November 01, 2015

How to Reward Your Repeat Customers

How to Reward your Repeat Customers

Customers are the engine that drives all of our ecommerce stores. Without customers, we have no sales!

However, in the pursuit of building your online store, it is inevitable that you will run into both your dream, and nightmare customers.

In general, as a goal, you want more of your dream customers, and less of those nightmare ones. 

And it's also true that birds of a feather flock together.Your dream customers are likely to be friends, or know OTHER customers just like them.

So, if you have some majorly amazing customers that already support your business, it is in your best interest to reward those customers for their ongoing loyalty.

But how?

This week, I'll share with you 3 strategies for rewarding loyal, and repeat customers of your online store.

First things first, you need to identify these dream customers. Not all repeat customers are created equal. The best way to start is to take your customer database (super easy in shopify) and segment based on number of sales, or total spend over the past year or 18 months - whichever is most meaningful to you.

Create a list, and vet out any consistent complainers, refunders, or otherwise high maintenance customers.

Lastly, make sure you have permission to contact them via email or direct mail (if that's a route you will take), and notate that on your dream customer list.

Now, let's get to rewarding those dream customers.


1. Get personal

Acknowledging your gratitude to your dream customers does not need to cost a thing.

A few easy but personal acknowledgments you can try immediately:

  • Add a personal handwritten note or post-card to the dream customer's next order
  • Reach out to them on Instagram, and leave a nice comment one one of their photos
  • Send a postcard or letter via email thanking them for their loyalty and support
  • Email them to let them know you appreciate them!
  • Put up an instagram post and give a shoutout to your dream customers

Think about keeping it simple, personal and meaningful. Speak from the heart, your customers will appreciate it.


2. Throw in something 'free' 

Add a little 'surprise and delight' to your best customers' next order by giving them something for nothing.

Use this strategy only for your best and likely to repeat customers as it requires investment monetarily or product wise. 

A couple of suggestions that add that bonus element to their next order:

  • A small product that they haven't ordered yet to give them something literally for nothing
  • A small product they already have but in a different colour or same kind with the encouragement to gift to a friend
  • Automatically give the customer free shipping (email them to know!), or upgrade their shipping to Express or Overnight for free
  • A gift card for an amount (usually under $20 is good!)

Try to visualize what might bring delight to a customer when they open up their next order from you, and make it happen.


3. Offer Discounts on the Products you Know they want, or want more of

The last strategy to reward your best customers is to offer them strategic discounts or promotions on the product you know they want, or want more of. 

The easiest way to do this is via email. This will require the ability to sub-segment your list based on purchase behaviour, and retarget those with specific offers based on their past behaviour, and future prospects.

Several things to look at when re-targeting your dream customers with offers:

  • Keep it personal. This is why sub-segmenting and knowing your customers purchase behaviour is critical to a good offer. If you know your customer has purchased 3 pairs of black socks from you, it makes sense to offer them a discount, since they love your socks on a different colour.
  • Keep note of repeat behaviour. It's possible that said person above that purchase 3 pairs of black socks ONLY likes black socks but maybe a little encouragement (promotion wise) will get them to repurchase another pair. This is where purchase frequency becomes important. Look at the patterns for how often someone purchases for clues.
  • Look at lapsed repeat customers. If you have customers who were ONCE big spenders, who haven't come back in a while, consider reaching out with a 'welcome back' discount or promotion. This is often a good way to say 'We haven't forgotten about you' and get back to being top of mind.
  • Consider a secret sale for your best customers. Offer a 24-hour secret/flash sale and only promote it to your top customers. Talk about exclusivity!
  • Identify correlated purchases. Your eCommerce software may help in this aspect. I know with Shopify, it will show that customers who purchase X are more likely to purchase Y. So, if I know that customers who purchase socks, are more likely to purchase hats, then I would want to retarget those best sock customer with a hat offer.

The goal with these promotions is to drive targeted traffic back to your website, and bring your best customers back. 

You also want your best customers to know that you are looking out for their best interests, by keeping them top of mind as well with the right information at the right time.

Dream customers are like gold.

We all want more of them, but we cannot forget to acknowledge, cherish and continue to court them back to your brand.  

What's your favourite way to reward your best customers? Leave it in the comments below!

If you found this blog post valuable, share it with the universe. Click here to tweet it out. You'll be helping share this knowledge with other eCommerce entrepreneurs in the world. Together, we rise!

Wishing you much abundance + retail bliss,