Repeat customers can make your business. Most online retailers don’t make a profit from a customer until the fourth time they visit, and most customers spend more money with each passing purchase. What’s more, repeat customers refer other customers, who turn around and become repeat customers. So getting customers in the door is important, but keeping them coming back is crucial to the long term success of your business.
Zappos is a great example of a company that gets it right when it comes to repeat business. They are often in the news for sending people flowers - customers who have had a death in the family, customers who can’t find comfortable shoes, and more - which adds a human side to the customer service equation. But while being human and going to extra mile is crucial in today’s online retail landscape, keeping customers coming back is about knowing them on a personal level. Chances are you have all the data you need, you just need to be able to make better use of it.
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Customers assume you have data on previous transactions, including questions and complaints, what’s they’ve ordered before, and personal information they have provided in past transactions. Amazon makes great use of this type of information by offering buying suggestions - 35% of their sales come from “frequently bought together” and “customers who bought this item also bought” suggestions.
Online retailers need to retain a customer for one year just to break even. A customer’s fourth purchase is 40% larger than the first, and the 10th is 80% larger than the first. First time customers refer 3-4 others on their first purchase, while 10th time customers can refer as many as 13 other customers. Customer retention is about more than a single customer - it can pay off exponentially.
Managing the data you already have about your customers is key to keeping them coming back. Nearly 80% of customers say they want to do business with a company that cares about them personally, while 56% say they are loyal to brands that deeply understand their preferences and priorities. If you are not keeping track of your customers needs, wants, and personal preferences, someone else will. Learn more about maintaining customer relationships through master data management from this infographic. You might be surprised to learn you have all the information you need at your fingertips already, you just need to make better use of it.