eCommerce Marketing Tips to Encourage the Elusive Second Purchase
by Ron Dod
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You have a stunning eCommerce store built using powerful platforms like Magento 2 or Shopify Plus. Sales are healthy, yet stagnant. You want to see a consistent and hearty amount of growth for your brand, but you’re just not getting enough repeat patronage.
This is a pervasive problem for many eCommerce merchants.
Without nurture campaigns and retention strategies in place, the majority of your site’s customers will likely be one-time buyers. This means that sales will likely remain flat and that repeat patronage is critical. This point becomes crystal clear when retailers understand that 43 percent of revenue comes from existing users. That figure shoots up to 75 percent when merchants invest in cultivating repeat purchases.
Unfortunately, most eCommerce purveyors place an inordinate amount of focus on encouraging first-time buyers as opposed to catering to their current crowd and bringing in repeat business.
As reported by RJMetrics, 53 percent of consumers who make a second purchase with a brand go on to make a third. Of the buyers who made a third transaction, 63 percent made a fourth. Following this snowball effect down the line, RJMetrics concluded that 83 percent of customers who make nine purchases will go on to eventually place 10 orders.
This means that if eCommerce merchants can simply get more of their consumer base to place a second order, they have effectively placed them on the path to becoming a long-time, loyal customer. To achieve that goal, however, it is vital for sellers to craft and enact strong marketing strategies focused on bringing one-time buyers back into the fold.
If you want to increase your brand’s retention and loyalty rates, here are four effective marketing strategies for encouraging that elusive second purchase.
Deploy Content Marketing
Most every eCommerce store needs a blog. Content marketing not only helps digital storefronts rank better in the SERPs, but it also serves to connect with, educate and entertain your audience.
But, blogging isn’t the only form of content that eCommerce retailers can utilize. This can also include:
Podcasts: Start an eCommerce podcast to build a stronger community or position yourself as a thought leader.
Guest posting: Gain bylines on related websites to build awareness for your brand and boost SEO efforts.
Video content: Video content is the most compelling form of content available to consumers.
One brand that serves as a prime–if not unlikely–example of stellar content marketing is River Pools and Spas. This organization’s outstanding blogging efforts brought them back from the brink of collapse and even caught the attention of The New York Times. They have since expanded into creating guides, video libraries and other impactful forms of content to serve their buyers.
But there is one very special form of content that eCommerce brands should give exceptional consideration.
Leverage User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is one of the most powerful content offerings an eCommerce store can tout as it provides social proof. When prospects see that others like to purchase your brand’s offerings and enjoy them, they are more likely to do the same.
UGC can come in a variety of forms. One of the most compelling types is pictures of customers using products from your store. That said, there are almost as many forms of UGC as there are ways to source it.
A great tool for leveraging the benefits that come from UGC is Yotpo, which easily integrates with Shopify Plus, Magento and a variety of other platforms.
Once a consumer purchases an item from your store, you can then (based on what they purchased or other demographic info you might have) place them into a specific email segment. This could be as simple as men or women, or it can be something as sophisticated as their website activity.
However, the more refined your email segments are, the higher level of personalization you can serve to customers to elicit a second purchase.
Moreover, the more succinct your segmentation, the better you can craft resonant ads to serve to first-time buyers. Since both Facebook and Google enable advertisers to upload email lists to their respective ad platforms, you can serve up highly personalized content to just those one-time buyers.
Additionally, as each platform has their version of dynamic ad objectives, eCommerce retailers can create ads based on the products that customers have previously viewed. These work in near-identical ways to personalized product recommendation emails you might send to subscribers in that they only utilize products that a consumer likely has an interest in buying.
By uploading each email list segment to a given platform, you can effectively select the types of products they will see.
Once you have created these ads, they can essentially be placed on auto pilot as each platform will continue to populate the ads with products your audience is likely to purchase, without requiring you to make edits.
Larry Kim, founder of WordStream, clearly articulates the power in these types of ad sets:
“I discovered the power of [display remarketing] a few years ago, when I realized the vast majority of our site traffic came to us through non-branded organic searches, didn’t convert, and left and never came back. We were awesome at getting people to our site, but totally sucked at getting them to remember us after they got here…Just 18 months out, remarketing allowed us to increase our repeat visitors by 50%, boost conversion by 51%, and increase time on site by an insane 300%! Remarketing helped make our SEO 7x more awesome by keeping us in front of interested consumers and compelling them to take action.”
Create a Customer Loyalty Program
Before offering dollar or percent off coupons, try leveraging gamification features that encourage loyalty.
Customers should be rewarded for their loyalty to your brand. Building a loyalty program for your eCommerce store is a powerful way to increase conversions from your current customer base (including the one-time buyers) by providing incentives to repeatedly purchase.
Creating an effective loyalty program can be as easy as rewarding customers with points for every dollar they spend with your brand. For many customers, the opportunity to earn points alongside their purchases is an exciting chance to get some great freebies.
Retailers can offer a variety of perks at different point values (such as free shipping, various items not sold in the normal store, discounts, etc.) that encourage shoppers to come back for a series of purchases after their initial interaction.
To effectively entice new shoppers with your loyalty rewards program, send them an email after several days have passed informing them about their automatic, cost-free entry into the program. This automatic enrollment is quickly becoming the norm as 56 percent of brands enroll consumers in loyalty programs automatically after a purchase. In the email, be sure to include:
A breakdown of how the program works
Sample prizes that correlate with specific point values
How many points the customer currently possesses
Directions on how they can earn more points
To implement an effective loyalty program, it is best to keep things simple. Too many convoluted ins and outs will only cause consumers to become confused and disinterested in participating.
One of the easiest systems is to link points to dollars spent or number of purchases made. For instance, one dollar spent is equal to one point. This creates an easily understandable framework that provides customers with extra incentives to shop at your store with no added obligations.
Why go through all this bother for potentially generating a few extra purchases? Consider the fact that 82 percent of consumers will switch stores to take advantage of competitor promotions, and the reason becomes clear.
Encouraging repeat business and enhancing customer retention rates can have a massively positive impact on your brand’s bottom line. Establishing effective marketing strategies to make customers feel valued and keep them coming back for more is the key to boosting revenues.
Take full advantage of these marketing modalities as each has proven, quantifiable benefits in attracting new customers as well as bringing previous shoppers back into your store. The better you get at generating repeat business, the more lucrative your business will become.
After all, new customers are nowhere near as valuable as the ones you already serve.
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Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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