Are you spending too much time and money on PPC and SEO to acquire new customers? If the answer is “Yes”, then you need to stop and focus more on your existing customers. It’s definitely a lot easier (and cheaper) to sell to your existing customers than going out and getting new ones. In fact, it can cost between 5 to 8 times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. You already know your existing customer base (demographics, past purchases, etc.), so why not take advantage of them? Today, I will be walking through the 7 ways to increase sales with existing customers. Let’s get started:
1. Offer Complementary Products
Think about what your customers are buying and what you could sell to them that they may need. Here’s an example, if you are an online supplement and fitness store and your customers are purchasing protein shakes from you then you can offer them complimentary products like shaker mixers and bottles or a work out plan or even protein bars. Bundling complimentary products for your existing customers is a great way to increase sales and average order values.
2. Offer Discount Coupon Codes
Once a customer has bought from you there is a much higher chance that he/she will buy from you again. Offering discount codes or special promotions is a great way to entice customers to come back and purchase again. Who doesn’t like saving a little money when they shop online? Many businesses take advantage of holidays or special occasions (eg. Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Back to School etc.) to offer their customers special promotions. An example of a coupon code for Mother’s Day could be something as simple as “loveyoumom”. Merchants also can limit the time period on a specific discount or promotion to create a sense of urgency. If customers know there is only a limited amount of time to take advantage of a great deal, they will be more likely to act on it sooner rather than later.
3. Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are a great way to retain customers, and give them a goal to work towards by continuously purchasing products from your store. The success of your loyalty program is enhanced when it is cross-functional between your Brick and Mortar and online store(s). Many merchants like to use the 1:25 approach where every dollar you spend you get one point and every 25 points is a dollar. For example let’s say a customer is browsing your site and finds a product valued at $10, and they currently have a $5 credit in their account. They are more likely to use that credit and pay the extra $5 towards the product. The customer saved $5, and you made another sale, however don’t forget, the customer has already spent $125 on your site to get that $5 credit!
Many eCommerce merchants offer free shipping with conditions (eg. Spend over $50 and receive Free Shipping). I don’t know why, but the word “FREE” does the trick. Imagine you are browsing through a website and you liked a dinnerware set that is valued at $125. However the company is offering free shipping above $150. You are more than likely to add something to your cart and make sure you take advantage of the “FREE” shipping. In a nutshell the company is not only increasing its sales by getting customers to spend more but they are also increasing its average order value as well.
5. Store Credit Card Information
Recently I made a purchase on Groupon for a Teppanyaki Deal in downtown Toronto. As I was making the purchase during checkout they asked if I wanted to use the same credit card on file. I clicked yes, the payment went through, and I got an order confirmation email. Seriously, the whole process could not have been easier than this! It’s important that all eCommerce merchants make their sites quick and easy to use to ensure a positive customer experience. Customers can quickly become frustrated and abandon their cart when they have to put in the same information every time they try and check out. Make the path to conversion painless!
6. Reviews / Customer Experience
Most online shoppers have now started reading reviews and doing a lot of research before committing to an online purchase. If a customer has had a good experience they are more likely to buy from that merchant again than its competitors. However many customers now like to write reviews and share their purchases with their family and friends through various social media channels (eg. Facebook and Twitter), blogs and word of mouth. Reviews are a great way to not only validate how awesome your products are online, but it also helps to create a sense of community by encouraging others to contribute their two cents as well! Reviews make customers feel more confident in the products they are buying, and therefore are more likely to checkout!
7. Make It Personal
Once a customer gives you all his information, it is now up to you to convert him into a lifetime customer. Retailers have now started to send out birthday emails and offer a discount just for you on your special day. Imagine getting an email from your favorite brand on your birthday with a unique discount. Ah! You’ll definitely be buying yourself a birthday gift. 🙂
eCommerce will continue to advance and evolve and companies will start using many other ways to increase sales. But for now focus on these 7 ways that I mentioned above and see the power that lies within your existing customers. If there are any other strategies that you use to target your existing customers let me know in the comments below!