Getting new customers to make purchases on your site is one of the biggest challenges in the eCommerce world. Especially so during the holiday sale season.
And when you manage to close a sale, you must do everything it takes to make sure your one-time shoppers come back to your store.
It’s a mammoth task, but doable with the right strategies.
In this blog, we share the best strategies that can help turn one-time holiday shoppers into repeat customers—strategies that every ambitious eCommerce brand must apply.
Holiday shopping trends and statistics and how they’ll impact your strategy around one-time shoppers
- Holiday season shopping is going to begin earlier than the actual holiday season — think October and November. Create your strategy much in advance to engage them throughout the peak shopping period
- 98% of shoppers prefer to order from brands that offer easy returns. Many eCommerce brands are making returns easier for holiday season shopping
- Products that are in high demand during the holiday season are groceries, beverages, sporting goods, health, fitness, and nutrition, among others
- Desktop conversions are higher than mobile conversions during the holiday season sales such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday
- 70% of consumers intend to use their mobile devices to browse or shop during the holiday shopping season
- Between 35% to 40% of consumers use social media platforms to research and look for holiday season gifting ideas and gifts
Importance of repeat customers for your Shopify store
There are many obvious benefits of having repeat customers; for example, they improve your brand perception, bring in more business. However, there are other reasons why it’s important to have repeat customers to your Shopify store. Here are some of the reasons:
Improve customer lifetime value
With every purchase, your repeat customers contribute more to the success of your business, ultimately improving your customer lifetime value (CLV) rate. As customers begin to trust your products and brand more with every purchase, they become more enthusiastic and confident in their purchases, leading to more purchases.
Promote your store
Repeat customers also tend to become your brand ambassadors, spreading the word about your products and brands. This, in turn, helps you expand your customer base. When you provide a good experience to customers, satisfied customers are more likely to spread the good word about your business with others.
12 ways to convert one-time shoppers into repeat customers
During the holiday season, eCommerce retailers are often so busy that they tend to completely ignore one-time shoppers. In the process, they miss out on engaging them in a way that can bring them back to their store to make more purchases. In this section, you can learn 12 strategies that can help you turn one-time shoppers into loyal, repeat customers.
1. Provide excellent customer service
A customer purchased something from your Shopify store for the first time. You definitely want to leave a lasting impression on them. How do you do that? Through excellent customer service. Your customer service standards can make or break your business. 69% of customers stop doing business with brands because of negative customer service experience.
But if you provide helpful, friendly, and quick support to customers, you can significantly increase the likelihood of them returning to your store year-round. Let’s look at some tips to ensure top-quality customer service:
- Ensure you have efficient digital tools integrated in your store to support your customer service
- Use automation to provide timely and prompt service
- Don’t ignore post-purchase experience
- Encourage first-time holiday shoppers to reach out if they need your help
- Provide 24/7/365 live chat support
2. Set up a loyalty program
One of the best ways to hook customers and make them come back is via loyalty programs. For example, if you offer loyalty points to your one-time shoppers, they would most likely want to come back to use the points to make future purchases. By giving them points on their first purchase, you can motivate them to join your loyalty program so that they return in the future. Here are some tips to follow:
- Integrate an efficient loyalty program app on your Shopify store
- Offer different types of perks – discount, points, exclusive access to new products, early-bird access to sales, etc.
- Create a strong communication strategy to keep one-time shoppers engaged. You can do this by automating notifications within your loyalty app
- Create a unique loyalty program to entice customers
3. Introduce subscriptions
Subscriptions are the fastest growing trend in eCommerce, no matter the product segment or industry. And one way to get your one-time shoppers to keep buying from you is to set up subscriptions. Depending on your product and industry, you could offer products or services via a recurring subscription model.
Here are some best practices to help you hook your one-time customers:
- Install a comprehensive eCommerce subscriptions app on your website
- Make the subscription type relevant to your customers
- Allow customers flexibility and control over their subscriptions
4. Offer discounts
Although it’s one of the most common tactics to lure customers to your online store, discounts and deals strategy works. About 44 to 66% of people prefer to wait for discounts before making purchases.
Take a look at this graph:
Offering discounts to first-time customers can increase the chances of them returning to your store to make more purchases. Besides, it also makes them feel good. When we receive something extra, it has a psychological effect on our mind.
Here are some cues for your Shopify store discount strategy:
- Offer a discount code to every first-time shopper
- Offer substantial amount of discount
- Make discount code usage timely. For example, use within 3 months
5. Set up a membership program
Another strategy that helps eCommerce stores increase repeat customers is membership programs. Memberships refer to an engagement strategy where customers can become members of the program to enjoy various benefits and perks. These could be discounts, early access to products, value-added services, access to an exclusive community, etc.
Memberships involve recurring payments, are designed to foster loyalty, enhance shopping experience, and encourage repeat purchases. Here are some tips to set up an excellent and engaging membership program:
- Price your Shopify memberships strategically
- Offer added value to your members. Here’s how
- Keep updating your membership program to increase engagement
6. Implement customer engagement tactics
Today, your eCommerce brand isn’t competing only with the product your competitors offer; you’re also competing with the experience you provide to customers. The type of experience you provide is directly related to how engaged your customers feel.
Implementing customer engagement strategies can help engage your one-time customers. It can help increase the probability of these customers coming back to your store. Here are some strategies you could try:
- Provide multi-channel experience that is integrated and personalized – email, social media, etc.
- Offer personalized experiences via tailored communication and offers
- Provide reliable and personalized customer service
- Send product recommendations
- Offer post-purchase help and assistance with products they purchased
7. Leverage transactional emails
When your one-time customers make a purchase, you’d be sending them transactional emails, such as order confirmation, delivery updates, shipping information email, etc. These emails have a high open rate because customers like to know where their products are.You can capitalize on these emails by including various other messages to encourage customers to come back to your store.
- Include product recommendations in the email
- Include discount coupons and codes
- Include links to your newsletters and other useful resources so one-time customers can sign up
- Add links to social media channels, subscription and membership programs, etc.
8. Use retargeting strategy
Retargeting is an effective way to revive the interest of one-time customers and browsers. With retargeting, you can reach customers with targeted ads. For example, your one-time purchasers might have viewed many products before buying one. You could collect their browsing data and retarget them via social media, push notifications, or emails, etc.
Here are some tips for retargeting one-time shoppers:
- Collect data on customers’ browsing behavior
- Try to understand your one-time customers from the information you have
- Retarget them by giving them incentives and offers
9. Ask for feedback and reviews
Another way to engage your one-time holiday season customers and engage them is to ask them for feedback or reviews. Customers that get a good experience from brands at different touch points tend to stay loyal to brands. And one of the key aspects of a good experience is to ask them for feedback and reviews.
Here are some tips:
- Be specific when collecting feedback, for example, ask targeted questions
- Make feedback a part of every touch point in the customer journey
- Request reviews of products and services from one-time customers
- Time your feedback and review request messages strategically
- Offer them incentives to share reviews and feedback
- Act on customer feedback
10. Make use of social proof
Did you know, product pages that include reviews have 3.5 times higher conversion rates than those pages that don’t display reviews. Customers trust reviews by other customers more than recommendations shared by brands. That brings us to using social proof to bring back one-time shoppers.
Use these tips:
- Highlight positive reviews on product pages
- Display reviews in ‘thank you’ and ‘order confirmation’ emails
- Respond to negative reviews so customers know you care
- Share user generated content on social media channels
- Get subscribers and members to share reviews as they are your most loyalty customers
11. Combine online with offline
There’s a growing number of holiday season shoppers who prefer to shop in-store as well as online. Consider this: In 2022, brick and mortar holiday shopping reached $1 trillion. To cater to these customers, you must combine your online and offline experiences. And there’s another advantage to this — your one-time shoppers get a taste of your in-store experience as well. Furthermore, you can engage them better when you meet them face-to-face.
Here are some tips:
- Provide services such as Buy Online, Pickup in Store (BOPIS)
- Buy Online Return in Store (BORIS)
- Reserve Online, Pickup in Store (ROPIS)
12. Allow hassle-free returns
Most eCommerce brands do not allow returns and exchanges for products bought during the holiday season sales. That’s a factor that could keep shoppers away from your store, as return and exchange policies are among the first things that customers read before placing their first orders on e-stores. By allowing returns and exchanges, you can get a competitive edge from other stores.
Here are some tips to provide hassle-free returns:
- Mention your return policy clearly
- Make returns and exchanges easy, preferably with a few clicks
- Provide customer support to one-time shoppers to initiate returns
- Give them store credits for returns so they come back to your store
Is your one-time holiday season shoppers strategy on point?
To ensure your one-time holiday season shoppers remember you, engage with your brand, and come back for more, you must create a targeted strategy for this customer segment. And one of the best ways to do it is to start early, get a headstart, and beat your competition.
However, to set up the above strategies, you will require efficient and intuitive Shopify apps to support your requirements. And that’s where Appstle comes in. Appstle offers loyalty, subscription, and membership apps that can set your holiday season strategy for success.