Focus on the customer, not just the sale

It is easy to see why repeat customers are good for business – there is no acquisition cost, you have an opportunity to improve customer lifetime value and customers that become brand advocates can generate their own referrals.

Four strategies retailers can use to maximise customer lifetime value, increase frequency of visit and build longer lasting relationships are:

Create a community

By creating a community through events or education evenings focussed on your product or service that resonate with your core market and are grounded in the core values of your brand, creates a stronger emotional connection. A retailer like Porters does this well with in-store wine tasting.

Constantly refresh stock

The days of two season releases are gone. Once customers have shopped a season once, there is limited incentive to return again. Fresh product is rocket fuel, allowing retailers to be flexible and responsive to trends and keep customers coming back. The obvious example is Zara with its rush-to-market strategy however Aldi is also a great example with their ‘Aldi Special Buys’ offers.

Invest in online customer service

Offering great customer service via social media can help retailers stay accessible and personal, delivering the service level customers would expect in a store and avoiding the dreaded call centre. Nike actively invests in this area, ensuring responses in less than half an hour at any time of day and tweeting more than 10 times as often on their support handle rather than the brand’s primary twitter handle.

Ensure post sale engagement is relevant

Customers want to feel like they matter and want their life to be easy. Where brands can connect with and have data on customers it is providing opportunities to leverage positive previous experience and generate future touch points/triggers. The Iconic leverages data around personalised offers based on ‘looks’ or products based on purchase history, provides access to discounts, and recommends sizing based on what a customer has previously kept/returned.

Securing repeat business comes down to delivering on expectations and giving people a reason to come back, not just taking it for granted.