog posts.

14. Remove friction

Friction kills conversion, making your visitor to decide “no.” Reducing friction is an excellent way of increasing conversion because less friction tempts the prospective buyer to decide “yes.”

15. Promote your products and brand on packaging

Make sure your brand and URL are clearly visible on product packaging. Packaging can be a wonderful and effective marketing tool because new and repeat customers can see it on kitchen tables, on social media pictures, in a UPS store or in front of a residence.

16. High quality information

High quality information in the form of great photographs on Instagram and Facebook, videos on YouTube, email and blogs, and engaging text can improve customers’ shopping experience.

17. Leverage the power of remarketing

Remarketing is a clever way of connecting with those visitors who did not buy. You position targeted ads in front of people who visited your website as they browse elsewhere. It keeps you in front of interested consumers, increases the number of repeat visitors, boosts conversion and increases time on your site.

18. Utilize user generated content

Strong user-generated content marketing campaigns will give you more sustainable growth than your competitors. Engage customers. Use contests to get them to submit images, videos, text and audio that are personalized, transparent, data-driven, socially-integrated and insightful. Then promote the content. You will see your business grow.

19. Use data to drive your strategy

Hold conversations with your followers on social media to learn what they want, like or dislike, and their purchasing habits and you will build relationships with them over time. Customers can tell you what they are thinking and you can use that information to change your product offering or expand your target market.

20. Expand the lifetime value

Obsess over your customers and make an effort to be helpful during the purchasing process. Try to understand why they are buying a particular product and suggest an even better product. Customers will appreciate your help and will keep coming back.

21. Create urgency and scarcity

You can drive sales by running special targeted sales. Notify your customers and tell them about each product on sale for a limited time.

22. Upsells during reviews

A customer is thinking of his/her positive experience while writing a review. That is the best time to offer another great experience using a coupon. Look at his/her behavior and past purchases to determine which products to offer. He/she is most likely to write a great review and come back to use that coupon in your store. Customer reviews build trust and provide social proof of your product and service.

23. Give value in everything you do

Don’t try to squeeze money out of customers but give value in everything you do with them. Help them to get what they want without feeling compromised. Make relevant recommendations on product pages, and offer personalized experiences and high-quality products that they are happy to pay for. They should be happy and feel good after making a purchase through your help.

24. Better affiliate training

High-value affiliates earn as much as $1000/sale. After working with some of the highest paying affiliate programs in the world: I’ve seen time again how well-trained affiliates are able to reach out to clients after a sale, continue lead nurturing and closing recurring sales. Some B2B affiliates even circle back to help with “after sales” as a way to help customers decide on additional services they may require.

25. UX optimized ecommerce design – using UX as standard:

A better user-experience, whether in the form of a well tweaked woocommerce theme or other technology where WordPress is not used, will create a good impression with customers: they will go back to stores where the process was seemless. Smart businesses will also design such an experience for their affiliates! We call it “UX as standard” – and typically tell developers to only use Envato and Templatemoster themes with more than 500 positive reviews for UX.

 

Keep these tips in mind

Keep these tips in mind.They’re based on extensive digital marketing and convergence of multiple skills that are tried and tested (SEO, web development, Chatbot & AI, UX etc.) Review your metrics to see what has been working and continue using that. Then add other ideas from these tips. You should see a huge increase in new and recurring sales when tweaking several of these points.

Adriaan Brits

As an analyst of global affairs and international marketing consultant, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy. He covers mostly topics related to his qualifications. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Google systems. He also writes for Jpost.com, BestTechie, CEOWorld Magazine and other media outlets.
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