Encouraging repeat sales online
Repeat sales are the lifeblood of many businesses, and techniques for keeping customers coming back are well established. But how do these translate to the world of online selling? Find out how to keep people buying from your website.
According to the experts, the process of encouraging visitors to make a repeat buy from your website begins before they have even made their first purchase.
It's all about usability, from how the person discovered the site in the first place, to whether they were taken to the exact product page they were looking for, right through to the checkout.
As with physical businesses, online customers look for ease of purchase and quality of service. In order to respond to these needs, you may well find yourself employing similar sales techniques as you would offline.
Keep it fresh
If you're in fast-moving consumer goods or fashion, for example, you're probably going to need to replenish or introduce new stock regularly, in the same way you'd dress a shop window to stand out on the high street.
Or, if your products remain fairly static, it might be price offers that draw people in. Either way, you need to make sure that your search-engine marketing pushes the right products and pages so they are easy to find.
Search-engine marketing should be just one of your promotional tools, however; others could include maintaining a blog on your site which you use to flag up offers and give insights into your market. If it is readable and frequently updated, it will attract visitors.
Connect with customers
A blog will also enable you to build relationships with customers. Many will appreciate the chance to ask questions; others will be influenced by the feedback they read and how you respond to it. A positive comment or a problem sorted promptly can establish you as a trustworthy seller.
Sometimes you can turn a negative into a positive - by offering a prompt return for a customer who's made the wrong choice, for example. But you've got to make sure you're able to deliver what you promise, otherwise it could do you more harm than good.
Follow it up
Good customer service may be what gives you an edge over other e-retailers. This should include a transparent returns policy, clearly listed contact details and quick, reliable delivery. Some e-retailers even use mobile technology.
A simple text message can let the buyer know their goods have been dispatched. It creates a dialogue and it can help uncover any problems early on.
The way you follow up a sale will also tell customers how much you value their business. For example, emailing details of products that complement an initial purchase can encourage people to return, as can an e-newsletter or a loyalty scheme. If you have high-value customers, it is worth offering them exclusive opportunities to buy new or discounted lines.
It can also be a way of getting customers to sign up to certain offers, or become part of a special club. This can make people feel valued and therefore they are more likely to come back to you rather than a competitor.
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Global Supply Chain Intelligence
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