How to turn one-time shoppers into loyal customers
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How to turn one-time shoppers into loyal customers

loyal customers

Frequent customers have a huge impact on your sales as they buy more and often end up recommending your store to their friends. The point is to keep them close to your business not only during the holidays but also when the seasonal craze comes to an end. Here’s how you can do it.

There’s a lot of work involved in turning occasional shoppers into the repeat customers and it’s much easier to convert new shopper that comes to your store during the rest of the year than one that comes during the holidays.

So, sit back and get set to learn some proven methods that may work for you. Ready?

Email communication

Email is one of the best tools to remind customers about your business. You can stay in touch with them on a regular basis, sending them extra offers, coupons, new ins, etc.

Use it to introduce yourself, tell the story of your brand and develop a long-lasting relationship.

Here’s what you can send to your customers via emails:

  • Special offers such as coupons, discounts or event invitations for registered members only. It’s only natural that people look for the best deals so give it to them right to their inbox.
  • Useful tips. You can send your customers links to your blog posts or share short tips on how to use your products.
  • Brand messages about what’s happening now or what plans you have for the future; you can tell a brand story or, for instance, show how some of your products are made.
  • Customer stories to show how important your customers are for you. These could be stories about how they use your product or how it simplifies their life, etc.
  • Entertaining or educational content. Show your audience funny GIFs, videos or memes related to your business. You can also educate people through emails by sending them helpful blog posts. For example, if you sell flower pots, you can teach people how to grow plants or share some recipes with herbs they can plant by themselves.
  • A new product announcement when something new is added to your store.

A ‘comeback’ message to those who haven’t visited your store for a while. You can, for instance, offer customers a coupon to entice them to buy.

Personalized emails are one of the best ways to re-engage recent customers.

It’s a good idea to stand out so customers notice you against the backdrop of all the online stores there are out there. Think for a while about what you have that others can’t offer and how can you surprise your online consumers. Make your business memorable!

A smooth shopping experience

Providing an amazing shopping experience is half of your success. When the entire process is smooth and seamless, it increases the chances that shoppers will visit your store again. It’s also a great driver of customer loyalty.

Remember that customer experience is an overall feeling consumers have while buying from you – from the moment they reach your site, go through the purchasing and payment process, receive a guaranteed delivery date, and (if necessary) get free returns. Beat the competition, exceed customers expectations and make them love you for that!

Customer service

Speaking of shopping experience, people like to feel special at each step of the purchasing process. The same goes when something unexpected happens or when, for instance, your customers struggle with payments on your website. They should get a quick and helpful response. Always.

Make the service as fast and responsive as possible. No one likes to wait in a long line so, if possible, provide 24/7 customer support by email, phone or by live chat on your website.

Keep in mind that (potential) customers can even leave the page because of poor customer service. To make them stay on your site, be helpful, show people you care and listen to their expectations.

How customer service handles confusing situations could be a deciding factor in whether a customer comes back to buy something or leaves the website for good (and writes a bad review).

When something goes wrong on your side, show you’re sorry and give your customers discounts, coupons or gift cards. Take a chance and turn complaints into opportunities.

The power of personalization

Collect historical data and use it to personalize the shopping experience. This enables you to create targeted offers and earn shoppers’ attention. Customers that once visited your online store, will see an appropriate ad while surfing the internet. To do so, you can use Google tools and/or place a Facebook retargeting pixel on your website.

Run ads that grab customers’ attention. Think about something catchy that will pique their interest.

Moreover, ask customers for an email address during the purchasing process and collect their names to personalize future messages. You can also ask them for a birth date or any other information related to special offers you can send them, such as free gift cards, birthday offers, etc.

Run a loyalty program

Loyalty programs could be a real customer magnet. After all, people like to be rewarded. So it could be a simple point system, but also a partnership with another company or a gamification strategy. Existing customers can be rewarded for various activities, such as writing reviews, recommending products, etc.

Don’t just focus on a singular selling opportunity. A loyal customer brings more value to your brand that a few one-time consumers.

All these techniques will help you boost customer retention and increase profits up to 95%. People will back for more so the incentive to gain loyal customers are huge. The point is to set clear goals to attract the right customers and build a long-term relationship with them.

It’s a win-win if you do it right.

Build relationships

Listen to your customers, get their feedback and act upon it to deliver the best quality in your online store and enhance the customer journey. This is a huge opportunity to increase conversion.

Providing consumers with valuable information, the content that will solve their problems and answer all their questions or concerns. High quality content, published on a regular basis is a reason for your customers to visit your site and engage with your brand.

You can also use user-generated content which is great social proof that improves your brand’s trust. Ask people to share pictures of the ordered items through social media or in a special section on your website. It’s also good to make a unique hashtag for the products from your store and encourage people to use it every time they share items from your online store. Customer reviews with pictures attached are seen as objective opinion so it can lift sales and loyalty as well.

Today’s consumers expect more – they want to feel special each time they buy something on your website. That’s why maintaining a relationship with your customers is so important.

Keep in mind that emotions also drive loyalty so it’s good to use them in your communications, especially around holiday time.

Another solution is to create a community around your brand. Give them a space to share the experiences they have with your products. Keep the conversation going and listen to your customers’ needs.

The nurturing process should be as smooth as possible to make customers feel like they wanted to buy from you by themselves. One important part of this is to keep them engaged and build relationship to make them remember you every time they want to buy something online.

There you have it.

What do you think? Wouldn’t it be great to have a strong base of recurring customers that keep your sales on track all the time?

Now you know what you can do to convert occasional shoppers into frequent customers. It could take some time but don’t give up too early. Look for non-conventional methods to grab customers attention and find the best way to turn them into loyal customers.

Do you want to add something? Go ahead, share your ideas in the comments section.

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Sandra Wróbel-Konior

Sandra Wróbel-Konior

A well-established Content Marketing Specialist with a tech-savvy personality, experience in writing, and a passion for reading. Staying up to date with the latest technology and social media trends, in love with GIFs and craft chocolate.
Sandra Wróbel-Konior

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