Note: This is a guest write-up from Amanda Sparks who is a digital marketer, psychologist, former writer at Huffington Post and current head of content at Essay Supply.
The longer customers stay with you, the more valuable they become.
In fact, it costs significantly less to retain a customer than it does to earn a new one.
Your most loyal customers are also most likely to act as brand ambassadors, recommending your products to others. If customers can be persuaded to enter into subscription agreements, that’s even better.
It is for these reasons that the success of your ecommerce site depends on recurring sales and subscriptions from loyal customers. Below are some great strategies for making this happen.
1. Pull Out The Stops to Earn Customers’ Ongoing Business
From the first time a customer makes a purchase, you should be focused on earning their repeat business. Here are some effective ways to do this:
- Offer a bonus or incentive for their next purchase
- Push customer memberships and loyalty clubs that offer discounts and bonuses over time
- Give first time buyers a special discount or incentive
- Encourage loyal customers to earn money and other incentives by marketing your products as an affiliate
2. Offer Sales on Complementary Products And Bonus Options
Don’t just focus on your product. Consider the complementary products and add-ons that will also appeal to your customers.
Imagine that you sell refurbished video game consoles. A customer might only purchase a console every couple of years. However, there are other ways you can keep them coming back for more. You can also sell, cables and controllers, video game walkthru guide books, even video game themed clothing. This will create an additional revenue stream.
In addition to this, you can also use complementary products as bonus options to to make offers seem even more lucrative. Customers are much more likely to return if they know they’re likely to get a little something extra with each purchase.
3. Take Great Care of Your Customer Service Team
In ecommerce, your customer support team is also your sales team.
People will come to them before, during, and after the sale with questions and concerns. A great customer service rep can turn a potential customer into a sure thing, and they can turn a current customer into a brand loyalist.
The key here is motivation.
Customer reps should be well compensated, and receive bonuses when they drive sales. In addition to this, care should be taken to ensure that they are properly trained, and have the resources needed to do their jobs.
Finally, don’t underestimate the value of empowerment. Customer support employees who are empowered to make decisions to act in the best interests of their customers are more likely to go above and beyond.
4. Offer Pricing Options
Customers appreciate having choices when it comes to pricing and payment options. If it fits with your business model, consider offering pay per use. To create subscription revenue, offer to split pricing over several months with discounts for customers who choose the longest obligations available.
5. Optimize Email Marketing to Focus on Going Above And Beyond
Optimize email campaigns to reach out to existing customers. These campaigns should be focused on letting customers know how you go above and beyond to earn loyalty. They should highlight the benefits of subscription plans, and include a call to action that makes it easy for customers to sign up.
6. Don’t Overwhelm Your Customer With Options
Customers do like some options. For example, you might offer three subscription offerings (Gold/Silver/Bronze) reflecting a basic, mid-tier, and premium offering. Just be aware that too many options can result in decision fatigue. This can result in customers not being able to make a choice at all. Don’t be tempted to curate multiple offerings to appeal to every possible customer segment.
Subscriptions, complementary product offerings, and excellent customer service are the key elements to creating recurring sales revenue. By implementing a few the strategies above, you can give your ecommerce site a true income boost.