Increasing Repeat Purchases | An Essential Guide with 20 Tips

Dastan Chikeev
9 min readNov 28, 2023

In our contemporary world, businesses fade in and out of existence in what may seem like a blink of an eye. Sadly, there can be countless complications that keep us from actualizing our vision. If we position ourselves in a difficult spot, the longer we drag along a bad plan, the deeper we end up sinking.

Thinking long-term means loyalty, repeat purchases, and brand recognition; which are all intertwined goals for any business. A single repeat customer is enough of an indication to show us we are on the right path, it demonstrates that we have a viable product market fit and more importantly it proves that customers attribute value to our brand.

Ultimately, the market dictates what works and what doesn’t. Much of this involves creating value for shoppers, so a poor understanding of customers’ wants will result in the same outcome no matter where you begin.

There are a variety of winning formulas that can make repeat purchases more likely. In this article, we will discuss the primary benefits and suggest essential strategies for generating critical repeat purchases.

What is a repeat customer?

Any customer who completes a second purchase at your store is considered a repeat customer. This is a minimal definition, with the greater goal being generating multiple purchases and keeping your brand top of mind. Brand loyalty is the final stage of repeat customer strategies, which indicates a clear preference amongst similar competitors. It important to understand that the product must possess genuine value to make repeat customer possible. It worth noting that repeat customers are a source of tremendous value, especially in ecommerce where lead generation can be time consuming and expensive.

What motivates a repeat customer?

The primary motivation behind repeat customers can be summarized by necessity and intrinsic value. These two principles dicatete the potential for repeat purchases and also disqualify the repeat customers. While the product is what is most relevant, there are ways to cultivate brand loyalty and optimize the shopping experience so as to improve your chances and establish an ongoing relationship with customers.

How to calculate repeat purchase rate?

Repeat purchase rate is a common ecommerce metric used to identify the percentage of customer that have purchased a product at your store more than once within a particular time frame. It can help us understand where to allocate our resources by comparing our repeat purchase rate to industry standards.‍

What is a good repeat customer rate?

Establishing a baseline industry rate for repeat purchases can help us understand how much value we are missing out on. We can begin the process by first looking objectively at the competitive environment and draw a few logical expectations. We then compare our internal figures to the industry average to guide our decision to focus more resources towards accumulating repeat customers.

What are the benefits of repeat purchases?

Repeat purchases are established goals for all commerce but are especially beneficial in electronic commerce where it can be difficult to engage and retain shoppers. It’s the combination of technical complexity and disconnection from shoppers that can make it difficult to materialize repeat customers. Why should we implement repeat purchase strategies?‍

Revenue Boost: At the most fundamental level repeat purchases mean a boost in revenue. By successfully implementing a repeat purchase strategy we can see a jump in revenue generated from returning customers. In ecommerce, repeat purchases are considered a source of missing value.

Cost Efficiency: There are operational expenses that cannot be avoided, or expenses that have already been incurred. As a result of improved repeat purchase rates, we see an improvement in overall operational efficiency. Ecommerce stores are scalable allowing us to facilitate more visitors and shoppers without having to reinvest and repeat customers are the first place we look at.

Customer Loyalty: Effective repeat purchase rates are often an indication of potential customer loyalty, strong repeat purchase rates are precursors to loyalty. When we are able to accurately identify what customers react positively towards, we coincidentally create perfect conditions for brand loyalty, customer advocacy, and word of mouth.

Stabile Source of Value: Probing the responsiveness of your target audience and the fact that you can database your repeat shoppers, can be highly advantageous. If we manage to gather a larger enough group of repeat shoppers, this could become a place of consistent value where you can market your new catalogs, seasonal discounts, and promotional campaigns. Repeat customers are often comfortable with your brand and are easier to communicate with on a consistent value to their responsiveness.

Customer Information: Refining your catalog, marketing, and optimizing your ecommerce channels is an active process for any online store. Repeat customers are generally the type of shoppers who find value in your store and connects best with your brand. This results in high quality information which can then be integrated in your overall strategy. We want to group customers and identify common characteristics between them, which can produce a clearer picture of where our value lies.

Growave provides expert content on e-commerce, you can check out their blog here.

20 Tips to Increase Repeat Purchase Rates

#1. Exceptional customer service

It is more than common for a customer to delay or stop their purchase process entirely until a problem or question is resolved. Customer service is a process of enabling the purchasing process by resolving customer issues with speed and impact. Until we are able to manage customer requests efficiently, we cannot expect them to return. We can see this clearly when comparing the case when we provide no real support, which could be considered negligible.

#2. Personalized marketing

Utilize data and analytics to personalize marketing efforts and improve your chances of delivering an impactful message. Personalized marketing could mean tailored product recommendations, targeted offers, content based on past purchases, and browsing behavior. Personalization enhances the shopping experience by making your marketing more relevant and timely.

#3. Loyalty programs and rewards

The availability of points, tiers, and rewards can be highly effective in encouraging repeat business. Offer carefully crafted incentives such as discounts, exclusive perks, or points that can be redeemed for future purchases. Loyalty programs make it possible for customers to accumulate points and motivate repeat purchases.

#4. Product quality and innovation

One major factor that affects a customer’s willingness to repeat their purchase has to do with their experience with your product. By working on quality and innovating your product, you can enhance the customers’ perception of your brand and improve their expectations. As a result of a positive perception of your brand, customers will be willing to return to your store and will be more receptive to try other products at your store.

#5. Constant contact with emails

One of the biggest challenges in ecommerce is maintaining contact with customers after their first visit or purchase. Email marketing can serve as a strategic tool to remain relevant with a variety of different campaigns such as follow-ups, abandoned carts, and product updates. Email marketing can serve as a way of reconnecting with past customers.

#6. Feedback and improvement

Customer input is a source of highly relevant information that can result in specific improvements to your product and services. By actively implementing customer feedback, we are able to tailor our brand around customer preferences and improve our chances of encouraging repeat purchases. When customer notice that their opinions are valued, they are also more likely to connect with your brand.

#7. Remarketing campaigns

Many shoppers may already be familiar with your brand having visited your store in the past. By remarketing to previous visitors you can take advantage of missed opportunities to re-engage with shoppers. This could be an ideal time to introduce a new product or utilize some sort of discount based incentive to potential convince shoppers.

#8. Encourage referrals

While it may not make perfect sense how referrals might lead to repeat purchases, there is cause to believe that a double reward may motivate them. Most modern referral programs make it very easy to share referrals by simply copy codes. Modern methods also reward both referers and referees for a double benefit.

#9. Sentiment and care

Produce a message that will resonate and wont be easily forgotten. Using sentimental values can be an excellent option for building non-tangible value for customers by speaking to them on a human level. This could be enough of an emotional connection to create a bond with potential repeat customers.

#10. Promote new products

There might be a chance that your brand and style all fit perfectly but the current catalog doesn’t. Sharing new catalogs through your marketing channels can be a way to attract customers back to your ecommerce store and repeat purchase.

#11. Transparency and trust

When it comes to marketing we can promise the world and end at a dead end. What we communicate to customers matters and the best practice is always transparency. We need to back up what we say in order to deliver on expectations.

#12. Find ways to keep customer engaged

Shopping experiences that feel “transactional” are a painfully common issue in ecommerce. While the product is the star of the show, but there are non-tangible ways to create value for customers. We recommend style guides, customer digests and content as a few examples. The main idea is to actively search for ways to keep customer engaged with the ultimate goal being more than just buying your product.

#13. Create products that customers need

The gross market is populated by run of the mill products that do just barely enough, which does nothing for a repeat purchase strategy. Aim high when it comes to your products and focus on whats of true substance. If you manage to do nothing else but make a highly appreciated product, you will do enough to encourage repeat customers.

#14. Make it as simple as possible to reorder

One of the more functional problems customer often encounter is a complicated purchasing process. If this happens to be a weakness of yours, consider ways of simplifying the buyers journey. We can confidently say that there is no logic behind an exhausting process that makes it complicated for shoppers.

#15. Narrow down the real reason why

What’s the real motivation behind your customers shopping at your store? Once you understand precisely what motivated your customers to shop at your store the first time, your virtually there already. Understanding customers is the secret “sauce” that can payback dividends and guide you for years to come.

#16. Strive to be the best choice

When your going up against competitors, its essential to focus on what truly matters. Understand what your competitors are doing differently and narrow down why they might be ahead of you. Being the best possible choice and being the best option are not necessarily the same thing.

#17. Future use coupons

Keep things pointed towards the future. There is a difference between a discount on first purchase and a discount on their next purchase. This logic could prove to be highly effective for encouraging repeat purchases.

#18. Investigate your abandoned carts

There is a lot of valuable data that you can use in ecommerce, but the reasons why a customer abandons their cart or why they stopped shopping at your store could be the most important bit of information. While it isn’t clear yet why your not meeting your repeat purchase goals, conducting an investigation could shift the tides.

#19. Customer status

Does your product elevate the customers social status? While it may be difficult to deliver a product of this level, there is no doubt that social forces drive a repeat customers. This could have implications on your marketing or the product itself.

#20. Say thank you!

The magic words. Gratitude requires little effort and it may result in no financial gain, but this is no reason not to try. Sincerity is a universal concept and that is no different for ecommerce businesses as well.

Conclusion

Repeat purchases are necessary for the success of an ecommerce business. Not only do repeat purchases boost revenue but also align your brand to create customer loyalty, an ultimate goal for any growing brand. By prioritizing repeat customers we can craft an efficient and highly effective ecommerce strategy that is built around customer, the most important element to any business. Repeat purchases are especially important in a competitive environment and could provide to be a reliable source of value. Regardless of your position in the market, repeat customers are a necessary consideration.

Growave provides expert content on e-commerce, you can check out their blog here.

Originally published at https://www.growave.io.

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Dastan Chikeev

E-commerce, Saas, Digital Marketing, Content Management, Shopify. Multiple solutions for problems of all varieties.