As eCommerce store owners, we work bloody hard every day to get people onto our websites and buying, amirite?
It’s very easy to lump ALL our sales / orders / customers into one big group and treat them all the same.
We look at things like how much traffic is going to our website, and what percentage of that traffic converts into orders (our conversion rate).
We figure out how much money our customers are spending (of course we want to know that!)
We keep tabs on how much that traffic is costing us (hello bottomless-pit-that-is-called-Facebook-Ads!).
Yet frequently, we’re NOT looking at how OFTEN our customers are coming back. Or if they’re coming back at all.
So basically, what most eCommerce stores have is a ‘sales funnel’ to win new customers.
But they’re treating ALL their customers like new customers, rather than having any strategies in place specifically designed to keep those existing customers happy and coming back for more!
This is called your Customer Lifetime Value, and your job is to grow that as much as you can.
Here’s my top 3 tips to turn one time shoppers into lifelong customers
Step 1: Customer Onboarding
What the heck is ‘customer onboarding’ you might ask. Yeah, I hate jargon too. I promise I won’t do that to you too often!
Customer onboarding means – welcoming your brand new customers and sharing some content with them that is designed to help them have the best, most successful experience using or consuming your product possible.
Making sure your new customers are really happy and satisfied MUST BE the first step to turn your one time shoppers into lifelong customers.
This customer onboarding thing can be done using your email marketing program. Heck, even Mailchimp will automate this for you! Mailchimp has a built in recipe for this which, from memory, they call something like an ‘Any Purchase’ campaign in their eCommerce section.
You want to include at least 3-4 emails in this campaign (don’t worry, you’re not sending them all at once!).
Within these emails, you’d welcome them to your brand family and thank them for their order.
You could include some kind of customer case story or cool video that helps to reinforce the new customer’s purchase decision, or that inspires them and keeps them anticipating the arrival of their new purchase.
You want to anticipate any customer service moments.
For example, an email that’s scheduled to go out after the order should have arrived, asking ‘Is everything OK?’
The main goal with these emails is to roll out the red carpet to your new customers and make them feel really special. Hopefully ensuring they absolutely LOVE your stuff (ie priming the pump ready to ask them to purchase again!)
For more ideas of what could go into this campaign, grab my free guide and campaign template, “How to get repeat orders from happy customers”.
Step 2: Ask for a review
Once you’ve taken a brand new customer through the above customer onboarding sequence and you’ve made them feel really special and appreciated, then what?
You probably want to ask them to buy something else right about now. BUT hold your horses, you’re not ready for that just yet!
The next thing you want to do to turn your one time shoppers into lifelong customers, is to ask for a review.
We all know how influential social proof can be when it comes to growing sales. So it’s important that you ask your new customer, who is hopefully really happy with your product AND your awesome customer service, to give you a review!
The best way to do this is to automate it using a fabulous review-request app called Stamped.io
I love this app so much because customers don’t have to click back to your website or log in to leave a review. They simply need to reply to the email and Stamped will post it to your website for you. It even knows precisely where to put the reviews on your website!
The other cool things Stamped can do is to add a dynamic feed of product reviews on your website home page, along with star reviews. This kind of social proof has been proven to increase your website’s conversion rates, so you definitely want to employ this strategy!
One of my clients, Tiptoe & Co, demonstrates this really well. On her website home page, the ‘Best Sellers’ section shows you the dynamically-updated customer reviews that Stamped posts to her website. Nifty right?
Step 3: Time to sell!
OK your leash is off now – NOW you can go and offer these new customers something else to buy!
WARNING: Do NOT simply add these customers onto your email newsletter list! This strategy will fall flat if you are simply relying on your email newsletter to entice your new first-time customers back for a repeat purchase.
To turn your one time shoppers into lifelong customers, you want to sell to them AFTER you’ve completed steps 1 and 2!
You want to automate this process of securing a repeat purchase from your first-time customers.
Why is this important? Because, if you can increase loyalty (ie repeat buyers), you immediately become a much MUCH more profitable business.
It costs much less to get an existing customer to buy from you again, than it does to convert that customer in the first place!
TOP TIP: Add an additional three sales emails to the above Customer Onboarding campaign.
Just make sure you remember to leave enough of a time-lag between the last customer onboarding email and this first sales email, to allow for your Review Request email to be sent from Stamped.
The three sales emails you include here should all make the exact same offer. That is, you introduce an offer in the first of the sales emails, and then reiterate it in the subsequent two emails. (Follow-up works guys – you’ll always sell more if you follow-up!)
One of my very first clients, Bubblebubs, is a brilliant example of just how powerful this strategy can be in growing your eCommerce sales. Check out her story here.
For help on how you present this offer and what other content you should include in this campaign, go ahead and download my free template!
Don’t miss this free guide & campaign template!
Encouraging your first-time customers to buy from you again gives your bottom line an immediate boost. Secure your profits with this high-performing automated email campaign using my FREE guide and template, “How to get a 2nd order from your happy customers”.
Click the button to download your copy instantly!
What do you think?
I’d love to know what you think! Leave a comment below to let me know whether this is something you do (or would like to do) in your own business.