Whether you are running an eCommerce store since 10 months or 10 years, one thing that never changes is the never-ending battle for conversions. Every store wants both: new users and returning users.
While there are multiple channels and tactics that can be used to acquire new users, in this blog we are going to cover how to create repeat orders as there is no loyalty in consumer businesses. Below are some actionable tips to drive repeat orders.
What is a repeat purchase?
Essentially a repeat purchase is a purchase by a consumer of a same-brand product as bought on a previous occasion. Repeat purchase is an indicator of the degree of customer loyalty to a brand. In the eCommerce space, a high percentage of repeat orders depicts a satisfied customer and results in lowering customer acquisition cost and higher profitability. Today, repeat purchase is becoming increasingly important as the cost of customer acquisition is going higher due to the increasing competition.
How to calculate a repeat purchase?
Once we’ve understood what repeat purchase means, it’s important to understand how to calculate the repeat purchase rate for your eCommerce store. It helps understand customer loyalty and hence it is very important to track repeat purchase rate for any eCommerce store. While there cant be an industry standard to define whats a good repeat purchase rate as products vary for each store, it is always good to continue improving the repeat purchase rate for your store. Lets look at how one can calculate the repeat purchase rate and improve customer loyalty:
The repeat purchase rate can be calculated simply by dividing the total number of customers who bought more than once by total number of customers. The repeat purchase rate can be calculated for different cohorts. E.g. For a year, a quarter or simply a month.
Let’s take an example: Let’s suppose you are a pet food store with a total of over 8000 paying customers and out of those 8000 customers, 400 customers have come back to purchase again in the cohort you want to calculate the repeat purchase rate. That makes your repeat purchase rate 5%.
Why Repeat Purchase Rate matter for your store?
Below are some of the points why repeat purchase rate matters to your store:
- The goal today should not necessarily be to increase/acquire new customers, simply because the cost of customer acquisition is rising continuously. If you’ve spent dollars acquiring a customer a cost higher than the money they spent on your store, it is very important to try and get them back to your store in order to make that purchase a profitable one.
- Consider the fact that if a customer is coming back to your store to purchase something for the second time and if they are satisfied, then what are chances that they will not purchase from your eCommerce store again? Very low. So if you can get a customer back and keep them satisfied, then there is a very high chance that they will come back and make that third purchase and maybe also the fourth purchase which might actually turn them into your brand promoter.
- Its a huge sign of customer loyalty, which means that even if they get the same product for cheaper through another eCommerce store, they may not buy it from there and you can focus on other important strategies for your business growth.
Now that we have understood what is a repeat purchase, why it’s important and how it is calculated. Let’s talk about ways one can increase repeat purchases for their eCommerce/Shopify store.
1. Voice-enabled: If we look at consumer behavior for repeat orders, it is essentially driven by two factors:
- A habit (ordering my favorite pizza or a vape)
- A need (milk/groceries)
Given that its usually a result of a habit or a need, we want to ensure that we make it super easy and convenient for customers to repeat that purchase because a need maybe realized in a situation when the user has run out of a product and a habitual purchase is made when they are in the mood to consumer something or as a result of boredom. Now lets look at how voice can enable better repeat purchase rate.
If you have ever used an Amazon Alexa or a Google Home, you must have realized that you use it as a result of a habit e.g. “Alexa, whats the weather?” Or “Alexa, remind me to order for more baby towels”. What if we said you could as well repeat orders via Alexa: “Alexa, repeat my last order from Colorpop” or “Alexa, tell me my previous orders from Pet n’Go”. Essetially what you could make repeating orders easy and habitual via Amazon Alexa.
Research says repeat ordering is going to be one of the biggest use cases of voice devices like Amazon Alexa and voice shopping is estimated to reach a total of $80B by 2023. You can imagine the impact this could possibly have on your eCommerce store. Take a look at the video below.
2. Use data to drive repeat order strategy/Simplify shopping experience: While voice is a great way to let customers repeat orders from the comfort of their couch since it requires no login, no app downloads, only conversations, it is also necessary to continue to ease out repeat ordering for your eCommerce or Shopify store on the web and other channels.
Use data to look at customer purchase and make the repeat order flow easier and with lesser steps compared to a normal purchase hierarchy. Look at the screenshot below which makes it easier for a user to simply repeat their order instead of having to search for the product of their liking again.
3. Triggered and personalized marketing: We’ve been hearing about the importance of personalization for sometime now but what really is personalization. What does contextual marketing mean. Lets take a look at what a personalization campaign look like and why it makes more sense for your existing customers. According to a survey that Lytics conducted of over 400 consumers, 80% said brands are not familiar, or at best, are only somewhat familiar with their needs. So how does one approach personalization:
- Connecting more data together results in better personalization:
Businesses need to take advantage of their customer data from all possible touch points they could think of. As a business, one shouldn’t just collect and store data in one tool; rather we should use it across all of our marketing platforms to inform how we reach our customers.
For instance, if a customer visited your site this week and looks at coffee, but is unsubscribed from email communication, the best course of action would be targeting this group with ads for coffee on channels like social media ad networks, like Facebook and Twitter to drive them back to your site.
Or businesses could combine web and email to know whether a customer has visited their digital property (e.g. website) recently. If they haven’t, the marketer could stop sending them emails about new product announcements, and instead try to win them back with something like, “We miss you” or “20% off next time you buy from us.”
- There’s more to a person than their last trigger:
When we look at our data as a whole, we’re able to see the relationship we have with our visitor by targeting users based on the larger data picture, our personalization becomes much more targeted and moves beyond the simple trigger-based workflows.
We should personalize the experience for our dormant users by acknowledging they haven’t visited us in a while and greet them with a nice welcome. Also, the long-time visitor, high value customer, who should be get a more personalized and tailored experience.
Again, all of It makes more sense for existing customers since you have data about them to really personalize the experience and ease out the buying process which ultimately drives more repeat orders.
Now that you are repeat purchase expert, approach your next business strategy or marketing campaign with repeat purchase in mind.
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