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How to keep a customer returning to your store?

In business one of the hardest things is to try and get new customers. So what if you can get your current customers to keep coming back for more? Loyal customers that keep coming back for more, again and again, is something that every business owner wants. There’s no better feeling than seeing that same customers name keep popping up on your sales list. Below I have some points that can help your customers keep coming back for more.

REWARD CUSTOMER LOYALTY
The best and most practical way of doing this is by having a loyalty points feature. Your customers earn reward points when they spend money on your shop and can redeem points against future orders. Another great way to reward loyal customers is to keep offering them something towards their next purchase. It can be as simple as 10% off their next order or free next day delivery. Obviously the better it sounds for the customer then the more likely they are to return to your store.

One thing to watch out for is offering too many discounts all the time. It is one of the best ways to get a customer returning to your store but you don’t want them to be only coming back for the discount alone. If you have a customer who buys off you every single month with discount code after discount code then it’s time to try something new before that customer gets bored. You still have to give them some incentive though! This bit is literally the make or break of a returning customer. One thing that has worked for me in the past is to offer the customer a bundle package.

So rather than discounting a single product, create a bundle or package offer that provides an incentive to spend more for a bigger value and save by purchasing together. If you usually sell T-Shirts for £10 each, try 1 for £10 or 3 for £25. You can also cross product categories to introduce the customer to new product lines. Such as offering a T-Shirt and a Hoodie for £30 when normally the T-Shirt is £10 and the hoodie is £25. I know what you’re thinking right now! But offering them 10% off is better for you. Yes. Correct. But how long can you keep doing that till the customer gets bored or gets offered 20% from your competitor? This system breaks the customer out of the discount addiction that they’re in. Trust me. Try it! My advice would be no more than 3 discounts till you have to move onto another strategy.

PERSONALISE OFFERS
This is a pretty easy step to follow. Consider your customers’ past purchasing history and create deals and discounts based on their shopping patterns. If a customer consistently buys vintage clothing from the 1980’s, the next time you receive a shipment of items from that era, reach out with a heads-up email about the new stock and offer the customer a discount or another incentive for acting early.

You can do this in many other ways too. A great example would be to offer a returning customer an add on to what they bought last time. Maybe they bought some jeans and you offer them a belt that would go well with it at a discounted price? Make sure that it actually does fit with what the customer would want. Don’t just try and flog them whatever you’re trying to get rid of. Customers aren’t stupid, they know the difference between a sales pitch and having a genuine interest in trying to help the customer get what they want.

PROVIDE GREAT VALUE (YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE THE CHEAPEST)
Offering your customers great value doesn’t always mean you have to have rock bottom prices. Great value can mean fantastic quality at prices on par with your competition. Whatever the value paradigm is in your industry, strive to offer it without charging a premium for it. Customers know value when they experience it once.

If you offer great value once then there is a big chance that the customer will return to shop with you again. I also can’t stress enough about how it really doesn’t matter if you’re not the cheapest in your industry. No matter how wealthy a customer may be, being a value seeker while shopping is something that is hardwired in all of us. Don’t be caught up in thinking that value always means money. Offering them something that they can’t get anywhere else is also valuable.

DON’T LET THEM FORGET YOU
For many businesses, they find it hard to keep relevant in their customers’ minds. The dream is to make your customers addicted to your business and always wanting more. Think of the big guns like Apple, they don’t just offer great products but their whole process from start to finish is on point and unforgettable. From branding to packaging, everything is done perfectly. Make sure you take extra care like this too. Adding a little-personalised note saying thank you for your order is all it takes.

A great example of not letting your customer forget you is by giving them the incentive to do something after the sale. What I do with my business is put a flyer in asking the customer to take a picture of what they’ve bought and tag us in the photo on Instagram for a chance to win £250 to spend on our site. It works really well! It not only promotes our brand with all their friends it also gives us another opportunity to reach out and engage with them. We can comment on the photo and we can also post that photo on our profile at a later date too.

OFFER THEM EVERYTHING THAT YOU WOULD WANT
The best possible advice for any business would be to get into the mind set of your customer. This is why it makes it a lot easier if you already are a customer of your industry. You already know what your customer wants. If you can’t do this, then what you need to do is make a bunch of dummy orders with your competition or any big online retailers and decide which one stands out the most to you once you get the product through the post. Maybe it’s the fact that you got a flyer with a discount code on it? Maybe you got free stickers? Free sweets? Maybe the packaging was super nice and included a personalised note? Whatever it is that makes you want more, that is exactly what you need to be doing.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE REALLY IMPORTANT (SURPRISE THEM)
One of the most important things when trying to keep customers is to leave a first good impression. You’ve probably heard of the saying ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’.

When having a retail shop, it can be a lot easier to leave a good first impression as you can have a face to face conversation with someone and also make them feel welcomed on entry etc. When running an online shop, you only really have a couple of opportunities to make a great first impression.

A great way to make sure you leave a good first impression is to contact the customer as soon as you can after they have ordered off your site with the shipping and tracking information. Then again once you have shipped the item to let the customer know that their order is on the way. After that stage, a great way to make an impact on the customer would be to give the customer a discount code or anything extra in the shipment. Even a bag of Haribo sweets will do the trick!

BE GENUINE
When your business is only online it’s so important to not give out the wrong impression. If you look like you’re only ever trying to reach out to people on social media just to get more sales, then it will back fire. It’s often really helpful to make sure you’re being authentic in all your social interactions. Instead of flooding your social audience with product information and advertisements, consider creating a mix of content that also highlights your company culture. Give your followers a glimpse of what life is like behind the scenes of your brand.

Another way to connect with your audience is to ask them for their feedback. This is one way you might show your followers that you genuinely care about their input and suggestions for improvement. The final bit of advice on this topic would be to create content that sounds how you sound. I don’t mean uploading a video so people can hear your voice! I mean, creating content that is literally word for word how you would describe something. If you think something is awesome then say that it’s awesome. Conversational, punchy language can often work the best for social platforms, especially since you’ve only got a couple of seconds to capture someone’s attention before they move onto the next post on their feed.

KEEP UP THE COMMUNICATION
When it’s communication to a new customer, make sure you tell them everything that you would want to know yourself when buying online. Adding onto this would be how to get a customer to come back for more. You can do this by sending them an email asking them how they found the whole process of buying through your website. If they reply with a positive response, then you can then offer them some kind of incentive to return to your store again. If their reply is a negative one, then don’t worry you can still potentially win them back. If anything it’s valuable for you to see where you messed up and make sure that you resolve it for the customer and to make sure that you don’t make the same mistake again.

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