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How To Get Repeat Customers: Proven Strategies for Success


A common misconception about repeat customers is that they only respond to crazy discounts. 

While providing discounts is an effective strategy to encourage returning customers, it’s neither the only nor the best way.

Instead, you can build customer retention by nurturing solid relationships through:

  • Excellent customer service
  • Personalized interactions
  • Attractive incentives

In this article, we’ll look at effective strategies you can use to drive more repeat purchases for your business.

What is a repeat customer?

A repeat customer is someone who has made at least two separate purchases from you, as well as people who repeatedly return to buy your products and services. They are also known as recurring clients.

Understanding how to get repeat customers can boost your revenue. The more repeat purchases you attract, the more revenue you generate.

You can find out who your returning customers are from several sources:

  • Customer data from your CRM system   
  • Point of sale data

Understanding the value of repeat customers

Is learning how to get repeat customers worth it? Yes.

Repeat purchases can provide a steady source of income and increase your profitability. Returning customers also benefit your reputation, strengthening your market position.

For these reasons, a 2023 report from Antavo found that 68% of brands intend to increase their spending on customer retention.

Let’s explore the value repeat clients and customers can bring to your business. 

The economic benefits of repeat customers

According to a survey by Statista, budget constraints and lead generation are the top two challenges for SMBs.

A visualisation of the economic benefits of repeat customers

Businesses can solve these challenges by learning to increase their repeat customers. Convincing an existing customer to buy is typically more cost-effective than generating new leads.

Returning customers come with other economic benefits, such as:

  • Higher customer lifetime value: A repeat customer’s cumulative spending throughout their relationship with a brand contributes to the business’s income. 
  • Predictability of income: Unlike one-time purchases that rely on constantly converting new customers, repeat clients help to create a consistent income..

The influence of repeat customers on business reputation

Repeat customers are your brand ambassadors. Their loyalty makes them more likely to:

  • Share your brand’s products with their friends and family
  • Engage positively with your brand on social media
  • Leave positive reviews

These recommendations show potential customers your brand consistently delivers value and a positive experience. 

It creates a favorable perception among your target market and builds their trust.

Strategies to cultivate repeat customers

So, what is the best way to encourage customers to return to your site and make a repeat purchase? The secret lies in creating meaningful and memorable interactions with your customers. You can also adopt a proactive approach by leveraging loyalty and referral programs.

Let’s dive deeper.

Implement loyalty programs with rewards

An attractive loyalty program can develop returning customers. Offer customers meaningful and valuable incentives they will appreciate.

To meet your customers’ different preferences, try offering various incentives, such as:

  • Points they can redeem for purchases
  • Discounts
  • Monetary rewards
  • Early access to products
  • Event invites

In addition to increasing repeat purchases, an effective loyalty program also improves the average transaction value.

Here are some tips to make your loyalty program effective:

  • Make it easy for customers to sign up
  • Create a space for customers to share their thoughts and preferences. Use these insights to improve your program
  • Personalize the rewards based on the customers’ preferences

Prioritize excellent customer service

A study by PwC showed that poor customer service is the second most common reason customers fail to make repeat purchases:

a visualisations showcasing excellent customer service prioritisation

Strive to go above and beyond to provide excellent customer service. That greatly influences how many repeat customers your business will have.

Personalization is critical to delivering excellent customer satisfaction. The PwC research shows that 82% of customers are willing to disclose sensitive data in exchange for a more personalized experience.

There are several ways you can provide personalized customer service:

  • Address customers by their names
  • Tailor email and SMS marketing campaigns to the interests of each customer
  • Implement an omnichannel support strategy and communicate with customers using their preferred channels
  • Give customer service agents access to customers’ histories for more relevant interactions  

Launch effective referral programs

Research by Mention Me shows that referrals are consumers’ most trusted marketing channel:

a visualisation of effective referal programs

The same study also shows that:

  • Customers who buy based on referrals are more inclined to spend more money. They spend 11% more on their first order and 8% on subsequent orders.
  • Rewards from loyalty and referral programs drive repeat purchases. They encourage 57% of consumers to buy again.

Here’s how to get repeat customers through effective referral programs:

  • Offer attractive rewards while ensuring they don’t reduce your profits
  • Invest in reliable referral software. It should be user-friendly and customizable to meet your brand’s needs
  • Track the performance of your referral program 
  • Connect your referral program to your CRM for easier follow-up on leads
  • Promote your referral program through blog posts, email newsletters, and social media

Utilizing technology for customer retention

You’ve learned how to get repeat customers. However, you still need to learn how to retain these repeat customers. The first step is to develop strategies to nurture lasting relationships.

Here are three ways to achieve this.

1. The role of email automation in customer retention

Use email marketing software to maintain continuous communication with your audience. This keeps them engaged and creates deeper connections that drive loyalty.

Email automation lets you send timely emails based on certain triggers. You can send post-purchase emails and drip campaigns based on customer data and behavior.

These timely emails make customers feel valued, understood, and appreciated.  

Here are some email examples to boost customer loyalty:

  • Re-engagement emails: Sent to inactive customers to reconnect with them
  • Welcome series: Make the customer feel recognized. It also sets the tone for a strong and lasting relationship
  • Birthday and anniversary series: Celebrate the customer’s special occasions.
  • Abandoned cart series: Recover a lost sale and show customers that you’re attentive to their needs. 
  • Thank you series: A thank you email to customers for their purchase, loyalty, or engagement makes them feel valued and appreciated

2. Leverage customer data for personalized offers

Having a robust CRM in your tech stack can enable data-driven customer lifecycle marketing.

You can provide data relevant to the customer’s needs and buyer journey. This includes hyper-personalized upsells, cross-sells, and discounts. 

How does this work? Effective CRMs use a variety of customer data to create detailed customer profiles. This includes:

  • Purchase history
  • Customer service interactions
  • Browser activity

By analyzing each customer profile, you can gain insights into the offers that are most likely to capture their attention.

3. Cultivate social media engagement for customer retention

Actively engaging with customers on social media nurtures long-term relationships, helping to also drive repeat purchases. 

Building a strong community should be a top priority. It’s the perfect incubator for trust and loyalty. You can achieve this with a solid social media strategy involving various content types. 

According to research conducted by HubSpot, the following content brings in the best results:

  • Relatable posts
  • Trendy content
  • Educational posts
  • Interactive content
  • Funny content
  • Content that shows off your brand’s values
A visualisation of social media engagement for customer retention cultivation

Here are a few other ideas on how to build a strong social media community to get repeat customers:

  • Provide customer service through social media
  • Engage with your audience’s content. Especially one that mentions your brand, products, or topics relevant to your niche
  • Share user-generated content

A robust tech stack can help you automate your social media engagement strategy. It should include:

  • Scheduling tools to maintain a regular and consistent posting schedule
  • Analytics tools to track and analyze your posts
  • Monitoring tools to track and engage with any mentions of your brand

Importance of repeat customers vs new customers

Repeat customers are valuable because of the income they generate.

An analysis by Gorgias shows repeat customers account for 21% of customers but bring in 300% more revenue than first-time customers. They generate 44% of revenue and 46% of orders.

Evaluating customer acquisition vs customer retention costs

The average cost of acquisition (CAC) in the B2B ecommerce space is $86 per client. In the B2C ecommerce space, it’s $68 per customer. 

It takes a lot more resources to acquire and turn a lead into a paying customer:

  • Salaries and commissions to the sales and marketing team  
  • Digital advertising costs  
  • Cost of organic and inorganic social media campaigns
  • Lead generation costs

In comparison, customer retention strategies require fewer resources:

  • Execute excellent customer service
  • Employ incentives (like discounts)
  • Run a loyalty and referral program

Measuring repeat customer rate

Monitoring your repeat customer rate (or your customer retention rate) is one way to assess the effectiveness of your customer retention marketing strategy.

Repeat customer rate is the percentage of customers who have made at least two purchases in a given period.

Calculating the repeat customer rate

Pick a time frame, such as a week, quarter, or year.

Divide the number of customers who made a second purchase within that time frame by the total number of customers you had within that period. Then multiply by 100 to see the percentage.

This is the formula:

Repeat customer rate = (Number of customers who made a second purchase / total number of customers) x  100

What’s a good repeat customer rate? There’s no one-size-fits-all rate. It’ll depend on your industry. 

For instance, while online retailers have an average retention rate of 28.2%, there’s some variance across industries. 

What is clear, however, is that brands are recognizing a clear value in taking a multi-channel approach to improving retention. In fact, over 52% have invested in email marketing to drive retention. 

A visualisation of repeat customer rate measurement

The significance of a good repeat customer rate

A high repeat customer rate increases the customer lifetime value (CLV). This is the total revenue from a customer with your brand over a prolonged period of time.

Customer lifetime value is calculated as:

CLV = Average Order Value (AOV) x Purchase Frequency x Customer Lifetime

If you aren’t sure of the AOV, it’s calculated by dividing the revenue from a customer by their total number of purchases.

A high customer lifetime value translates into higher profitability per acquisition. If the CLV of a customer is $100 and the CAC is $20, you stand to make $80. If the customer makes more repeat purchases and the CLV rises to $125, you stand to make $105.

Using email & SMS marketing to achieve repeat customers

Email and SMS marketing are powerful tools to drive repeat purchases. However, you don’t have to choose one over the other.

Combining SMS and email automation keeps your customers engaged, drives retention, and increases the average CLV.

However, learning how to get repeat customers through email and SMS isn’t enough. You need a powerful marketing tool like Omnisend to use email and SMS marketing on the same platform.

Omnisend lets you personalize product recommendations and offer discount codes in your messages. 

In addition, personalized SMS campaigns can deliver time-sensitive offers to your customers. This creates a more unified and engaging customer experience.

Wrap up

Here’s a quick recap on getting repeat customers:

  • Build an active community on social media
  • Personalize your customer service  
  • Implement effective loyalty and referral programs with attractive rewards

Source from Omnisend

Disclaimer: The information set forth above is provided by omnisend.com independently of Alibaba.com. Alibaba.com makes no representation and warranties as to the quality and reliability of the seller and products.

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