Success in online sales works in mysterious ways, at least seemingly so. It is a medium where you cannot directly interact with your customers, or give them a long speech about how their lives will change for the better if they buy your product. You also end up becoming one seller in a sea of thousands, each trying to create a niche for themselves. How does one succeed in a cut-throat market like this?
One solution to this problem requires you to alter your thinking drastically – stop looking at the big numbers and start focusing on individual customers themselves. The big numbers might include your annual profits or the size of unique customer base that you have. These numbers matter, but there must be a strategy in place to connect these macro components of your campaign with the much-neglected micro components – individual customers.
Trust on the internet can spread like wildfire, but for that to happen, one has to make sure that they get recurring customers. Recurring customers might not be the Holy Grail of online sales, but it sure does come close. The fact that you have a large recurring customer base means two things – firstly, the consumer trusts your product and services enough to come back and avail them, and secondly, the would not hesitate to indulge in word-of-mouth marketing for your brand, ultimately increasing your customer base.
So how does one convince customers to come back for more?
How to Create Recurring Customers?
- Provide Excellent Customer Service
Ironically, the first point in our article about marketing has got nothing to do with marketing itself. But it is also the most important point in the whole article. You might have amazing marketing strategies in place, but if your core service is bad, then people are not going to return to you. One cannot survive with an All Bark, No Bite mentality.
So first things first, offer great customer service. Be courteous, admit your faults, and make sure that you handle those returns. A few sweet gestures here and there will definitely not hurt. Most importantly, your aim is to convince your customer that you are having fun serving them, and they will have fun availing your services as a consequence.
Be in touch with your previous customers via email. Share your newsletter with them. Which means create a newsletter if you haven’t already. Do not be obtrusive, but do not be dormant at the same time. Come forward on important social issues that will affect both you and the customers. For example, the internet will love you if you raise your voice on the issue of Net Neutrality. Flipkart did it, and they are reaping the fruits.
Make sure you receive customer feedback every time you make a sale. Show your customers that you are ready to improve your services. If you see a lot of customers complaining about a particular issue, don’t hesitate to change your policy. And once you do, don’t forget to inform your customers about how thankful you are that they helped you improve.
While social media is not a platform where you can directly sell your wares, it is an immensely important thing. Think of social media platforms like huge virtual water coolers where people meet up and decide what is cool and what is not. You want to be a part of those discussions.
Campaigning for your brand is a tricky thing, because it tends to annoy more than entice. Use our advice from point no. 2 and show your solidarity on issues like Net Neutrality on Facebook and Twitter. The idea is to create shareable content, that is, content that can be passed on between groups of individuals. Incite your customers to follow you on social media websites and tailor shareable content according to your needs.
Finally, everything cannot work on goodwill. You have to offer your customers something tangible in exchange of their loyalty. Create offer codes that customers can avail if they are shopping for the nth time. Give them discounts or free goodies with every subsequent purchase that they make. Think of novel offers that you can create that would lead to a customer coming back to shop from you.
This is what we have on creating recurring customers for now. If you want to talk more, or have queries, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Browntape. We are always happy to help!
Browntape helps retailers sell online on multiple marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. in India. They provide services and software that allow retailers to either outsource their online selling business or manage things on their own using their innovative inventory and order management software. In addition to that, they also help sellers improve their customer experience.
Source: Browntape Blog